[Review] MiniPro Mouse, An Optical Mouse To Go
Contact And Other Information
|Product Home Page:
||Portable optical USB mouse
||Price (US$34.95) at Contour
|System Used For Testing:
||Dual processor G4
Blue and White G3
iBook and PowerBook
by Michael Munger
The MiniPro Mouse is a small (3.5" long, 1" height and 1 7/8" width) optical mouse (no ball) that connects to any Mac with a USB port. Because of its small size many users will want to carry it with them on the road with a portable. The mouse has two buttons. The second is behind the main button, and its top is rounded and higher to avoid confusion between the buttons.
The mouse works straight out of the box without installing drivers, but you need to download and install the Contour Overdrive to program its two buttons.
The device did not come with documentation. With the simplicity of the drivers and the mouse, we did not see this as a problem.
With the Contour Overdrive driver software, it is possible to program the two buttons. We went ahead and replaced the control-click action on the keyboard (for contextual menus) by a click on the second button. We have often found this feature to be very handy, especially for those Mac users used to working in a dual-platform environment. USB Overdrive also allows you to select the speed of the pointing with a good number of options that answer different needs.
The driver software did not have any impact on the stability of the systems used as far as we could observe.
The drivers allow you to easily program the mouse.
The device's cord is 32 inches long, and it proved enough for use with iBooks and PowerBooks that have a USB port. We could use the mouse on any side of portable Macs. It was also long enough for use with any other Mac that allows you to connect a mouse to its keyboard. The cord can reach the back of a G3 or G4 tower, but can be almost unusable because of restricted movement depending on your physical set-up.
The MiniPro Mouse comes in a sturdy plastic case that can go in any suitcase, backpack or other storage place. The cord wraps around the mouse to save space.
The mouse case is sturdy.
The design gets along with any iMac, iBook or USB-based G3 and G4. The mouse comes with snap-on flavored buttons that match Indigo, Tangerine, Lime, Graphite and Bondi Blue.
The 5 buttons are snappable.
The optical technology works very nicely. It responded well on all the surfaces we tried it on, from a mouse pad to our pants, literally. In the dark, the red light that detects movement looks great. For those who do not know, optical devices use light to replace the traditional mouse ball to detect movement and it is very accurate while the ball could cause problems when the rollers needed cleaning. It eliminates the mouse pad and can function on virtually any type of surface.
The mouse is so small that people with big hands will find it hard to use or will have to settle for pushing it with a few fingers laid on it.
The mouse does not come with a software CD. You have to download the drivers (named the Contour Overdrive) from the Internet. The mouse works well without drivers, but to take advantage of the second button and to adjust the pointing speed, you must download the appropriate drivers.
The SRP price of US$34.95 seems a little high to us for a portable rodent.
All in all, this rodent is worthy. It features efficient optical technology, allowing users to use the portable device on any surface, which is a great thing for those with a notebook computer. As long as you have a USB port to connect it to and Web access to get its drivers, it is an interesting buy.
Final Score (Maximum Score is 5 Gadgies)
Efficient optical technology
Short chord limits use with some physical set-ups