Product Review: Smartfish’s strangely pivoting mouseSmartfish’s ErgoMotion laser mouse pivots on a raised base to match natural hand and wrist movements.
You know you’re onto something good when “Was this technology co-opted from the downed Roswell UFO?” swiftly crosses your mind. Using Smartfish’s ErgoMotion laser mouse is akin to looking into the very-near future … actually, it’s more like looking in on a present day that should’ve been: How is it that something as ubiquitous as the computer mouse has had the same uncomfortable design for so long?
The engineers at Smartfish want to change all that. Their product pivots on a raised base to match natural hand and wrist movements.
In a sense, this product is a dream come true. As a journalist, I unfortunately spend a great deal of time working on a computer; with that comes cramped hands and the very-real threat of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Here is what else I liked (and politely disliked) about this soon-to-be-commonplace necessity:
• First and foremost, it feels amazing. Because of its pivoting base (which, yes, sort of resembles something out of the “Halo” video game series), your hand is raised in a rather unique position. It takes about an hour to get used to — again, most of us have been using standard-issue computer peripherals our entire lives — but it feels great from the get-go. Then, in the long run, you will also notice how decidedly not cramped your hand feels after using the computer for a couple hours.
• Three words: plug and play. I plugged in this mouse’s wireless USB transmitter in the back of my computer and it was up and running in less than a minute — no obnoxious driver-install CDs to deal with.
• Its tracking is spot-on, with or without a mousepad. The Smartfish utilizes an 800 dpi laser to work on nearly any surface. Now, I don’t know exactly what “800 dpi” means (and perhaps you don’t either), but it works, splendidly, and that’s all anyone needs to know.
• It’s ambidextrous, so anyone in your household can use it with ease.
• Because of said ambidextrous nature, the ErgoMotion laser mouse lacks “forward” and “back” buttons (traditionally found on the left side of devices for right-handed folks). If you, like me, spend a great deal of time flipping back and forth between websites, you’ll probably find this a tad annoying.
• After periods of extended use, this Smartfish product tends to squeak every once in awhile. Now, seeing as how I “make Budgeteer magic happen” with Koss PortaPro headphones permanently adorning my ears, this doesn’t necessarily bother me. But if you happen to work someplace a little less casual, you might want to douse yours with some WD-40. (Not really....)
• Honestly, nothing. Aside from the minor annoyances mentioned above, I can honestly recommend this product to all computer users.
Overall, if you’re in the market for a new mouse, I can’t imagine a different product that I’d rather recommend. Some may scoff at its $49.99 price tag — and opt for a budget-line device instead — but, if you really think about, is there anything you use more (and destroy less) than a computer mouse? Invest in something worthwhile, something that will make the whole “I’m stuck in front of a computer” experience that much more tolerable.
… But you don’t have to take my word for it
What follows is the official “buy me now” PR video put out by Smartfish (and posted on www.getsmartfish.com):