Friday, March 04, 2011

Smartfish Whirl ErgoMotion Laser Mouse Review

My thanks to Smartfish Technologies for providing me with a Whirl Laser Mouse with Anti-Gravity Pivot for the purposes of this review. 

As you might imagine, I spend a lot of time on the computer.  I type and mouse all day long sometimes.  If I'm not off surfing to find a good deal to post here, I'm writing content or blog posts.  I might even find time for a few games of Bejeweled Blitz!  But all of this mousing and typing is not so good for my wrists.  As I type this blog post, I can honestly tell you that my right wrist has a slight burning sensation/cramped feeling.  I can only attribute it to spending too much time with my keyboard and mouse.  And most likely, it is the mousing that's putting my wrist over the edge.  My left wrist is just fine.  So when Smartfish Technologies offered me the chance to try their ErgoMotion Laser Mouse, I was a bit excited.  I have, at times, purposely curbed my online time due to wrist pain, so I was interested in Smartfish's Whirl because it was a new design and meant to be ergonomic for hard core mousers such as myself.

I gave the ErgoMotion mouse a whirl (pun intended) and was a bit disappointed.  First of all, the mouse is shaped to be ambidextrous (for lefties and righties).  I am accustomed to righty mouse, so the round, uncontoured feel of the Whirl was a bit off-putting.  It also felt large in my hand - both width wise and length wise.  I tried very hard to adapt to the mouse, but in the end, I just couldn't do it.  I felt like the Whirl was slowing me down and making me less productive.  My Computer Engineer spouse even tried the mouse and didn't like the shape either.  Redesigned for righties and lefties - as in two separate models - might go over better.  As for the too large shape, I am aware that they have recently launched a Whirl Mini-Laser Mouse, which may be a better fit for my hand.  It is still has the anti-gravity pivot technology, but it is smaller and perhaps is a good fit for those who travel with their laptops.

There were some aspects of the Whirl ErgoMotion Laser Mouse that I did like.  The ability to pivot was very welcome.  My standard mouse doesn't do that, though I would also like to mention that the pivoting base does raise up the height of the mouse.  This was a little hard to get used to.  Of course, I will also point out that if you are prone to slouch, good posture feels weird at first too.  Instead of having your wrist fall down over the back of the mouse, your wrist is higher, which means a bit less stress on your wrist.

Other good points:  

The mouse comes with an off/on switch on the bottom.  This is ideal for saving battery power and storage while traveling.  I liked this feature since my current mouse doesn't have a way to turn it off, other than taking out the batteries. 

Receiver:  The Whirl ErgoMotion Laser Mouse has a tiny receiver that fits snugly into your USB port.  It protrudes only slightly, which enables you to leave the receiver plugged in.  This is especially nice for travel, since you don't have to worry about losing your receiver.  If you do want to take the receiver out of your computer's USB, it does have a handy storage slot on the bottom of the mouse.

Final Thoughts:  Though I didn't warm up to this product, I do like the concept.  Repetitive motion injuries are serious business and you should do all you can to avoid them. Just because I didn't like this product doesn't mean you won't.  I encourage you to seek out other reviews to gain a well-rounded view of this product.

Links of interest:

Disclosure:  Smartfish Technologies, via their PR firm, provided me with a complimentary product to facilitate this review.  I did not receive compensation for making this blog post and the opinions are 100% my own or related to comments that my family made during the review process.  My thanks to Smartfish for allowing me to review their product.

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