On January 13, 2003, in Review, by Tim Robertson

Company: Griffin Technology

Price: $45.00

I had heard a few Mac people talking about the PowerMate, and up until a month ago, I simply shrugged my shoulders and went on my merry way. I knew it was some kind of volume knob that would glow or pulse or something, but that was about it. Just what I need, I thought, another USB device I won’t use.

Boy was I ever wrong!

First, yes, this thing is really cool. The one tested for this review is a machined aluminum, with a plastic base that sits on soft rubber. This prevents the things from being easily moved on your desktop. The bottom is also where the unit pulses and glows, giving off a very high-tech, eerie blue color.

The machined aluminum PowerMate (Mac and Windows compatible) acts as a scroll wheel, a volume control, and a host of other functions. I did not test functionality under any pre-Mac OS X, but the control panel located in the system preferences allows you to set a myriad number of functions. Everything from how the knob operates to the way the blue light displays is customizable. I particularly like the ability to have the PowerMate pulse at different speed rates.

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