IOGEAR USB Optical 800 dpi Mini Mouse

USB Optical 800 dpi Mini Mouse, Model GME222
Company: IOGEAR, Inc.
Price: $29.95 US

Full functionality in OS X, basic operation in OS 9

IOGEAR’s David Greene gave me their adorable, tiny USB Optical Mini Mouse (“OMM”) after our PR meeting at this month’s Macworld Expo in San Francisco. I used it with our loaner Tekserve iBook as my personal mouse until I returned home to Arizona, when Barbara expressed interest in OMM.

It certainly is small and light, weighing almost nothing and having roughly one-third the footprint of a standard Apple Pro optical mouse. Two-button left/right clicking plus wheel scrolling work in OS X without any additional software, and single-click + no scroll works in OS 9. A sliding switch on the side provides users with 400, 600, or 800 dpi resolution options of precise accuracy for mobile professionals (or ordinary folks).

This link has comprehensive info, pictures, and specs for OMM from IOGEAR.

I didn’t fall in love with OMM when under pressure to use it in the Moscone Center Media Room. My fingers had trouble figuring out where to hold and press, and my mouse tracking was consistently inaccurate. Turns out I’m not an ideal user of OMM, because even though my hand is smallish, I’m either too clumsy or too set in my ways to adapt quickly to it.

Barbara, on the other hand (ouch!) adores OMM, and uses it exclusively. Here are her quotes (with my stage whispers), given over several days:

“Hey, John, this mouse is pretty good.” (Barbara is not known for hyperbole, so the compliment is substantial.)

“I love this little thing. It’s like an extension of my hand.”
(Very different than my awkward experience.)

“Were you thinking of me when you got it?”
(Of course, dear spouse.)

“John, the new Mini Mouse has a very natural feeling, and I absolutely love it.” (Now she’s breaking into unprecedented praise.)

“It’s so cute.” (It certainly is.)

“How you going to rate the new mouse, John? I’d definitely give it at least a four, or maybe a five, if five is the top, because I can’t think of anything wrong with it.”
(I did; see below.)

Stylish and well-constructed, IOGEAR’s Optical USB Mini Mouse comes with a long, thin cable. It’s too thin and delicate for serious long-term road warrior usage, which registers a demerit. OMM is packaged with a very small vinyl case, which is too diminutive for sensible, speedy storage. My suggestion to improve OMM is to make the cable more rugged, even if it has to be a bit shorter, and to make the case more ample and flexible for repeated insertion and removal.

OMM travels and senses well on many typical and unconventional surfaces, but didn’t perform to my satisfaction of the smooth tables in the Macworld Media Room. You’ll be more efficient if you bring along a pocket-size mouse pad or equivalent. Trust me on this one.

Will I use OMM? No, for personal non-technical reasons. Will Barbara? Ubetcha, and she’s already concerned I’m borrowing it for an hour to prepare this review, thinking I might not return it. Do I recommend it? Yes, for adults with small hands or precise digital dexterity, and for all children who are not too rough on their peripherals.

David Greene gave me a thorough tour of IOGEAR’s products, then made a promise to deliver many of them to labs for our testing and evaluation. IOGEAR offers an extensive range of peripherals and accessories, many of which will appeal to our broad spectrum of readers. Watch this space for more on this company, and spend a few minutes looking through their web site.

IOGEAR’s David Greene tells

“Touch pads are a big pain, so the Optical Mini Mouse was developed as the ultimate portable accessory. The tracking problems that John experienced in the Macworld Media Room were due to the smooth, glossy surface of the tables. Optical sensors, from any manufacturer, may not work properly on reflective surfaces because too much reflection of light can confuse the sensor. With any optical mouse, no matter how cool it is, a small mouse pad may be needed sometimes just in case your mobile work area is a glass coffee table, a shiny classroom desk, or the glossy tables in the Macworld Media Room!”

“The Optical Mini Mouse is one of many mice that IOGEAR offers. There is also a Wireless Optical Mini Mouse for those who are concerned about cable clutter; it features an on/off switch and AAA batteries that can be recharged from the computers USB port. IOGEAR also offers an Optical Mini Mouse with built-in 32MB flash drive and a self-retracting cable; it’s ideal for professionals that want to transport files between the office and home, and it’s perfect for college students that use public computers in classrooms and libraries. Look for John’s upcoming reviews on these mice too!”

“IOGEAR’s Mini Mice are small and lightweight to take minimal room in your laptop bag while ergonomically contoured for comfort. While not all hands are the same size and shape, and everyone has a personal comfort preference, IOGEAR’s Mini Mice are a great convenience while traveling, working in constricted areas such as airplane tray tables – or my cluttered desk – and for all-day use if you find it comfortable like Barbara did.”

JOHN’S rating: 3 out of 5

BARBARA’S rating: 4 out of 5

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