Atek Super Mini Optical Mouse - HotHardware

Atek Super Mini Optical Mouse

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Atek Super Mini Optical Mouse
Good Things Come in Small Packages...

By Marco "BigWop" Chiappetta
March 27, 2001

I know what you're all thinking, "This is HotHardware.Com! Why are you posting a portable mouse review?!?"...Well, I'll tell you, let me set the stage...A few weeks ago, while lounging on my couch, browsing with my laptop, I received an e-mail from the good folks at Atek Electronics asking if we were interested in taking a look at their newly released Super Mini Optical Mouse. Coincidentally, just as this e-mail was coming in, I was struggling with the touch-pad on my Compaq laptop.

The touch-pad on my particular machine must be absolutely immaculate for it to even be considered remotely accurate. The slightest touch sends the mouse cursor flying from one extreme corner of the screen to the next, lifting my finger to "tap-click" would also send my cursor reeling. If you've ever experienced this, you will sympathize with me...there are few things more frustrating when working on a laptop than an uncooperative mouse! Even when the touch-pad was cooperative, truly precise movements were not possible. For example, precision cropping of images in PhotoShop would require multiple attempts (and a little bit of luck!) to grab the exact pixels I was aiming for. This simple example may not seem like a major issue, but multiply small annoyances like this across many applications and it equals large amounts of wasted time and lost productivity. 

After reading Atek's e-mail and seeing the product they were offering, I had no choice but to accept. The Super Mini Optical mouse was the exact type of product to make computing on my laptop more enjoyable and productive. Its small size and durable shell make it ideal, as I consistently use my laptop under less than ideal conditions, like on a couch or while traveling. Carrying around a full sized mouse is not a viable option, not because of it's size, but because a flat area to use it on is rarely available. The idea behind the Super Mini Optical Mouse is sound...let's see if Atek's engineers are as insightful as their marketing team...


  

Specifications / Features of the Atek Super Mini Optical Mouse
More info than you'll ever need to know about a mouse...
Buttons - Two (left and right)

Mouse Length - 2.62" +/- 0.05", Width - 1.09" +/- 0.05", Height - 0.71" +/-0.02"

Net weight - 32 grams +/- 2 grams

Technology type - Optical image sensor

Tracking resolution/speed  - 400 dpi / 250-mm/sec. max. 

Data format - Microsoft (1 start bit, 8 data bits, 1 stop bit)

Microswitch life - 1,000,000 cycles

Travel life - 1,000 km.

Operation force - Microswitch 90 +/- 30 grams

Humidity - 5 to 90% RH

Operating temp - -10 to 45 degrees C

Controllers - MCU

Interface - USB or PS/2 models (USB for PC only**)

Clock - 6 MHz

Power Requirement - DC +5V, Uses - 50 mA max.

Pull test - 3 Kg - 1 minute

Cable material - Reinforced with Kevlar string
Smooth and precise optical image sensor technology Cursor never sticks or jumps

Works on almost any surface - no need for a mouse pad

Maintenance-free - no ball or other moving parts to clean

Miniature size (only 2-1/2" long and 1" wide)

So small it even works on the palm rest of notebook computers

Convenient to carry in notebook computer travel bag

Two-button type (left and right)

Overall length with cord: 3 ft.

Color: Translucent gray with silver band in mid-section

Material: polycarbonate

Interface - USB interface version available now, PS/2 interface version available March/April 2001

Operating system compatibility

USB version for use with Windows 2000, Me, 98**
PS/2 version for use with Windows 2000, Me, 98, NT, 95

Productivity tool for mobile professionals - point and click with more speed, and precision than touch-pads and pointers.

Any Questions?  I didn't think so!  We asked Atek for a detailed specification list, and they delivered!  **There is one juicy piece of information missing however.  The box and manual state that the USB version is only compatible with Windows 98, ME and 2000, but this is not the case.  Mac users can also take advantage of the Atek Super Optical mouse.  Without any special software, the left button functions as the Mac mouse button.  Mac users should take a trip to USBOverdrive.Com though, they have drivers available that will allow for 2 button functionality as well as other tweaks.  We tested the Atek Super Mini briefly on an iBook without incident.  Enough about the Mac though, I'm starting to get queasy... :)

Included with the Super Mini is a small carry pouch and a basic user's manual (not pictured).

Quality, Ergonomics and Impressions

 

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