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...
/ Features of the Atek Super Mini Optical Mouse
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
- 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
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.
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
with the Super Mini is a small carry pouch and a
basic user's manual (not pictured).
Ergonomics and Impressions