I’ve recently had to think of proper gadget gifts for a couple of friends (and my husband, too).
The thing with the gadgets is to find those who are not only making life easier (which is their main purpose after all) but also usable enough. You know, nobody wants to receive something that will be left aside and used twice in a lifetime. So I’ve asked myself – what is the tool that everybody, whose life is connected with computers, uses. After a day of brainstorming, I’ve come up with the right decision – a computer mouse! That’s a great gadget gift, no doubt! Browsing for cool computer mouses (hm, I’ve never reached the right grammar conclusion about ‘computer mouses’ or ‘computer mice‘….), I’ve found so awesome designs that simply must share with you.
I personally depend a lot on my mouse. It is undeniably one of the essential tools that make my life much easier. Being honest – I can’t live without it! And probably you, too. Because as you are reading these lines, you are clicking and scrolling. A good design and more functionalities make the computer mouse the perfect tool that helps people for a smart-living. Every single day. Which makes it a wonderful gift idea for every gadget lover (and not only!) That’s exactly what I need!
Don’t read if you’re not curious about computer mice
Ever wondered about the history of the so-known computer mouse? It was interesting for me to find that it was first introduced on December 9, 1968 (!) at a public demonstration of interactive computing. 47 years ago Douglas Engelbart announced his “X–Y position indicator for a display system”— commonly known today as the computer mouse. “I don’t know why we call it a mouse,” he said during the demo. “It started that way, and we never did change it.” Well, as most of you have guessed, it got its name because of its look – the box (first one was wooden if you can believe it!) with a wire looks exactly like a mouse with a tail.
The original mouse, housed in a wooden box twice as high as today’s mouse and with 3 buttons on top, moved with the help of two wheels on its underside.
Engelbart did not make any money from the invention, but Logitech did. They designed their first mouse in a farmhouse in Switzerland and claim to have sold more than a billion of them since 1985. The Xerox Star workstation is what actually brought mouses to the masses, but it was the Macintosh in 1984 that really made the devices popular. Apple paid $40,000 for the mouse license just a short time after Engelbart’s patent expired on the product.
Mice grew more ergonomic and functional over time – with rubber trackballs, lasers, and LEDs, but the premise is the same—the computer records both the distance and speed at which the mouse travels and turns that information into binary code that it can understand and plot on a display screen.Here’s the short list of 10 awesome computer mouses that every computer geek will love.
# 1 Visenta – World’s 1st Fully Foldable Mouse
Visenta is a quite futuristic mouse with its design. It has all the features you would want in a wireless mouse. It is VERY light weight, as thin as a cell phone (easy to put in a laptop bag for trips or even in the pocket), pairs easily with the laptop via Bluetooth. It’s got a super mini nano USB receiver or, at least, that’s how they describe it (it just means very very small). The best advantage to me (except for the awesome design) is that this foldable mouse is rechargeable and does not have any batteries to replace. It has a built-in rechargeable Lithium ion battery and when the battery is low, the light on the mouse flashes as an indication to recharge it using the included USB cord. It was mentioned in the Visenta product description that one full charge lasts up to 2 months! I really doubt, but customers say that after 2 weeks since charging, it is working fast and great. After a few moments of non-movement, it automatically shuts off to save battery! I like that when folded, it turns on with a light click noise.
For sure this innovative design is truly impressive for the price given (you can find Visenta discounted). It’s an excellent traveling companion and a great gift for those who love computer gadget gifts and those who make a lot of business travels.
# 2 ODiN – The World’s First Projection Mouse
People who love gadgets also love using tools that are created for the first time ever. Like this ODiN – the 1st in the world projection mouse. This tiny robot head replaces the old-fashioned mouse with a laser-projected one. I am not sure about its functionality, but at least, you’ll have a whole new experience with computer and mouse. I believe it could be difficult to get used to it and redefine our daily user habits for scrolling and clicking while working, designing or gaming. Anyway, the main point of ODiN, it seems, is the reduction of the wrist tension when holding a computer mouse. With a traditional mouse, the wrist is angled and the thumb typically “grips” the mouse. With the ODiN Aurora, the hand rests flat on the table or any other surface the virtual mouse is projected. Which is another plus. The projection area is like 3.15 inches square. It includes both the left- and right-click buttons, a mouse ‘wheel ‘ (in the form of a triangle), and what appears to be a ‘thumb’ button. The ODiN can do anything a regular mouse can do, even zooming in and out. I am personally not so fond of the tiny Transformer’s head look, but boys find it funny and cool. As ODiN Aurora is considered as a must-have gadget for computers and laptops, I think it’s a pretty cool gift idea for every geek.
# 3 SwiftPoint – The Ultimate Travel Ergonomic Mouse
One of the major pains with some of today’s laptops are their uncomfortable touchpads. The whole idea with SwiftPoint is that you can use your laptop anywhere – on your lap while sitting on a couch, in bed, metro or train. But unlike other mobile or desktop mice, you don’t need to find another surface (flat, suitable and sensitive one) to rest it on. The company probably tried to make the smallest mouse on the market, but actually, Swiftpoint aims to be the ultimate travel mouse. Which means it’s of great use for those who travel a lot, working on a plane or train, where the only flat surface is your the laptop’s palmrest. It also latches onto a tiny USB stick to charge, can last for over an hour on a 30-second charge. This winner of two 2015 CES Innovation Awards has an ergonomic pen-like grip, which provides comfortable mouse experience for all hand sizes. Everything sounds very promising, huh? It’s definitely not cheap, but as a person, who’s interacting with computers like 10+ hours a day (doing some IT work, blogging, accounting, whatever…), I know how important is to make my experience as comfortable as possible. And you know that the good computer mouse could speed up your work, right? SwiftPoint is one of the perfect gadget gifts that will please those who cares about being comfortable working all day (and night) long and love futuristic-looking gadgets.
# 4 Zcan – The World’s 1st Wireless Scanner Mouse
World’s 1st again – this time a computer mouse + scanner in just one tiny device with the easy name Zcan. I love the concept to scan easily and quickly text from books, magazines, newspaper and then edit it on Word; tables and spreadsheet to edit each individual cell in Excel; and whatever you wish to scan and share in on Facebook, Twitter or just email it instantly. Which means it’s awesome for work and every daily activity in the spare time. I know that everyone use the phone camera to make snapshots, but scanning is just not the same. I usually end with my smartphone full of a great mixture of pictures of my daughter, snapshots and images of documents and other interesting stuff. It is also true that there are tons of iPhone scanning apps (like Scanbot, etc) in the App Store, which is even handier than scanning a piece of document, upload and share to various kind of cloud drives quickly. However, the quality of the shot really depends on your photography skills (mine are usually blurred so need to take a couple of pictures of the same object, then forget to delete the crappy ones and that’s how the mess is all around in my phone’s gallery). Also, the resolution can be limited to iPhone camera by default. Additionally, there are fewer file formats supported with these apps. So it really depends on when, where, what you need and what problems you’ve already experienced with scanning.
I have a wireless Samsung scanner-copier-printer at home and I am pretty satisfied with it. But whenever I need to scan greater amount of pages, it soon drives me crazy for the most inconvenient part – the low speed and open/close repeatedly movements. I wish I have Zcan as it looks a very innovative and useful product. Is it a good gadget? Yes, it is -as you can read from the product Zcan description it has a loooot of functionalities. Is it a good gadget gift? Yes, it is, if you know the person really needs a scanning tool at work or in his hobby time.
# 5 Pen Mouse
The Pen Mouse is just a mouse and not a tablet-type pen. It’s actually a slightly better option for writing and drawing (maybe signing docs is its best worth), but I doubt it would make me change from my regular mouse. In fact, if you got used to a mouse with a lot of function buttons, you will find yourself missing all those extra features. The package includes the pen mouse (of course!), USB receiver, carry bag, utility disk, manual, two extra pen tips, and a tool to remove them, plus AAA battery. During the installation process, the utility gives you the options for right- or left-handed use and has settings for the way you prefer to hold the device. The pen mouse can coexist with another mouse you may have on your system – switching between them is easy. The advantage is that if your wrist gets tired too much, using the pen mouse on almost every surface (except for glass and mirror) will help relief the pain. Anyway, you can use the pen in your lap or in the air if you are only scrolling. I am sure with some practice, this could be someone’s ideal solution. The major disadvantage of the pen mouse is only for the laziest people – when you need your hand to type on the keyboard, retrieval (picking it up) is not as smooth motion as just sliding your hand over a mouse or touchpad. Stupid, huh? Nevertheless, it is great for anyone who travels a lot, hates using trackball or touchpad, and loves using new computer gadgets.
# 6 Evoluent – The Vertical Ergonomic Mouse
I’ve mentioned above the wrist pain. It could be actually very painful after 4+ hours of hard working with the mouse, especially if it is not fitting your palm size. Evoluent promises to be the computer mouse, which is made only to serve your hand health. The regular mouse twists the arm and wrist into an abnormal position. This puts undo pressure on tendons and the medial nerve that runs from the forearm to the hand through a small space in the wrist called the carpal tunnel. Repeated use of a regular mouse can cause Carpel Tunnel Syndrome, the symptoms of which include tenderness, tingling, numbness, weakness, and pain in the hand and wrist. Bad, huh? The solution? Rather than twisting your forearm to abide the requirements of a traditional mouse, the VerticalMouse lets your arm rests in a natural pose while you navigate (remember your arm position when you are about to shake someone’s hand? it’s the same).
PC Mag.com rewarded The Vertical Evoluent Mouse 4 with the Editors’ Choice for an ergonomic mouse. It has browser buttons, a nice design (vertical as you assume from the name), customizable software and great navigating experience. It’s a bit expensive (check if you’re lucky to find a proper Evoluent discount), but health issues always worth the price. And this computer mouse is no less than necessity. It will work great for every software developer, CAD designer, and anyone else who’s doomed to work a lot with computer and computer mouse.
# 7 Keypad Mouse – When Digits Rule
This 3-in-1 mouse device serves as a wireless mouse, wireless keypad, and 10-digit calculator. What could be better for someone who’s into accounting or finances using the calculator on a daily basis (like me)? It is also wireless (works with Bluetooth) which makes it awesome. A button is sending the results to your computer (if you need this feature at all). The Keypad Mouse is actually a laser mouse and I realize that its accuracy or sensitivity might be not as good as my old one. The keys are small and closely spaced to use it for massive data entry but, still, it works fine for casual use. Every inveterate gadget geek, who’s working with digits, will find this Keypad Mouse useful. Which is why it is one of the gadget gifts on my list.
# 8 The Ergonomic Etekcity Scroll Mouse
Scroll is said to be one of the best wireless vertical mice on the market. On the top of that – it is ergonomic and provides a real comfort for the wrist and the whole hand. There’s also an embedded and removable palm rest that really does make a difference for a longer mouse use (reading, designing, playing games…). Mentioning games, the Scroll mouse itself has many buttons suitable for gameplay, which means – hours of gaming marathons and a pleased gamer ahead! Customer reviews point that “people with smaller hands might feel like they’re using half an apple”. So yeti-handed will be happy with it. Maybe it’s not the best computer mouse for software developers (due to the sufficient amount of programmable buttons), but a real gamer will do appreciate having such a treasure.
# 9 Shhh! Mouse – The Extra Quiet Mouse
Some people just don’t understand the frustration other people have by the slight sounds such as clock ticking or mouse clicking. I do understand. They both drive me crazy. I found out than when using my mouse on a soft surface (like my hip), it is quieter. Plus being a late night computer junkie, I think the clicking noise annoy my husband when around me. I am not so techie person and sometimes the most useful things for me are not those who are featuring too many functionalities. Sometimes the simple is better. Just like this extra quiet mouse. The wireless Shhh!Mouse promises to be 90% less noisy, which s a fair deal for the price of about 15 bucks (with the Shhh!Mouse 50% off now) and the great customer reviews. Though, it is rather small, it fits snugly in the palm (for bigger hand this can be a slight problem…). This mouse really deserves its name – it is so quiet, not disturbing the other people at home or in the plane during your late night computer activities or in the library, office, and other public places. It is definitely not the ordinary gadget, but definitely makes my life easier, therefore I’ve put Shhh!Mouse here, in my 12 gadget gifts list.
# 10 Washable Mouse
The computer keyboard and mouse are just 2 of the dirtiest places at home or office (your office computer mouse carries FIVE TIMES more germs than a toilet seat, wow!) And if you carry your favorite mouse with you on business travels and use it in cafes, fastfoods and other public places – that sounds like billions of microbes so close to you! Please confess – do you have fast snacks while working on the laptop? Holding the candied donuts, juicy burgers, sandwiches…with the same hands you’re touching your mouse, even just for a single click….Hm… Or you just don’t notice? All mouses become dirty after a while, no matter how good your hygiene is. And you usually dig out some cleaner and a cloth to gently rub the gunk off. The Washable Mouse makes things easy -just douse the mouse under water and wiping it down with a towel. Sounds neat!
The mouse is not wireless, but take this in mind – batteries make wireless mice heavy. So maybe the USB cable is not that bad as it sounds. There’s a scroll pad for both vertical and horizontal scrolling, which could be quite weird for the first time. The mouse sensitivity is high, although not on the level of a game mouse and not so good for photoshop or high sensitivity work (but its laser is faster than many of the Logitech’s which is great for casual daily use). I don’t know if you consider this a gadget, but to me – it is. Especially if you’re dealing with a squeamish clean freak, who always washes his hands before using his gadgets, don’t like others to touch his belongings, and always makes sure everything is clean. Also, great computer mouse for kids!
# 11 Star Wars Mouse – May The Mouse Be With You
Well, to be honest, I’m not into gaming mice, neither Star Wars. But these two computer mice are a great opportunity to make a Star Wars fan and a gadget lover at the same time happy (I don’t know gadget geek who’s not in love with Star Wars movies). With just one simple shot! The first one is a gaming mouse, being reviewed by a customer with the simple “my nerd dreams are reality”. The second one has a sleek ‘dark side inspired’ design. “With the dark side of the Force at your fingertips, the galaxy will fear the power you command. Nothing will stand between you and your next galactic conquest”. Except for the computer mouse itself which is a regular wireless one that needs USB ports and has 2 buttons and 1 wheel. The prices are quite different, but it depends on who you’re searching gadget gifts for, right? If the main point should be Star Wars, then The Special Edition Wireless Star Wars Mouse must be your choice; if the focus is put on gadgets and gaming – then the peremptory winner is The Old Republic Star Wars Mouse. May the right mouse be with you (or any Start Wars addict)!
# 12 The Air-Mouse
Gyration Air Mouse is great for presentations! So if your person is frequently performing meetings, lectures, conferences and other public activities involving multimedia, that’s the best solution. It features an in-air control with SmartMotion technology, and MotionTools recognizes your gestures and uses them to control applications and to activate a rich set of tools to interact. I can be pointing the mouse up or down, wrist turned in or turned out, or lying slanted on my chest and the left/right – the perception of the pointer will not be disoriented. Great! Don’t count on plugging and start talking in front of the public instantly. This is a device that isn’t so easy and precisely to work with, especially for a new air-mouse user. It does require a short learning period. But after the learning curve (takes about an hour to get used to the way of working) – everything will go smoothly and entirely interactive, modern, reputable and …on higher-level. Absolutely fantastic product, from the leader of this air-mouse technology. Only for leaders!
As you see, there are tons of great and innovative designs and features of the new generation computer mice. I’ve suggested you only 12 of the best existing devices (since some of the mouse projects had been never released).It is difficult to choose only one – I want them all 12 for myself. And the best part – they are so different that I have like 12 different gift gadgets ideas, not only for gadget lovers. No one would mind having cool new computer mouse that provides more comfort, ease the wrist pain, more productivity, speed, and effectiveness. Or simply satisfy the mania about gadgets. A new computer mouse – so obvious and awesome gadget gift, no doubt!
Which one is you favorite?