The Swiftmouse is an innovation from New Zealand that aims to offer a decent mousing experience in a very small unit.
In that, they’ve certainly succeeded. Swiftmouse is absolutely tiny. measuring just two inches from front to back, an inch and a half tall, and the same distance across.
Tiny, but sculpted. The contours of the mouse have been carefully designed to fit the tips of your curved fingers, so that it nestles in place. Despite its size, it feels comfortable to hold in the hand and is well weighted.
At the front end, and on the right side, is a scroll wheel. In normal operation you can flick this with your index finger, but the Swiftmouse designers gave it a rubberized textured finish for another reason. By tilting the mouse very slightly to the right, you can roll the scrollwheel across your work surface, thus saving your index finger a bit of work.
Swiftmouse has a built-in rechargeable battery and comes with an equally tiny dual-purpose USB dock, which acts as both wireless communication unit and charging station. Just clip the Swiftmouse on to the dock and it recharges quickly.
The Swiftmouse also works as a mouse in places where other mice can’t, because it’s designed to work on the surface of your computer itself. It even comes with a stick-on “parking accessory” which has a magnetic pad on which you can rest the Swiftmouse – still close at hand, but out of the way while you type. Cleverly, a touch sensor on the Swiftmouse detects when you’re moving the device to the parking spot, and makes sure that your on-screen pointer doesn’t move at the same time.
So, the big question: should you buy one for your Mac? Although I like lots of things about the Swiftmouse design, I’m not convinced that it will sway many Mac owners.
If you use a MacBook or MacBook Pro, your USB ports are all on the left. Swiftmouse is designed for right-handers and sits much more easily when plugged into a USB port on the right of your computer.
More fundamentally, although it’s a nice mouse, it’s no replacement for Apple’s excellent multi-touch trackpads – and they are getting larger and better all the time. I like the Swiftmouse, but if there’s a trackpad available I’d much rather use that.
My hunch is that Swiftmouse might appeal to a minority of users who meet two criteria: they hate using the trackpad, and frequently use their Macs on the road. If you fall into this category, you might find the Swiftmouse very useful, and decent value at $69.99.