Before I talk about the actual design of the Smartfish Whirl Laser Mouse ($49.95), I wanted to give a tip of the hat to the team at Smartfish for coming up with a comfortable shell that doesn’t look like it came out of Doctor Caligari’s cabinet.
The Whirl is a lot like the other wireless mouse you’ve used before this point: it runs on two AA batteries, uses a USB nano receiver (which hides in the bottom of the mouse for storage) to communicate with your Mac or PC, and features left and right click buttons, as well a scroll wheel.
There are also extras like a middle-click and left and right tilts (of the scroll wheel), but it seems that you’ll need a specialized driver to access these (there’s one available for Windows, but nothing for the Mac).
Moving the Whirl around is much like sliding any other mouse around, except for the Ergo Motion system (which, in this case, is just a fancy term for a mouse on a pivot). So instead of keeping your wrist locked in the same position, your whole arm tends to tilt smoothly along with the motions of your mouse.
However, just as with any computer peripheral, your positioning and posture still play a major role, and I’ve found that the Whirl is most comfortable when kept farther away, and tipped forward. This leaves my wrist at around the same height as my knuckles , which is a very comfortable position that isn’t really attainable in mice without this specialized pivot.
I find myself hard pressed to find any major issues with this mouse’s design. If I were to really nitpick, though, I’d say that the travel on the left click is just fine, but that the right click could do with being a bit stiffer.
I can’t comment on the battery life just yet (there’s no built-in battery meter and OS X doesn’t report anything), but the Whirl is still going on its initial 2x AA charge after two weeks of intense usage, and I’m guessing I’ll make it to a month before these default batteries give up the ghost.
To be entirely honest, I haven’t noticed a dramatic improvement in comfort level that I can attribute 100% to the Whirl, but I can say that the mouse — whether because of its grippable, rounded shell or because of the Ergo Motion system — is quite comfortable with, especially compared to the Apple Magic Mouse (which sometimes feels too flat) or the Logitech VX Nano (which always feels too bloody small).
So if you’re looking for a mouse that you can sit down with and use all day long, might I suggest you give this $49.95 Smartfish mouse a whirl.
The Smartfish Whirl was provided by the Max Borges Agency for review on iSource. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.