Hands-On Review: Swiftpoint GT Gesture Mouse
When it comes to travel-ready peripherals, it's no secret that some trade-offs are necessary in order to balance functionality with portability. The Swiftpoint GT Gesture Mouse aims to be the exception to that rule, and the KickStarter-funded travel mouse packs a variety of technologies into a clever design that's meant to give users a full range of capabilities in a tiny, ergonomic package.
The team behind the Swiftpoint GT set a lofty goal for the diminutive travel mouse: make a pointing peripheral that can handle Windows 8, Windows 10, Mac OS X, Android, and just about any other operating system with a mouse interface. Swiftpoint manages to hit all of those points, and it interfaces quite well across those platforms.
Setting up the GT Gesture Mouse with your device of choice is a breeze. If your computer, tablet, or hybrid has a USB port, it's as simple as plugging in the mouse's included Bluetooth dongle, which also doubles as a charging port. After attaching the mouse to the charger for a short time—a few minutes juices up the GT Gesture Mouse enough for several hours of use—simply turn on the device, and it pairs automatically. The average user can simply begin using the mouse like any other pointing device, though there is also the option to further configure its operation. Depending on how well one wants mouse movements to track to on-screen movements, it may be a good idea to explore these configuration options.
If you're using the GT Gesture Mouse on a device with no USB inputs, setup is still pretty easy. In that case, users need only turn the mouse off and then on again while holding one of the mouse buttons. This activates the device's Bluetooth pairing mode, and it should then show up as available in the connection options for any Bluetooth 4.0-compatible computer or tablet.
"... 'parking spot' for the device adheres to desks and other surfaces and it, too, has a built-in magnet that should keep the mouse secure in one place for easy access."
Just how does it work once it's paired? The Swiftpoint team appears to have crossed all T's and dotted all I's with regard to the travel mouse's functionality. The device performs admirably in typical mouse tasks, though a mousepad is pretty much a necessity. Swiftpoint is designed to work on any surface—and it does, for the most part. In order to protect its underside and avoid any annoying noises from movement of the mouse, it's a good idea to set something between the Swiftpoint and your desk. Fortunately, the device comes with a business-card-sized pad that adheres to a notebook's palm rest. That should be enough for most on-the-go mousing, but a larger pad might be necessary if you're planning to use Swiftpoint regularly as an interface device at home or in the office.
One of the areas where the Swiftpoint GT Gesture Mouse really tries to shine is in interfacing with Windows 8. The mouse's creators paid special attention to ensure that Swiftpoint was able to duplicate the numerous touchscreen gestures that typify the modern Windows experience. In practice, Swiftpoint does manage to hit all of Windows' touch-driven interface options, thanks to the GT Gesture Mouse's novel design—users will need a short period of adjustment to get their fingers used to the mild contortions necessary to trigger such actions.
Speaking of that design, it does, as aforesaid, take a bit of getting used to. Larger-handed users, in particular, will feel a bit of finger confusion in using Swiftpoint for the first time, but this passes quickly. After a short adjustment period, the device's pen-like ergonomic design becomes quite familiar, and the placement of its mouse buttons, scroll wheel, and stylus all start to make a lot of sense.
Only time can tell if the ergonomics of the Swiftpoint GT Gesture Mouse are going to be satisfactory to any particular user, but one thing that's undeniable is the overall quality of the device's build. While it feels almost weightless, the mouse could never be mistaken for a cheap device. Its quirky curves are constructed from a dense and strong plastic, giving the mouse a solid feel in the hand. The buttons click and rebound with a satisfying amount of travel, and the scroll wheel is reassuringly sturdy.
The Gesture Mouse's accessories, as well, exude an air of reliability, due in no small part to the design team's reliance upon magnets. The mouse itself secures to its charging station via strong magnets, and the palm rest sticker also contains magnets to keep it from sliding about. An additional "parking spot" for the device adheres to desks and other surfaces and it, too, has a built-in magnet that should keep the mouse secure in one place for easy access.
The clever, compact design aesthetic of the travel mouse itself carries on through to the device's packaging, as well. Everything included in the Swiftpoint GT Gesture Mouse package comes in a self-contained box that unfolds to reveal the mouse, its accessories, and instructional material, all tucked away and secured with magnets. The overall impression is one of a compact, clever sort of build quality and design, and that impression echoes throughout just about every other aspect of using the diminutive mouse.