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Stowaway Travel Mouse for Pocket PC review
Posted on 21-Dec-2004 05:00 by M Freitas. | Tags Filed under: Reviews.


Think Outside is famous for their mobile products. From infrared based foldable keyboards to the Bluetooth keyboard, they have been working hard to add new products for the mobile professional, covering various mobile platforms.

When they launched the Stowaway Bluetooth foldable keyboard we had one of the first engineering samples sent out (read our review), and I still use it with my Pocket PC.

Since then Think Outside worked hard to launch another Bluetooth product. The Stowaway Travel Mouse is a Bluetooth mouse compatible with the HID (Human Interface Device) profile. Since this profile is not currently supported by any Bluetooth implementation on Pocket PC devices, Think Outside bundled it with their own HID driver, compatible with the Widcomm/Broadcomm Bluetooth sofware (used on HP iPAQ, Dell, i-mate PDA2k EVDO, Harrier) and with the Microsoft Bluetooth software (used on i-mate Pocket PC Phone Edition and XDA compatible Pocket PC).

This optical mouse is very small (95mm x 55mm x 25mm or 3.74" x 2.17" x 1.38") and not surprisingly light at only 75 grams. It works with two AAA batteries, which have a few weeks life.

The body is black, with two buttons plus a scroll wheel which is also a third button.


Nice and small


Transparent case underneath

The software installation is simple, and like other Pocket PC software it uses ActiveSync to copy the required files to your device. Once these files a soft reset is automatically initiated and we just have to enable the driver and set the mouse to Discoverable mode, by pressing a little switch. This will allow the mouse to be found by the Pocket PC and a connection will be established.


Connecting the mouse


Configuration: easy and similar to a desktop

The driver places an icon on the Pocket PC status bar (like this one . This icon gives access to the mouse configuration. Note the Bluetooth keyboard icon is also present. This is because the same driver works for both types of devices, and they can be can be used simultaneously without interference. Actually I was able to keep my ActiveSync connection over Bluetooth while using the Bluetooth mouse and keyboard without a problem.


Is this your office? The Bluetooth mouse works fine with the Stowaway Bluetooth keyboard

There is a visual feedback by the means of an arrow on screen, and it supports most software used on a Pocket PC, including games (Jawbreaker and Solitaire work well) and office related applications, like TextMaker. This support includes right-click functionality, selection and drag and drop.


Selection and right-click support


Playing games: drag and drop support

The mouse feels very nice to touch, and slides well, even without a mousepad, although I would still recommend using one. The buttons have a good tactile and audible (click sound) feedbacks.

I only had a problem using the Bluetooth mouse when trying to play a puzzle game that used graphics.

Being HID compliant also means the Stowaway Travel Mouse can be used with other Bluetooth enabled computers, including Windows and Apple Mac OS X based computers. If you plan to use this mouse with these computers you just have to be sure your drivers support the HID profile, and no other software is needed. Apple Mac OS X supports the HID profile natively.


It works with Widows based computers and...


...Apple Mac OS X users can use this mouse too

The Stowaway Travel Mouse is available now, for US$79.99

Good
Good range of Windows Mobile Pocket PC devices supported
Support for Bluetooth enabled Windows and Mac OS X computer
Very light
Good grip
Scroll wheel

Bad
No support for Palm OS devices yet



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