Don’t let Satechi’s Edge Wireless Gaming Mouse’s name fool you, it is just as appropriate for schools that need high-precision pointing devices as for gamers searching for the center of the universe. At $25, it costs about what a boring basic wireless mouse goes for, but offers so much more.
At 5-ounces (including its pair of AA batteries), the Gaming Mouse feels good in the hand, is smaller than most chunky mice and can be comfortably used by 4th through 12th graders. The Edge’s black plastic case has a soft inviting coating, a comfortable ridge for your thumb to rest on as well as an indent for the pinky and ring fingers on the right. All this means that lefties might feel left out because it concentrates most of its control buttons on the left.
The good news is that unlike some pointers, you won’t have to load any software to get it to work on a recent PC. It sets itself up immediately for PCs that use Windows XP and newer, Macs with OSX 10.4 and newer and Chromebooks of all vintages. Any adjustments need to be made from within the OS’s software.
Rather than being tethered to a computer with a USB cord, the Gaming Mouse is wireless. On the other hand, instead of Bluetooth, it uses a proprietary connection that requires using the included small (easy to lose) 2.4GHz USB adapter.
Unlike more basic pointers, the Edge has a multitude of buttons. It has the basics: right and left click buttons as well as a smooth scroll wheel for moving up and down within a long Web page or document. The mouse adds page-forward and -back keys for the thumb, a dedicated double click button and one for adjusting the mouse’s resolution.
It may not be able to use 12,000-dot per inch (dpi) resolution as many new pointers can. You can choose between 800dpi for things like word processing and Excel spreadsheets through 1,600- and 2,400- to 4,000-dpi for image editing or design work where high precision counts.
Turn the mouse over and you’ll find not only a switch for changing the mouse’s responsiveness between 250 and 500-hertz, but a setting that turns the buttons into video controls. This allows the Gaming Mouse to show off its split personality by being able to play/pause, fast-forward/rewind and clear the screen. The scroll wheel becomes a volume control, but the mouse lacks a mute button.
There’s a visual advantage to the Gaming Mouse as well. The scroll wheel and a “G” logo on the Edge are backlit and have a purpose. As you change the mouse’s optical resolution, the light cycles through red, purple, green and blue. If it’s too much of a distraction, you can turn the light show off.
After between 5 and 10 minutes it goes to sleep to save battery power. While other wireless pointers wake up by moving the mouse around, you’ll need to press one of its buttons to bring it back to life. Satechi says that a set of batteries should go for 36 months and Edge worked fine with a set of rechargeable Sanyo’s Eneloop batteries.
Everything is smooth as silk and the mouse works just as well on a laminate desktop in a classroom as on a glass tabletop in a library.
Its precision and hand-feel make the Gaming Mouse a joy to use compared to budget pointers. At $25, the Gaming Mouse is cheap enough to be in any classroom or computer lab where precision counts.
+ Adjustable resolution
+ Works with PCs, Macs and Chromebooks
+ Lit scroll wheel
+ Video shortcut buttons
- Requires USB adapter
- Awkward to wake up mouse