21 of 23 people found the following review helpful
A couple of years ago I received a Logitech MX Air Rechargeable Cordless Air Mouse which I really liked. I've since suggested it to teacher friends, one of whom has put it to marvelous use in his juvenile hall classroom, helping to get students involved in multimedia instruction. He says it has been an amazing, transforming tool. I gave it five stars because of how it worked, how it felt, even though there were a few things I would have liked in addition.
So, I've long kept my eyes and ears open for another air mouse that would have both the functioning of the logitech mouse while adding a greater amount of flexibility.
This Gyration air mouse certainly seemed to have the potential of meeting this hope, and for the most part it did, albeit with its own frustrations.
First off, the mouse works great as an air mouse. I admittedly have not used it a great deal as a standard mouse, given my primary computer is a laptop. I played with it to get to know it for a little while, then put it to the test when I guest-lectured for two graduate level classes last week. Had a powerpoint presentation, and was curious to see how much I could walk around while still being able to control not only the slide progression but all aspects of the computer.
What I liked:
* It does work and is responsive. Like the Logitech learning to adapt to the distinct differences between a handheld mouse or touchpad takes a bit of time. I wasn't particularly finely tuned myself at this task during the class sessions, however, as time went on I definitely got a bit better. Another wee problem I had was I couldn't get the cursor to move at all in the air at first. Took a bit of looking at the manual (only provided on the cd) to realize I had to hold down the trigger button at the same time. This latter extra bit might become more of a negative over time, as it adds extra hassle to what should be an automatic function of a mouse.
* What really helps the Gyration stand out is that it has programmable buttons. Three buttons in the middle of the mouse can be programmed for different functioning not only in a single set way, but programmed so as to have different reactions in different kinds of software. Very nice. And this works as well.
* Not only can these buttons be used for standard operations, but the included software gives the mouse wonderful additional functionality beyond what the computer already has. This includes, but is not limited to, a simulated "laser" pointer (a roundish, flexibly sized dot on the screen), a "highlighter" that can highlight anything on the screen. The list can go on and on so is worth checking out.
* There are also, by using the provided software, gestures that can be programmed to do different tasks. For instance, I programmed the mouse to start the slide presentation with an upstroke and close it with a downstroke. Like with the mouse movement in general, getting these gestures to work easy takes a bit of time. The mouse is pretty sensitive and it's really easy to feel like I'm doing a gesture right, while the mouse just gets confused what a slightly diagonally upswing is supposed to indicate.
A slight caveat with this latter. The software feels a bit slow at times rather than working smoothly. It is loaded in the back ground and tends to want to pop up over the other software. Rather than being seamless, it's a bit intrusive. But, this may be me continuing to need to improve my own skills with this mouse.
What I don't like:
* the design of the mouse itself. It looks and feels like a regular mouse. With a trigger button on the bottom, and three buttons surrounding a small round button in the top middle. There's the two standard click buttons with a scroll wheel in between. That sounds all well and good. However, to use this as an air mouse requires a different way of holding it. The trigger button (which I've already complained about) requires the mouse being held on the side, with the click buttons, and other buttons on top, being manipulated with the thumb rather than the forefinger. However, with a standard mouse design, this mouse feels rather uncomfortable and awkward being held in this way. This is the one place the Logitech mouse really stands out. They designed it to work with both hand positions in a comfortable way. The buttons on the middle top are especially awkward to use with the thumb, as they become really close to the hand. And, of course, these buttons are just about impossible to use easily holding the mouse in the standard way.
* The charger. It is a USB charger. I hate tapping even more of my laptop battery or taking up one of my few usb ports to slowly charge up this mouse. I understand it is convenient in some ways, but having an adapter which could be charged USB or in the wall would have been immensely more welcomed. The battery does seem to hold a charge pretty well, though I've not put it through long enough paces to see if this is another problem. The logitech air mouse has an amazing battery life that is hard to beat. Added to this, there doesn't seem to be a way of turning the mouse off. It's always blinking blue at me. Which makes me think that it loses more power than it should because I can't shut it down.
* The charger design. It's terrible. The mouse sits loosely and uncomfortably on the cradle, with some fiddling to make sure the mouse is connected and charging. The mouse can be easily--like with a small breeze--knocked off the charger, resulting in a charging session that ends up not providing any charge.
Over all, I feel like there's a lot of great hardware and software pluses with this mouse, but they really skimped on the design process. It feels they put a lot of great stuff into a really not thought out package. I'm not someone who usually is attentive to design issues, however, this mouse kept bringing them to my attention.
And yet, if I was asked to recommend this or the Logitech as a useful air mouse in an educational setting, I would almost certainly recommend this one, because of its flexible programmable buttons and helpful software. Though as I do it I would feel a tinge of sadness as the Logitech just is so much a better fit in the hand and overall look.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on November 7, 2010
I was excited to try this mouse that uses Wii technology. I use a mouse alot every day and my hands and wrists are chronically fatigued. The promise to hold a mouse in the air and navigate web pages and documents seemed too good to be true. It was.
What frustrates me is that it is so close to working as promised. The concept is sound and at times it is a delight to use. My hand can be at a comfortable position in my lap or by my side and a small movement of my hand causes the curser to move effortlessly and with precision across the screen. If I choose to use it on a flat surface it works as well as any other mouse. But here is the problem: the Air Mouse uses a little window on the bottom to detect if it is on a flat surface. If not the curser freezes in place. The user must double click a button to convert the mouse into an air device. There is almost no way to hold the mouse without having a finger cover the little window and the mouse believes it is on a flat surface so the curser freezes. Thus starts a frustrating repetitive loop; double click,finger over the window, cursor freeze, double click, etc. What baffles me is that sometimes it works perfectly for minutes on end. I am in mouse user Nervana. Then inexplicably it goes into the loop sequence and I slip into mouse rage.
Another disappointment is the software. There are four programmable buttons on top of the Air Mouse. A window on your computer screen shows each of the buttons and the user clicks on a button and then selects from a list of actions available to that button. That part is as user friendly for programming as could be asked for, however, there are commonly used commands that are missing.
The most obvious to me is the double click. One of the most difficult tasks for this mouse is to hold the mouse still over a small spot on the screen and not move off it for the duration of a double click. Having one button on top be programmed for a double click would be so nice.
A second software feature missing is page down scrolling. Here is why it is important. When I move my thumb forward to reach the scroll wheel a finger underneath almost always covers that little window discussed previously and the curser freezes and back into the loop sequence. More mouse rage.
Design-wise, this device is so close to being a device users would brag about to friends. As I said, when it works I marvel at the ease of use. I wish the company would invite me to sit with their engineers for a day. I have put thought into modifications and have concrete, simple suggestions. This puppy would hum. My fee; replace my current mouse with a new improved version when it comes out so I could brag to my friends.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on September 29, 2010
So I had seen my friends using his gyration for doing presentations etc. He has a much older model. I've borrowed and used it for my own presentations, so I know how an air mouse works, and am comfortable with it.
But this thing is garbage. It's construction feels flimsy. It uses a proprietary battery, that can't be replaced. If you want to use it for a laptop on the go, it's about the worst option possible for a road warrior. A single proprietary battery, and I can't find a replacement out there. Second, it REQUIRES the cradle to charge, and finally there is no built in storage for the dongle. So this is about the least travel friendly mouse I've ever owned. Oh and it's big, but I was already expecting that.
Second, I've had it for one day - it's going back tomorrow - and it has "frozen up the mouse" on two separate computers running different versions of windows. Both my work and my home pc got hosed and I had to hold both ctrl, alts, and shifts to reset the mouse to get it to work again.
Finally, the motiontools software is very buggy. It's already stopped working properly and won't let me change the gestures. Also the presentation items do NOT work with powerpoint viewer, only powerpoint. That matters to me.
And if you make the mistake of buying one of their products, I wouldn't waste time waiting for tech support. The website itself has very little useful information and the product manual has even less. I tried calling and after telling me I could leave a message or stay on the line, it eventually hung up on me. Then calling the number for a faster response puts me on hold for two minutes before transfering me to VOICEMAIL. Talk about adding insult to injury. I just tried calling both tech support and sales again with the same hang up on me, then put me on hold for voicemail. It's when I decided I'm definitely returning this and never buying anything else from gyration.
So an expensive mouse that is not very well made, backed by badly written software
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I've been a longtime HTPC user and have used the Gyration Air Music Remote for several years. The remote was finally starting to break down, so I was searching for a new alternative and tried the Gyration Air Mouse Elite,Cideko Wireless Air Keyboard, and finally found my perfect replacement in the Koolertron Air Fly Mouse & Keyboard.
First Things First:
I really liked my Gyration Air Music Remote, however, virtually ALL the buttons were essentially useless, save 3 critical buttons: the mouse Left, Right and Cursor-Float buttons -- all 3 were laid out perfectly and easy to use with just my thumb. The ease with which I could wave the remote and move the cursor onscreen, coupled with the simplicity of the left, right and cursor-float buttons, made this remote invaluable to my HTPC experience. But, all the other buttons on the remote were essentially useless, and the LCD screen was much too small to serve any real function. Also, the remote was sorely lacking a scroll wheel which made surfing the web tedious and cumbersome. But there weren't any better alternatives, so I was happy to keep using my Air Music Remote until the right-click button broke, and I needed to find a replacement.
Gyration Air Mouse Elite: At first I thought I would just buy a new Air Music Remote, but they've been discontinued; likely because the remote only had 3 useful buttons on it. So naturally, I decided to check out Gyration's latest iteration of their Air remotes. I tried the Gyration Air Mouse Elite for a solid month, but it just didn't work right. Gyration took 2 steps forward, 3 steps back on that one. I really wanted to like it, because I thought the onscreen keyboard and gesture commands to be a really nifty idea. Only problem was, nothing else on the remote worked properly, especially the all important cursor-float button. The cursor-float button was positioned underneath the remote, like a trigger. Not a bad idea, if only it would function properly. All too often, I'd have to click the trigger repeatedly, just to get it to register. Like the Air Music Remote, if you click and hold the cursor-float button, you can move the cursor around the screen, and then just let go to stop. If you want a free-flow cursor, just click the cursor-float button twice, and you can wave the cursor around the screen freely, without having to hold down the button. This is a crucial feature of any air mouse, and the Gyration Air Mouse Elite failed miserably in this regard. Single clicks were often registered as double, and I'd literally have to pull the trigger on the cursor-float button dozens of times to get it to disengage. With all due respect, it was like Katherine Hepburn trying to use that remote; the cursor would jitter wildly around the screen, and was a constant nuisance. The remote itself was designed as a table top mouse first, and a hand-held remote second. It's almost as if Gyration completely abandoned their revolutionary air mouse and it was more of an afterthought in this design. As a mouse, the Elite worked fine on a desk top, however, ergonomically it functioned horribly when hand-held. It was uncomfortable to hold, and unnatural to reach any of the buttons that needed to be used in conjunction. After using it for just over a month, Amazon agreed to issue me a refund, even though I was just outside of their return policy. Thank You, Amazon! What a relief it was to finally get rid of that piece of junk.
Cideko Wireless Air Keyboard: This was my next contender, but the remote has one critical flaw -- the cursor-float button requires 2 hands to operate, making it needlessly tedious. I liked the idea of having a small keyboard right on the remote, but the cursor-float button is one that gets used a lot. So the poor design made me quickly reject this contender.
Enter The Koolertron Air Fly Mouse & Keyboard:
The first thing I noticed about the Koolertron Air Fly Mouse, is it had the exact same mouse left/right and cursor-float buttons as my old Gyration Air Music Remote. The next striking feature, was that it also doubled as a hand-held keyboard. And on top of that, it was half the price of that terrible Gyration Elite! I found a video for the Koolertron remote on YouTube, was instantly sold, and ordered off Amazon right away. When the remote arrived, I was very pleased that it functioned much like my old Air Music Remote, only this iteration had the benefit of a full keyboard as well. I instantly took to the remote, and it's been working perfectly for me right out of the box. Gyration could learn a thing or two about air remotes from Koolertron. This remote is comfortable in the hand, easy to use with just my thumbs, whether I'm just using the mouse buttons, or if I turn it sideways, and start typing with the keyboard. Gold Stars all the way around!
Who Needs A Scroll Wheel?
About the only thing I really liked on the Gyration Elite was the scroll wheel. It made surfing the web much more convenient when scrolling down long pages. However, like any scroll wheel, it was lacking in precision, and I often found it scrolling either too much or too little, and changing the settings in the Control Panel did little to help. On the flipside, Koolertron doesn't have a scroll wheel, which concerned me at first. But I soon learned that it has something waaaay better: Page Up and Page Down buttons, and also 4 arrow buttons. !! These buttons are far superior than any pesky scroll wheel. When I'm using my laptop, my mouse's scroll wheel gets a lot of use, however, when you're talking HTPC, Page Up/Down and Arrow buttons are far superior and faster to use. I can scroll down documents and web pages with speed and precision, like never before. Hold down any of those buttons, and it moves through pages at lightning speed. It's much easier than moving the cursor to the scroll bar, and then double-clicking the cursor-float button to drag the scroll bar up and down. This would be the advantage of Koolertron having a full keyboard on their remote.
Function & Media Keys:
The Gyration Elite had 4 buttons on the center of the mouse, 3 of which could be custom programmed; this would have been useful, if the rest of the mouse wasn't so tragic. By contrast, the Koolertron has a full keyboard with all 12 function keys across the top, and most of them double as media keys for email, music control, mute and volume control. Using the keyboard is a lot like typing a text message on your SmartPhone. The keys are soft to the touch, yet responsive and easy to use. I get NO skipped letters at all while typing, which even my full size wireless keyboard can't boast. It does take a bit of getting used to, because the keyboard is split in the center, where the mouse keys are. But I've taken to it quite quickly; and know that it will be indispensable.
The Koolertron has flawless wireless connectivity; I get no drop-outs or signal interruptions of any kind. And the USB transmitter is very tiny; you could easily plug it in to a laptop and just leave it there, even during transport, because it is so small. Perfect! On the flipside, the Gyration Elite, which costs twice as much, had constant signal interruptions, compounding the remote's already cumbersome operation; abysmal by comparison to Koolertron.
No Frills Packaging:
Clearly Koolertron came direct from China, which is fine with me. The packaging is more like Amazon's Frustration Free; just a plain box with the remote inside. It does come with batteries, which is a huge bonus, that a lot of companies have decided to scrimp on. The instructions are just a one page photocopy, but then there's really nothing complicated about using this remote. The USB transmitter is smartly housed inside the battery compartment, where it can easily be removed and plugged into your computer, or stored for travel. The Gyration Elite was rechargeable, and held a charge for about a week. However, it was a little quirky sometimes when placing it on the charging stand, and didn't always kick in and start charging without being coaxed.
For Koolertron, just plug in the USB transmitter and the drivers install automatically, and you're good to go. For Gyration Elite, you also needed to install their software, so that you could program the gesture functions; it was a nice gimmick that rarely worked properly.
I've read other reviews that have complained about the "cheap plastic feel" used on the Koolertron remote. Personally that has not been my experience. The remote has a high gloss black finish, that looks like glossy airbrushed paint. Thankfully, there's no industrial smells associated with that. Maybe Koolertron took the other reviews to heart, and refinished the plastic housing for this remote. To me, it feels great in the hand, well balanced and comfortable to hold and use. The keys are cushiony rubber that feel good to the touch, and the remote does not feel cheap to me at all. By contrast, the Gyration Elite felt cumbersome in the hand, because it was designed as a desktop remote first, and it seems how it functioned while held in the hand was something Gyration didn't even bother to consider.
For some reason, there's been some talk about the Koolertron remote taking 4-6 weeks to ship. Mine shipped direct from Amazon, with the same delivery time as any of their products.
Sure, the Gyration Elite had a more polished presentation, but what good is that, if it doesn't work right? Form definitely didn't follow function. By contrast, Koolertron may not have all the slick packaging frills, but guess what? It works flawlessly. I love my Koolertron remote so much, I almost want to buy a second one, so I'm never without it. But I fully expect it to last me many years. And I'm quite happy that I found such a great alternative to my old Gyration Air Music Remote. Take notice, Gyration, Koolertron has kicked your butt with their Air Fly Mouse/Keyboard!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I have to give quite a few powerpoint presentations, and I'm also the type that tends to walk around while I'm doing it.
Several years ago, I considered using a small remote device that had forward and backward buttons on it to advance the powerpoint slides. I decided against it because it was fairly high-priced for what it was, had only one very specific use, and the range wasn't very good.
So, imagine my surprise when this product arrived in the mail. Unlike the uni-purpose "clicker" I was looking at, this one will do everything a mouse can do, and can even be used as a mouse replacement (though that is not where its special gifts are most appreciated!). I was able to walk around the room without losing my connection, so for me the range is perfect.
The ability to use it as a real mouse without going back to my laptop is a great feature. It feels good in my hand, and has just the right amount of grip on the bottom to keep it from going sailing during a particularly strong point (okay, so I walk around and gesture a lot - at least my audience is generally awake, if only because they are worried I might fling something at them!).
Finally, the price is right, especially given that it can substitute for a standard mouse in a pinch. If I set up a media center, this is what I'm going to use to point with. I've never been a fan of touchpads, which seems to be the primary alternative in a media center, so it is great to have another choice.
I like this, and think it is a great solution for active presenters.
Sean P. Logue, 2009
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
I liked the concept of this gadget, and it works fine as a wireless mouse, but the problem begins when it's in the "air" mode. It was very hard to get the cursor to stay still and point where I wanted it to point. The trigger feature is such that whenever I would pull it most time it would move off the desired location and not work (or I would end up clicking somewhere else). Then there were the times it lost contact with the computer...yikes.
The build quality is OK; it's shiny black and chrome and feels light in the hand. It's a shame it doesn't perform the way it looks like it should; it has the appearance an advanced piece of technology when it's really not. The technology should adapt to the user input and correct for errors (like anti-shake technology in cameras), instead of demanding that the user adapt to the technology's shortcomings.
Conclusion: it works OK as a wireless mouse, but leaves lots to be desired once it leaves the desk
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
This is the first time I have even seen an air mouse. When I frist tried it I was literally laughing out loud! Very very cool device! The mouse is very precise both on and off the table, I love the trigger function to enable the mouse mode, its lightweight but doesn't feel insignificant in the hand and it fits right in. I also love the little docking station it comes in, the suspended in air look is even embraced when it's charging.
The computer mouse has started off as a basic design and progressed into something pretty cool; I love this one and can't wait what else the creative geniuses behind this one will come up with.
- Kasia S.
on November 18, 2014
This version of the Gyration Air Mouse series is more comfortable to use both as a regular and as an Air Mouse than the other current generation Gyration mice. The smaller and more portable Air Mouse Mobile has more difficult to activate function buttons and the larger Air Mouse Go series is a bit too large in one's hand or on the desk. The Air Mouse Elite also benefits from a recharger base and complete compatibility with the latest version of MotionTools. The Air Mouse Elite, like the Air Mouse Mobile, is more affordable than prior generations, but it isn't as durable as decade old Gyration products.
Here is my summary of review pros & cons:
Pros: - basic function compatible with all computers tried (Windows, Linux, MacOS, even Chromebook)
- lithium batteries and charger stand are a bonus
- MotionTools features such as "virtual laser pointer" very simple to install and get working on Windows or MacOS
- MotionTools support for all SMK-Link supported versions of Gyration Mouse
- very comfortable as a regular wheel mouse or air mouse
- excellent range (worked at 75ft)
- customer support from SMK-Link responsive, unlike the French parent company who took over Gyration and owned the product line for over 6 years
- very affordable gyro air mouse! Note recent price drops in Nov 2014
- more comfortable buttons and wheel than Air Mouse Mobile,
- comparable to, and now replaces, my venerable Compaq Rechargeable Wireless Optical desk mouse
- ergonomic benefit to occasional switching into air mouse mode during long computer sessions
- not as durable as older Gyration products, don't expect this generation to survive 4 foot drops to concrete!
- the USB recharger is not as popular as a standalone charger
- charging stand can be a challenge to get working, may need some minor adjustments to work well
- MotionTools are only available for Windows & MacOS
- MotionTools are not backward compatible so do not support prior generation Gyration Mice
- trigger is more sensitive than past versions, but less sensitive than Air Mouse Mobile, so Air Mouse Elite can inadvertently be put into air mouse mode
[update from my review of the Air Mouse Mobile]
This is the 3rd generation Gyration mouse I've owned. Each has worked very well and the oldest Gyration Presenter still works with newer Windows, Linux, and MacOS systems. For me, the "virtual laser" pointer and other screen enhancement functions with MotionTools and air mouse mode are essential when presenting using a rear-projection screen. I now find myself using the same MotionTools with mouse in desk mouse mode for teleconference presentations too!
If the MotionTools were better debounced and this Air Mouse Elite were a bit sturdier with a more reliable charging connection, I would give it 5 stars. Still, I prefer it over the Logitech as an affordable, highly functional presentation air mouse.
An air mouse that you can wave in the air to control the cursor as you would a regular mouse? Now, that is a nifty concept, but is the Gyration Air Mouse all it's cracked up to be or is it all hot air?
The mouse actually falls short of expectations for me. I have a few issues with the ergonomics of the mouse:
- Strain on the Wrist to Control the Cursor
The mouse relies on the articulated movement of your wrist (i.e. up/down, side-to-side, oblique tilt of the wrist) to control the cursor. It senses the _angular_ movement rather than the directional movement of the mouse. Thus, moving the entire mouse in any direction has no effect on the movement of the cursor. Because it requires you to tilt your wrist to move the cursor, using the mouse for prolonged periods can be a real strain on your wrist. (- 1 star)
- Uncomfortable Grip/Controls
The mouse is held like a hand gun with the index finger on the "trigger" button. The thumb is used to control the left and right click buttons. The left-right buttons however requires quite a bit of reach. I also found the mouse uncomfortable to grip on to because it isn't molded to conform to the hand. (- 0.5 star)
- Maximum Speed/Acceleration of the Cursor Too Slow
A flick of the wrist isn't enough to traverse the cursor across my entire screen (1680 x 1050). I need repeat movements of my wrist even with the speed/acceleration of the cursor set at maximum.
In all other respects, the mouse works flawlessly. The range is quite good (I tested it at 15 feet - the mouse is very responsive). The air mouse can, of course, double as a regular mouse, so you can use it in the traditional way on a mouse pad.
The mouse has plenty of buttons that you can customize to suit your needs. Besides the left-right click buttons, the mouse has a scroll wheel, 4 other buttons, and a "trigger" button on the buttom of the mouse.
The movement of the mosue is quite fluid. The resolution of the mosue isn't specified but 600 dpi would be my guess - not very impressive by any means, but perfectly adequate for most applications nonethelsss.
The main complaint I have with the Gyration Air Mouse is with the means by which the cursor is controlled (angular movement of the wrist). It can be a strain on your wrist if you're using it to control the movement of the cursor for long periods. Regardless, I'd say the Gyration Air Mouse is a very usable device. Just keep in mind it's most practical and ideal for applications where the need to move the cursor is minimal.
I installed this on my laptop - Vista Ultimate. At first, it worked out, did as the quick install brochure advertised. Getting it into presentation mode (into the air) was a bit distressing as I could not master the hand gestures needed to prompt the different features. Nice idea, though. Requires a bit more of a learning curve than I had patience for. However, if you do a lot of power point presentations or otherwise, it does seem worth the trouble. The other air-mouse I have does not have the programmable features this one does.
On the 'ground', I had no issues on multiple surfaces. Once it was all charged up it was a blast. Then I closed my laptop.
Vista didn't find the mouse again when I woke it up. The software was installed and up to date. The toolbox was running minimized in the system tray. Nothing I did prompted the mouse. I moved the hardware dongle around, switched the mouse on and off, pressed the 'seek' button. The hardware dongle did appear to sync with the mouse but the computer did not.
This may be due to my prior mouse using Microsoft Intelli-point software. I went back and uninstalled this, restarted the machine. No flying mouse. I reinstalled the Gyration software - still no dice.
After much fussing around with the instructions and seeking help online, I eventually got the Gyration mouse to connect again. It quit as soon as I sent the laptop to sleep. Thereafter I decided to go back to my Intelli-point device, because the next step was going to be me sorting through driver files or the registry - both things I can live without.
This is not Gyrations fault - it's obviously something to do with Vista. That still doesn't make it useful. IF you do not have an Intelli-Mouse installed on your system, do not have Vista Ultimate and do have some spare time, this is a reasonable price for a decent mouse. However, if you do have one of those elements installed, get ready for a night of whining. No thanks. I've had quite enough of that.