The Asus Vivomouse – A True Hybrid

I am one of those people who appreciate a really good mouse design. It is the primary input device that made operating systems more fun to play with rather than just the keyboard from before, and unless you’re used to using a graphic tablet, its one of those components that you really use everyday.

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How the mice feel as you hold them how they glide onto the surface, sensitivity, additional function buttons and special features, all these are taken into consideration. Simplicity in the form of a mouse also plays a part simply because it stays on your desk all the time, if it looks good then all the better. One of the more intriguing releases of the past year was the Asus Vivomouse, its formed unlike any mouse on the market and doubles to perform as a trackpad because of its touch surface with a bonus set of Windows 8 gestures as it is within the generation of its release.

PK from Asus Philippines was kind enough to lend me his unit and here you can find out what it is exactly and my initial impressions on it.

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Off the box it really looks more like a fancy remote than a mouse, mainly because of its circular active area, it sort of reminds me of phaser guns from Star Trek and it makes some sense because you can use it off the desk (its not as friendly as the MX Air in this regard though).

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Batteries (two AA ones) come with the package and you install it by removing the rear plate through a latch. Under operation, the optical sensor shines blue, that’s the one below the on off switch seen below:

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The package also comes with a small extension cable which is to be used for easier access to rear ports and the mouse communicates through a white nano receiver with very prominent Asus branding emblazoned on it… you’ll not confuse this one with any other receiver I’m certain.

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Shapewise it is very unique – there is a circular face more than half of the entire accessory which acts as its click / scroll / trackpad and mirrors gestures for the edge commands within Windows 8 (charms and appswitch).

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Additional moves allow for desktop reveal and prev/next commands for browsing and navigating through explorer. It requires proper drivers for the mouse to be able to do these gestures though and you download that through the support site.

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What they did was to not register a single click as "select" so you can rest your fingers within the face while moving the mouse about without fear of accidental clicks; all these can be toggled through the application so you can assign what gestures are recognized and remove those that you do not want. It takes a bit of getting used to but while I was utilizing the mouse on Windows 8, the ability to use the OS gestures certainly grants the user that much more control, especially if using a non touchscreen device.

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I found that under normal use, its better to rely on the clicking and right clicking using the touch commands rather than actually pressing on the device; there is a “soft-press” feeling that you get but actually doesn’t trigger an action yet so it might be disorienting at first. It is also important to adjust the sensitivity should you prefer to move across the screen using cursor control on the active area as well. I wouldn’t recommend this for gaming and production utility but for document processing and everyday computing it would be a great match… especially on non touchscreen devices like mine.

The premium materials on the Vivomouse truly make the computing experience that much more classy. You’d need some tweaking and a little bit of getting used to how it responds before you can truly appreciate what this control-device is capable of. With an SRP of 3,990Php, its priced strategically among the variety of mice selections out there boasting an extremely expensive feel and robust feature set. I definitely wouldn’t mind adding it to my current collection of mice!

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