There’s a kind of cartoon superhero quality to the Air Mouse Elite. Not only does it sport a shiny silver and black costume, but it also exhibits hidden talents when the situation requires them. Looking very much the standard office peripheral, a concealed trigger and some clever technology called MotionSense transform this standard mouse into something altogether more impressive.
The simple setup process involving pairing both the mouse and its sidekick dongle takes a matter of seconds, followed by the installation of the MotionTools software, which allows for control customisation and advanced features. A standard three-button configuration, including a scroll wheel, make the Air Mouse Elite ideal for desktop use but, when held like a remote control, the device really comes into its own.
A simple click of the trigger on the bottom lets you wave the Elite in different directions to control the cursor, ideal for presentation work on a screen or projector connected to your computer. And, with MotionTools installed, an additional set of buttons on the top of the mouse come into play. The central silver button tells the mouse you’re making a gesture, a swipe up, down, left or right that can implement anything from Exposé to a volume change. Three additional buttons produce actions depending on the application you are using. All of these commands can be adjusted using simple drag-and-drop menus within MotionTools, with profiles for different apps.
As with all superheroes, however, the Air Mouse Elite has a weakness. In this case it’s the number of USB ports it takes up. With one port in use for the dongle and another for the included dock and charger, laptop users will be pushed for further connection options and the USB cable does detract from an otherwise fully wireless product. An alternative, of course, would be to connect to a USB wall socket, but that would come at additional cost.
The Air Mouse Elite brings Wii-like control to your Mac and will be a genuine asset to those giving presentations or using their Mac as a media centre. It would be nice to see a battery-powered alternative to the USB charging, but the device offers more than enough features and ease of use to warrant the price.