Mac USB & FireWire

Acer Aspire Mouse

Dan Knight - 1999.12.09

Perhaps the most persistent complaint about Apple computers since August 1998 has been frustration with the round mouse that first shipped with the iMac, then the Blue G3, and now the Power Mac G4.

But at least Apple drove the peripherals industry to USB. There are now numerous mice, trackballs, keyboards, tablets, joysticks, and other USB input devices for both the Mac and Windows computers.

Aspire MouseWhile researching USB keyboards for our Keyboard Guide, I came across a $9 mouse. And not just $9 for the mouse, but $9 shipped!

At that price, I had to try it. Shoot, Acer was providing free shipping.

So what if it's beige.

The Aspire Mouse is a competent, comfortable two-button USB mouse. It seems symmetrical, so should be equally usable by both right-handers and southpaws.

The mouse is about 3" wide, 5-1/2" long, and has a generous 6' USB cable. The left button has a dimple, making it easy to distinguish the two buttons by feel.

After a couple days using the round mouse (which I still maintain deserves a Road Apple rating) at work, I find the Aspire a huge improvement. It's not as nice as the Contour UniMouse I have on my SuperMac at home, but it's also over $30 less expensive. Cosmetics aside, this provides a real alternative to the $10-15 covers made for Apple's round mouse.

If you want to program the second mouse button, you can't do better than USB Overdrive, a $20 shareware program by Alessandro Levi Montalcini. (It's so nice, both Contour and Microsoft have licensed it.) USB Overdrive let me program the right button as a double-click, which is how I program the second button on all my mice.

Interested? You can order the Aspire USB Mouse from Shop Acer for only $9 - and shipping is currently free.

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