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Extras - Short Takes - Phaser Wireless Track Ball Mouse

By Barbara Fullerton, Published on April 1, 2002

Barbara Fullerton is the Electronic Resources Librarian at Pioneer Hi-Bred International in Johnston, IA.

Looking for a wireless mouse that is reasonably priced? Try the Phaser Wireless Track Ball Mouse with built-in laser pointer from IOGear. This mouse is completely wire-free and easy to install--no software is needed. I found this item comfortable to use and the funky design reminds me of a phaser from the original Star Trek series, so Trekkies, this product could be for you! (It can also double as an accessory when you attend those Star Trek conventions.)

The gray Phaser is plastic and runs on 2 AAA batteries. It is very lightweight, easy to hold, and molds snuggly to your hand. The thumb-operated trackball is used as a mouse to scroll and guide your applications. The Phaser also has two mouse buttons and laser pointer activator to utilize. The Phaser comes with a radio receiver that is plugged into the USB port. This allows you to access your computer from up to 50 feet.

I found that the Phaser works best on presentation applications. The Phaser mouse was tested on computers running Windows 95, 98 and 2000, and it worked well on each OS. There is some tweaking to do on the Mouse Control Panel for Windows 2000, but instructions are included in the user’s manual. Sorry Mac users! The Phaser is not available for their computers.

The only disappointing feature was the laser pointer. The laser works fine close to the screen or computer but the further away, the less laser beam (so it seemed). But this can be overlooked because the product was priced under $50.

For more information about this product, click here.  Then click on the Phaser photo. For information about the latest prices try http://shopper.cnet.com and search for Phaser Wireless.