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One need only look at Nintendo's Wii to see how popular motion-sensing control can be. However, on the PC, where it has the most practical potential, it's still a relatively niche concern. One company that's trying to change this is Gyration and here we're looking at the second Air Mouse the company has produced since being taken over by Movea: the Air Mouse GO Plus.
For those who haven't read the review of Gyration's 'original' Air Mouse with MotionSense, the 'Air' part refers to the mouse's ability to sense motion, much like the Wii-mote except more accurate.
Inside, both of Gyration's ambidextrous mice combine a three-axis accelerometer and two-axis gyroscope to read even subtle twists of the wrist. This means you can just move the mouse about in the air, no desk or mousing-surface required. These motion-sensors mainly track tilt, so though you can move your whole arm about it will achieve the same result as a flick of the wrist.
Despite costing more than the previous model, the Air Mouse GO Plus has reverted to the good old optical sensor for use as an ordinary mouse. This is rather a step back from the laser sensor employed in the Air Mouse, so how does the GO Plus justify its higher price?
Quite aside from a completely different, larger shape, the GO Plus features a charging base and removable, rechargeable lithium battery. To be honest this does seem slightly contrary to its name, with the GO part suggesting a more mobile device than its predecessor, which was lighter, used replaceable batteries and came with a carry case.
In fact, the Air Mouse GO Plus is physically almost identical to the older pre-Movea GyroMouse. Though ergonomically nothing much has changed, thankfully the colour scheme has been upgraded from blue and off-white to a more attractive black with gunmetal grey.
Its casing is sturdily constructed, with the underside made with soft-touch plastic and the top sporting a matte finish. The trigger underneath the mouse has a nice glossy finish, as do the three programmable buttons under the two-way scroll wheel. The main left and right buttons are matte and the wheel is coated in rubber.
Its moulded charging cradle doesn't fit the mouse snugly, so it is possible (though unlikely) to put it in its cradle without it charging. Luckily this is really easy to spot, as there is a bright blue LED on the cradle's rim which doesn't activate unless the device is being charged.
Unlike the relatively compact dongle that came with the Air Mouse, here we're back to the large, chunky dongle of old. Nor does it come pre-paired to the mouse and though it's no effort to pair the two, it's yet another step back with this 'newer' product. This is probably because this dongle will also pair with any of Gyration's Wireless keyboards, so can be used together in conference rooms.
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