Scanners and computer mice aren’t exactly the most compatible of bedfellows, or so we might have imagined until recently. Now, it seems, there’s more than one rodent that’s actually a hand-held scanner in disguise. Having already seen LG’s take with its LSM-100 Scanner Mouse, we’re now checking out the IRIScan Mouse from Belgian document virtualisation and management company I.R.I.S. (IRIS).
First let’s go over just exactly what the IRIScan Mouse is and does. At first glance it appears to be a fairly regular-looking ambidextrous three-button laser mouse, however a fourth button on its right-hand side activates the scanner in the peripheral’s base.
Once activated, you can simply ‘mouse over’ any relatively flat surface – whether the top of your carpet, a photo or a page of text – and the integrated scanner makes it appear on your screen in real-time.
As non-gaming mice go, IRIS’ effort is reasonably attractive. It sports a glossy black top that’s surprisingly fingerprint resistant and plain, matt black sides, with a soft-touch strip in matt green dividing the two.
That glossy top will require frequent maintenance to keep it looking its best and the ‘IRIScan [tm] Mouse’ logo in attention-catching white letters across it doesn’t help, but otherwise we have no aesthetic complaints. IRIS even thoughtfully provides a tiny soft cleaning cloth along with a very nice drawstring carrying pouch to keep your mouse safe should you need to transport it.
The IRIScan Mouse is quite ergonomic and its slightly sculpted main buttons offer a nice, positive click, as does the dedicated scan button. The rubberised scroll wheel is less successful as it doesn’t support side-scrolling and its button action is a bit mushy, but it’s still pleasant under the finger for basic scrolling. Overall the IRIScan is very solidly constructed, and we have no build quality concerns.
IRIScan’s rodent glides smoothly in use thanks to two Teflon pads on its base. Sandwiched between these you’ll also find the laser sensor and scanner window. Though the mouse itself is ambidextrous, the left-oriented scan button obviously doesn’t favour south-paws. This doesn’t mean that a little adjustment won’t let you use the mouse to its full potential, but in an ideal world it might have been nice to have a second scan button on the right.