GyroTools uses a very intuitive double interface: the bottom row of tabs let you select various types of function for a range of applications, while the top tabs let you select which ‘part’ of the mouse you want to assign the functions to – not only its buttons and wheel, but also specific swipes and gestures, including shake.
The flexibility GyroTools provides is simply excellent. In addition to buttons, swipes, shakes and hotspots there are customisable events which include keyboard shortcuts, and a variety of function shortcuts for General use, Internet, PowerPoint, Presentation, Media, Input and Windows. For each lower tab, these functions are represented by clear icons, which can simply be dragged into boxes representing the mouse’s various buttons and gesture-controls in the top panel. Best of all, you can assign all these settings and options to one of a limitless number of profiles, so when you want to switch applications, simply switch profile.
Media functions are fairly self-explanatory, and allow you to do things like swiping the mouse left to right to turn the volume up. But presentation is where Gyration has really gone to town. You can summon giant arrows or a large selection of other pointers, and place permanent markers in your document. You can hide or highlight text using highlighter or ‘spotlights’, and everything is size-adjustable in real-time by holding down a mouse button and dragging through the air. Put simply, there is no more versatile tool for presentations than the Air Mouse with MotionSense. On a side note, input options include various virtual keyboards and number pads, so theoretically you could do everything a keyboard can.
Aside from Logitech’s MX Air Mouse and Gyration’s own previous generation product, there’s nothing out there like the Air Mouse. And though it has taken a small step back in terms of ergonomics, it’s now more portable and internally much improved over its predecessor. Not only that, but it’s available for around £60, making it not only more versatile but also cheaper than most presentation tools, including the MX Air. Don’t forget it’s also a capable media remote, and as for the gaming-potential – that pretty much warrants a review by itself; suffice to say you’ll discover whole new ways to play old games.
Flawed in some ways, but brilliant in others, the Gyration Air Mouse with MotionSense is probably the best all-in-one tool for presentations, remotely controlling media and some unique Wii-like gaming on the PC. Now if only the company would bring out a version emphasising ergonomics over portability…
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