Swiftpoint GT review
We don’t usually review mice here at PC Pro; our gaze is more often directed further up the tech-toy food chain. But the Kickstarter-funded Swiftpoint GT is so good that, for once, we feel compelled to break that rule.
The Swiftpoint GT is a peculiar-looking thing. It looks more like a piece of Plasticine you’ve squashed between your fingers than a high-tech laptop accessory – but therein lies its unique appeal. Rather than holding this tiny piece of plastic in a claw-like grip, as with most flat travel mice, you hold the Swiftpoint between your thumb and middle finger, almost like you would a pen.
The left-hand mouse button sits on the nose of the device with the right button tucked in behind it, so both can be clicked with your index finger. And mounted on the right side of the Swiftpoint’s snout sits a scroll wheel, which delivers a rather pleasant, notchy action.
A mouse that measures a mere 42.5mm across, 56mm long and 33.5mm high shouldn’t be usable at all, but the genius of this design is that it feels as comfortable to use as a full-sized mouse. And because it’s so small and sensitive, it can be used directly on your laptop’s wristrest as a more comfortable, more precise alternative to the touchpad.
Indeed, this is precisely the application that the designers of the Swiftpoint originally envisaged. There’s even a sticky, reusable mousepad provided in the box to prevent scratches and scuffs.
Swiftpoint GT review: more power to your fingers
Since the GT is a wireless mouse, it will need recharging from time to time. This is achieved via a small USB dongle, which doubles as a handy stowing point; the GT latches onto it magnetically while charging.
Usefully, when it does run out of charge – Swiftpoint says it will last between two and four weeks – you don’t have to wait ages for it to be usable again. A mere 30 seconds of connection is enough to get you an hour’s worth of use from it. The USB dongle also provides wireless connectivity, although you don’t have to use it if you don’t want to, as the GT is Bluetooth-compatible.
This isn’t the end to the Swiftpoint GT’s talents, either. Flip it over and you’ll see that alongside the movement-sensing laser is a small, sprung plastic nubbin. Swiftpoint calls this a stylus, and it’s designed to provide a touchscreen-like pan-and-scroll facility.
To use it, you simply tilt the mouse to the side and then swipe up and down to scroll, or flick left and right to pan. Essentially, it replicates the two-fingered swipe gestures that most modern touchpads support, and means you don’t have to go looking for a scroll bar when you’re using the mouse, or move your hands away from the mouse to swipe a touchscreen.
Swiftpoint GT review: in use
The Swiftpoint GT is a clever little box of tricks, and it works brilliantly well. While the design looks outlandish, it’s superbly comfortable – whether you’re using it on a desk or your laptop’s wristrest – and it delivers full-sized mouse accuracy and productivity while you’re out on the road. It works better than any flat-bodied travel mouse we’ve used, and the gesture-based scrolling and panning is surprisingly effective.
There are a couple of catches, however. First, it’s only available as a right-handed rodent, although Swiftpoint says that it will consider developing a left-handed version if demand is high enough. Second, the price: £107 is a huge amount of money to spend on a mouse, let alone one that weighs a mere 24g, even if it does come with a luxurious, soft case with some well-thought-out accessories (the aforementioned mouse pad, plus a magnetic mounting plate that you can stick to the lid of your laptop and attach the mouse to when it isn’t in use).
And that’s the big sticking point for us. We love the Swiftpoint GT: it’s a superb product, and anyone who does a lot of mousework on a laptop, or who’s at the end of their tether with an unresponsive, broken or plain irritating touchpad, should take a very close look. However, at the current price it’s far too expensive.