Rating: ★★★½☆

I’ve been using an old Microsoft mouse with my desktop – I’ve had the same mouse for three years, and while I know I need to replace it, I love the feel of it.  So it’s just my luck that while I was looking around for a new ergonomic mouse, the Smartfish Whirl Desktop Laser Mouse fell right into my lap.

The Smartfish Whirl Desktop Laser Mouse is a very oddly shaped mouse – let’s just get that right out of the way.  This comes from it’s “ErgoMotion” pivot system, and it really the biggest innovation this mouse brings to the table.  What it works out to is that the “normal” shaped part of the mouse rests on a ball-pivot type joint that’s on a thin pedestal.

Sound weird?

That’s because it’s a really fresh way of doing ergonomics.  The mouse actually moves to how you rest your hand, which is really comfortable for extended usage periods.  While the ability to shift is really inspired, that’s about the only thing that actually is inspired about the design.  When you have the mouse in your hand, it feels very plastic-y.  Not the normal plastic feel of a mouse either, but the feel of one of the mice you could pick up at a dollar store.

Out of your hand, the design flaws become more apparent, because it’s just visually boring.  Black glossy plastic makes up most of the mouse, with a cheap silver plastic accenting the scroll wheel.  The buttons are also a problem – and not just because there’s only two of them (yes, two buttons.  no browser buttons, no zoom button, no bells or whistles in that department at all) – the buttons on the Desktop version of this mouse (I’ll talk about the laptop version tomorrow) feel as if they could snap at any second if you put too much pressure on them.

Speaking of putting too much pressure on something – if you’re like me and like to rest your hand on your mouse kind of heavily, don’t.  When you do that with the Whirl, you’re inevitably going to end up moving it where you don’t want to , and making some inadvertent clicks.  What you’re supposed to do is allow your hand to rest lightly on it, which is apparently better for you as is stimulates blood flow.  I don’t know about the medical validity of that, but I know my hand didn’t feel so fatigued after using it in the suggested way.

The Smartfish Whirl isn’t a gaming mouse, so don’t expect super DPI settings, but if you download the software from their site, you can adjust it to 400, 800, 1200, or 1600 DIP.  It’s respectable enough for the office worker this is best marketed towards.  It has a nice little wireless USB dongle that gets stored in the body of the Whirl when not in use.  It’s also plug and play right out of the box – no additional driver to install or anything, which is convenient.

The Smartfish Whirl is a mouse that is really for people trying to improve their posture all around.  The type that have the chair with lumbar support, and extreme ergonomic  keyboard; they’re the ones that will truly appreciate the Smartfish Whirl Desktop edition.  One more thing, I wouldn’t recommend getting one to move back and forth between a desktop and a laptop computer.  The Whirl is large, and too bulky to be moved constantly.  Wait until my Laptop edition review tomorrow for a more amicable solution.

After using the Smartfish Whirl for the review, I became more aware of how I was holding my hand, and actively tried to correct my posture.  However doing that made me make more errors on other things because I was focused on my hand.  When all is said and done, I give the Smartfish Whirl Desktop Laser Mouse a three and a half stars out of five.  There are other solutions out there to bad wrist posture, but if you want one that will really work (and be an interesting conversation piece), go with the Whirl.

Pros:

  • Extremely ergonomic design
  • Not a bad price for a wireless mouse
  • DPI settings are good for non-gaming activities

Cons:

  • Extreme ergonomic design can cause you to focus on your hand
  • Not sensitive enough for gaming
  • Design is extremely cheap

You can pick up the Smartfish Whirl Desktop laser Mouse from Amazon for $43.92



Staff