Today I’m going to talk about the little brother to the mouse I reviewed yesterday. The Smartfish Whirl Mini is supposed to be perfect for laptop users, and just as effective as the Smartfish Whirl Desktop version for keeping your hand and wrist straight while using it. So how well does it hold up compared to it’s bigger brother?
First things first: the design of the Smartfish Whirl Mini Laser Notebook Mouse is pretty much the same as the larger version, with a few notable differences. The main difference is the color scheme; no longer just boring and cheap glossy black plastic, the Smartfish Whirl Mini sports a very nice grey (or other color – they have several to choose from) plastic middle (the plastic feels more heavy duty than on the desktop version as well) and it also picks up a black rubberized piece on each of the sides. These black pieces help to make sure the Whirl Mini doesn’t accidentally slip out of your hand, and gives you something with a slight texture to grip.
Another difference is the DPI settings – while the desktop model could go as high as 1600 DPI and as low as 400 DPI, the Whirl Mini is locked in at 800 DPI. I don’t understand why the ability to change the settings was removed from the Whirl Mini, but it is what it is. 800 is respectable when dealing with laptop mice, but it surely isn’t the cream of the crop.
The Whirl Mini has no advanced features you might like to see either (just like the larger desktop version) – no web buttons, no zoom buttons, etc. Just the standard two face buttons, and the scroll wheel. It was a problem with the larger version, and continues to be a problem here as well.
The problems that are seen throughout the Whirl line are really a shame for the Whirl Mini. It’s by far the better of the two mice in terms of comfort, feel, and design. With other laptop mice I find myself using the touch pad still more than I do the mouse, but with the Whirl Mini I was actually using the mouse exclusively. Since I sit with my laptop on my lap when I use it, my hand is usually lower to begin with than if I was on my desktop. What that meant to me, was that the Whirl Mini really felt natural in my hand.
Another nice thing is that it’s a LOT more portable than it’s desktop counterpart. It’s about three quarters of the overall size of the desktop version, but only a little over half of the height. The ErgoMotion pivot point has a much lower profile than the desktop model, which makes it seem a lot less likely to snap off. While the wireless feature is also essentially the same between the desktop version and the Whirl Mini, the dongle on the Mini is a little bit smaller, and sits almost flush with the side of my laptop, meaning it’s not uncomfortable when it hits my leg.
While I’m finding myself enjoying the use of the Smartfish Whirl Mini, I still can’t justify giving it a score higher than four start out of five. Yes it’s comfortable, and yes it might be improving the circulation in my hand, but the fact that it still has no advanced features that are standard at other mice with the same price point is a deal breaker for me. Couple that with the fact that they removed the ability to change the DPI, and four is generous. Don’t get me wrong, if you really want an ergonomic mouse for your laptop, this is a good choice – there just might be better.
- Compact design
- The cheap and ugly look of the desktop version has been fixed
- Very comfortable to use
- Removing the ability to change the DPI was not smart
- No advanced features to speak of
- Might be too small if you have larger hands
You can pick up the Smartfish Whirl Mini Laser Notebook Mouse from Amazon for $37.01