Lenovo has released another interesting accessory in the YOGA line of devices: the YOGA Mouse. The YOGA mouse is a combination travel and presentation mouse. There are countless variations on the travel mouse in size, shape, and design. Is this the “Ultimate travel mouse” as Lenovo claims? I’ve spent a few weeks with this new device and can give you the definitive answer.
First Impressions/Physical Build
The YOGA mouse is shaped a little different than your traditional mouse in that instead of a rounded hand forming shape, it more resembles small remote control that has been bent in a slight V shape. It’s composed of your standard plastic materials that doesn’t particularly feel very sturdy, but certainly adds to it’s light weight and small size. It has a small form that can easily be packed away in a laptop bag, suitcase, or pocket; which should be expected from a travel mouse. What is innovated about this mouse is that you can twist one end to flatten out the mouse and use it as a presentation mouse for use with powerpoint slides or media playback.
The right and left click buttons are in the standard positions on the mouse, as well as a Windows button where you would normally find a scroll wheel. The area just in front of the Windows button also acts as a small touch pad which takes the place of a physical scroll mouse. You simply slide your finger up and down the small strip to scroll your screen.
On the back of the mouse there is a power button, Micro SD port for charging, and a slider for setting the mouse for bluetooth or dongle connections. The slider has three positions: dongle (left), bluetooth (middle), and bluetooth pairing (right). The bluetooth pairing position automatically slides back to the bluetooth position after you’ve activated pairing mode.
There’s no specific indication as to what size the battery in the mouse is, but the documentation does state you can get a 1 month battery life from a 2 hour charge. I tested the mouse for a little over 3 weeks and never charged the mouse once, except for a brief minute just to make sure charging worked. There was never a low battery indication and it never ran out of battery during use.
A YOGA device wouldn’t be a YOGA device if it didn’t do some interesting twisting of it’s physical form, and the YOGA mouse is no different. The YOGA mouse’s interesting feature is the ability to twist the mouse and change it from a mouse to a presentation remote. When the remote is in presentation mode, and adaptive touch display lights up on one side of the mouse. There are two modes for this adaptive display providing different buttons for whatever you’re using the mouse for in presentation mode. The first mode provides buttons for navigating through presentation slides such as PowerPoint. The second mode provides buttons to manipulate a media based presentation, watching a movie, or simply listening to music. The only thing this presentation mode is missing would be a laser pointer.
Most travel mice aren’t really known for being ergonomically designed, and the YOGA mouse doesn’t really advance this shortcoming. It doesn’t take long to get used to the feel and it’s perfectly suited for short time use. I did have a problem with the placement of the optical laser as it’s right at the very front of the mouse. I found myself lifting the nose up due to the shape or to re-position. It took me a minute to figure out why the mouse would sporadically stop tracking, but I was able to compensate for it by just being more conscious of what I was doing.
Connecting the mouse to my laptop and other devices was most easily accomplished using the included dongle. The Bluetooth connection was easy to connect, but I did have problems maintaining my connection with one of my laptops. A second laptop didn’t seem to have any issues, so the version and hardware you are using for your bluetooth connection may give you varied results here.
The presentation mode worked as advertised with no issues. Using the adaptive touch display takes a bit of getting used to, but once you get it down it works like a champ. Again, I think a laser pointer would add that extra something to really make the presentation mode that much more useful. Switching to presentation mode was seamless and was very responsive regardless of the connection method.
So is the YOGA Mouse the ultimate travel mouse? Most travel mouse designs are aimed at being as small as possible so you can take it anywhere. The YOGA mouse is still a large enough size to be comfortable, but can fold flat and fit into any case or pocket comfortably. It’s connectivity options ensures you’ll be able to connect to any device you might be carrying with you. What the YOGA mouse provides that most other travel mice don’t, is the ability to double-duty as a presentation remote. The YOGA Mouse retails on Lenovo’s website for $69.99, so it’s a little pricier than your average travel mouse, but you’re getting a more versatile device. If you’re a business professional who does a fair amount of presentations, this would be a great option for you. It might be a little expensive for the average user, but still a great mouse for traveling.