Motormouse Porsche shaped wireless computer mouse

Motormouse Porsche shaped wireless computer mouse

Treat your PC to a Porsche this Christmas ! The weather’s foul, the roads icy; what better time to stay indoors and surf the internet. To keep you company on the journey through the web, why not splash out on your very own PC Porsche? Not only will it remain under your control, but steer you through cyberspace with style and aplomb. This season’s must-have gadget comes to you from Motormouse, a startup company that sealed it’s success by wooing investor James Caan on BBC’s Dragon’s Den TV programme.

Our silver sample came complete with a signed card by James Caan, but this is not standard, available or included in the price, but a special surprise as we picked up our motormouse from the sellers’ stand at the Earls Court MPH Show.

The packaging quality and style convinced us immediately that this was a pukka product. opening the box confirmed this was more than skin deep. Reaching in and grabbing the car, you instinctively want to push it along your desk to see how well it glides, and turn it over to inspect the pull-back motor. Hang on, this is a mouse, not scale model ! Inserting the 2 AAA alkalines provided, adds to the expectancy of self-propulsion, but a USB wireless dongle, which you store in a recess in the boot breaks the spell, and brings you back to reality…or virtual reality?!

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Motomouse boot open showing batteries and slot for storing the bluetooth dongle that's in the laptop's USB port

Motomouse boot open showing batteries and slot for storing the wireless dongle that's in the laptop's USB port

There’s a neat black mousemat and cloth storage pouch supplied too. The mat is supposed to increase battery life according to the instructions, but we are not sure how. We didn’t use it as it needs time to settle flat after it’s spell in the packaging. Talking of manuals; this mouse hardly needs any. On our Apple iMac we plugged in the USB dongle, left-clicked, waited a few seconds and that was it. No messing around with downloads, CDs; literally plug and play: very welcome in this overcomplicated world. Motormouse’s website does provide an FAQ with instructions for Windows Vista.

Motormouse sits stylishly amongst high tech gear

Motormouse sits stylishly amongst high tech gear

First use of the mouse left us “oversteering” wildly: back to instructions. Hold down left and right buttons for a few seconds until head and taillights flash. The speed of the flashing equates to sensitivity of the steering, sorry: tracking. Three speeds are available. we chose the slowest, but still found it a bit fast for our taste. A quick move of the tracking speed slider in the Mac’s mouse system preferences sorted this, and soon we were gliding across the screen as if we had always used this mouse. Despite the easy setup, we were curious to try it without the dongle, but couldn’t find a way of paring it with the computer’s built in bluetooth. We will check with Motormouse, but think this is because each mouse is prepaired with it’s own dongle. The downside of the dongle is it blocks up a USB port, which on a laptop can be restricting, although it’s minute size means you could leave it in permanently. We haven’t tested battery life, but will replace the supplied AAA alkalines with rechargeables when they run out. Wouldn’t it be handier if you could leave them in and just plug into a USB socket to recharge them? The optional extra charger Motomouse offer is a seperate device.

Update: The Motormouse works on it’s own paired 2.4ghz wireless signal, not bluetooth and this is why you have to use the supplied dongle.

Compared to Apple’s Mighty Mouse, the Motormouse felt just as comfortable in the palm, the raised roof fitting in snugly, with buttons falling naturally to finger. The scroll wheel is a delight after the mighty mouse’s ball, but looks somewhat crude. Performance couldn’t be faulted though, and after an afternoon of use we couldn’t find anything to criticize from a technical or comfort point of view.

Motormouse - some manufacturing damage from clumsy extraction from molds on front

Motormouse - some manufacturing damage from clumsy extraction from moulds on front

The packaging had style and quality stamped all over it – so did the mouse live up to it? Firstly, you have to think of the price: a tad under 30 UKPounds, not a fortune but there are plenty of good mice in this price range. The rear high 3/4 view that you will see during most use is neat and well proportioned. Move around to the front, and the wings or buttons, have shutlines or gaps that are rather too large and spoil the gloss of the product. There were also some ugly gashes where the buttons had been crudely twisted from the mould runners. The nicely detailed chrome wheels, complete with real rubber tyres, were spoiled by little spikes of chrome that should have been trimmed before tyre fitting. There was also a slight molding defect on the rear C-pillar. All of these we would not expect on a product that sits alongside an expensive laptop that the manufacturers would have rejected.

We recently bumped into Motormouse at the Autosport racing Car Show, and they were aware of our criticism. We examined the mice on dislpay, and picked one out of an unopened box, and none of these proved to have the molding defects of our example. We must have just been unlucky….

Out of curiosity we dug up a photo of a silver 911 Turbo to put alongside for comparison. A Carrera 4s would be a better match, but quite clearly the Motormouse is a generic piece of styling, loosely based on the 911, but borrowing design aspects of numerous sportscars, with maybe a hint of Audi TT.

In conclusion, we’re very happy that we have a beautiful car icon gracing the PC desk, with no handling or ergonomic compromises. Now, what’s it’s 0-60 time and CO2 emissions……Damn, just remembered this was bought as a gift, so better leave a bit of tread on the tyres and some juice in the tank, and neatly repack it for the Christmas tree!

Beautiful, stylish
Good scroll wheel
No manual needed
Plug and play
Wireless so no wires
Neat packaging

Some parts not trimmed neatly
Large gaps between front panels and scroll wheel
Minor moulding defects
Windows Vista may need some settings changed
Too much packaging?
non rechargeable batteries supplied

Styling similar to a Porsche 911, although a Carrera 4s would be closer than this Turbo

Styling similar to a Porsche 911, although a Carrera 4s would be closer than this Turbo

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