Reviewed: November 14, 2006
Type: Optical Mouse / USB Hub
USB Hub Features
Recently, here at Game Chronicles, we received the new Saitek Notebook Optical Mouse and Mini UFO Hubs, varying in colors. I was given the choice of what color I wanted. The lime green one looked the most harmless, so I took it.
The Optical Mouse: - 8.0
Now, Iím not really a mouse freak, or anything. I like a good optical mouse, but I donít need anything too over the top. Iíve been using the mouse that came with my laptop for about four years with no problems. It does what I need it to do. When I popped open my new lime green Saitek, I took a moment to just look at the unit. Though it is a little diminutive, it is solid and has a good weight to it. It doesnít feel like a little toy, which was kind of what it looked like at first.
Then, I plugged the USB in and my first reaction was immediate surprise at the ďilluminationĒ as they call it on the box. Holy Cow! The thing could double as a night light if need be. The parts of the mouse body that arenít lime green are clear, so you can see through to the inner workings of the mouse, but it also allows the bright white LED to really shine. And I mean really shine. Initially, I thought it was going to be a distraction to have a mouse that bright, but after a little while, I got used to it and then I thought it was pretty cool to have a mouse that you would never have any trouble locating, especially in a dark room.
The functionality of the mouse is just what youíd expect. Saitek makes a good device, I canít argue with that. The left and right click buttons donít require a lot of pressure, but they feel nice when youíre clicking around. The scroll wheel is stiff enough so that you donít accidentally scroll when you want to click the third button, which is something that I liked.
I like the size of the unit for a travel mouse, easily stowed away in a smaller compartment than a regular sized mouse, but personally, I like a larger mouse. I like to be able to cup the thing in the palm of my hand and I just canít do that with the Saitek. Though it has a good solid feel, it was just too small for me to feel like I would use it everyday. However, for somebody who likes a smaller mouse, or as I said, for someone who is going to be taking it with them a lot, I would really recommend this mouse. Youíll definitely turn heads at the airport when your mouse glows bright enough to double as a book light for the person sitting next to you.
The USB Hub: - 7.0
Packaged as a ďUFO HubĒ the circular 4-port USB hub is a nice little device as well. It comes with an extension USB cord so you can either plug the unit in directly, or you can use the extension and have it sitting next to your computer for ease of access.
Same as with the mouse, when you plug this little guy in, it practically explodes with light. There is an LED in the center of the unit that slowly shifts through a wide spectrum of colors, which admittedly, looks pretty freakiní cool.
As far as functionality goes, I did not find any problem, whatsoever, with the unit and its ease of use. The only test that I put it through that it was not able to stand up to was after I plugged in my joystick, mouse, and my TrackIR unit and played a flight simulator. Everything worked fine for a little while, but since the hub doesnít have its own power source, I eventually overtaxed the unit and my whole computer crashed with the dreaded BSOD.
So, basically, if youíre going to be using it while youíre travelling so that you have a lot easier time plugging and unplugging your various devices, itís a great, nifty-looking little device, but since it doesnít have its own power supply, I donít recommend using it as a USB expansion for multiple higher-drain devices all at the same time.