Review - Macally iceMouse and
iceMouse Jr. -
September 9, 2002

If you thought there weren't enough mice to make your choice confusing already, Macally recently debuted two new "designer" Optical mice for those of us with a sense of Style, as well as function.

Macally's new USB Optical iceMouse and iceMouse Jr. are specifically styled for Apple's "iceBook" (current generation iBook), Snow iMac, eMac and Titanium PowerBook. You could certainly use it with any of the G3/G4 MiniTower, if having the features of these two mice would be better than the optical Apple Pro Mouse.

The most initially noticeable feature of the iceMouse and Jr. is that they are white with a clear plastic covering much like the iBook; you also notice that it is a three-button mouse with a scroll wheel. Whether you hover back and forth between a Mac and a WinPC that has a three-button wheel mouse, or you just want more of those conveniences over the traditional Apple one-button mouse, these mice deserve your considerations

                iceMouse and iceMouse Jr.

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Using a three-button mouse, with the proper software support from the manufacturer, the right button ("lefty's" can easily swap designations) will become your "control - mouse button" command. If you've got your hands full, this is a great timesaving. The center button, which is the "scroll wheel" when depressed, can be designated any kind of a function from double-click to opening a particular application. The scroll wheel does the obvious, when you have a window of any kind open which has a vertical scroll bar, the wheel allows you to scroll up and down. If there is only a horizontal scroll bar, the wheel will scroll left and right. With some graphics applications, putting the mouse pointer in the image-editing window may allow you to zoom in and out.
It's great exercise for that finger, which you'll need when driving the freeways and expressways.
The full size iceMouse is ergonomically shaped, as are most mice these days (remember the square Logitech's?). It has a taller base than a Logitech Optical mouse and not as much arch, and the left / right buttons are more prominent to the fingertips. Those of you that don't find the Logitech "feel" to their likening with love these mice and buttons. I find the Logitech and especially the Microsoft mice fatiguing after a while, giving me hand cramps. The scroll wheel is very smooth with feedback clicks as you roll it with your middle finger. It's great exercise for that finger, which you'll need when driving the freeways and expressways.

The iceMouse Jr. is roughly 35% smaller than its full size brother, and "Jr." makes a perfect traveling companion when space and a small amount of weight savings is important. I have big palms and at first I thought that this reduced size would be hard to get use to, but I quickly became comfortable with its lightweight and speedy motions. I've tried other "mini mice" (no, not Austin Powers arch nemesis), but I've hated every one of them. I've found myself even using Jr. at the office even when I could use any full size mouse.



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