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UNIVERSAL QUIET MOUSE
Although it bears the same brand, it's unlikely that the second mouse from
Quiet Mouse comes from the same manufacturer as the first one. It is a completely
different shape, has a different label on the bottom (this time with a serial
number), and appears to use a different laser lens for tracking. Most definitively,
it sounds completely different. The only things they share are a couple of approval
stamps from CE and FCC and the ubiquitous "Made in China" marking.
Symmetrical, and thus good for left-handers.
This model shares the same black-and-silver color scheme as the first model,
but the roles of the colors are reversed, with silver trim and a mostly black
body. It's a sharp appearance, and it looks better built than the first one.
Looks are deceiving, however, as it's immediately apparent that the mouse is
cheaply built as soon as you put your hand on it. It's even lighter than the
first model, and has a decidedly hollow feel to it. Clicking a button can be
felt throughout your mouse hand as the click sends vibrations through the body
of the mouse tactile feedback to be sure, but not of a kind that inspires
confidence in the build quality.
This model also compares unfavorably in terms of comfort, though the warning
about subjectivity still applies. I found it a little difficult to grip the
mouse between my thumb and pinkie as I am used to because the sides of the mouse
are vertical, not tapered inwards as I am used to. In addition, the back of
the mouse seemed a little to flat to fit easily into my palm. The plastic used
in the body was much more slippery than the rubber grip on the first model,
or even my regular generic Logitech model. These ergonomic flaws aren't deal
killers the mouse was quite usable and didn't cause me any noticeable
pain during the three days I tested it, but they didn't exactly leave me with
a sense of fine engineering.
This bottom is slightly less generic it has a serial number.
Comfort aside, this model turned out to be the more usable of the two samples
because, although quiet, the buttons did give tactile feedback when depressed,
solving the accidental double-clicking and "did I click?" issues with
the first model. And, in practical use, it was nearly silent. It didn't have
the eerie noiselessness of the first model, but it did take careful listening
to hear the buttons in ordinary use. Near-field listening revealed a slight
muted "thunk" with every button press. Heavy clicks did increase the
noise a bit, so a button-mashing gaming session might be considered noisy
but if you can hear your mouse during a gaming session, you need to turn up
your speakers. Most of the increase comes from structural noise and plastic-on-plastic
contact as noted, the build quality isn't the greatest, so it creaks
a bit when you hit it hard.
Like the first model, the scroll wheel (rubber-coated this time) spun smoothly
with no bumpiness. There was a little less tension on the wheel, and it felt
less slippery and more scratchy, as though it needed a bit of lubricant. The
sound of the scroll wheel was similar to the first model: A hushed slipping,
though the sound seemed a little sharper with this model, possibly because of
resonance through the body of the mouse.
The middle button is an improvement over the first model; it appears to use
the same microswitch as the two main buttons, and sounded almost the same. If
anything, it was quieter than the two main buttons because its more secure mounting
in the middle of the mouse meant there was less structural noise.
Picking a favorite between the two Quiet Mice is not easy; both
have their advantages and disadvantages. Our ideal quiet mouse would implant
the tactile feedback of the second sample into the more comfortable (and better
built) body of the first sample, taking care to fix the noisy middle button.
Unfortunately, neither mouse is perfect, so we can't recommend either as an
excellent mouse that happens to be quiet. Both are mice are very quiet and are
worth a recommendation on that basis alone, but those used to more fancy mice
may find reverting to these simple mice a bit of a sacrifice.
For example, a cordless version is promised but not yet available,
and the cords for both the mice are a mere four and a half feet long. Some users
may also miss some of the extra buttons that are featured on the more fancy
models, especially the forward and back thumb buttons.
Chances are most users aren't going to rush out and buy a new
mouse just because it's quiet. Even for very picky silencers, silencing a mouse
is unlikely to be a high priority. But, for the situations where mouse noise
does matter, Quiet Mouse has delivered two models that might just fit
the bill. Their stated goal is to provide quiet mice, and on that front, there's
no question they've delivered. We look forward to seeing more refined models
from them in the future.
Many thanks to Quiet
Mouse for their samples.
SPCR Forum Posts of Related Interest:
Shadowknight's Quiet Mouse Review
Shadowknight's Kensington Pilotmouse
Shadowknight's Thanko Silent Mouse
Recommend a Silent Mouse and Keyboard?
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this article in the SPCR Forums.
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