The Aivia Neon is a hybrid between a conventional wireless mouse and an air presenter. It works both on the table and in the air, changing functions with the press of a button and a flick of the wrist. Besides the double duty, it also features a laser pointer. We will first describe its unusual body design and then examine its performance.
The device’s shape is a far cry from a traditional mouse body and it looks like an stylized footprint. It is very small and curvy towards the base. On the top, the user finds the two main buttons and the scroll wheel. Right below the wheel, there are three buttons: the first one from the top controls the air scrolling; the middle button engages the drawing tool, and the last one is the red laser pointer.
On the left side, in the middle of the thumb rest, there is the button to engage the presenter function. The cover for the high density Li-ion battery is right above it, and the USB receiver can be plugged into it. On the corner there is a LED to indicate the battery level.
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Flipping the device over, we find three Teflon feet (two above, one on the base), the 1,200 dpi laser sensor, and the 2.4 GHz wireless USB receiver. The on/off switch is on the right lower corner.
The red laser pointer is right on the tip of the mouse.
The device comes with a handy bag and a USB extension cable in case the user does not have enough space to plug the Neon. We will talk more about this later.
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The concept behind the Neon is to mix a mouse with an air presenter. As a mouse, the Neon is a typical device for office work, with no special buttons or programmable functions. It was made to drag-and-drop and click on links, and that is it. It is very small and relatively agile and precise, within the limitations of its resolution of 1,200 dpi.
Gigabyte has designed a shape for the device that can be dragged as a mouse (in a claw grip style) as well as gripped from the underside when functioning as a presenter.
Gigabyte says the battery will need to be recharged after one month of use, more or less. To do it, the user must plug the receiver into a USB port and then attach the Neon to it. If there is not enough room to connect the whole mouse, the USB extension cable can be used in more cluttered areas (like behind a desktop PC). The LED blinks to indicate low battery and charging status.
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The Neon was tested as a mouse and an air presenter. In the first role, it performed simple work and school-related tasks, like clicking on links and closing applications. No use trying to play games with the device, since it lacks the precision, size, sensitivity, ergonomics and special functions that game-grade mice can offer. It simply wasn’t made for this.
As an air presenter, it can be used at work (during presentations and keynotes) and at leisure time, since it can remotely control a PC’s media player. If the user likes to plug his or hers notebook to a TV, for instance, the Neon can operate a media player or applications like YouTube or Netflix right from the couch.
Handling the Neon is like using the Wiimote, the Wii console’s controller: you point the mouse in the air at a screen and the cursor moves (somewhat awkwardly). Since the device doesn’t feature a big sensor like the Wii, the operation is a little imprecise and frustrating, especially if the user doesn’t get the hang of it (our fault). Since we work with two monitors, sometimes the cursor would simply escape to the second monitor during a more abrupt gesture, and sometimes the return wasn’t as fast as we’d liked.
The air grip is done with the device right in the middle of the palm. While the middle finger presses down the left side button, thus engaging the presenter function, the thumb hits the two main buttons and the three control buttons below the scroll wheel. The 3D-scrolling button helps to scroll documents up and down with fewer hand gestures. The middle button engages the drawing tool that can be used to write on the screen or highlight segments on a presentation. We tried, rather awkwadly, to write a short “hello” on the monitor, and the result can be seen below. Judge for yourself.
The last button hits the red laser pointer that is useful during keynotes. It also keeps pets distracted and active.
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The main specifications for the Gigabyte Aivia Neon mouse include:
- Work-grade laser mouse
- Air presenter
- Red laser pointer
- Right-handed design
- Connection: 2.4 GHz wireless USB
- Tracking Resolution: 1,200 DPI
- Transmission Distance: 30 to 50 feet
- Dimensions: 1.4 x 2.2 x 4.1 inches (37 x 57 x 105 mm)
- Weight: 3.7 oz (107 grams)
- More information: http://www.gigabyte.us
- Average price in the US*: USD 89.99
* Researched at Newegg.com on the day we published this review.
The Neon makes you wonder why they haven’t thought about something like this before. For the executive on the go, it makes sense to carry a wireless mouse that also doubles as an air presenter, which means one less gadget in the briefcase (and less extra batteries). This is basically the product’s niche, but users who look for a way to remote control a notebook hooked up to a TV might consider it a good investment. As a mouse, the Neon does not go beyond the basic functions and it might bother people with big hands or palm-grippers. As an air presenter, its precision depends a little on the part of the operator – a big sensor, like the Wii’s, could help on this department, but it would mean one more gadget to pack, and thus defeats the Neon’s purpose.
- A three-in-one gadget: mouse, air presenter and laser pointer
- Light and easy to operate
- Alternative way of recharging it
- Hand carry bag
- Mouse function is too basic
- Right-handed use only
- A little small for big hands