Can an iPad really take the place of a laptop? For many a business user, there's one key element missing: a mouse.
Sure, you can use a fingertip for things like selecting text and dragging and dropping spreadsheet cells, but that's nowhere near as precise. Indeed, far too many business-computing actions become awkward or even impossible when fingers try to replace a pointer.
Most Android tablets can be paired with a Bluetooth mouse, but iPad users have had fewer options. The Citrix X1 Mouse is iOS-compatible, or at least Citrix app-compatible, which may bring tablet-only business travel closer to practical.
Due to be officially announced at the Citrix Synergy event May 12, the X1 is a Bluetooth Low Energy mouse designed to work with both iPads and iPhones (with the assumption that the latter would be connected to a larger screen via AirPlay or the like).
Custom firmware in the mouse allows it to work with Citrix mobile apps, including Citrix Receiver, GoToMyPC, ShareConnect and WorkDesktop. Thus, the key idea here is that if you're using your iPad to remotely connect to your Windows-powered desktop, now you've got a mouse for significantly easier navigation around the OS and within desktop software.
In addition, according to Citrix rep Chris Fleck, "A new Presentation Mode feature in the latest version of [Citrix] Receiver also turns the iPad or iPhone display into a keyboard and touchpad when sending remote video output to a larger display."
Fleck said the X1 will be available to Citrix Synergy attendees next week, while others can order for delivery sometime before the end of the second quarter (translation: before the end of June). Although specific pricing has yet to be announced, Fleck told me in an email he expected the X1 Mouse to sell for "about $60." International pricing wasn't given, but that converts to about £40 or AU$75.