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The cure for 'mouse arm': Gyroscopic mice

Do you suffer from hand and arm pain while mousing?

The Gyration Air Mouse

Do you suffer from hand and arm pain while mousing? Many factors can be blamed, from poor posture to a badly designed ergonomic environment. Unfortunately, simply adjusting one's seat or desk height doesn't always solve the problem (and sometimes you can't adjust either of these much at all).

I was a longtime sufferer of the condition I dubbed "mouse arm," which at one point got so bad that after a few hours, I would have to awkwardly mouse with my left hand for the rest of the day. About five years ago (long before I joined CNET), I discovered a company called Gyration and its line of gyroscopic mice.

The very latest version is the just-reviewed Gyration Air Mouse, a smaller $99 travel version of the company's standard Gyration Go model. Like most other gyroscopic mice, the Gyration Air functions as a regular optical mouse when placed on a flat surface--but lift it up, and it switches into gyroscopic mode, letting users control the cursor by moving the mouse through the air.

Unfortunately, the new Gyration Air doesn't compare favorably with either the Go or another favorite, Logitech's sleek MX Air. The Air Mouse feels flimsy and insubstantial, and it literally rattles in your hand. The clacky mouse buttons feel loose, and worst of all, the optical tracking feels a tiny bit sluggish when used in the nongyroscopic mode.

A final note--newcomers to the gyroscope party should note that using one of these devices seems impossible at first, but after a short but intense 24-48 hour learning curve, it'll be second nature.

Read the full review of the Gyration Air Mouse.

Also, see our handy chart comparing gyroscopic mice.