The Air Mouse Elite is the latest addition to Gyration's Air Mouse line, a series of computer mice that use motion sensors to provide mid-air cursor control, freeing you from the shackles of the mouse mat. The Elite uses a 2.4GHz USB transceiver to allow you to work wirelessly up to 30m away from your PC. Ideally suited to anyone who delivers plenty of presentations, or for those who use a computer to handle their home media, there's much to like about this device. It's available now for around £90.
To the undiscerning observer, the Elite looks very much like a standard mouse. It has a slim, ergonomic body, with a mouse wheel nestled between the left and right buttons. With a black gloss finish and silver trim, it has a highly professional appearance.
As well as its mid-air chops, the Elite functions as a standard desktop mouse. During testing, it performed solidly in this capacity. Curved to fit snugly into your palm, the Elite is light, easy to manoeuvre and comfortable to use. It also works consistently well on an impressive range of surfaces, so you're unlikely to experience any loss of performance if your desk surface is slightly uneven, for example.
Moving on up
To make use of the Elite's motion-sensor capabilities, you'll need to hold it in your hand as you would a remote control. The device's arched underside provides a hollow for your index finger, and there you'll find a trigger button that switches the Elite into motion-sensor mode.
Holding the Elite thus, right-handed folk will find their thumb rests naturally on the left-click button. It's worth noting that, if you're left-handed, reaching the left-click button is slightly more of a stretch, but not so much that using the Elite becomes uncomfortable. Your thumb will also have access to the four context-sensitive buttons that sit atop the Elite. Thankfully, these buttons are resistant to accidental presses when you're using the device as a standard desktop mouse.
The Elite uses internal motion sensors to determine where you're pointing, in a manner not dissimilar to the Nintendo Wii's controller. Unlike the Wii remote, however, you don't have to point the Elite at your computer screen -- whichever direction you're pointing it in, moving the mouse up will shift your cursor up on the computer display, and moving it to the left or right will shift the on-screen cursor correspondingly. This means you're free to face away from the display and even wander around, which will grant you more freedom during a presentation, for example.
Using the Elite in motion-sensor mode is a pleasingly intuitive and very smooth experience. You won't find yourself fiddling around trying to point at some tiny object on the screen.