I must admit, I am not — how should I say this — the manliest of men. In fact, even my own sister makes fun of the "gentle" way that I chop vegetables.
But though I may be a lover and not a fighter, the slumbering testosterone-drenched Spartan within me still can't help but awaken at the sight of a nicely sculpted automobile. Whether it be seeing a Nissan 350Z cruising down the street or a tiny toy version of a Lamborghini, I just suddenly get the urge to grab a power tool in one hand, a thick slab of steak in another, and yell, "This is Spartaaaa" until the police come to arrest me.
Which brings us to Four Door Media's Road Mice and Car Mouse products. Functionally speaking, they're wireless computer mice. But aesthetically speaking, they're a hot-blooded car guy's ideal computer peripheral. But do they have the horses for practical mouse use? Let's kick the tires and take a closer look, shall we?
Attention to detail: Looks aren't everything. But these mice look quite nice. So far, I've sampled the Ford Mustang and the Ford GT versions, with the latter looking especially sweet. Even the headlights flash depending on whether you left click or right click the mouse.
Auto timer: Battery life is always a concern with wireless mice, especially those that feature lights such as these. The car mouse has an auto shut off feature if you leave your device on idle — pun intended — for a few minutes. You also have the option of disabling the lights if you want to save even more mouse fuel.
It's optical: Since the car mouse doesn't use a trackball, you don't have to worry about lint build-up and cleaning extra gunk that can build up underneath. Just don't use it on transparent or shiny surfaces.
800 DPI: Dots per inch are a measure of precision in mice and 800 DPI is considered more than enough for normal use on an average-size computer screen. It's also respectable enough for gaming although it may not fly for DPI-obsessed gamers who use larger screens and prefer their DPI in the quadruple digits.
Good range: With a range of up to 1.5 meters, you can use the car mouse without needing to be too close to your computer.
Nice scroll wheel: The scroll wheel on the car mouse is nice and smooth — just like the way I chop vegetables.
Ergonomics: Unfortunately, all that attention to detail comes with a price. While the car mouse ended up being more comfortable than I expected, its car shape makes it not quite as comfortable as a pure mouse, especially for long-term use. Cars with smooth shapes tended to feel better than blocky ones — at least for yours truly.
Wonky setup: To set up the car mouse, you'll need to attach the accompanying USB connector to your computer, which sounds pretty easy. But it took me several tries before the car mouse was finally recognized. Maybe I'm just an idiot.
Potential battery guzzler: All those extra bells and whistles are nice and all. But the price of having those wonderful lights is the extra drain they put on batteries, especially for folks who use lots of click-happy applications. But as mentioned previously, you can turn them off via a switch.
Price: With pricing starting at $44.95, the cost of ownership for the car mouse can be higher than some of the regular mice out there. Still, that's to be expected given the licensing involved in the product.
The car mouse is obviously designed for consumers who want to add a touch of style to their computing.
It isn't the most precise or the most comfortable mouse out there. But it performs good enough for folks who like to bring their passion for automobiles into their computer workspace.
Now if only they made a "Car" chef's knife, then perhaps I can get my sister off my back the next time she's around while I'm cooking in the kitchen.