Scalable DPI Wireless Mouse: Gear Head Gimmick?
Scalable DPI Wireless Mouse: Gear Head Gimmick? ◊
By Mark Jensen ◊
Over the weekend I wandered (for possibly the three-thousandth time) into the Las Vegas Fry’s Electronics store – a geek nirvana in case you’ve never been there – for the sole purpose of replacing my wireless mouse. My old mouse was fine, except that the ergonomically gigantic, old-school wireless USB receiver was getting in the way of my svelte laptop experience.
When it comes to a wireless mouse, I’m typically never looking for anything special. In fact, for my new wireless mouse I had only two simple criteria. First, it had to be cheap, as in under twenty dollars, and second, it had to have one of those microscopically small and stowable, nano USB receivers.
Among the usual suspects of well known brands like Microsoft, Logitech and Creative, I stumbled upon a brand I wasn’t familiar with: Gear Head. I liked the name Gear Head, but mostly, I liked the super low $12.99 price. It was a sleek little device with the requisite 2.4 GHz wireless connectivity and nano USB receiver. Cool name, nice looking, required specs/features and an ultra low price – sold.
In the process of using the mouse for the first few hours, I was compelled by its seeming lack of performance, to take a closer look at the device. Everything was fine except that the onscreen pointer was noticeably slow – as in dragging – compared to my former wireless Microsoft mouse.
Besides being slow, the mouse had a button on top, just behind the scroll wheel, that I wasn’t familiar with. The button had inscribed on it the acronym “DPI.” Total geek that I am, I knew what DPI meant. Except, what the hell did DPI mean on a wireless mouse? That I did not know.
A Google search surprisingly didn’t readily provide any answers. The Gear Head website did list “scalable DPI” as a feature of their many 2.4 GHz wireless mouse devices, but, at the same time offered no explanation as to what exactly this feature was. After a little more digging I found the answer.
Scalable DPI is a setting that, in essence, makes the mouse
action faster or slower with a single click of the DPI button.
Scalable DPI is a setting that, in essence, makes the mouse action faster or slower with a single click of the DPI button. It’s as if the slow setting doubles the screen DPI, making the physical mouse movement take twice as much desktop real estate, to get from point A to point B on the screen. One click later and the same movement halves the screen DPI, making the same movement take half the physical movement of the mouse on the desktop. I realize that I may have the mechanics of this feature reversed, however, I’m hoping you get the basic idea.
If you do a lot of graphic oriented work you owe it
to yourself to try one of these little devices.
What was the application of scalable DPI besides a change in speed and physical movement? The answer, for me, was a good one. There are times, apparently, when doing technical work (graphic arts, Photoshop, etc.) when a slower mouse speed allows for more precise control. Then there are times, like when doing the usual web-surfing, which a speedy mouse action would make for a faster, more fluid experience. I read this explanation and was immediately sold again. I’ve actually had times when using Photoshop or Premiere Pro that I wished the mouse action was a little less lively.
What little I could find on the internet about scalable DPI was divided into two camps. The lines were drawn between those that felt scalable DPI was a gimmick, and, those that once they had tried it, couldn’t go back to a regular, non-scalable DPI mouse.
First of all, clicking the DPI button for me immediately remedied the “slow mouse” issue that was originally annoying me. Secondly, once I’d become accustomed to the two speeds I immediately found myself in the “must-have scalable DPI” camp.
If you do a lot of graphic oriented work you owe it to yourself to try one of these little devices. The scalable DPI wireless mouse from Gear Head is an absolute gimmick-less, must-have device!