I have to give credit to the marketing folks at Iogear that came up with the idea of creating a germ-free wireless laser mouse -- I mean, what other feature can you add to a peripheral that makes it appealing to write about, yet most technology reviewers can't "put to the test"?
I mean, if I had a budget like the guys at MythBusters, I could hire some lab guys, spread some germs on the mouse and then wait a few days to see if the mouse can actually repel the germs, but alas the people at Network World haven't given me that type of budget yet.
So like most reviewers, I'll chuckle at the idea of a germ-free mouse and just mention that the mouse surface is made with a Titanium Dioxide and silver nano-particle compound that aims to repel bacteria, fungi and algae, according to Iogear.
Beyond that, I can say the mouse installed easily on my Windows XP notebook -- just attach the USB dongle and go through the WinXP driver install (it installed automatically).
The mouse is a smaller-size mouse -- making it good for a desktop or packed in a laptop bag for traveling. The laser capabilities mean a more "accurate" mouse in terms of applications that require it, and the laser mouse also lets you mouse on non-typical surfaces, including a glass table.
The funny part about the mouse is reading the company's disclaimer about the actual germ-repelling features: "Germ-free properties may not protect users or others against bacteria, viruses, germs, or other disease organisms. This device cannot be used as antibiotic or antiviral medication. Do not ingest the surface material of the device under any circumstances. If you have symptoms of bacteria or viral infection please consult with your physician and seek medical attention immediately. This device does not eliminate the entire universe of bacteria or viruses. It is not a replacement for cleanliness and good personal hygiene. Please keep your hands and work area clean for optimal protection."
Still, this could make an interesting gift for your favorite germophobe on your holiday list. At the least, it's a good travel mouse and a conversation starter for road warriors.
Reviewed by Keith Shaw