Gyration has been churning out air mice for some time now, with the Go Plus on test another entry into the range offering access from up to 30 meters away and a wide range of custom configurations through the supplied software.
The device hasn’t changed much and still offers the same layout, elongated design and ability to double as a (rather uncomfortable) conventional desk-based mouse. The Air Mouse is really wasted until it takes to the air though, where a trigger-button housed underneath can be held down to move the mouse cursor on-screen by waving it about.
In addition to this, a central control atop the unit can be held to enable a series of swiping movements (eight directions in total) which can be assigned to different commands. You could, for example, skip through pages of a presentation by waving to the left or right with this technique, and two additional commands can be tied to horizontal or vertical shaking, just in case these initial eight aren’t enough to remember.
Specific areas of the screen, namely the borders and corners, can also be used to execute commands by hovering the cursor over them for a configurable amount of time, so there’s certainly no shortage of options when it comes to retaining a good degree of control over a computer.
All of this is configured with the GyroTools software, which splits potential commands across a range of categories including MCE navigation, Internet, PowerPoint, Media control and Windows. All the actions you’d need are here, and they can be allocated by drag and drop or by selecting from a list, with settings saveable under custom profiles for easy access later. We were generally impressed both by how easy the Air Mouse was to configure and by how responsive it was to use, though you might have to tweak the Windows mouse pointer speed settings as, for some reason, this can’t be done through the supplied software.
As for the Go Plus’ capabilities in the range of environments suggested, there can be little doubting its effectiveness for presentations and we got on quite well with Windows Media Center, but could see less appeal for browsing the Internet, gaming and general Windows operation. We were left doubting Gyration’s claims that the Go Plus is versatile enough to appeal in these environments then, and any suggestion that it might be capable of replacing a conventional mouse in terms of all-round operation would certainly be wide of the mark.
If you’ve tried Gyration’s method of mouse control before and haven’t enjoyed the experience, don’t expect anything different here. It is a bit of an acquired taste and while it doesn’t take too long to get used to, it’s only really effective for the applications described above. In this light it works quite well though, and is a tidy, comfortable setup with a versatile range of custom settings and responsive operation.