Need to buy a gift for somebody who loves technology but you can’t afford the big ticket items?
Creative Labs Freepoint 5500
- Great wireless signal
- Ugly as sin
A fairly average wireless mouse that will more than satisfy most desktop users. If you need something to match your Gucci keyboard however this may not fit your décor.
Price$ 79.95 (AUD)
Let's just get it out of the way - if you can see the shots at the top of the screen, then you'll no doubt agree that is possibly the ugliest mouse ever made. If you were to take a stone; an ugly stone, paint it with stripes (to make it go faster of course!) and attach one of the most retro scroll wheels in existence then you might go some distance towards replicating the atrocity that passes for this mouse's design.
That said, aesthetics really aren't often the primary concern when purchasing a mouse, it is almost always ensconced in your hand anyway, and the Creative FreePoint 5500 is actually quite a solid product.
Unattractive as it may be, the design is reasonably comfortable. Whilst not as ergonomic as the newer Logitech and Microsoft designs which curve and mould to your grip, the 5500 is slightly grooved, and fits fairly well into a standard full hand grip.
Creative haven't trod any new ground here sticking to the traditional, and extremely effective standard button layout. There are two internet navigation buttons within easy reach of the thumb, your regular left and right mouse buttons and the rather old-school scroll wheel mentioned above. The wheel is the only component of note here. It actually rolls very smoothly, but it sports a wide, ridged design that we disliked when compared to something like the Microsoft Wireless 6000. We found all the controls to be responsive and ergonomically placed.
We found the optical sensor on the mouse to be extremely accurate for everyday use. As always, it won't compete with products like the Logitech G5 for gaming (and isn't designed to), but for desktop use it is great. Unlike other wireless mice, we encountered no interference of any kind throughout our testing. The signal and response was always crystal clear. We did dislike the fact that we actually had to click to get it out of sleep mode however. Most wireless mice go to sleep when not used for a small period to conserve battery power, but they reactivate the second you touch them. We always found ourselves dragging this mouse around for a full second or two before we realised we had to click to activate it, and if we happened to leave the cursor resting on an inappropriate place like the close icon, we had to close a program just to fire it back up again.
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