The mobilemouse from Eclipse is a laser mouse designed as a conveniently portable companion for laptop users on the road.

Like the elegantly bendable Microsoft Arc Touch, the mobilemouse has a transforming action that lets it switch between flat (for ease of portability) and raised (for hand comfort). In this case there's a rounded-off metal bar - somewhat reminiscent of the carrying bar at the top of old Apple Mac G5s - that folds down and locks in place, using two buttons on the hinge.

Although the boxy shape sacrifices a little comfort even when raised by the folding bar (we're used to curvier models), this is a good compromise that gives you the best of both worlds.

Eclipse mobilemouse: Design

The rest of the design is mostly pleasing. The mobilemouse feels sturdily and expensively constructed, and it looks good - shiny black on the top, and matt silver round the side.

It's a touch short on buttons, by the standards of some desktop peripherals - you really just get the two main ones plus an extra on the left, since the other side button controls power and pairs you up with the dongle (most scrollwheels can be pressed for an extra button, too, but that doesn't apply to the little scrollball here).

I don't mind being limited to three buttons, especially in a portable mouse, but it's a funny place to put the power button. It doesn't need to be so accessible, surely, and just gets in the way of another button that does.

Eclipse mobilemouse

Flipping brilliant: From this...

Eclipse mobilemouse

...to this

Getting back to that scrollball, though - it's a bit of a disappointment in ways other than not being pressable. Maybe this is something that's fundamental to such things - this reviewer has never seen a scrollball he liked, and that includes the old Apple Mighty Mouse - but they always seem to be too small for comfortable use. Many scrollwheels are chunky and grabbable, but scrollballs always seem to be fiddly little nipple-looking annoyances.

So the mobilemouse's scrollball is small, then. But it's also plasticky (its dull black material standing out against the silver surround and gleaming black of the rest of the mouse top), and both looks and feels cheap. A shame, really.

But other than reservations about the scrollball - which are largely aesthetic, since it's as functional as these things ever are - our only other issue is that the battery cover on the bottom comes off very easily, and feels like it might drop off accidentally at an inopportune moment. But that's it.

Mouse reviews

Eclipse mobilemouse: Performance

And the meat and drink of a mouse's working life gives the Eclipse no problems at all. The (2.4GHz) wireless was exemplary, with good range and reliability, and we like the neat slot for the tiny nano receiver hidden in the battery compartment, even if we've seen this before on a few other portable mice.

More importantly, the laser tracking works accurately on a good range of surfaces, which could be critical to a road warrior cut off from the comforts and reliable desktop of the office. The mobilemouse was equally at home on a shiny desk, rough-textured hardback or even a trousered leg. It wasn't really up to glass, the most difficult surface we test on (only Logitech's DarkField-equipped models seem capable of that), but its ability to register any movement all on this surface puts it above average in the laser community.

Eclipse mobilemouse: Specs

  • 1,600dpi laser tracker
  • 2.4GHz wireless (10m range)
  • two main buttons, two side buttons (one for power/pairing) and scrollball
  • 1 x AAA battery (non-rechargeable battery included)
  • carry case
  • 1,600dpi laser tracker
  • 2.4GHz wireless (10m range)
  • two main buttons, two side buttons (one for power/pairing) and scrollball
  • 1 x AAA battery (non-rechargeable battery included)
  • carry case

OUR VERDICT

A couple of quibbles aside – the Christmas-cracker scrollball and loose battery cover – the Eclipse mobilemouse is a functional, smart-looking travel mouse. The flat-box, squarish shape sacrifices a little comfort even when raised by the folding bar, but overall this is a solid compromise between portability and usability.

Find the best price