The world is getting more and more mobile when it comes to technology that used to be centered on the home computer. More and more people are now depending on laptops to do what used to only be attainable via the desktop at home. While this can partly be attributed to the fact that laptops are now just as capable as desktops when it comes to basic functions like internet surfing, word processing, and the like, the move to mobile is also for convenience whenever you are away from home.
With this in mind, Cooler Master's Choiix line of products caters to the travelling laptop and mobile device user. The two products we are looking at today, the Choiix Cruiser mouse and Power Fort portable charger, look to enhance your mobile experience without taking up a whole lot of space in your bag. Let's take a look at what these two products have to offer.
First up is the Cooler Master Choiix Cruiser wireless mouse. This simple, easy to use mouse is built to pair with your laptop for those people that prefer a mouse to a track pad when it comes to cursor function. I will admit it; I strongly dislike track pads. They're generally slow, clunky, and just not a lot of fun to use. Whenever I'm working on a laptop, plugging in a mouse is usually the first thing I do.
The Cruiser comes packaged with 2 AAA batteries for power, the USB adapter, and a small mousepad. While the mousepad is pretty to look at, the functionality of the Blue Trace technology in the laser renders the mousepad unnecessary, as you will see later.
The Cruiser is a pretty simple mouse when it comes to functionality. You have your two buttons up top as well as a clickable scroll wheel for basic mousing functions. The Cruiser is pretty small to make it easier to throw in your laptop bag without creating a huge bulge.
The USB adapter follows the same route, with there being not much more to it that the USB connection itself and a small piece connected to it for insertion and removal from the machine you are using it with. The Cruiser even has a built in place to store the USB adapter so that the two are always together and you don't lose the adapter. This also allows the Cruiser to have an adjustable height which I found preferable to using the mouse at its normal level.
The bottom of the mouse gives you a look at what makes it work. The slot for two AAA batteries to be installed has a small ribbon that allows the batteries to be easily removed as they stack on top of each other when installed. The Connect button is used if for some reason the mouse loses communication with your computer. An On/Off switch helps save batteries when you're not using the mouse. The switch at the bottom releases the adjustable ergonomic setting and USB adapter storage area, and four small feet help the mouse glide smoothly across your chosen mousing surface.
The Blue Trace sensor that you see in the middle makes this a truly portable mouse. It is designed to work on nearly any surface that you would want to use it on. It's designed to work on metal, wood, tile, carpet, marble, and most types of glass. The claims are no joke as I was not able to find a surface either at home or at work that this mouse did not track well on. I threw everything from shag carpeting to a glass coffee table at it and the Cruiser didn't even flinch.
With smartphones becoming all the rage these days, one drawback to them is they love to suck the batteries dry as quickly as possible. Other portable devices like mp3 players and Bluetooth headsets can also run dry during inopportune times like in the middle of a flight. The Choiix Power Fort is a streamlined solution for those who have a mobile device like a smartphone that may need a recharge before you can get to an AC adapter or other charging solution.
The Power Fort comes with a USB to mini-USB cable for charging the Power Fort from anything with USB ports like a desktop or a laptop as well as a USB to micro USB plug for charging anything that uses this standard like many smartphones now on the market. The Power Fort even doubles as an LED flashlight as you can see below; it's not very bright but can get the job done in spots like trying to get your key in the door at night and this is the only thing you have spinning around in your pocket.
Both the Choiix Cruiser mouse and Power Fort worked as advertised as I put them through their paces. The Cruiser, although a little small for extended use past some internet browsing and email checking, truly does track on any surface that I could find that wasn't completely ridiculous. The 1600 DPI sensor means there's minimal picking up of the mouse on most resolutions that you will find on laptops. The buttons click solidly and are fairly quiet.
I used the Power Fort for a few charges of my new HTC Desire smartphone that I recently picked up about a month ago. As much as I love the phone, this bad boy definitely likes to eat through the battery. The Power Fort was able to get me from a completely dead battery to about 90% in around 3 hours, which is within the given specs and it even had enough juice left after that to give my Zune a nice charge as well before running out of power.
The Choiix Cruiser mouse can be had for around $30 USD after figuring in shipping costs on Newegg and comes in a variety of colors like white, black, and red. The Power Fort is closer to $35 depending on where you go. Both prices are pretty much in line with similar products, and both are solid buys if you are looking for sleek and portable peripherals to tag team with your mobile devices.