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Nyko’s Air Flo Mouse, a PC gaming novelty?

Following the release of the Air Flo controller for the PC, Nyko delivered another PC peripheral, the Nyko Air Flo Mouse. With the popularity of PC gaming, one would think such a device makes sense. Does the device deliver on its promise of a sweat-free gaming experience, or is the mouse just an expensive novelty?

Like the Air Flo joystick, the mouse works by dispensing cool air through four sets of systematically designed pores on the outer shell of the device. Two of those sets of pores are situated under your palm to disperse a maximum amount of airflow. The mouse also features two ventilated side grips that are designed to help eliminate fatigue and perspiration during usage.

The mouse has two ventilation settings, a high and low. Sadly, both settings don’t seem to disperse enough air to actually make a difference. An even higher ventilation setting would have probably done the trick. The switch itself, which is found underneath the device, could have been better positioned. Having to turn the mouse upside down in order to switch fan settings is quite bothersome.

One thing I noticed with the mouse after using it for a few weeks is that it now produces an annoying sound when initially started. The sound emanating from the device is similar to that of a defective fan. Luckily, the noise eventually goes away after a few seconds, but it’s still unacceptable for a retail product.

Another disappointing aspect of the mouse is its cord length. Out of curiosity, I measured the mouse’s cord with other mice that I had at home. Surprisingly, the Air Flo Mouse’s cord was exactly 1’2” shorter than your average mouse, which usually comes equipped with a 6’ foot cord. Perhaps Nyko should have thought of releasing a wireless version of the mouse instead.

Aesthetically, the mouse looks great. With its rubberized palm cushion and side grips, the Air Flo Mouse looks like a sleek and modern device. It’s actually a nice-looking mouse that would look great with a custom PC setup.

The designers of the mouse actually sacrificed comfort in order to obtain a modernized look. The mouse’s ergonomics just don’t feel right. The button positioning feels pretty awkward, the button setup should have been stretched to fit the mouse’s width. The side vents can also be quite bothersome and are utterly uncomfortable.

Negativity aside, the Nyko Air Flo Mouse is an interesting concept that has a lot of potential. I am actually anxious to see the next rev of the device to see whether or not Nyko improved the concept. The next iteration could greatly benefit from having some improvements such as wireless support, a better airflow dispersement system and a more comfortable feel. For now, save your hard earned cash for either a Logitech MX510 or the latest Microsoft Microsoft Intelli Explorer mouse. The Nyko Air Flo mouse retails for approximately $30.

Andre Barriault lives in Dieppe and is co-editor at the gaming website www.XGR.com – Originally published in [here] magazine in Oct. 2004

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