2 posts in this topic

Hello,

 

I recently received a ThinkPad X1 Wireless Touch Mouse from Lenovo for review purposes, and thought I would share my impressions and opinions with my fellow Neowinians.

 

Design, Aesthetics and Packaging
The ThinkPad X1 Wireless Touch Mouse (which I will hereafter refer to as "mouse") is a wireless presentation mouse (2.4GHz USB dongle and Bluetooth 4.0) that is the latest in a line of wireless mouses from Lenovo (ThinkPad Precision Wireless Mouse, ThinkPad Bluetooth Laser Mouse) tailored to match the design of their ThinkPad business laptops.  This mouse, however, is meant to be paired with Lenovo's ThinkPad X1 Carbon, which is the company's high-end Ultrabook® model.  The mouse will work with any other computer, of course, but it is pretty clear they come from the same design family.

 

All of the ThinkPads, plus parts and accessories I've ever bought from Lenovo came in brown cardboard packaging with labels filled with part numbers and bar codes. Since they are geared for business use, this is not too surprising.  So, I was a bit surprised when I opened the package from Lenovo and found the mouse in a logoed presentation box with a design faintly reminiscent of Japanese bento box, which is clearly a nod to the original ThinkPad design.  It reminded me of the box my Microsoft Zune came in. [Box Shots: UI6Ca78.jpgOne, dvT47N7.jpgTwo, T9rWQFn.jpgThree, BQ1UzA1.jpgFour]

 

Opening the box reveals a note from Lenovo's Chief Design Officer, with a couple of sentences about Lenovo's design ethos.  While Lenovo (and IBM before it) have long been chided for the ThinkPad's boxy look, it is pretty clear there is a strong design language there, and the note hammers this home.  It is pretty clear the mouse is meant to be an aspirational accessory, just like Microsoft's own Surface line of accessories, or Apple's Mac ones. [Shots: LbgAtb2.jpgNotecard, 0fTi7tl.jpgDetail]

 

Removing the card and a sheet of foam rubber gives you the mouse, which is nestled in a foam rubber cut-out.  In the photo the mouse looks more dark gray than black, however, this is more due to the awesome fluorescent lights above and my smartphone's flash.  The slightly-raised red touch strip is used for scrolling and as acts as the border between mouse button one and mouse button two.  In the upper left corner, you can see four gray dots.  These are white LEDs which light up when the mouse is charging, to let you know battery status, Bluetooth pairing and other indicators.  [Shot: fuVHc0I.jpgMouse in box, RHEm3yP.jpgMouse removed]

 

Beneath the foam rubber and some card stock is a slim USB charging cable for the mouse and instructions for use.  The USB charging cable is about 39 inches [99cm] long from end-to-end, with a USB Type-A connector at one end for power, and a USB Type Micro-B connector at the other for plugging into the mouse for charging.  The Micro-B connector is as a right angle and the edges of the connector beveled to make it easier to remove.  The slimness of the cable is likely due to the fact that is only has to supply USB 1.1 levels of power to the mouse for charging (+5VDC, 500mAh).  You can use any USB cable with a Micro-B connector to the charge the mouse, so if you already keep one near your computer, you don't need to use the Lenovo-supplied one.  There is no driver disc in the box, but given its dimensions, plus the fact this is meant to be used with an Ultrabook®, this is not too surprising.  Drivers can be downloaded from Lenovo's support web site.  [Shots:  ZPMCa99.jpg?1USB cable, rySePzb.jpg?1Detail]

 

Once out of the box, it's easy to see (and feel) that the mouse is a combination of straight and curved lines, with a mixture of rounded and chamfered edges to minimize any sharp angles from cutting into your hand when in use as either a traditional mouse on a flat surface, or upside-down while presenting.  Lenovo lists the dimensions as 3.7×2.2×0.8 inches [95×56.8×20.4 mm] LWH.  To give you an idea of how diminutive that is, I have taken a shot with a U.S. quarter for scale. 
[Shots: QPOp26p.pngVertical, QtzS7Q2.pngHorizontal, 19U51vx.pngSide, j1JNGRW.pngSide with quarter]

 

Turning the mouse over, you can see the power switch, a strip with page forward and backwards buttons for advancing your presentation, while the lower half functions as a TrackPad.  The assembly for the mouse's optics is not visible because it is covered by the power switch when closed.  Turning on the mouse reveals the optics.  [Shots: pwVibaw.jpg?1Mouse obverse, wIVkg4d.jpgDetail]

 

Having looked at both the top and bottom of the mouse, you may have noticed that there is no USB charging port visible, not to mention other issues or import such as a way to toggle between 2.4GHz and Bluetooth modes, or even the 2.4GHz radio USB dongle.  That is because they are stored cleverly inside the mouse!  The mouse actually slides apart by about 0.7 inches [18mm], revealing a mode select switch, dongle storage and Micro-B USB charging port on the now-visible underside of the top half.  The dongle is held in place via magnet, which is (1) the first time I can recall seeing this; and (2) I already like much better than clips or friction since those can eventually wear out.  Not to waste any space, the newly-visible top portion of the bottom half contains yet even more regulatory notices.

 

Testing and Usability

So, I've spent an inordinate amount of time talking about the design of the Lenovo X1 Wireless Touch Mouse and the philosophy behind it. But you shouldn’t buy a mouse for how it looks, you should buy it for how well it works. So, with that in mind, how was my experience using the mouse?  To investigate this, I initially began testing the mouse with a Lenovo ThinkPad P50, which is a workstation laptop, using both the 2.4 GHz radio USB dongle and Bluetooth.  It occurred to me, though, that this might not be an ideal platform for testing what is supposed to be a wireless mouse for presentations, so I switched to a Lenovo ThinkPad X250, which is an Ultrabook® laptop and more likely to be used for presentations.  Because the mouse isn’t just for Lenovo ThinkPads, I expanded the testing to include a couple of desktop systems as well:

 

 

As it turns out, there was no functional difference between using any of the laptops or desktops, all of which ran Windows 10.  Both desktops have on-board Bluetooth, however, the ASUS motherboard’s is based on the older Bluetooth 2.1 specification and was not compatible, leaving the radio dongle as the sole connectivity option.  There seemed to be no difference in behavior regardless of which wireless interface was used from as far away as ten (10) feet [about three (3) meters].

 

I let the mouse charge overnight, and used it for about fifteen (15) hours over the course of three weeks.  I am unsure of the capacity of the internal battery, but it did not need to be recharged during this time.

 

The mouse was identified as a generic mouse and started working immediately when the dongle was plugged in or paired via Bluetooth, and seemed to work fine as a regular two-button mouse in this fashion.  As previously noted, downloading the drivers from Lenovo’s web site installs the Lenovo Mouse Suite, which allows further customization of the mouse’s functionality.  As the ThinkPad X1 Wireless Touch Mouse is geared towards presentations, some of the features are specific to Microsoft PowerPoint. 

[Shots: u7IG99H.pngMain, EFJOS1G.pngButton Detail, VDyit0c.pngPointer Properties, KeblMsL.pngWheel Properties]

 

I used the mouse on a variety of surfaces, and found that it worked as expected in various environments such as the white plastic counter of a conference booth, desks (wood, beige and black plastic), a white tablecloth, and even a beige metal filing cabinet.  It did not work on transparent plastic or glass desks, but this is a limitation of all laser mouses.  In both cases, using a generic mouse pad or even a blank sheet of copier/laser printer paper solved that problem.

 

For business software, I tested the mouse using Microsoft Windows 10 and Microsoft Office 2016.  I used Microsoft Outlook to answer email, Microsoft PowerPoint to edit an existing presentation and present it, and Microsoft Word, where I typed up this review.  At no time did I experience any problems with input lag, mouse pointer accuracy or button-clicking.  When I switched to wireless presenting mode with the mouse help upside-down, I did accidentally hit the Page Forward button several times when I first began presenting before getting used to the mouse.

 

For gaming, I tried playing ARK Survival Evolved, Borderlands 2, and Borderlands: The Pre-Sequel.  Again, the mouse performed flawlessly.  I did, however, notice some discomfort in my hand after about 45 minutes’ worth of gameplay due to the mouse’s size small size and chamfered edges.

 

Closing Thoughts

It is important to remember that at 3.7×2.2×0.8 inches, the Lenovo X1 Wireless Touch Mouse is one of the smallest travel mouses on the market, let alone one with integrated presentation features.  As such, it occupies something of a niche market and is priced accordingly (about $65, street).  It works equally well with all computers, not just ThinkPads, provided your computer supports Bluetooth 4.0 or via the included 2.4GHz radio dongle.

 

If you need a very small, very lightweight mouse for travel that includes presenting, it would be hard to beat the Lenovo X1 Wireless Touch Mouse.  However, users with larger hands may find it difficult to use because of its size and shape, including the relatively small control surface areas when the mouse is used in wireless presentation mode.  Likewise, it’s size and shape do not lend itself to prolonged gaming.  But, that said, this is a device designed for professionals and not gamers, which have very different needs when it comes to mouses.

 

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Wireless Touch Mouse web pages and documentation:

 

Purchase links (non-affiliate):

 

NOTE:  This mouse was provided to me by Lenovo.  The opinions expressed are 100% my own. 

 

Regards,

 

Aryeh Goretsky

 

Edited by goretsky
embedded all the linked images
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This a nice and organized review. Well done, Aryeh.

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