Lenovo has a wide range of computer accessories, and recently they sent me an example of the new Lenovo YOGA Mouse for me to review. Lenovo tells me that, up to the end of December 2016, North American users can get a 25% discount off the listed price by using the code YOGASOCIAL in the online Lenovo shop.
It’s designed as a travel mouse, and has a few tricks up its sleeve, which I’ll cover later.
It comes in Lenovo’s “Champagne Gold” colour, which makes it a natural to pair with my Lenovo Yoga 900s:
It’s a wireless mouse, offering two modes to connect to your PC or laptop: 2.4 GHz wireless, or Bluetooth 4.0. The wireless dongle can be stored inside the mouse when travelling, or when Bluetooth is being used for the connection:
Lenovo supplies a USB to micro-USB cable with the mouse, since the mouse is fitted with a rechargeable battery. Lenovo claims that the battery will have a 1 month life from a 2 hour charge. I don’t think that the battery itself is replaceable, and Lenovo gives no indication of what the total expected life of the battery might be.
At the bottom end of the mouse is the switch to select the wireless mode (and Bluetooth pairing), the micro-USB charging port, and the power switch that, when held in for two seconds, turns the mouse on or off.
The two halves of the mouse rotate 180° about the central hinge to transform it from the flat travel mode into the mouse mode. When in flat mode, it can also be used as a remote control for a media player or for presentations. Rotating the mouse into the flat mode causes what was the underside top panel of the mouse to become uppermost. At the same time, this surface now becomes touch-sensitive, and it lights up with the controls. Pressing the central mousebar switches between the two modes of the remote: media or presentation.
Personally, I find the media mode to be the more useful of the two, and that’s down to the fact that the mouse uses touch for these modes, and not physical buttons. When I’m giving presentations, I’m looking at the audience or the presentation. Then it’s far easier to have a control in my hand that has physical buttons to control a presentation. I can feel the button and not have to physically glance at the control to ensure that I’m touching the right place on the mouse. I found it far too easy to accidentally touch a control to cause my presentation to jump forwards (or backwards!). The other thing I miss in this mouse when it’s in presenter mode is that it doesn’t have a laser pointer, and I certainly wouldn’t want to juggle two devices when giving presentations.
I’m afraid that after trying the YOGA Mouse out in presentation mode, I very quickly went back to my trusty (and ancient) Acom Data USB Wireless Laser Pointer Mouse.
In media mode, the YOGA Mouse is much more useful – it is no problem to glance at the mouse to control media playback and volume by touch.
As a traditional mouse, the YOGA Mouse works well for me.
The left and right mouse buttons are both physical switches, which I like. The central mousebar is both a physical switch, and a touch-sensitive surface. When in mouse mode, it can act as a scrollwheel by stroking along the bar. Pressing the section with the Windows logo on it will bring up the Windows Start menu on your PC.
When necessary, it can be charged from a PC or laptop fitted with a USB charging port. When the battery is getting low, the indicator just below the Windows logo will starting blinking with an amber colour. Just don’t expect to use it as a wired mouse while it’s being charged – the micro-USB connector lifts the mouse from the desk surface. It’s best charged when in flat mode as shown here, and the charging indicator changes from amber to white when fully charged:
In summary, I found this to be a perfectly good travel mouse. It’s got an elegant and slim design, and is flexible in its connectivity options. The media mode is a clever idea, but the presenter mode leaves something to be desired in my view – a clever idea in theory, but one which in practice falls short; at least for me. Aside from this, it’s a nice device, and one that should readily appeal to those of us who insist on using a mouse with our laptops.