Christmas came early for me this year—Avante Garde Gifts was kind enough to send over a review copy of their latest novelty mouse, the BMW Mini Cooper. I’d previously reviewed their Porsche Motormouse, and was enamored with its sharp aesthetics. Unfortunately, I can’t recommend the Mini Coop. While a sharp-looking piece, it’s wholly unsuitable for extended web surfing.
The “Motormouse” is a 2.4 GHz wireless device, replete with the standard “plug and forget” USB receiver. Installation is simple—plug in the USB receiver, and within 5-10 seconds, you’re good to go. Rather than an on/off button, the Motormouse goes into “hibernation mode” after an extended period of dormancy (30 seconds). A left mouse click wakes it up. From here, it goes downhill.
My review copy of the Porsche had an option to adjust the sensitivity setting. By holding down both mouse buttons, you could switch between 400/800/1600 DPI. I thought this was great—I’m used to a much lower sensitivity setting (than the default of 1600). According to the company, all new Motormice (including the Mini Cooper and new Porsches) are now stuck at the default setting of 1200 DPI. Those used to a high sensitivity setting might not care, but I was disappointed.
The mouse is hit-or-miss—your penchant for the Mini Coop Motormouse largely depends on your proclivity for the Mini Coop itself. Fans will appreciate the meticulous attention to detail. Others will loath the ergonomically-deficient design. Compared to the sleek lines of the Porsche, the Mini Coop’s boxy shape is cumbersome. It doesn’t feel comfortable in the hand, and I can’t imagine using it for extended web sessions.
The Mini Cooper Motormouse is a faithful recreation of the Mini Coop, down to the smallest detail. Unfortunately, this works against it. Mini Coop fans may overlook its clumsy feel and default DPI setting. All others should skip it. If you’re in the market for a novelty mouse, I’d recommend the Porsche Motormouse, instead.