- EverglidePrice - £15.99
Thermodynamics For Dummies
Wires are the bane of a PC owner's existence. There are no less than a dozen of them coming out of the back of my machine, ranging from power lines and serial cables to audio leads and USB wires. And in accordance with the laws of thermodynamics, which state that the amount of entropy in any closed system will rise over time, so you can be sure that left to themselves those pesky wires will tangle themselves up into an impenetrable maze.
The problem comes when one of those wires is connected to your mouse, which is the primary controller for most games, from real-time strategy and first person shooters to adventure and role-playing games. Companies have long tried to perfect wireless rodents and keyboards, but these are still far from reliable. Trying to play Quake 3 Arena with wireless peripherals at the ECTS trade show a few months ago proved to be an unmitigated disaster, with the countless mobile phones and laptop computers in the area providing so much interference that key presses were missed and the mouse froze up completely at random intervals.
And so we come back to the humble mouse, chained to the back of your PC by a rubber coated tail. If your desk is as untidy as mine, you have no doubt had your fragging interrupted by that wire getting tangled up in other wires, or snagging on piles of papers and CD cases. Then there is the constant threat of it somehow managing to wrap itself around a cup and spilling the contents into your keyboard.
Now Everglide think they have the answer to this age-old conundrum, in the form of the Mouse Bungee. When you first see it the doohickey looks vaguely ridiculous, made up of a plastic base with a steel ball embedded in it, with a pair of flexible steel springs emerging like antennae from the top of it.
Installation is simple. You work out how much wire you need (usually six to twelve inches is enough), then press down on the plastic clips at the top of the springs to open them up and slip the wire in at the appropriate point. Finally push the wire into the other clips further down the neck to keep it in place, and position the Mouse Bungee on your desk. And that's it.
What the Mouse Bungee does is to hold the short length of mouse cord between its tip and the back of your mouse above your desktop, preventing the cable from snagging on anything. The springs that form the neck of the device give you enough freedom of movement in all directions to keep all but the most violent of rodent abusers satisfied, and because the wire is clipped in place it doesn't matter what happens to the rest of the length from the base of the Bungee to the rear of your case. Meanwhile the steel counterweight makes sure that the device stays relatively steady.
Although it can be a little disconcerting at first having your mouse's tail dangling in the air, within a couple of days you won't even notice the Mouse Bungee and having it there becomes so natural that you will wonder how you ever survived without one for so long.
A rather drastic stress test involving a magazine, a laptop computer, several press releases, a dozen CD cases and a DVD failed to interrupt my gaming, and it is only when the piles of kipple on your desk get so close to the back of your mouse that the stiff base of the tail starts to hit things that you will have any real problems. Even stacking rubbish around the Mouse Bungee itself had surprisingly little effect on the movement of my mouse, and if your PC is surrounded by junk this could prove to be a real life-saver.
The style conscious will also be happy to hear that the device comes in a wide range of colours. As well as the standard solid black and white models, there are also iMac-friendly translucent red, blue, green, purple and orange versions. Fruity.
The real question is, do I need a Mouse Bungee? And the answer is, probably not. At £15.99 it's a rather expensive alternative to keeping your desk tidy, though the freedom of movement you get from using it is certainly impressive.
But if you are serious about your gaming and already have a precision mouse and a space-age surface to run it over, there's no point in compromising your performance by letting your wires get tangled in the middle of a vital game. The Mouse Bungee does its job perfectly, and although it won't improve your gaming, it should prevent those annoying moments when you try to move your mouse only to discover that the cord has become stuck under a magazine or somehow wrapped itself around your joystick.
At the end of the day it comes down to priorities - is your peace of mind worth £15.99, or would you rather risk the occasional mouse cord snagging incident? If you're still undecided, Everglide also offer a range of "Total Solution" packages for under £40, which include a colour co-ordinated set of mouse mat, wrist rest and Mouse Bungee for the ultimate in rodent luxury.