Is it a calculator over a mouse, or a mouse under a calculator? The Canon Mark 1 M features such dual functionalities, it would have made my accountant teacher jump up in glee and my exam board mad with rage. The double agent Mark 1 is possibly the most unique mouse I have seen, packing in a fully functional calculator and a 1200 DPI laser in an eye pleasing white exterior that should match most apples and windows.
You can easily mistaken the Mark 1 as an Apple product, though. It takes a lot of inspiration from the Apple Magic Mouse, with a smooth white top plastic cover and a steel grey bottom casing. The first function of the mouse is to work as a calculator and the Mark 1 does it well (not that it’s a ground breaking technology...). The buttons are big, soft to press and are differentiated really well. Coupled with a size that easily fits in your palm you can literally use it as a normal calculator. And I must admit this is possibly the best calculator I have used – which is quite ironic that a calculator had to be slapped on a mouse to be ‘just right’. The best part about the mouse, for notebook users, is that it can be made to work as a normal numpad as well.
As a mouse, the 1200 DPI should be sufficient for most uses and purposes. On a small 10” notebook with 1368x768 resolution, the mouse worked perfectly okay for normal web browsing and paint work. However, the mouse isn’t exactly comfortable. Firstly, because it’s quite long and stretches the entire length from my index finger to my wrist. Secondly, the elevated calculator buttons tend to…err, itch. Not to mention that you might press a button or two when you did not intend to. Imagine screwing up your entire balance sheet because a button press escaped through your itchy palm.
Another drawback of the Mark 1 is that it does not come with a receiver. Running on Bluetooth, your PC will require having the same technology to pair the device. It might not be an inconvenience for most new notebooks, but those who are still rocking their old lap tops might suddenly find themselves in the company of a shiny new paper weight.
The Canon Mark 1 M is a decent mouse if you can imagine up a few uses for its built-in calculator. Of course, it is not meant to be used by mainstream on-the-go notebook consumers. It will have its niche audience, probably from a specific profession, and for them it might be truly useful if they can imagine themselves using one.