Comfortable mouse for any size hand. (August 10th, 2010)
Product Manufacturer: OfficeMax (OMX Inc.)
Price: $16.99 US
- Fits well in most hands.
- Comfortable to use.
- Inexpensive spare mouse.
- Cannot program buttons on Mac.
- Sometimes cursor jumps around when not engaged.
- Half the buttons do not work on the Mac.
- Drivers not Windows 7 compatible.
Recently OfficeMax introduced the Engage Wired Optical Mouse for Mac or PC. This medium-sized mouse looks larger than it feels in the hand. I was surprised at how comfortably it fit into my small hands and people with large hands like its feel also.
There are no pixel or DPI ratings listed for the mouse in the press release or on the site; it is simply marketed as “stylish and economical.” Based on the mouse’s movement and precision, my guess it is a standard 400DPI mouse. OfficeMax advertises that this reasonably priced mouse includes drivers on the included CD. Upon opening the package, the CD presented the first problem: The software ships on a mini-disc, which doesn't work with the slot-loading CD drives included on all Macs. You can only use a mini-disc on a tray-loading system, which for the Mac dates back a few years. I did load the CD onto an old Mac to copy the relevant files, but there are no Mac drivers on the CD. All the files are for PC and Windows-related systems. User reviews on the OfficeMax site report that the included software is not Windows 7 compatible either. So, while it is compatible with the Mac, that compatibility is limited to two buttons and the vertical scroll wheel.
There are two side programmable buttons on the Engage mouse, but the Mac OS X built-in mouse preference pane didn't recognize them. Another button sits behind the scroll wheel, but I have no idea what task it should perform. Without drivers, you cannot program the mouse buttons, which leaves me to wonder how they think it's completely Mac compatible. It works, but you just can't use the two side buttons, which certainly reduces its usefulness.
I also noticed some odd behavior while working with the Engage Optical Mouse. If I hold the mouse in one position, the cursor jumps around or stutters. I’ve never had any mouse exhibit this behavior. Sometimes, it scrolls the whole length of a web page when I click in the scroll bar area, instead of moving it an inch or one page, as expected. While this annoying behavior doesn’t intrude on my work, it should not happen. Thankfully, the mouse did not jump around, or scroll too far when I used it in Photoshop CS5 to edit photos. I did have a little trouble when I wanted to precisely select pixels and found I had to magnify the photo more than usual, which has to do with its DPI rating (precision), as mentioned above.
The Engage Wired Optical Mouse comes in a pleasing blue or black color and retails for $16.99, which is an acceptable price. Even with all the problems mentioned, I actually liked this mouse and found it a reasonable solution as a spare or emergency mouse. I do not recommend it as your primary mouse. The Engage mouse also comes in a wireless variety. User comments on the OfficeMax site report similar problems with the wireless version and report that the receiver breaks easily. Engage Wireless Optical Mouse comes in purple, red, black, and bronze for $19.99.