Input devices: precision control
TT eSports Level 10 M
The Level 10 M Mouse (£83), by BMW DesignWorks, is quite a beast. Built on an aluminium chassis it includes the usual three mouse buttons plus a scroll wheel. It features DPI switching with a set of fully configurable presets, which means it can be speeded up for general computer work and slowed down for more precise CAD control. It also features a host of customisable back/forward buttons either side of the unit. To adjust, the palm rest can be raised and lowered (by 5mm) as well as tilted to find the best working position, with a single allen key included in the rather fancy packaging.
Those with small hands might find it to be a bit on the big side, but for those with large bear paws, it will prove up to the job. It is a wired device, with a tangle free braided cable and enough LED lights to be mistaken for a Christmas decoration.
Mad Catz Cyborg R.A.T.7
The RAT7 (£67) is one of the most configurable products we have ever come across. It features a fully adjustable set of thumb and palm rests, supplied with rubberised alternatives. The device can be adjusted for weight in 30g increments by removing small weights in the unit.
In terms of customisation, it has the usual three buttons and scroll wheel, as well as a thumb activated back / forward buttons. DPI settings can be preset, located just behind the scroll wheel, as well as a target button that momentarily down-samples the tracking speed when the user is doing precision work. Again, the cable is braided resulting in no tangled cables if put into a bag. The same product is also available in a wireless configuration as the RAT9, if that’s your bag.
3dx SpaceMouse Pro
3Dconnexion’s 3D control devices are used in conjunction with a standard computer mouse, providing exact control when navigating 3D CAD or BIM models.
There is a comprehensive range, from the entry-level SpaceNavigator, right up to the high-end SpacePilot Pro. All devices feature a controller cap that gives the user free control over a 3D model on screen. It can be twisted, turned and pulled to navigate around the model freely, while the 2D mouse is used in the other hand to work directly with the CAD geometry on screen.
The SpaceMouse Pro is one of the most popular for desktop CAD — a slick, comfortable unit which has a wealth of common keyboard modifiers (control, alt, shift, escape etc) as well as fully customisable short cut keys that work on a per application basis.