The A4Tech NB-30 Battery Free Wireless Optical Mouse is the first product of its kind that makes use of a technology called Cross Inductive Power. By using Cross Inductive Power, the NB-30 receives its power from an electro-magnetically charged mouse pad and provided A4Tech with the technology to develop the world's first wireless and battery-free optical mouse.
A4Tech NB-30 Battery Free Wireless Optical Mouse
A4Tech designs and manufactures keyboards, mice, and game controllers for the personal computer. Founded in 1987, A4Tech is headquartered in Taiwan and has approximately 3,000 employees. The company reported revenue of $150 million in 2003 and lists Radio Shack as one of its major customers. A4Tech's products can be purchased online at Ergoshops.com.
HOW IT WORKS
Basically, power is generated from the mouse pad, which is appropriately named the Ingenious Pad. An electric current is created by passing a small coil of wire through a magnetic field. When the mouse pad was placed near a metal surface, a slight pull towards the surface confirmed the presence of a low-powered magnet.
NB-30 Optical Mouse & Ingenious Pad
The mouse pad uses a USB connection, which serves as the power source for the magnetic surface. The top of the mouse pad houses a wireless receiver
The NB-30 has the standard right and left mouse buttons and a scroll wheel. The right and left buttons are styled in such a way that they blend in with the body of the mouse and the scroll wheel has a firm resistance to movement.
While the eye-catching style is a bonus, the NB-30 is not ergonomically contoured and lacks a forth and fifth mouse button. The additional buttons are featured on the NB-50 model. The mouse uses a 620 dots-per-inch sensor and has a built-in LED that automatically adjusts in brightness to match the movement of the mouse.
A4Tech NB-30 Battery Free Optical Mouse
The NB-30 took some getting used since it is extremely light. Combined with the mouse pad's smooth surface, the precise movements need to pinpoint on-screen positions were initially difficult to accomplish. For those who have a tendency to lean into their mouse, as this reviewer does, missing clicks was a common occurrence. The firmness of the scroll wheel was the only glaring issue since the mouse would often move when the scroll wheel was being used.
Overall, for casual use, the NB-30 performs as advertised. It has a smooth movement that, once adjusted, is refreshingly light. With a MSRP of $39.99, it's priced just north of the competition, but the money saved on battery expenses should give Logitech and Microsoft something to think about.
For gaming, the NB-30 is limited by the smallish size of the mouse pad and the lack of a forth and fifth click. Yet, not having to worry about replacing batteries or placing the mouse in a recharging cradle are desirable. If A4Tech pays attention to customer feedback from the NB-30, future versions may end up being a huge success.
Links to additional reviews of the NB-30 can be found at A4Tech.