If you’ve read this blog for very long, you may know that I am a fan of the Contour RollerMouse, a remarkable revolution in pointing devices. When I reviewed the RollerMouse Free last year, I could barely stop talking about it. I had less to say about the older Pro model, but still found it a solid device. Now, however, there’s a third-generation RollerMouse – one that makes all previous models pale in comparison. It’s called the Red, and I’m very fortunate to have one sitting on the desk in front of me as I write this.
A RollerMouse is a way of controlling your mouse pointer that differs utterly from all that went before. The unit itself is stationary, like a trackball – only there’s no ball. Instead, there’s the rollerbar, a rubberized tube that slides horizontally and rotates around a smaller metal tube. These rotations and slides serve to move your mouse pointer up, down, and sideways. Controlling it like this is way more intuitive than you are probably imagining.
The rollerbar can also work as your primary click “button.” To register a click, you simply depress it. There are also separate physical buttons on top of the unit for left, right, and double-click – plus a scroll wheel with middle-click, and special-purpose controls for copy and paste. All of these functions can be customized with Contour’s free downloadable driver for PC and Mac.
Some aspects of RollerMouse functionality can also be tweaked at the hardware level so they will work the same on any system. These include the cursor speed, which has five levels managed by a button on top, and the rollerbar click tension, which also has five levels and is adjusted similarly. The loudness of the click sound can also be changed this way – more on that later.
You can read our full review here. This is a 10 minute review video but very useful for folks considering this keyboard.