capsule review

Gyration Ultra GT Full-Size Keyboard Suite

At a Glance

Gyration Ultra GT Full-Size Keyboard Suite
Photograph: Rick Rizner

Mousing around takes on a whole new meaning with Gyration's $100 suite. You can use the mouse on your desk, as you would a conventional mouse, but you can also pick up the mouse and wave it around in the air. You hold the mouse as if you were giving it a handshake, clicking as you go. But before you can start such gymnastics, you must charge the device for 9 hours; Gyration's mouse was the only input device in our test group requiring an initial battery charge.

We installed the keyboard and mouse without a hitch. However, one tester, in a separate evaluation, found that the wireless connection needed to be reestablished every time the PC started up.We contacted Gyration about this problem. The company didn't provide a possible explanation for the connection troubles, but offered to test the evaluation unit. At the time of this writing, Gyration's internal testing is in progress.

The keys on the Gyration keyboard felt rather soft to the touch; one tester described the sensation as slightly mushy. The keys travel a bit after you press them, and if you tend to type with a light hand, you may feel that you must press the Gyration's keys fairly hard to get a good response. Overall, typing on the keyboard was very pleasant, but this spongy feeling will not be everyone's cup of tea. We preferred using the keyboard without the included wrist rest.

For our reviewers, Gyration's quirky mouse, like the Kensington Expert Mouse Wireless, required an adjustment period of a couple of days. For one thing, its narrow shape makes it hard to hold, especially if you have large hands and/or long fingers. Plus, getting comfortable with its in-air antics takes a while.

The Gyration device uses a gyroscope sensor that is designed to detect the motion of your hand, causing the cursor to move accordingly on screen. Your thumb rests on the right- and left-click buttons, and either your index finger or your middle finger presses the extra button on the mouse's underside to move the pointer--when you're waving the mouse around in the air, you press and hold the button underneath as you drag the pointer across the screen. All three buttons felt strange at first, and our hands and arms got tired.

The Gyration set offers a massive number of programmable options, and its software is easy to use. There are 15 hot-keys up for grabs on the keyboard, plus you can assign dozens of custom commands to particular gestures with the mouse. For example, you can hold down the right-click button and slide the mouse to the right across your desk to close the active application. You can also create similar commands by gesturing in certain patterns in the air. We found the programming options very handy, once we got the hang of the mouse.

We tried typing from as far away as 30 feet, and both the keyboard and the mouse worked fine at that range. Of course, most people don't type at that distance from a desktop monitor (we could barely read the on-screen text at that distance), but the capability would be useful when you want to surf the Web or browse through music tracks from your couch while looking at your massive TV screen, or when you want to click through a presentation in a large conference room.

The keyboard takes four AA batteries (you're provided with a set), and the rechargeable mouse charges up in its desktop cradle. Gyration says that the mouse should run on a single charge for five to seven days, and the keyboard should run three to four months.

If you want to wield your mouse the way a conductor wields a baton, give the Gyration a try.

Aoife M. McEvoy

To comment on this article and other PCWorld content, visit our Facebook page or our Twitter feed.
At a Glance

Shop Tech Products at Amazon