FingerWorks iGesture Pad Review:
FingerWorks’ iGesture Pad is a replacement for the mouse. It is touch-activated. It provides a flat surface similar in function to the touchpads on many laptops (but the ease of use and interface is far superior to the small touchpad on a laptop). To move your cursor/pointer around, you simple place a finger or two on the pad and move them around. Instead of clicking any buttons, you tap your fingers to “click” the mouse. A one or two finger tap is a single click and a three finger tap is equal to a double-click. To right-click, you tap your finger and your thumb. It’s very intuitive, and you’ll pick it up almost as soon as you start using it. For anyone who has suffered RSI problems from the repetitive nature of clicking a regular mouse all day, you should be able to see the benefit to this before you even try the iGesture.
The iGesture pad is about a quarter of an inch thick and takes up a little less room on your desk than a standard-size mouse pad. There are no extra buttons or clunky features; everything you see is usuable mousing area. This alone makes it much easier to use than the touchpad on a laptop, because the greater available area allows your movements a better flow with none of that awkward/crowded feel. The iGesture is also far more responsive than the touchpads I have used on laptops, so if you’re shying away from this technology because you think you’ve used touchpads before and disliked them, I encourage you to give the FingerWorks version a try.
Besides the replacement of clicking with touching, the iGesture offers a number of shortcuts in the form of gestures. For example, you place your thumb and three fingers on the pad and move them left or right for backward or foreward in your browser window. (The package comes with cheat-sheets that you can hang up next to your monitor until you learn all the gestures.) So, not only does this “mouse” have the benefit of taking mouse-clicking out of your life, it can also lessen the amount of typing you need to do on a daily basis. (If you can’t tell yet, I’m an iGesture fan.)
The only downside I can think of is that pinpoint precision isn’t quite as easy as it is with a mouse. For example, sometimes when I go to File, then navigate to New, then go over to Window, I’ll end up in one of the other menus on accident. In general though, unless you’re doing graphic artist type stuff where you need pixel by pixel precision, I would definitely recommend the iGesture Pad to just about everyone. At about $130, it’s pricier than a regular mouse, but it’s far superior ergonomically speaking to a mouse. Also, it’s a very solid piece of equipment. Although I’ve only had the iGesture for a month, I have faith that it will last since I used the TouchStream (a keyboard, also by FingerWorks, that uses the same technology) for a year of dedicated use, and it still looked and responded as new after that time.
There are more user reviews at Amazon under the Fingerworks iGesture Pad page. (There’s only one negative review, at the time of this writing, and I’m sure that fellow just got a bad board as I’ve had zero of the problems he mentioned; in his case, I’d recommend sending an email to the company as they’d probably replace it.)