The ultimate 3D mouse, yours for $500

Chicago (IL) – Many of us are willing to sink hundreds of dollars into a new LCD. Serious gamers are used to shelling out $500 or more for a new graphics card. And we may plunk down even more for a shiny new CPU. But what about a mouse? Would you spend $500 for a really capable mouse?

So, I have to be fair. 3DConnexion’s SpacePilot Pro, isn’t really a mouse, my webmaster told me. There is a certain look you would expect from a traditional mouse and this thing does not look like such a mouse at all, even if the manufacturer calls the device a “3D mouse”. Let’s call it a 3D controller.

The SpacePilot Pro is a massive device that exceeds the size of many mouse pads. The platform is dominated by 3DConnexion’s navigator knob. But there are many shortcut and programmable keys – as well as a LCD, which lets users scroll and choose applications. Applets even allow the LCD to show content such as new emails.

While the device works perfectly under Windows, it is clearly a device that excels under 3D applications. The manufacturer claims that it is the most precise controller it ever built, recognizing input as small as 4 micrometers. Most consumer applications are not available to take advantage of this $500 controller and it would be pure overkill (and certainly inconvenient as well) using it for text, spreadsheet or even image editing.

However, I wrote before that these Space Navigator devices are fantastic controllers for those who enjoy Google Earth. Entry level products including just the navigator knob are priced from about $100.