Gadget Review: The Mouse That Keeps Your Paws Warm

Last Updated Jan 26, 2011 2:30 PM EST

I work in one seriously cold office. Sure, there's a space heater, but in winter that doesn't much help my hands stay warm. In particular, my mouse hand tends to get downright icy, to the point where it actually distracts me from my work.

Enter the ValueRays Warm Mouse, a fairly standard optical wheel-mouse with a trick up its sleeve: it's heated. A built-in carbon-fiber heating element turns what appears to be a typical mouse into a toasty little oven.

Just plug it into a USB port (which supplies all necessary power), wait about two minutes, and grab on. Instead of cold plastic, you'll feel, well, warm plastic. And trust me: it feels goooood.

How warm is warm? When the mouse is set to High (the inline control switch also has Low and Off settings), it's borderline hot. Not uncomfortably so -- the maximum output is 104 degrees -- but you definitely know it's working.

So, two big questions. First, does this really help cold hands? Answer: definitely. I won't say the Warm Mouse actually warms your hand (its heat touches only one side, after all), but it's a lot more pleasant to hold than a traditional mouse.

Second, how does it fare at actual mouse duty? Answer: quite well. I liked the size and stiffness of the buttons and the feel and resistance of the scroll wheel. My only real complaint is its overall lightness, as I'm used to my heavier, battery-filled Logitech wireless mouse. But I can get over that. Until the weather warms up, I'm keeping my mitt on the Warm Mouse.


Pros: Comfortable, full-size design. Heats up quickly. No batteries or AC power required.

Cons: The cord is a bit short (4.5 feet), which could pose a problem with floor-standing towers. Lightweight design makes the mouse feel cheap.

Should You Buy It? Yes, if want relief from chilly-mouse-hand syndrome and don't mind a corded mouse.

Price: $29.99

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    Rick Broida, a technology writer for more than 20 years, is the author of more than a dozen books. In addition to writing CNET's The Cheapskate blog, he contributes to CNET's iPhone Atlas.

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