on January 08, 2002
low prices for Input
Work Systems (GWS) might be the least likely name you
could have thought for a company developing gaming
peripherals, but that's exactly what they do. Based in
they are an as of yet unestablished name with limited
production, and notably their products are hand assembled.
Their input devices are anything but ordinary, and today at
3D Spotlight we will be looking at the RTR-720 Mark I mod I,
GWS' pioneering rotary grip gaming mouse.
RTR-720, aka "The Equaliser", is unlike any other
input device I have seen. I can't quite put my finger on
what it reminds me of, but there are definite beetle
influences, along with some sort of an industrial image
given the yellow mouse ball and rollers, and orange/red LEDs.
Perhaps the most striking comparison though is that of the
720 with a 1920s telephone.
rather small, I was puzzled on how to hold it. The
accompanying documentation boasts that, unlike all other
mice, the RTR is not prone to inducing carpal tunnel
syndrome (cts) as it does not induce the pronated posture
required of a palm-held device, and thus does not put the
weight of the arm on the carpal tunnel.
the device is something of a learning curve, as I was so
used to resting my arm on the work surface. This could not
really be done with the 720, as it is finger, rather than
wrist/palm operated. The 720 is designed to give a more
efficient approach to moving. Outside of the world of
computers, we look around by moving our head. This movement
is not too easily emulated on conventional mice, which were,
after all, conceived to navigate the desktop, not to look
around in first person perspectives.
The 720 was created specifically for FPS games, with
this movement in mind.
cord has a large yellow attachment near the USB plug, with
two spare screws and an Allen key attached, no doubt useful
given the device is held together with Allen screws, however
I would still have preferred the 720 to be held together
with Philips-head screws. The twist to open bases on most
other wheel mice seem perfectly adequate.
the device doesn't actually feature a scroll wheel as such,
any one of its six buttons can be assigned as scroll up or
scroll down. It should be remembered that the 720 is
primarily designed for FPS gaming.
top protruding wire surprisingly did not bother me at all,
in lieu of the fact that my hand position on the 720 was not
encompassing, moreover it was simply a fingertip operation,
as previously explained.
device seems to be mounted on a transparent platform not
unlike a 360 degree protractor, with a medium sized hole in
the bottom for the mouse ball (no, the 720 does not use
optical sensors). The four membrane buttons are surface
mounted, and light up orange by default. They are all
equally small, but are not close enough together to be mixed
up. They do not click conventionally, and require only a
light touch to be activated. I was rather confused, when
consulting the documentation revealed that the device should
have six buttons. A quick look at the supporting software
showed where the buttons should be as well:
the areas revealed what I was missing, the buttons aren't
actually physically embossed, they are part of the moulded
grip. I had only previously seen this approach to buttons on
the new Mac mouse (whose casing acts as the button). I did
find the side buttons very hard to find though, and
impractical during gameplay.
model I received was the black enamel variety, but it is
also available in Chrome plate finish. Several more metal
plated finishes are planned. The central circle proudly
adorns an effeminate butterfly logo, as does the USB plug.
RTR-720 is embossed on the lower side of the top of the
device, opposite to the four buttons, and the circumference
is moulded into ridges for better grip.