There are basically two groups of users that require the most advanced, ergonomic and multitask-capable input peripherals - hardcore gamers and professionals working with sophisticated software. 3Dconnexion has updated its lineup of 3D mice aimed at the latter group of users with the SpaceMouse Pro. The new arrival is equipped with six-degrees-of-freedom sensor for manipulating 3D objects, 15 programmable keys and an on-screen display.

Established in 2001 by Logitech, German-based 3Dconnexion manufactures input devices for the field of 3D motion control, such as the SpacePilot PRO. Its aim is to provide "more natural and intuitive way to interact with digital 3D content."

As with SpacePilot PRO, the SpaceMouse Pro comes with a patented 3D knob with six degrees of freedom, that allows to pan, zoom and rotate the on-screen contents, for instance a 3D model, or camera view, by twisting or tilting the controller cap. Programmable buttons located at user's fingertips include five QuickView keys that provide access to 12 view combinations, four customizable Intelligent Function Keys (numbered from one to four), while another four Keyboard Modifiers offer mouse-hand access to Control, Shift, Alt and Esc keys.

SpaceMouse Pro also has an on-screen display to remind you which features are currently assigned to Intelligent Function Keys. There's also the Virtual NumPad that pops-up on the screen if you prefer to enter numerical data using mouse instead of keyboard.

The SpaceMouse Pro features an ergonomic soft-coated hand rest, weighs in at 665g (1.47 lb) and measures 8 x 5.6 x 2.3 in (204 x 142 x 58mm). Supported operating systems include Windows 7, Vista and XP, Mac OS 10.4.6 or later, Sun Solaris 8 (SPARC), Sun Solaris 10 (x86/x64), as well as Linux (Redhat Enterprise Linux WS 4, SuSE 9.3 or later).

3Dconnexion SpaceMouse Pro was exhibited during Autodesk University 2011 in Las Vegas (Nov. 29 - Dec. 1). The controller is currently available for purchase at its manufacturer's website, priced at US$299.

View gallery - 11 images