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SpaceNavigator for Notebooks

The smallest SpaceNavigator could well be all some 3D artists need to keep them working, says Mike Griggs.

PRICE: £79 / $99 / €99

REQUIRES: Windows / Mac OS X


  • 3D input device
  • Allows manipulation of 3D scenes
  • Customisable gestures

PUBLISHER 3Dconnexion

Working in various 3D applications can at best be confusing with different keyboard shortcuts and mouse actions. This is where 3Dconnexion’s SpaceNavigators come in handy. Using the custom stubby joystick you can manipulate your 3D viewport with a SpaceNavigator, in conjunction with a mouse or tablet. They revolutionise the 3D creation experience, especially when switching between 3D applications, as spinning and moving around your models has a unified physical input. With a range of programmable buttons, and software that allows you to change mapping of every input parameter of the device, they quickly become an essential part of your creative workflow.

The SpaceNavigator for Notebooks is the smallest and cheapest product that 3Dconnexion makes. Its small size is its selling point, and it even comes with a pouch to keep it safe on the road. This SpaceNavigator is well made from metal and plastic, which exudes quality, and the main handle has a much more precise feel than the SpaceExplorer. However, this does mean that the mechanism doesn’t feel quite as robust. The only issue I found when using the SpaceNavigator, was with the placement of the two buttons – I would have preferred them on the front of the device rather than on either side, as I found them awkward to get to. As a long-time user of the larger SpaceExplorer, it is great to have a smaller device for working on site or on the sofa.

The SpaceNavigator for Notebooks offers an affordable and portable entry point and could be enough for most artists


Mike Griggs is a freelance 3D, VFX and motion graphics artist, and a regular 3D World contributor

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