The Kensington SlimBlade Mouse with Nano Receiver is an innovative travel mouse designed to connect via a tiny USB receiver. This means you don’t have to unplug your mouse every time you go somewhere … just leave it plugged in and take the mouse with you. Is this lightweight wireless mouse the next best thing for road warriors? We put it to the test to find out.
We’ve reviewed many different keyboards and mice from Kensington over the years, and this company is known for making a wide range of affordable accessories that look attractive as well. When I saw a press release for their new travel mouse I knew this would be something many of our readers would see in stores and that it was worth a review. At a price of just $39.99 on the Kensington website (even less on sale at most stores) this certainly seems like a compelling little mouse.
- High precision laser sensor
- 2.4GHz wireless plug-n-play receiver
- Four-way tilt scroll wheel
- Up to six month battery life
- PC and Mac compatible
- Kensington two-year warranty
- Dimensions: 3.75 x 2.25 x 0.75 inches
- Model number: K72334US
- MSRP: $39.99
Build and Design
The overall look and feel of this mouse is quite sleek with a mixture of glossy and matte black plastics, rubber side grips and rounded edges. Like most modern wireless mice, the body of the SlimBlade mouse almost looks aerodynamic. Aside from the compact dimensions, one of the obvious signs that this is a travel mouse is the fact that it uses a simple sliding on/off switch on the bottom surface that also serves to cover and protect the laser sensor.
The “plug-and-stay” Nano receiver is really one of main selling features of this mouse. Unlike most wireless USB mice that have huge receivers that must be removed before you stick your laptop in a case, the Nano receiver is small enough to leave inside your notebook’s USB port.
If you decide that you don’t want to leave the Nano receiver connected to your laptop you can easily store the receiver in a convenient storage space next to the batteries.
As I mentioned previously, the SlimBlade Mouse and Nano Reciever are both remarkably compact. While some travel mice have a short length and width, the SlimBlade also has an astonishingly short (or “slim”) height. In practical terms this means the mouse takes up almost no room in your laptop bag or briefcase. On the other hand, the thin profile means the mouse is almost too flat for people with large hands to use comfortably over time. I easily would have been willing to live with the extra travel size if the SlimBlade was just a little “taller” and fit comfortably under the palm of my hand. Additionally, although the rubber grips on the side of the mouse are nice, the mouse is so small that people with large hands often grip the sides just behind where the rubber pads stop. If the rubber pads extended all the way around the mouse it would have been more comfortable.
Our office tests suggest this mouse stays connected to the Nano receiver up to about 30 ft away, but it was only able to maintain an accurate and stable connection out to about 20-25 feet away from my notebook. The laser sensor is quite precise, but lacks adjustable sensitivity (we estimate the laser sensor operates at between 800 and 1,000 dots per inch; fine for lower resolution notebooks, but not great for high-resolution screens).
The glide pads on the base of the mouse are perfectly fine for average use, but the tiny size of the pads made it easy to them to get gummed up with crumbs or bits of dirt while traveling … making it more difficult for the mouse to glide over the surface of a desk. The battery compartment door also lacks a release switch and simply pops off when force is applied, so that can be a minor annoyance if you always store the Nano receiver inside the battery compartment.
While we’re on the topic of the battery compartment, let’s discuss battery life. Since I was using the Kensington SlimBlade Mouse as a travel mouse and I have a dedicated mouse at work and home I wasn’t using it every day. However, I never needed to replace the batteries during the review period (almost three weeks). Kensington claims that a pair of standard Alkaline batteries will last up to six months inside this mouse.
The SlimBlade Mouse with Nano Receiver is an affordable travel mouse for anyone who needs a compact mouse with a tiny USB receiver that you don’t have to constantly remove when traveling. I would have liked to see dedicated forward and back buttons for easy web browser navigation but that is a minor issue. The low profile was a little uncomfortable for 90 percent of the male members of our editorial team (myself included). However, the low price and convenience of the Nano receiver make this little mouse attractive to many.
Overall, the Kensington SlimBlade Mouse with Nano Receiver is a convenient travel mouse that won’t take up much space inside your bag. On the other hand, it’s also just a little too small for people with large hands. The mouse might not be perfect, but it is still a simple, low-cost solution.
- Ambidextrous design
- Good wireless connection
- Long-lasting battery life
- Nano receiver is extremely convenient
- Low price
- Too flat for large hands to use long term without causing hand strain
- Four-way scroll wheel is nice, but dedicated forward/back buttons for web browsing would be better