by Chris Carnabatu
Kensington SlimBlade Presenter Mouse Review
Sleek, sexy, comfortable, futuristic – these are just a few of the many words that describe Kensington’s new line of ultra mobile, ultra versatile, and ultra powerful mice. Appropriately named “SlimBlade” for the unique thin form factor, the SlimBlade Presenter Mouse offers a stylish solution for road warriors, business professionals, and consumers alike interested in a portable, fully functional mouse with the capability of controlling presentations and slides without the hassle often encountered when using ordinary mice.
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Looking like something out of a James Bond film, the SlimBlade Presenter mouse has a unique, high tech design in that the USB dongle is hidden within the mouse itself. The metal-like frame of the mouse extends forward to reveal the hidden compartment which gives way to the dongle. On the opposite side of the mouse is a small button that ejects the USB dongle when pressed (as shown in the picture above). This is a very useful and convenient feature because it allows the mouse to retain its stylish form without forcing the manufacturer to carve out a compartment from the exterior of the mouse as many competitors have done. Dongles located at the bottom of mice are easily lost or misplaced whereas the USB dongle of the SlimBlade Presenter Mouse sits snugly within.
The SlimBlade Presenter Mouse’s USB Dongle. (view large image)
The extended frame of the SlimBlade Presenter Mouse. (view large image)
The mouse feels very comfortable when used, especially for extended periods of time. Its ergonomic shape allows for hours of use without cramping or a feeling of discomfort. The right and left buttons give off an amplified “click” sound when first used, but as I worked with the mouse, the somewhat noticeable click noise disappeared. The flat design allows users to place their index and middle finger on the left and right button in a natural position, slightly heightened when compared to the rest of the hand as it lays flat on the remainder of the mouse. The four pads located on the bottom of the unit allow for an increase in stability while providing a decrease in friction so that users can retain control over most terrain and various types of materials. The new clear optical laser built in the mouse allows for a drastic increase in improved response and navigation over a wide spectrum of environments as well.
The bottom of the SlimBlade Presenter Mouse. (view large image)
The SlimBlade Presenter Mouse serves as an excellent option for both Windows and Mac users. Installing a driver is optional and allows the mouse to perform in “Presenter Mode” and enables the full functionality of the scroll wheel. Aside from having the standard functionality of a regular scroll wheel with side to side scrolling, the texture of the wheel itself gives users a grip over the speed of the wheel when scrolling through pages (as shown in the picture below).
Picture of the scroll wheel and the “Mode” button that initiates the presentation feature. (view large image)
Pressing the “Mode” button located near the scroll wheel for a few seconds changes the mouse’s function to “Presenter Mode” and simultaneously lights up two arrows on either side of the scroll wheel (as shown in the picture above on the left and right buttons.) After the presenter feature has started, clicking on either the left or right button will cause the corresponding arrow to flash, letting users know in which direction the slideshow will proceed. The mouse can function in presentation mode from as far as 30 feet away from the USB dongle, giving presenters and users the flexibility of walking around on stage or answering questions in an audience while still being able to maintain control over a slideshow or presentation. To deactivate the mouse in “Presenter Mode”, users need to simply click on the “Mode” button which resumes the mouse’s normal functions.
Comparison of the Mouse and USB Dongle with respect to size. (view large image)
Running on two AAA batteries, the mouse comes with a built in battery meter which is located in the frame of the left side of the mouse. This battery indicator alerts users when battery power is low and lights up when the USB dongle is inserted, letting users know that the mouse is in hibernation, thus saving power when not in use.
Left side of SlimBlade Presenter Mouse with battery indicator in the center of the frame. (view large image)
The SlimBlade Presenter Mouse is an ideal choice for professionals who find that the setbacks of traditional mice leave them wanting much more in functionality and portability. An excellent, simple product and solution for business professionals and professors using PowerPoint, the SlimBlade Presenter Mouse allows lecturers or fellow business colleagues to wander around an area of 30 feet within the range of the USB dongle, giving such users much needed freedom and space without the loss of reception or functionality. The slim, sexy form factor of the SlimBlade Presenter Mouse, coupled with the practical features and power saving options built in, will surely have heads turning.
Pricing and Availability
The Kensington SlimBlade Presenter Mouse is available now from Kensington’s website in a few different colors and models. Prices for this mouse start at $49.99.