|Kensington SlimBlade Trackball Mouse with Bluetooth Wireless (Graphite) K72281US
|List Price: $99.99
Our Price: $50.00
You Save: $49.99 (50%)
The Kensington SlimBlade trackball mouse works where other travel mice can't. The trackball gives you control even when there's no room to move a mouse, then switches to mouse mode with the push of a button. Bluetooth connectivity offers up to 30 feet of range and doesn't use up a USB port.
- Full-featured laser mouse allows you to navigate through your documents with superior precision
- Unique Scroll Ball provides easy and intuitive 360-degree scrolling
- Trackball mode gives you cursor control in tight spaces and on any surface
- Bluetooth wireless technology for an instant connection ? leave your USB ports available for other devices
- Fuel gauge indicator lets you know when it's time to change your batteries
- I really wanted to like this.
I have been a Logitech trackball user for years and years now. And with that it was very hard for me to get used to this. Honestly, my wrist would not get comfortable. I would get a bit of a cramp in it and found myself taking a break here and there.
As for the bluetooth I kept having troubles. I would leave it alone and sometimes it would connect and other times it would not. Sometimes it was only left alone for a few minutes. I have bluetooth headphones as well and they stayed connected so I knew it was the mouse.
Like I said I really wanted to like this but only after a week I sent it back.
Guess I will be holding out for a bluetooth Logitech...who knows how long that may be.
I can't speak for the mouse mode as its not for me. I am
giving it 2 stars primarily based on connectivity.
- First impression is positive
I've been looking for a good travel mouse for some time. I'm not convinced yet that this is it, but you could definitely do worse. I really suspect that this would do better as a desktop mouse (and will test this theory soon).
I use my laptop as my primary computer, a MacBook. As such, it often sits in my lap or on other odd surfaces where no smooth safe surface is available to run a traditional mouse. A trackball is an ideal solution in such cases, but most are large/bulky and don't travel well. Plus, I generally prefer a traditional mouse in most situations (though comfortably jump back and forth). Looking that this SlimBlade, I thought it might be the perfect solution. It isn't, though it may be a good compromise for most people.
In standard mouse mode, what you get is a typical laser/optical mouse with right and left mouse buttons and a scroll wheel, the scroll wheel, being a ball, allows you to scroll left and right as well as up and down in programs that support this function. It's comfortable in the hand, as much as any typical desktop-sized mouse is, but may not be to everybody's taste as it's flatter than most modern mice.
In trackball mode, which is what I use with my laptop, it's a little less comfortable. I read the other reviews and noted that the tracking speed seemed to be too fast for some and too slow for others. I'd say that mine moves relatively slowly out of the box. It's also quite awkward to use as there is no easy way to use the scroll ball while holding down a mouse button (click and drag) as you'll be stuck scrolling with your middle finger, which is difficult. Most trackballs allow you to use your thumb to scroll and keep your index/middle finger free OR you scroll with your index/middle finger while you use your thumb and ring finger for left/right clicking, respectively. The SlimBlade currently feels ungainly, but it may grow on me, particularly if I can get the speed "just right."
Lastly, don't buy this mouse if you're looking to save space. It's a little flatter than your average mouse, but its footprint is the same as most desktop mice. It's wide and long, though not too much, and is not any lighter than most wireless mice. In fact, I have several travel mice that are smaller and lighter than this, though lacking the trackball functionality. The main advantage it has regarding travel is that it does not have a separate USB plug-in receiver to take up weight, space, or your USB port. It is bluetooth based and connected to my MacBook with Leopard without a problem at all.
This mouse's claim to fame is not it's size or weight, despite the marketing. Rather, it is the dual-mode option of either behaving as a normal mouse or as a trackball that is its appeal. Judged on that basis, this may be the greatest thing since wireless mice were invented, or it could be just a very overpriced and otherwise entirely average mouse. I'm still looking for a better option, myself....more info
- A bit hard to set up
Bought this mouse as a travel trackball. Can't seem to get it to function as a true trackball, and can't seem to find a detailed owner's manual on the CD. Works great as a regular mouse, though. More time may allow me to figure out how to make it do its tricks. I haven't had it long enough to report on battery life....more info
- SlimBlade is excellent
See --> Kensington SlimBlade Trackball Mouse with Bluetooth Wireless (Graphite) K72281US
I have used this for 2 mo. on a Mac. It is fully compatible with OS 10.5, & responsive to the System Prefs/Mouse. It is excellent, works equally well as a mouse or trackball, & is just the right size. I prefer trackballs, & have tried many. This one is smooth & seemingly impervious to dirt & pet fur, but I have gently blown it out with air a couple of times.
The instructions in the box are lousy; decent instructions can be downloaded from the Kensington website.
Someday, hopefully, Kensington will have an improved (more configurable) ver. of their software -- similar to their Mouseworks. However, the present ver. is good.
This unit is only surpassed by the Kensington K64325 Expert Mouse Trackball which is flawless & fully configurable -- but way too BIG, & NOT wireless.
If Mouseworks is installed, it must be deleted, or the Slimblade will not work....more info
- Not Great On a Mac...
I'm a longtime user of Kensington Expert Mouse trackballs, so this seemed like a perfect mobile mouse for my new Macbook Pro unibody. While it's still too new to comment on the reliability issues noted by many reviewers, I will tell you that the performance in either mouse or trackball mode leaves a lot to be desired. Specifically, you'll find you have two tracking speed choices: too slow or too fast. I'm not kidding. If you slide the tracking speed adjustment in your mouse preferences panel to the far left mark (slower), it tracks, not surprisingly, too slow. However, move it just one mark to the right from the slowest position, and your cursor tracks too fast, with no fine control of movement. Move it any further to the right and it's useless. If Kensington Mouseworks software worked with the SlimBlade Trackball Mouse, that would provide the adjustment needed, but it doesn't, so you're stuck. I'm sitting here in a hotel room as I type this, and have abandoned use of the SlimBlade for my trackpad, making this $50 purchase a total waste of money. Do yourself a favor and look elsewhere for a mobile mouse solution--if you have a Mac, this isn't it....more info
- Smooth, light and well designed
When I first picked up my Macbook Pro, I really didn't understand Bluetooth, and instinctually went for a Kensington Si750m Wireless Notebook mouse. And while it is a fine product, filling up one of my USB ports was not ideal (nor was having a long chunk of easily snapped-off plastic sticking out of the side of my laptop).
So I went shopping for a Bluetooth mouse, even though I was weary after a frustrating experience with my Macbook Pro and wireless headphones. I am thrilled I made the switch.
Synching the SlimBlade with my Macbook was easy. You activate the mouse, you tell the Macbook to find it, and you are done. That simple. No software to install, and full functionality right out of the box. And to preserve battery life, when your Macbook Pro goes to sleep, so does the mouse (yet it still reacts instantly, and wakes up the Macbook, the second you touch it). I have plugged my Macbook to my television and jumped through the desktop with ease and no loss of connection from twenty feet away. Simply wonderful.
As a mouse, the SlimBlade glides smooth and even over any surface I have tried (mousepad, notebook cover, wood desk top). As as a trackball, it is not quite as good; the smooth, rapid clicking of the ball is reassuring and completely accurate, and I find I can flick easily up and down, but sideways motion is slightly more difficult and seems to put more strain on my wrist. But this is a minor complaint, and when in mouse mode, the trackball allows for quick scrolling with a flick of the finger through longer documents. Very helpful.
The narrow profile of the SlimBlade makes for excellent portability, as does the weight. The plastic casing is sleek and elegant; smooth, dark gray plastic along the top with a rubberized, textured edge that supplies a firm grip and easy mousing surface. The left and right click buttons are perfectly proportioned and intuitive, and the trackball is just large enough to be effective.
So far, the battery life has proven to be very good, and inline with what they company claims. I use the mouse for several hours a day and have gone nearly a month so far with the battery indicator still showing a full charge. The only reason why I give this a decent rating is because I think, in 2008, it is not unreasonable to expect any wireless mouse to be fully rechargeable. The fact that it came with a pair of disposable Energizer batteries was highly disappointing (at least it came with batteries, though).
In all, this is a fantastic, smooth, and easily portable mouse that will find a very happy home inside your laptop case....more info
- Love it!
I have to do a lot of editing in my work and the touchpads on my Vaio laptops just don't cut it. I love my Logitech trackballs but was looking for something smaller and more portable. The SlimBlade got good reviews so although I only wanted a trackball and wasn't interested in the mouse feature, I bought it. It arrived today, paired seamlessly, works perfectly. I LOVE this trackball and also love using it as a mouse. It feels really comfortable and smooth in my hand. I like that the wheel scrolls when it's in mouse mode and that you can click in the scrollbar to make it scroll in trackball mode. I like the ease of switching from mouse to trackball mode. I like the sensitivity and responsiveness. I do wish it came with software that would allow you to customize it but no big deal. Now for the bad news - Kensington tech support needs to just be put out of its misery. When I first tried to power on the mouse, it seemed the lights were not working as they should, and I couldn't see the fuel gauge. I called tech support twice. I guess my many horrific tech support experiences over the years have produced a tech supportee with so little patience for struggling with stupid tech support people who can't understand my phone number much less my question that I actually overcompensate by giving a ridiculous amount of benefit of the doubt. And so I did this time as well but these people just have no clue about this poor mouse. The first guy told me the mouse was defective and had to be sent back to Amazon but when it paired successfully he said all was well. When I asked why the lights weren't on, he said this model doesn't have lights, only the presentation mouse has lights. He also told me you never have to power the mouse off because it goes to sleep automatically. And finally he told me that in order to switch from mouse to trackball mode you have to download and install a driver, which also makes the Mode button functional. Of course we know that not a syllable of that is true. I called back a second time and this time got a woman who argued with me about where the model number is located and about which is the model number and which is the part number. Seems P/N should be the part number and M/N should be the model number, right? Nope. She also told me the mouse had to go back to Amazon because the lights, including the fuel gauge, should be on all the time. I hate sending stuff back and having to wait for the replacement so I checked that with her twice and she confidently reiterated that yes maam, the lights should be on ALL THE TIME. Of course we know that's not true either but, well there's that benefit of the doubt. So I gathered up the packaging and the return info but as I said, I LOVE this mouse and it was really working perfectly except for the lights not staying on. So I made a one last effort to figure out what the lights should be doing, found the online manual (the one that comes in the package is near worthless), and realized with relief that this mouse, lights and all, is working perfectly. The mode light should only come on briefly when you power on or reconnect, as should the bluetooth light and the fuel gauge. Yes tech support people, this model does have lights but no, they do not stay on all the time. So thanks Amazon for another great product at a great price (used my $25 coupon so got it for less than I could have anywhere else), and thanks to Kensington too for this great trackball/mouse combo but which of your products do your tech folks actually know something about?...more info
- ball is too hypersensitive
I really was interested in the design and capabilities of this Kensington cordless trackball / mouse. Until now I have used a Logitech trackball and found, as another review did, the Kensington slimblade ball too, too hypersensitive, with no way of adjusting it. It really distracts from the speed at which you can work. Hope I can get a refund, as I will try and go back to the Logitech models....more info
- Pleasure to use
I've always favored a trackball rather than a mouse however this is a good combination and I really enjoy the trackball mouse. It is great!...more info
- Does it all
Works as advertised, I would like to say, but the advertisements are so dreadful that they need commenting themselves. The hardware works flawlessly with Mac OS 10.4. Paired up and just worked. I use USB Overdrive to control my mice, and it does a great job of adjusting the tracking and programming the buttons.
One star down for no button on the trackball. But the trackball feature works fine. It is big enough so that you can control it (hear that, SuperMouse?) either as a trackball or as a 2-D scrolling ball.
The quick start drive that comes with the mouse is in 11 languages, and there is no information in any of them. Download the real manual from the Kensington site. Oh, and the mouse no longer ships with a Windows driver. Windows guys, take notice. Get recent reports - the Mouseworks app does not work with Vista. But the real manual does have some info.
Summary: great hardware, miserable support, iffy Windows driver situation. Works a treat with Mac OS 10.4, and probably with earlier versions, down to 10.2.8. ...more info
- I loved it when it worked.
I bought this because it cost a little more than the others so I thought it would last a little longer than the others. I have had it 2 months and it will not work. It could be the computer that loses it or it is the mouse keeps losing the computer. I don't know I don't care I am totally frustrated. The look and the feel of the mouse is exquisite. I love the feel of it is is heavy and solid and not cheap feeling at all. But, like I said I can not get it to keep working. Would I reccommend, Yes if you have no problems. But, if these problems are on going then no. Sorry have to tell the truth....more info
- Pretty good mac mouse
Time to try out yet another mouse.
After having 2, yes 2, wireless mighty mice die on me for one reason or another, it was time to start looking at alternatives.
Before I move onto the review of this mouse, let me state the minimum requirements for my perfect mouse.
- Bluetooth wireless
- Horizontal + Vertical scroll
- Full size mouse (not a "notebook" mouse)
- Laser Tracking
All other options are negotiable.
So as far as this Kensington goes, it is basically a re-designed Apple Wireless Mighty mouse. Similar look and feel, scroll ball, and bluetooth. Overall its a pretty damn good mouse and I would recommend it, however it had some shortcomings that made it not the mouse for me.
- little bit too small, didn't fit in my hand well.
- price $80+
If you are looking for a great bluetooth mouse for use at home and while on the road, this is a solid choice....more info
- This mouse sucks
The mouse looks really slick and nice however after 1 day of use, the trackball went out on mine. Just dead and non-responsive. Kensington also needs to learn how to answer e-mails because they do not reply back. ...more info
- Works well, Not sure about the hand feel
I am using the SlimBlade with a MacBook pro and have been very happy with it. The first thing you need to know is that the documentation that comes with it is worthless, but you can download excellent documentation from the Kensington website (weird when you think about it, no?) Getting it to talk to the MacBook via bluetooth was very easy. I have used the SlimBlade in both mouse and trackball mode and it has done well in both. You do need to spend some time adjusting the sensitivity to your personal preferences, because of the small size of the ball it can take some tweaking and getting used to. Also, the hand feel can take some getting used to; the SlimBlade is fairly flat and wide (hence the name.) At first I found it clumsy but I have adapted and now find it comfortable....more info
- Excellent Trackball
I purchased the Kensington SlimBlade Trackbal Mouse with Bluetooth Wireless to use with my MacBook Pro. It is everything I hoped it would be. I can move the cursor without moving my hand across a mouse pad. It works great and I highly recommend it to people who want a trackball mouse (don't want to physically move the mouse to move your cursor)....more info
- Expensive for a standard mouse!
I saw this mouse in a Mac magazine which gave it a great review and by the description, I thought, "this is just what I need"! After using a laptop nearly exclusively for two years, switching back to a keyboard and mouse was not a fun. I love the touchpad and I hated having to move a mouse around again. So, the trackball feature of this mouse sounded very appealing. I thought about it for a little over a month after becoming a Mac owner and decided to give the Kensington slimblade trackball mouse a whirl...despite the cost!
Well, after having using it for minutes, I came to be very disappointed with the trackball because you can't scroll too. I like to track and scroll nearly simultaneously. It was a total P.I.T.A. to have to change modes by double-clicking the mode switch in order to track and scroll, so after a couple of days of giving it the college try, it's been in regular mouse mode ever since. As most people stated, you do have to slow this puppy down a bit by making a few adjustments to the tracking and scrolling speeds.
Other than the fact that I've already stated that the trackball is practically useless, it does have a couple of other cons compared to my bluetooth Mighty Mouse BUT there is at least one strong Pro which is the only reason I haven't returned it.
Comparing it to the new Mighty Mouse:
1. No simple clicking on the mouse to bring up dashboard. Now I either have to actually click on the icon or use the keyboard shortcut to bring it up.
2. No quick track-to-scroll option
3. In regular mouse mode, you get to hear "click, click, click, click" when scrolling
4. If you do decide to be an avid mode switcher, you never really know where you left off until you actually get your hand on the mouse and either 1. it doesn't scroll b/c you're in trackball mode, or 2. you're not tracking because you're in regular mode and you must use your hand, wrist, arm or whatever to track. Annoying!
1. Sleek and slim
2. Major pro compared to Mighty Mouse: in regular mouse mode, you don't have to move the mouse around much at all to track across the page. In considering returning because I could probably spend $90 better elsewhere, after using the Slimblade for a couple of weeks, I tried using my Mighty Mouse again. Even turning on the quickest tracking speed, it was still far too slow and required way too much moving around the pad compared to the Kensington mouse where a slight wrist movement can get you from one side of the page to the other.
A lot of people seem to like it. I guess I just had other expectations. If this thing had a feature in trackball mode where you could just press down on the ball and scroll, it would be worth every penny. Otherwise, if you're using a desktop as I am, just stick with the Mighty Mouse and be happy! ...more info
- Great mouse, but...
As a mouse, the SlimBlade Trackball works great. It matched to my laptop immediately, sensitivity is able to be adjusted to my liking.
As a trackball it has a lot to be desired. I find it is too sensitive to be precise. It is also hard to scroll down a page if you have it in trackball mode.
It is fairly simple to switch from Mouse to Trackball mode, but the light that tells what mode you are in does not exist.
For carrying around while I work I will use it as a mouse because I like not having the wires. But at home, when I am just using the computer for pleasure I will continue to use my wired Logitech Trackman Wheel which can't be beat...until they make it bluetooth!...more info
- Nice, but eats batteries!
I wanted a small & sleek bluetooth mouse to carry with my Macbook Pro. However, this mouse eats batteries even when the optical shutter is closed. The quest for a good bluetooth laptop mouse goes on....more info
- Bluetooth is tough
Once I finally figured it out, it is a fairly nice product and I'm happy with my purchase. I only paid $39 here on Amazon.com Marketplace. The manual is nearly non-existent & useless...so if you're not patient or tech-savvy...you might wanna avoid this product....more info
- Wow What a Mouse!
This mouse is the best ever. My husband and I each bought one and we are completely satisfied with them. The Kensington Slimblade Trackball Mouse fits in the hand very well, changes easily from normal to trackball mode, and works from farther away than I can read the words on the screen. It's not cheap, but you get what you pay for. ...more info
- Returned mine
I could only get the bluetooth connection for a split second. I purchased this because I like using a trackball and thought that would be great to use with my laptop. I never got the trackball to work. Very disappointing. Maybe I just got a bad one. ...more info
- Good but not perfect...
I've had this mouse for about 2 weeks now and while not using it constantly, I've used it often. I've still been unable to get it to work in trackball mode on my Macbook Pro Core2Duo. Instructions say all you have to do is press the button near the trackball and it will switch from mouse mode to trackball mode. Tried it numerous times but couldn't get it to switch over. It works fine as a mouse, but that should be a given with any higher priced bluetooth mouse . I bought this specifically for it's promised trackball mode, and so far am left wanting....more info
- Answer to my needs...
I purchased this with my new Macbook as I was looking for a good blue tooth mouse to use, and was turned off by some of the reviews that I read on the Mighty Mouse. Overall the mouse is excellent with reliable connectivity, and the trackball feature is awesome. My only gripe is the absence of a rechargeable flash battery. The requirement of using 2 AA batteries causes the unit to be a bit weighted, but nothing that takes away from its effectiveness....more info
- Numerous design defects bring down and otherwise nice product
This is a very nice design, slim, lightweight, and auto battery shutoff means batteries last for month. However, it has several huge shortcomings. The battery meter never works properly and it is so dim that it is unusable in all but the darkest of rooms. Every 10-15 times the mouse is used, it doesn't wake up properly from sleep. This requires removing batteries and reinserting them to get the mouse to wake up. Finally, this mouse should have a simple on/off button. Instead, it has some convoluted double button system that usually doesn't work right, so again you have to take the batteries out and reinsert them to get it to power on. These are not warranty issues. I had the mouse replaced twice already and every replacement has worked identically....more info
- Flawed - Trackball wont last long, no way to clean
I bought this 6 months ago, until now I have been impressed with the mouse probably rating it around 3 stars.
Now what has happened is the trackball has gotten dirty. I have used trackball mice for about 10 years now. Yes they all need cleaning every few months, finger oil, dust or whatever gets stuck in there.
Now I only use my trackball on this mouse for scrolling. I suppose the trackball function is usable, however I wouldn't unless I absolutely needed to because of its size and sensitivity. Id rather use my touchpad on my mac. This originally was one of the selling points for me, however after using it I found it extremely hard.
So after 6 months I have a broken trackball that can not be cleaned. I see one other person has managed to open this mouse and clean it, however I cant see how. I could use the warranty and return it however I will be looking at the same problem 6 months later.
Allthough cheaper, this is no replacement for the mighty mouse. I am still using a 2 year old mighty mouse on my other laptop that still works perfectly.
I wish I read more reviews like this before ordering. If you have any doubts, just look under any trackball mouse...the balls remove for one reason....cleaning. Until someone invents the self cleaning, vaporizing trackball....they should remain removable. This mouse is not...more info
- Has some problems
Using this mouse with a Mac PowerBook G4, system OS X 10.4.11. have used it for a few months now.
The slim design makes it easy to pack in a laptop case. For use, it might be better if the front were higher, and the, um, posterior were lower. I'm male, medium size hands, glove size 10 or sometimes 9. The mouse fits me so-so, not great.
The trackball is too loose and touchy. The mouse does switch back and forth easily between mouse and trackball modes, after a person figures out how. (A simple double click of the inner button around the trackball.) The so-called documentation is worthless; Kensington killed a tree for nothing, to print their sorry excuse for documentation.
It tracks very well. It pairs easily with the Mac. It goes to sleep too easily, but that does help battery life. Battery life is excellent.
The double click is sometimes erratic, unless it's just my particular mouse. Testing the double click speed in System Preferences doesn't work at all - the double click doesn't show in the test area. A software problem between the puter and mouse. However, the change of setting does work.
I intend to keep using this mouse, but wouldn't buy it again unless Kensington can show they've improved it....more info
- good mouse, poor trackball
I'm still getting used to this as a trackball, but I really don't have high hopes for it being a good working trackball. There's a lot of stress in trying to precisely position the pointer with such a tiny ball.
The mouse is great though. I haven't used a mouse for years since I developed RSI in the 90s; however for light use and switching between mousing and trackball use, it might be OK.
The bluetooth works great on the mac. But it actually took some work to get it working. I use this on a Macbook Pro running Leopard, which switches between being my desktop machine and a road machine. At the desktop I have the very wonderful Kensington Expert Mouse trackball. When I hooked up this new device, it messed with mouseworks, and it seemed like it wasn't going to work. When I called Kensington support, the off-shore guy told me that it wouldn't work, and I should send it back to Amazon. Since driver conflicts didn't seem very Mac-like, I perservered. I uninstalled the Mouseworks software, rebooted, recognized this new slimblade, and then installed mouseworks. They co-exist very well now.
Two stars because of the poor trackball. If everything else -- design, size, bluetooth -- weren't so compelling I'd definitely send it back. As it is, I think it might help take the load off of normal trackpad use when I'm on the road. It's definitely nicely portable....more info
- Best Bluetooth device yet for laptops
I've had several bluetooth mice for my laptop and really wanted to have a trackball. Unfortunately there aren't many out there as yet. I have used a trackball on my home computer and much prefer it to a mouse. There's no wrist problems with long use, it's more precise, plus you don't need a lot of space to move it around. The Kensington trackball bluetooth mouse is great right out of the box. The trackball works as well as my full size trackball and switches between mouse and trackball mode easily. It feels good in the hand as well. Nice design! I can do my Power Point presentations much easier without worrying about available space and I can even just hold it in my hand and use the trackball to navigate during a presentation. Bluetooth reacts very quickly without any lag. All in all I think this is the best device out there for what I wanted to do with it and it works with any Bluetooth enabled computer.
CONs: Price is high but then someone will come out with a less expensive one sooner or later. If you need/want one now, this is the best thing in a small bluetooth trackball out there at the moment....more info
- Bought it for the Bluetooth trackball, using it (mostly) as a mouse
I had been using a Kensington Orbit Optical Trackball Mouse 64327 so much for so long that it had wear spots where my hand rested, but recently I wanted something Bluetooth to go with a Bluetooth keyboard. I was looking primarily at trackballs and would have bought another Orbit Optical if they made a Bluetooth model, but they don't. After some research, about two months ago I bought a SlimBlade Trackball Mouse, intending to use it mostly as a trackball.
Double clicking the mode button that surrounds the scroll/track ball switches between mouse mode and trackball mode.
In mouse mode, the ball is a multi-directional scroll ball. Even though as a mouse it can be used on almost any surface, a smooth mouse pad (not the kind that has texture for a mouse that uses a ball on the bottom) allows the SlimBlade to move precisely and effortlessly.
In trackball mode, grab, drag and drop by clicking the mode button once to grab, drag with the trackball, and then click the mode button again to drop. Trackball mode allows you to control the mouse pointer with no surface necessary to move around on, even in mid air.
In either mode, the left and right mouse buttons work as expected....more info
- Works great on Mac OSX
Pros: battery life, weight, durability, works as a trackball, horizontal and vertical scrolling on Mac, precision
Cons: bluetooth range is not that good. Doesn't have a third button, horizontal scrolling didn't work on Windows....more info
- Poor doc, build quality, connectivity, software, and trackball is too small
I got this trackball on saturday from a local store. I was looking for a wireless trackball for use with my home theater PC. The 2 main requirements were :
- at least 12 ft of range
- must be usable by the left hand as a trackball
My experience with this device the last 3 days has been very frustrating. If I used it one more day I would be headed for an injury.
I ran into a number of issues :
1) Poor documentation
The technical instructions are indecipherable. You get 36 consecutive sentences, every 12th one being in a different language. And 3 pictures.
The instructions don't even spell out that one needs to *double* click the mode button to switch between trackball and mouse mode. It's really not obvious at all. I actually had to go online and read the much better doc written in english to figure it out. This is completely unacceptable.
2) Poor build quality
The unit I got was flaky. While I had no problem pairing it to my PC running Vista x64, I couldn't get the pointer to move at all. Only the buttons worked. The ball didn't work either as trackball or as scroll wheel. I had the sensor opened and it didn't work as a mouse either.
I was about to give up and thought of switching batteries. I just removed them and put them back in. And then it started working more completely - not just the buttons, but the pointer also. The software showed the battery charge at 96% in both cases.
3) Poor software
When I ran into the button problem above, I downloaded some software drivers from Kensington. They didn't help - only the battery removal/replacement did. After the trackball started working, I noticed that every time I logged in to Windows, it forgot about my left-handed button option (switch primary and secondary buttons). This was very annoying. And it affected not just the Slimblade, but also the other PS/2 mouse in the systeme. I traced the issue to a bug in the Kensington driver. I just uninstalled, it and the problem went away. Fortunately, the Slimblade does not require any special software besides the Bluetooth stack.
4) Poor connectivity
Over the 3 days that I tried to use this device, as a trackball only, I saw it lose connectivity many times. Sometimes the pointer just became very unresponsive. Other times it made giant leaps. Other times it lost the connectivity altogether. I don't know what to make of it. It might be because the unit I bought was flaky. But with all the other issues, I don't think I will try a 2nd unit when I return mine.
5) Poor trackball
I don't know how good of a mouse this is, but as a trackball, it has many shortcomings :
a) the ball is just too small for the trackball to be precise. Even with my very small hands and fingers, it is tedious to point on a high resolution screen (I have a 1920x1080 HDTV screen), and even more tedious to drag
b) when using the trackball, there is no scrollwheel available
c) there are only 2 buttons available. I like to have a 3rd one to program as a double-click to reduce stress
I'm normally a big Kensington fan. I have been using their desktop trackballs - Expert Mouse - for over a decade. They are great. I tried this because I needed a wireless device for my HTPC. Unfortunately I was disappointed.
I wish Kensington would just produce a real trackball like the Expert Mouse, and make a wireless version of it with good range (say, using RF 2.4 GHZ).
- Nice mouse, works great, but...
This mouse works great with the Bluetooth on my Mac laptop running either Mac OS X or Windows. it tracks well, maybe a little faster than even I like, but that's adjustable. Batteries seem to last forever and it does a nice job of not falling asleep while I'm using it, unlike some other BT mice I've had.
Two issues which are not serious, but you should be aware of. This is only a two button mouse. I did not realize that in advance since almost all scroll mice are at least three button. This is probably not a concern unless you use it for Unix X-Window access, like I do, or have become used to center clicking in Safari or Firefox to open a link in a new tab.
Second, it's not obvious how to turn it off. You have to press a button and wait several seconds, but the light flashes that tell you it's turning off are under your finger so you can't see them. Once you get used to it, it's not too bad, but a little weird initially....more info