Review: Kensington Slimblade Bluetooth Presenter Mouse

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Short Version: Presenter mice are a dime a dozen but this one costs $50 for one and is worth the investment.

As a consultant, I’ve given and sat through my fair share of presentations. One key aspect of a successful presentation is engaging your audience. That’s hard to do if you are sitting in front of a computer driving your presentation. It helps to be commanding attention at the front of the room. The Slimblade frees you from your laptop by acting as a wireless remote for presentations in addition to being a small, laser travel mouse.

As a mouse, it has the standard two buttons, plus a clickable and tiltable scroll wheel. In addition to the normal vertical scrolling, tilting the scroll wheel to the side will allow you to scroll horizontally. It uses Bluetooth, so as long as your laptop has Bluetooth built in, or you already have an adapter (http://www.amazon.com/Kensington-K33902US-Bluetooth-Micro-Adapter/dp/B000YA1XU2/ref=pd_bbs_sr_2?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1226856381&sr=8-2), there are no additional bits to plug in to make this device work. Pairing is a snap and you’ll be up and running in a minute or two.

Surrounding the scroll wheel is a button that switches the device from mouse mode to presentation mode. You have to double-click this button and that is not obvious at all. It does prevent you from accidentally switching modes, but I had to read the instructions to figure out how it worked. It’s a bit odd to have to read instructions for a mouse. Anyhow, once in presentation mode, the left and right mouse click buttons advance the presentation forward and back and pressing the scroll wheel will blank the screen.

It runs on standard AAA batteries, so no custom batteries to charge, and it will automatically sleep when your laptop sleeps or you can manually turn it off.

The best thing about this mouse is the size. It is pretty slim at about an inch thick at it’s tallest point. For a little more money, you could also consider getting a Gyration In-Air Mouse. The Gyration uses a gyroscope to sense movement in space, letting you move your mouse without a flat surface in front of you. This is really helpful if you want to point out things on the screen during a presentation or if you switch to an application/website to demo something. The Gyration is bulkier, so may be inconvenient for hard-core road warriors and those giving fairly straight-forward presentations may not need the extra features.

Bottom line:
If you need a fairly basic wireless mouse and you do a lot of presentations, the Slimblade Bluetooth Presenter Mouse is a reasonably priced option.

The Slimblade Bluetooth Presenter Mouse retails for $50.

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