by Gerald Edgecomb
Kensington has been a mainstay in notebook accessories market for a long time, and their experience shows in its Ci65m Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse. Available at many online retailers and brick and mortar stores, the Ci65m has a retail price of $29.99 USD. Included with the mouse are the USB adapter, two AA batteries, and a small manual that details how to make a connection, where to get the optional MouseWorks software, and an explanation of the five-year limited warranty.
Kensington Ci65m notebook mouse on the far left, notice it’s smaller and more compact than the larger Logitech V270 and Microsoft optical mouse (view large image)
Look and Feel
Kensington Ci65m wireless notebok mouse left side view of rubber grip (view large image)
From a design standpoint, the Ci65m is actually quite sound. Despite its small size, it feels comfortable in your hand. I had written off small notebook mice as unusable, but the Ci65m gave me a new respect for small mice. Kensington has also given the Ci65m rubber grips on the sides and rubber buttons. I found the feel of the rubber to be pleasing, especially when compared to an all plastic surface like that which is found on my Logitech V270. Other nice touches include a button release for the battery compartment, and a place to slide the receiver onto the mouse on the bottom, which also turns the mouse off. My only complaint would be that the receiver does not slide inside of the mouse, but instead hangs from the bottom. I found it easy for the receiver to slide off the mouse, leaving me to wonder how long it would be before I lose it. Other than that, the overall design is excellent.
Size compared to a MacBook Pro (view large image)
Hovering over the MacBook Pro with NBR displayed in the background (view large image)
Now for the meat and potatoes – how well does it work? Tracking is superb and the response time is instant. I used it on and off a mouse pad and tracking seemed unaffected. In fact, it tracked beautifully on a table that gives my Logitech mouse fits. However, the range is lacking. If the receiver and mouse are separated by more than two feet, I find the pointer gets erratic. The good news is that most of the time your notebook is closer than two feet away. By default, the two buttons and scroll wheel work as you would expect, but there are two additional features included that I found useful. First, clicking the scroll wheel alternates vertical and horizontal scrolling, and second, clicking the left and right buttons at the same time opens a find window. If you download the optional MouseWorks software from Kensington, not only can you change the behavior of the buttons on the mouse, but it also allows program-specific settings. For example, Photoshop can have a different profile than Firefox. Best of all, MouseWorks is smart, and knows which program is active, which means there is no need to manually switch profiles. The MouseWorks software has a small memory footprint (it consumes about 5MB), and I did not notice any bugs during my time with it.
Thickness comparison of Kensington Ci65m to other mice (view large image)
The expected battery life of the Ci65m according to Kensington is one year. Obviously, I am unable to see if that is truly the case yet as this mouse is only a few weeks old. However, the mouse does have a battery indicator that will signal when it hits 40% and 10% remaining charge. This is a feature I wish my other mice had. I cannot tell how many times I have been in the middle of a game and my mouse dies without notice.
From its design to its performance, the Ci65m stacks up strongly against the competition. I was not expecting much from this mouse. I did not have any experience with Kensington products before, and I viewed them as a generic brand that I would have no interest in. The Ci65m pleasantly surprised me. It showed me that Kensington has the ability to put out a good product for a good price. The suggested retail price of $29.99 makes the Ci65m one of the more affordable wireless notebook mice available, and the performance makes it an even better deal.
- Compact design
- Auto-off when the receiver is attached
- Great battery life
- Battery indicator
- Good tracking and response
- Cheap-feeling receiver
- No case
- Receiver can fall off mouse when attached
- May be too small for larger hands