by Ted Lynch
The Kensington Si650m is a new wireless notebook mouse from Kensington for those of you yearning to break free from the constraints that a corded mouse provides while on the go. Being a current happy Kensington notebook mouse owner, I was interested in seeing how the new mouse would stack up. The Si650m is a good choice for those looking for an inexpensive wireless notebook mouse.
The Si650m and receiver (view large image)
The package contents were pretty minimal: a mouse, a receiver, two AA batteries, a fold-out manual and a software disc. It’s basic, but has everything you need. The software and manual are available to download on Kensington’s website.
The package (view large image)
Even when it’s shipped to you the mouse comes in anti-theft packaging that’s tough to open. I just got an MP3 player from Dell that took me 15 minutes to open, but that story is for another day.
Here are the highlights for the Si650, some taken from Kensington’s website:
- 1000dpi Optical Tracking
- 4-way Tilt-Scroll Wheel
- 2.4Ghz Wireless
- Mini Receiver Tucks Inside Mouse for Storage
- When Recevier Is Tucked Inside the Mouse It Turns Off
- Battery Life Indicator Signal
- M.S.R.P: $39.99 Though Can Be Found On Pricegrabber in the $35 Range
- Support For Windows 98/ME/2K/XP, Mac OS 8 & Up
- Five Year Warranty with Free Tech Support
- Dimensions: Length – 3.75", Height – 1.5", Width – 2.0"
Design & Features
The Si650m has a conservative look. It is sleek and curvy. It comes in varying tones of grayish-blue. It has darker rubberized grips on the side designed to provide grip and comfort. There is a chrome accent piece around the wheel to give it a touch of class. It also houses the battery life indicator. The size felt just about right and was comfortable to use. It was not as big as a desktop mouse, but not so small as to make it uncomfortable to use. I find using smaller mice like the Microsoft Optical Mouse, pictured on the far right below, can be tedious due to my hand cramping up every so often from holding a small mouse.
Logitech Desktop Mouse, the Kensington Si650m, the Kensington Pocket Bluetooth Mouse and the Microsoft Optical Notebook Mouse (view large image)
The Si650m has a few nifty features, the first of which is a battery life indicator. It is located on the front of the wheel. When the mouse is turned on it illuminates green for five seconds to indicate there is 20-100% of battery life left. If it flashes red, it has less than 20% remaining. Kensington claims the Si650m has a battery life of nine months. Since I’ve only had it a few weeks, it would be hard test that claim. I think if you carry a couple of extra batteries, you’ll be in good shape.
The first few days I had the mouse, I had to force the rear door open to get access to the receiver. After figuring this was not the correct procedure, I busted out the manual. I found out by placing out your fingers in the back where the rubber meets the plastic and squeezing, the door opens. You can see the indents where you need to squeeze while viewing it from the side.
Right side view (view large image)
Left side view (view large image)
Opening the back reveals two battery slots and a cubby hole for the receiver. When the receiver is inside the mouse, it automatically turns off the mouse.
View of receiver inside the mouse (view large image)
View with receiver removed from inside the mouse (view large image)
I do occasionally leave my mouse on even though it has an on/off switch which drains the battery in less than a day. Having thisfeature will come in handy for those who are forgetful and like to leave things behind like myself. I used both regular and rechargeable batteries. Both seemed to do the job.
The Si650 is made from plastic. I would say it is a medium grade plastic. It is not the best, but doesn’t look like you got it at Wal-Mart either. It feels pretty solid in the hand, but not as good as my Bluetooth mouse which is a more expensive mouse.
Front view (view large image)
Back view (view large image)
The fit and finish on the mouse was good. It feels fairly light, lighter than my Bluetooth mouse. The feel of the buttons was pretty good, but they were a bit loud and clicky for my tastes. Perhaps over time, you’d wear them down a bit. I tend to be more sensitive to this. For most others it is probably a non-issue.
I plugged the receiver into the notebook and the mouse started working immediately, no software install required. That’s pretty much the definition of plug and play.
Plug her in and she’s ready to go (view large image)
The Si650m has a mouse utility that comes with it. It installs itself in the mouse properties on control panel. The feature I miss most while using a laptop is the center click of the wheel. I like to have a lot of windows open at once, other people like tabs. Being able to click-close is something I miss a lot when using a laptop. It is not seen with any regularity on other notebooks or notebook mice. The setup program has this feature which greatly pleases me. I’m thinking of seeing if I can get it work with my Bluetooth mouse which lacks it.
Performance on the mouse was good. I never had any dropout issues or lag of any kind. The scroll wheel action was very smooth. I tried to use the mouse on as many surfaces as possible: on my desk with and without a mousepad, in bed, on the couch, etc. It worked on all surfaces without a hitch. I also plugged it into my desktop just for fun. It worked there as well. The only real problem I experienced with it was the four way scroll. It didn’t work while I used it. It wasn’t a big problem for me as I never use this feature. The Si650m claims to have a range of 10m or 30ft. I can’t dispute this fact. I used it from across the room, 15 maybe 20 feet away. It worked fine as near as I could tell from across the room.
The Kensington Si650m is a solid product. It has good performance and feel, while not breaking the bank. Kensington stands behind their product with a five year warranty. I ended up giving the mouse to a friend who was in need of a mouse. She was impressed with its performance as well. It is a good option for those who looking for a notebook mouse with good features and not terribly expensive.
- Attractive Look
- Comfortable Grip
- Good Performance
- Easy Setup
- Long Range
- On/Off Setup
- Noisy Buttons
- Four Way Scroll Did Not Work
- Hard To Open Package