by Niki Breese
The Targus Mini Kaleidoscope Mouse is an optical mouse with a retractable cord similar to the Kensington Ci25m I recently reviewed. This mini mouse however comes with a twist. It lights up and shifts through 7 different colors. When I first saw the Targus Mini Kaleidoscope connected to a display model at Best Buy I decided I couldn’t live without a colorful, flashing mouse so I picked it up for $24.60.
(view large image)
- Appearance: Silver with 7 radiating colors
- System Requirements: Windows 2000, Me, XP or Mac OS X, USB Port
- Warranty: Limited One Year Warranty
- Exterior Dimensions: 3.63" x 2" x 1.25"
- Weight: 2.5 oz
The Mini Kaleidoscope is a typically shaped all silver mouse with a classic shape and a clear window that wraps the leading edge from which the LED light emits. A clear, rubberized scroll wheel sits in the middle of seamless buttons that each click nicely. The trendy look of the mouse helps it seem slightly less cheap. To the hand using the mouse, the plastic is very smooth and easy to grip although it may become slippery to sweaty hands.
Notice how the Targus Mini Kaleidoscope mouse matches the Dell Inspiron making a cameo in the pictures:
(view large image)
(view large image)
The Targus Mini Kaleidoscope Mouse compared with the Kensington Ci25m Notebook Mouse (view large image)
Physically, the Mini Kaleidoscope seems to be the same size as the Kensington Ci25m I previously reviewed. However, it somehow manages to feel smaller. It’s no matter to my small hands that easily and comfortably fit on the mouse. On the flip side, a small mouse like this one may annoy those with large hands and long fingers.
On the palm rest of a Dell Inspiron 6000 15.4" screen notebook (view large image)
The Mini Kaleidoscope is an optical mouse. It tracks well enough for precision Photoshoping while on my bedspread. I tried it on a variety of surfaces including paper, a wooden desk, plastic lab tables, jeans, my cat’s back, and the palm rests of my Dell Inspiron. The scroll wheel also gets the job done. When you roll the scroll wheel a notch it responds instantly and slightly scrolls down the page. I have yet to see a run away scroll occur with this mouse.
- Light Blue
The feature that sets the Mini Kaleidoscope apart from other mini mouse devices is the color changing lights. The Mini Kaleidoscope produces seven colors. The colors cycle in the specific order of the above bullet points. Each of the colors lasts five seconds, then the kaleidoscope flashes to the next. The light shining through the clear window and scroll wheel is vivid and bright. Even in a well lit room, the color changing is hard to miss. The optical light on the mouse does bleed into the clear scroll wheel. I know many of you who are reading this are wondering about the effects this mouse has on battery life. While running on battery, I don’t notice any difference in my battery’s stamina.
Comparison of the cords on the Kensington Ci25m and Targus Mini Kaleidoscope mouse (view large image)
The Kaleidoscope mouse features a retractable cord. The cord is a bit restrictive, but is fine for use on a desk. Unlike the cord of the Kensington Ci25m, the cord stays straight and doesn’t curl when it’s out. To retract the cord, you just give it a tug and the cord winds back into the mouse. Unfortunately, I have found that after just a short while of use, the cord no longer retracts completely, but rather ninety eight percent of the way. This Mini Kaleidoscope is a true plug and play device and does not come with a driver CD or any software. Drivers are available however on the mouse’s product page at Targus.com.
Over all, this mouse gets a seal of approval from me. It is well worth the $24.60 I paid for it. It puts on an awesome light show and, more importantly, handles well. The retractable cord reassures me that this mouse will be operational for a long time in coming, unlike the broken wireless mouses in my closet, and won’t cost me a fortune in batteries.
- Stylish, cool light-up colors
- Tracks well, scrolls well, good feedback from buttons
- No batteries required
- Short cord
- Feels kind of cheap
- Drivers not included in case of problems