Accessory-maker Kensington is known for pumping out an endless array of tech add-ons, from iPod docks to laptop cases. Most are perfectly functional, but not exactly stylish, which makes this new line of travel mice (including the larger Ci70 LE and the ExpressCard-based Ci85m) especially interesting. With a slim profile and eye-catching design (two variations are available: all black, and orange and silver), the $35 Ci75m Wireless Notebook Mouse is a fine choice for when a laptop touch pad just won't do--as long as you don't expect it to stand up to too much physical abuse.
For a travel mouse, being easy to carry and use is a key feature. We liked the Ci75m's all-in-one construction, which includes a USB receiver that snaps into the bottom of the mouse when it's not in use. When you're ready to plug it in, pop the receiver out and stick in your laptop's USB port. Snapping the receiver back into the base of the mouse also covers the optical sensor and turns it off. While modern desktop mice typically include at least an extra thumb button or two, the Ci75m has just the basics: left and right buttons and a scroll wheel.
The Ci75m's length and width are similar to a smaller desktop mouse--4.25-inches by 2.5 inches, but it measures just 0.7 inch thick, and could easily slip into a shirt pocket (although we certainly wouldn't recommend that, if just for style reasons). The mouse is not an ergonomic disaster, but the shallow body and buttons can take some getting used to.
The cover (held in place with three tiny magnets) easily pops off, perhaps a little too easily, for inserting the two AAA batteries (thoughtfully included), or accessing a tiny built-in USB cable that lets you use the mouse without the wireless receiver. The cable measure 25 inches in length, which should be more than adequate, while the wireless range is about 5 feet.
While extended use or serious gaming could easily lead to some hand fatigue, we found the 1,000-dpi sensor to be precise and accurate, and didn't note any delayed reaction time--sometimes a factor for wireless mice.