Creative Mouse Wireless Notebook Optical review: Creative Mouse Wireless Notebook Optical

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The Good Compact travel size; includes an on/off switch for prolonging battery life.

The Bad Occasional cursor pauses; narrow buttons.

The Bottom Line Your tired digits will appreciate this mouse while you're on the road, but the Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse is a superior travel-size mouse.

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7.0 Overall
  • Design 7
  • Features 7
  • Performance 6
  • Battery 8
  • Support 7

Creative Mouse Wireless Notebook Optical

The Creative Mouse Wireless Notebook Optical is sized with the space-thrifty traveler in mind. This supersmall mouse, a bit larger than a large pack of gum, costs a reasonable $39.99 (as of January 2005) for a basic set of features, but it's a bit heavy for its category at 3.1 ounces, and the cursor has an annoying tendency to pause. The Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse is a better-performing travel-size mouse, but it is slightly more expensive.

To set up the Creative Mouse, simply plop in two included AAA batteries and plug the receiver into your laptop's USB port. If the receiver doesn't immediately recognize the mouse, you'll need to sync them by pressing the small connect button on the receiver, then the small connect button on the bottom of the mouse.

After the simple setup, the 800dpi optical mouse runs fairly smoothly, but the cursor occasionally disappeared or paused in our tests, usually during heavy hard disk activity. Otherwise, its performance is average, and in tests with fresh batteries, the mouse worked up to six feet away from the receiver. The standard two-button, one-scrollwheel design is scaled down--the scrollwheel is full size, but the mouse buttons are very narrow. As we've experienced with most travel-size mice, this mouse's extremely small size makes it fairly uncomfortable to use for any length of time.

The receiver in this set is nearly three inches long and has a protective cap for its USB end; however, there's no good place to stow the cap when the receiver is in use. Creative does provide a travel case with snug pockets for both the mouse and the receiver.

The silver-and-black mouse boasts one feature that many wireless mice lack: an on/off switch on the bottom of the mouse. This conserves battery life, which is especially important when traveling, when you may not use it for hours or days at a time.

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