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Kensington PilotMouse Mini Wireless review: Kensington PilotMouse Mini Wireless

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The Good Great performance; stowable receiver; three programmable buttons; comfortable grip.

The Bad Uncomfortable to use for long periods; no sleep shut off; small scrollwheel.

The Bottom Line This travel-size mouse isn't the most comfortable, but its operation is flawless, and its receiver is stowable, making it one of our favorites.

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6.0 Overall

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Although it's neither the smallest nor the lightest mouse we've seen, the Kensington PilotMouse Mini Wireless strikes a good balance between portability and features. Available for a reasonable $40, this travel-ready mouse will make a good addition to your mobile office. We do wish it were more comfortable to hold, but uncomfortable mice are par for the course in travel-size mice, and what it lacks in comfort it makes up for in functionality and performance.

It's easy to set up the PilotMouse Mini--press the slightly raised button toward the base at the back of the mouse, and the cover to the battery compartment pops off. Insert the two AA batteries (included) and plug the receiver into your USB port. If your mouse doesn't work off the bat, press the small, black connect buttons on the receiver and the mouse to sync them up (this process is described in Kensington's brief user manual). Kensington doesn't include a software CD with the PilotMouse Mini Wireless, but a few utilities are available on Kensington's Web site; the utilities let you program the mouse's three buttons and adjust cursor acceleration.

Weighing 4.16 ounces (including two AA batteries), the PilotMouse Mini Wireless is heavier than other mice in its category, but it won't add to your back strain. The mouse has the standard two-button one scrollwheel design, and the buttons are programmable using the MouseWorks software. The scrollwheel is smaller than others, requiring a few additional finger strokes to get to the bottom of the page. With the MouseWorks software installed, the scrollwheel takes on extra functionality; click it once to scroll horizontally, click it again to return to a normal vertical scroll. This feature is a plus for going through Excel documents or for perusing Web sites.

The PilotMouse Mini's ribbed rubber sides and smooth rubberized grip are attempts to add comfort, but they come up short. We found the mouse rather uncomfortable to use for an extended amount of time--typical for a travel-size mouse. We do like how the receiver attaches to the bottom of the mouse for safekeeping, however. Unlike most other mice with this feature, you can switch the mouse off manually by flipping the power switch on the bottom of the mouse.

In a month of near-constant use, we found the 800dpi optical mouse's performance flawless; we didn't experience any jumps or stalls in the cursor. And unlike with many other wireless mice, we never had to reset the connection between the PilotMouse Mini's receiver and mouse.

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