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Kensington Ci85m QuickStart Wireless Notebook Mouse

Holiday Buyer's Guide 2007 Part 4

By Sina Mohammadi

An established brand in the computer accessories and peripherals market, Kensington is best known for its notebook bags, iPod accessories, computer mice and keyboards. For frequent travelers, and those who schlep their notebooks around with them, portability is essential for carry-on accessories. Kensington's new line of travel mice has been gaining ground lately, owing to its stylish design and slender profile.

Notable in this line is the Ci85m Quickstart Wireless mouse. It measures just 4.25" x 2.5" x 0.7" (108 mm x 63.5 mm x 17.8 mm) and is the first mouse we have seen to utilize ExpressCard technology. As the "QuickStart" in its name indicates, the Ci85m's primary feature is its ability to connect to your notebook without any setup. Simply insert the ExpressCard/34 receiver into your notebook's ExpressCard slot, flip up its tiny antenna, and you are ready to use this mouse.

The Kensington Ci85 comes in a sleek, puce package, but the ExpressCard link is what makes it special.

By design, this mouse is minimalistic and features only basic left/right buttons and a scroll-wheel that doubles as a low-battery indicator. Removing its cover exposes a slot for two AAA batteries and a backup USB cord should you decide not to go wireless, or want to connect to a notebook that lacks an ExpressCard slot. Underneath the mouse you will find a sliding cover that closes to conserve power and protect the optical sensor when it's not in use.

ExpressCard technology is relatively new and its availability in notebooks is still somewhat limited. But for newer notebooks, the $40 Ci85m Quickstart is a reasonably priced, well-rounded traveling mouse that makes a great stocking stuffer for frequent flyers (and others who seldom venture forth without a notebook in tow).

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