Recently I heard from a reliable source that this type of product had been recommended by a doctor as a solution to overcome a medical problem. However, to the best of my knowledge, the product in question is not available on the National Health.
Like many users my dominant hand is often found in close contact with my computer mouse. While the mouse is the undoubted most popular pointing device for different types of computer tasks, it is not the only choice available. For some a trackball is the optimum tool as they control the on-screen cursor and activate a range of tasks. One such product is the Kensington SlimBlade Trackball which arrives with the promise of offering multi-function capabilities.
First a wireless notebook laser mouse from Kensington with the catchy Ci10 Fit name. Second a keyboard from Brando with Smart Touchpad for those who spend their days typing in figures or using their fingers in controls.
This is just slightly smaller than a standard mouse at 10.5x6x3.5cm. The 4.5x1.5x.5cm receiver fits into the base of the mouse when not in use and this saves the possibility of the mouse and receiver ending up in different places. The mouse is black and grey with rubberised sides to aid grip for those who perspire. As seems the norm these days there are no specific places to click with the area either side of the scroll wheel being the target areas.
Not one but two Kensington Wireless mice, both using a tiny Nano receiver that fits almost invisibly into any USB port. The two being looked at are the SlimBlade and then the catchily named Ci95m, both of course are free to move without wires.
The SlimBlade mouse is 9x5.5x2cm the last figure is maximum. It is all back with the exception of a grey surround for the scroll wheel. It weights 70 grams with the supplied two ‘AAA’ batteries inserted. It is just oblong with no curve and the highest point is just behind centre. There are no distinct mouse buttons with the whole front portion of the sides able to be depressed for the mouse actions. This of course means it is suitable for almost any hand size.
The Kensington notebook expansion dock with video model K33367EUB is easy to use and brings a number of the advantages of a desktop machine to the notebook user. It provides the user, when at home or in the office, with a quick and simple means of connecting their notebook to an external monitor as well as full-size keyboard, mouse, the network and other peripherals.
Although one of the advantages of a notebook is its portability there are downsides and, as far as I'm concerned, it is a tool but not one of choice when I have an alternative. I prefer a full size keyboard, a proper mouse and, ideally, two screens. Obviously, I cannot have these while on the move.
According to recent figures, notebook sales are outnumbering desktop systems in some quarters. In many cases the notebook is being purchased as a direct replacement for a desktop system. However this approach could raise a problem with regards to connectivity.
Turn a standard mouse upside down and you have an inactive piece of kit but this is not the case with a new product from Kensington.
In the same way that keyboards have been designed with enhanced features, such as multimedia controls and zoom capability, their usual companion, of a mouse, has followed a similar pattern as is exemplified by this next product. This is the SlimBlade Media Mouse from Kensington. This offering is a laser mouse that communicates with the computer via a USB stick receiver with a wireless 2.4GHz signal operating on a range of up to 30 feet.
As the computer mouse develops and expands its functionality, there is still a market for the more basic model.
Walk into any computer store, whether it is part of a national chain or an independent outlet, and you will probably see a number of mice vying for your attention. Evolving from the basic two-buttoned, ball controlled model with a physical connection to the dedicated mouse port on your computer, the modern mouse now comes in an assortment of sizes and shapes with varying degrees of functionality.
A lot of notebooks especially smaller ones have limited ports, some manufacturers provide expansion docks but at a price. So any universal dock is certainly worth a good look, here one requiring a single USB port from Kensington.
The Kensington VGA notebook expansion dock measures 25x7x4cm and weights 270grams. Ideal for those who use a notebook out and about and at a desk. Leave the peripherals attached to the expansion dock when you are out and about and when you return to your desk you just need to connect the USB cable supplied to your notebook and everything should be ready to use. Looking at the notebook expansion dock you have a set of connections.
If you have two computers why should you need to double up on peripherals? Here I am looking at a device that allows you to connect two the devices from two adjacent computers and use whatever they may be as if they are tied to one PC.
The Share Central 5 box is 17x11x3.5cm it can sit anywhere between the two PC’s or it has two screw holes in its rear to allow wall mounting. The top (or front depending on how you have it) has four push buttons each relating to a peripheral but it is possible to use it in Auto mode that can save the effort of pushing a button.
If you use a notebook on the move and at a desk then the latter is often a pain as you are almost certainly looking down at the screen. With the addition of a keyboard and a mouse this item can solve the neck pain.
Sometimes first impressions can be misleading. Take for instance this next product from Kensington.
The Kensington LiquidAUX product is not, as I first thought, a FM Transmitter device. Instead this device, designed specifically for the iPhone and iPod products, is an auxiliary car kit with a remote control for the music loving driver.
Current global financial issues aside, and lets not mention some recent football performances and results, Kensington opened the New Year with a showcase featuring some of its new products at Chelsea Football Clubs almost palatial hospitality facilities.
Although we generally refer to the whole computer as being a personal device, it is really the keyboard and mouse that provides the personal touch to the system.
The latest example of keyboard and mouse to come under my finger-tip control is the Kensington Ci70 Wireless Desktop Set which combines innovative stylish aspects with a mouse docking feature. The marketing people at Kensington have put some thought into the packaging design for this desktop set. By using a Perspex top to the packaging, the user is able to see both the keyboard and mouse laid out as if ready for use.
Kensington have added to their range of audio accessories with this set of travel speakers, suitable for
any media player with a standard jack socket but very obviously aimed at the iPod market.
The Kensington FX500 "speaker to go" is a slightly bigger than an A5 sheet of paper at around 150x200mm, around 35mm thick and weighing 400g. The unit has a soft finish that should be fairly robust and is reminiscent of a small zip-up folio case. From the front the product has a central clear window through which you'll be able to access front-mounted controls on your favourite MP3 player. A power switch is situated to the lower right.
Here I am looking at two mice that do their normal jobs but also perform a second task.
The first helps those making presentations while the second is a boon for those with sweaty palms.
Kensington Slim Blade Presenter Mouse As the box says the mouse presents well and travels even better. It is very slim you could say it looks somewhat squashed but for it's second job this is an advantage. It is 9x6x1.5cm. It has no wires as it is wireless and the receiver stores inside when not in use. This action also saves the batteries as they are cut off when the receiver is in the mouse.
Here I am looking at two mice different in shape and connections. The first from Logitech the VX Nano that has a tiny wireless connector. The second from Kensington that takes shape to the extreme the SlimBlade Trackball mouse.
Logitech VX Nano This is a small (described as for a notebook) mouse, however the real surprise is the transmitter that fits in an USB port it's so small that it fits in the base of the mouse so you just plug it in when you wish to work. So the dimensions the mouse is a maximum of 9x6x3cm with the front edge reducing the 3cm thickness to only a single centimetre.
The computer mouse continues to evolve in various ways. Take, for example, a new mouse from Kensington.
As part of its new product line-up, Kensington has released its SlimBlade Presenter Mouse. As you might suppose from its title, this mouse looks as if it has been on a diet to achieve its slim-line figure. However the cut-back in size has not resulted in any reduction in the functionality of this mouse as will become clear a little later. Apart from its height, this almost flat mouse is fairly standard with its other dimensions as it measures 92 x 57 x 14mm.
Taking your favourite MP3 tracks with you on a long car journey certainly helps reduce driving tension.
It was not all that long ago when using a FM Transmitter device would have been considered illegal although you could purchase one without impunity. This unusual state of affairs was brought about by regulations that had been set up during the Second World War. Fortunately these restrictions relating to low power FM transmitters have been removed.
While the various MP3 type devices were designed as personal music players that has not stopped developers from trying to expand the range of audience participation.
Entitled , the provides additional audio output capabilities to your MP3 player. Although it does come with a claim, clearly mentioned on the packaging, that the product has been designed for all MP3 players, it is obvious that the iPod has had a major influence on the design concept but more on this a little later.
Having recently looked at two offering from Kensington here are the latest two Diamond Eye offerings to land on my desk, just like the last pair one needs the industrial scissors.
Kensington Ci60 Optical Wireless Mouse Nothing more difficult than a stubborn piece of sellotape stopped me from finding the contents of the box, the mouse proudly protruding through the plastic window on the face. Should you ever need to replace the mouse in it's packaging it's possible and because of this you have a good chance of finding the instruction sheet and CD.