The Micro Innovations Mini Optical Travel Mouse is one of the best $20 purchases I’ve ever made.
I recently bought a new laptop computer. As it turns out, just in time, as my old one would not even boot up yesterday! But the thing that I hate most about laptops is the touch pad for moving the cursor around. Of course we have two old mice around the house, but neither one is cabled for a USB port, so I thought that I would look around the store to see what I could find.
What I came home with is this mini-mouse. It is about half the size of a regular mouse: 3 inches long, 1.5 inches wide, and just under an inch tall. The cord retracts onto the little wheel you can see in the middle of the cord. It uses optical scanning technology, and has the standard left and right click, and a scroll wheel in the middle. It easily slips into one of the mesh storage pockets in my laptop case.
It is plug-and-play for most computers with a USB port, including Windows 98 SE, Me, 2000, XP, Media Center, and Vista. Mac OS X 10.1 or higher. I have XP, and I just plugged it in, and about 20 seconds later it started working! It has a limited lifetime replacement warranty against defective parts or workmanship for the original purchaser. Made by Micro Innovations of Edison, New Jersey.
How does it work? Well, I am now in laptop heaven! I did learn right away that it doesn’t like a shiny surface to run on. But I still own a small mouse pad (it’s 6 inches square- a very nice size for this mouse), so I just keep this in the case with the laptop now too. I didn’t necessarily expect how nice this would “feel.” The response is accurate and quick with none of that annoying lag where the cursor doesn’t quite seem to know what the mouse is telling it. And I love the scroll wheel as compared to trying to quickly scan web pages with that stupid touch pad.
I have been able to use this not only at a table, but semi-reclining on the couch with the laptop on my lap and the mouse pad snuggled on a pillow beside me, or even placed on my stomach. And I already managed to drop it once with no ill effects.
Of course, I have small hands, so the size just seems very nice to me. In fact, it feels better to me than regular mice. It might be awkward for someone large. However, as a laptop accessory, I think that it is just about perfect.
Update On Nov 09, 2008: I continue to be very pleased with this. It gets dangled at the end of its cord or dropped very often, and so far it's handled it all without any problems.
Update On Jul 06, 2009: Well, the mini-mouse died after 11 months of hard use and abuse. The warranty was for 6 months, so I think that is accecptable for an inexpensive product that really isn't designed for the full-time use I give it . I will review the replacement soon.