updated 10:30 am EDT, Mon September 17, 2007
Kensington today made sweeping changes to its controllers with the release of its SlimBlade series of controllers built for users who want to present media at home or at work. The releases are headlined by the SlimBlade Media Mouse, a wine-red pointer designed for home theater computers; tracking the same as any other laser mouse when on a desk, the use of a scroll ball lets it double as a remote. Dedicated media buttons also let it quickly choose tracks, play or pause, and adjust volume. Like most of the SlimBlade line, the design is notebook-friendly at 25 to 35 percent thinner than most mice and runs wirelessly up to 30 feet away from its USB receiver. It should be available in many areas today for $60 and is accompanied by a $100 Media Notebook Set that bundles the Media Mouse with a thin wireless keyboard and breakaway keypad.
Office users can turn instead to the SlimBlade Presenter Mouse, an equally slim controller with a distinctive presentation mode. Switching to the different format changes the controls to easily switch between slides and includes a backlight to notify the user when they can begin. The Presenter relies on a conventional tilting scroll wheel and ships today for $50. A similar mouse, the SlimBlade Trackball, combines a conventional laser mouse with a toggle that enables a trackball for mouse movement instead of scrolling for extremely tight spaces. It uses Bluetooth for wireless in place of RF and sells for $100.
A solitary remote, the SlimBlade Media Remote, serves as a companion piece for Front Row in Mac OS X or for Windows Media Center PCs, steering content with a basic four-way directional pad and menu button. It clings to the side of the notebook with a magnet and sells for $20.