Wayne Thorp will speak at the 2015 AAII Investor Conference this fall; go to www.aaii.com/conference for more details.
Wireless mouse works on virtually any surface and uses AA or AAA batteries.
As I have mentioned in this column before, I am not much of a mouse guy for my everyday computing; I have used trackballs with every desktop system I’ve had for the last decade. However, I am also not a big fan of touchpads on notebooks either. About the only time I do use the touchpad is when I am traveling or when the battery dies. Back in March, I reviewed the Verbatim Easy Riser Bluetooth Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse, which is a no-frills mouse intended to be thrown into a laptop bag for those wanting a mouse while on the road. It didn’t wow me, but it didn’t disappoint me either. However, the mouse has had an annoying habit of dropping its connection with my notebook. It seems like I spend more time trying to re-establish the Bluetooth connection than I do actually using it.
This week, I take a look at the Genius Traveler 9010LS Laser Mouse. Like the Verbatim mouse, it is wireless, but it isn’t Bluetooth. It uses a wireless receiver that plugs into one of your computer’s USB ports. It also features “DarkEye” technology, which allows the laser to track on surfaces such as clear glass and lacquered desks without any problems.
The Genius Traveler 9010LS mouse has more “personality” than the Verbatim Easy Riser. The Easy Riser resembled a kind of plastic brick with no ergonomic features. Like the Easy Riser, the Genius Traveler 9010LS is a standard three-button mouse with right and left mouse buttons as well as a “magic-roller” wheel. It is slightly larger than the Verbatim, measuring 4.2 inches by 2.5 inches by 1.5 inches (versus 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches by 1 inch), but it is still compact enough so as not to take up too much room in a computer bag.
A unique feature of the Genius Traveler 9010LS is that it can run on either a single AA or AAA battery. While it comes with an AA battery, mine was DOA (dead on arrival). I can’t recall this ever happening before with any other battery-included gadget I’ve used. This is a minor annoyance, however, and once I found a new battery, I was good to go.
The other piece of the puzzle with the Genius Traveler 9010LS is the wireless receiver that plugs into your PC’s USB port. My HP Folio 13 Ultrabook has two USB ports, so using half of them is a bit of a concern. However, I typically use a USB hub, so I am never in need of a USB port. If you don’t have a USB hub, or if you only have one USB port on your computer, this presents a problem you need to be aware of. Once I plugged in the receiver and turned on the mouse, my Windows 7 Ultrabook immediately recognized the mouse and I was able to start using it without installing any software. It actually took less time to get the mouse running than it took to unpack it from the box.
While the included USB Pico receiver is relatively low profile, it still protrudes about a quarter of an inch from the side of the computer. For transport, there is a slot built into the bottom of the mouse to stow the receiver.
According to Genius, the Traveler 9010LS is compatible with Windows XP/Vista/7 systems as well as Mac OS 10.4 or later.
In addition, this mouse is designed to work with both right- and left-handed users. Unlike the Verbatim Easy Riser, which as I said is really just a plastic brick, the Genius Traveler 9010LS is ergonomically designed and is one of the more comfortable mice I have used.
The Traveler’s easy setup gives way to flawless execution. The bi-directional 2.4GHz anti-interference technology kept the Traveler constantly connected to my notebook computer without any “dropped” connections.
The Traveler also worked, as advertised, on any surface I tried without any performance issues.
There is also a button in the middle of the mouse that you can press in order to adjust the speed and precision of the mouse between 800, 1200 and 1600 dpi.
Genius does not offer any statistics on battery life, which mimics Verbatim. The packaging claims there is battery-saving technology built into the wireless feature. No matter what the battery life, however, being able to use either an AA or AAA battery means you are more apt to have a spare on hand when the battery eventually does run out.
For me, the biggest thing I am interested in with a wireless mouse is whether or not it works. And the Genius Traveler 9010LS Wireless Mouse does work well. Its quick and easy setup and flawless execution make it a compelling choice for someone looking for a wireless mouse. Its relative compactness makes it an even more attractive option for those needing a mouse while on the road. It definitely tops the Verbatim Easy Riser, in my opinion. At under $35 from various online retailers, it is also an economical choice.
$44.99 (Currently $32 from Amazon.com)
Wayne A. Thorp, CFA, is the author of “Gadget Corner.” All reviews are based on firsthand experience of the product or service. No third-party compensation is received for opinions on products, services, websites or topics. However, sometimes the author is not required by the manufacturer or their PR firm to return the product under review. In such instances, it is our policy to convey this within the review. The views and opinions expressed in these reviews are strictly those of the author. Any product claim, statistic, quote or other representation about a product or service should be verified with the manufacturer or provider.