Small Logitech mouse offers laptop users comfort and...

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November 05, 2001|By Kevin Washington

Small Logitech mouse offers laptop users comfort and accuracy

Some mice created for travelers toting notebook computers have been shrunk to a point where they're no more comfortable to handle than a real, live rodent.

Logitech, however, has come up with a smaller-than-normal mouse that takes more of a slim-line approach to designing a functional mouse for laptops. The Logitech MouseMan Traveler ($50) is an optical mouse that measures 3.29-by-1-by-2 inches and comes with a 3-foot cable that has a Universal Serial Bus port plug and a PS/2 port adapter attached.

The Traveler has two brushed-aluminum metal tabs that act as the left- and right-click buttons, with a scroll wheel in the middle for navigating word-processing documents and Web pages. While I thought my laptop was snazzy before, all the compliments from people who see me working on it these days are aimed at the slick, ultra-modern Traveler.

The 2X optical setting offers 800 dots-per-inch resolution for accuracy and, as with most optical mice, this one doesn't require a pad. Flip open your laptop on an airliner tray table and you can use your leg as a mousing surface.

Gamers who demand precision won't want to use the MouseMan Traveler, given its one optical eye. The two optical eyes on the MouseMan Dual Optical is a better choice.

The MouseMan Traveler works with Windows 95 and up or Macintosh OS 8.6 or later.

Information: 800-231-7717 or www.logitech.com.

Phone mini-headset frees hands, but beware of static

Not everyone has a telephone that will accept a new generation of headsets available for hands-free chatting. If you don't have a headset and want something that won't empty your pocketbook, take a look at the Conairphone Hands-Free Mini-Headset Telephone ($15).

Sure, it's a mouthful, but Conair's headset provides an earpiece and microphone attached to a small silver-and-black clamshell dialer that allows you to take notes on your computer or even cook dinner while you talk on the phone. The round dialer clips to your belt - or in my case, sits on the floor - while you talk. A 25-foot cord provides flexibility, although if you have a large apartment or house, it will feel more like a leash.

The dialer has an on-off button, a redial button, headset volume control and a flash button for call waiting.

When carrying the dialer, I found that even a little bit of movement caused a lot of static. This was annoying given that I sometimes like to pace as I talk. When I put the dialer on the floor or a table, the static was gone.

There are more expensive setups that allow for clearer conversations. And you can spend more money to buy a telephone that accepts a headset.

But if you're on a budget (think college student) and want a telephone that frees your hands for less, the Conairphone is a good buy.

Information: 1-800-726-6247 or www.conair.com.

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