review

Kensington SureTrack Review Mouse With Blue LED Sensor And Removable Top Shell

Wednesday, November 04, 2020

A computer mouse with a difference, the Kensington SureTrack has an interesting magnetically detachable top shell design that easily comes off by lifting it with your fingers. The removable upper shell is intended for gaining access to the battery compartment and USB dongle compartment where the included 2.4Ghz nano adapter can be stored. 
Removing the upper shell also reveals some components you typically don't get to see unless you tear apart a mouse. These are the scroll wheel rotary encoder and the left/right click buttons. The SureTrack mouses uses tactile push black button switches.
The nano adapter compartment is accessed the same way as the battery compartment by removing the upper shell and slotting the nano adapter into place. The nano adapter compartment is magnetized; hence the nano adapter stays put without wiggling around when sliding the mouse on a mouse pad. 
Despite the upper shell cover being removable, the top section of the mouse is very much sealed shut from the outside; hence the inner workings of the Kensington SureTrack cannot be seen or gained access to, which is probably a good thing to prevent dirt/dust getting inside and inquisitive minds causing havoc!
The SureTrack nano adapter is a very low profile housing; hence it sticks out very little (1cm) when inserted into a USB port. Compared to a full size 2.4Ghz dongle adapter, the nano design of the SureTrack dongle adapter is perfect because it minimizes the likelihood of accidentally yanking out the adapter damaging the USB port. 
The downside of nano adapters is that being so small they can be easier to misplace. Luckily, the Kensington SureTrack has a dedicated compartment for safely storing the included 2.4Ghz nano adapter so, you won't lose it. 
The SureTrack battery compartment is designed to accept two disposable AA alkaline batteries (not included), or two AA rechargeable batteries. This means, the SureTrack does not recharge via USB connection, which is always super convenient. That said, being able to remove the batteries is also advantageous because it allows you to extend the lifespan of the mouse further than you can with a wireless mouse that has a built-in (non-removable) rechargeable battery. 
Because the Kensington SureTrack battery is user replaceable, there is no battery performance rating. Battery life will depend on the type of AA batteries you use. Disposable batteries do perform better but are more expensive and not as convenient as rechargeable ones, which also minimize unnecessary electronic waste. 
Compared to wired mice, wireless mice consume more power than they should do because of the tracking sensor, which is always operational even if you aren't using the mouse. Also, when you turn off the computer, a wireless mouse does not power off automatically like a wired mouse does. 
The SureTrack mouse integrates a power switch so, you can manually turn off the mouse and stop battery depleting unnecessarily. You do have to manually turn off the mouse and sometimes you will find yourself forgetting to do it. 
Luckily, the Kensington SureTrack mouse is equipped with a blue led sensor, which unlike the classic red led sensor, consumes substantially less power. There is also other things you can do to maximize battery lifespan including using a light-colored mouse pad and avoiding mixing battery brands.
The Kensington SureTrack 2.4GHz nano adapter uses a USB 3.0 interface, which is backward compatible; hence you can plug it into a USB 2.0 port. That said, it's better to connect USB 3.0 devices to USB 3.0 ports to avoid interference issues. If this is not possible, it's a good idea to isolate the SureTrack 2.4GHz nano dongle on a single USB port away from another 2.4GHz dongle (i.e. wireless keyboard). 
Also, be aware that connecting a 2.4GHz nano adapter on a stacked/mixed USB port ( USB 2.0 and USB 3.0) can also cause interference and make the mouse unresponsive. 
The power switch on the Kensington SureTrack also switches between 2.4GHz wireless and Bluetooth, which means you can use the SureTrack mouse without the nano dongle. Being Bluetooth though, you can pair the SureTrack mouse to even a smartphone. 
The SureTrack mouse Bluetooth 5.0 chip is backward compatible with Bluetooth 3.0. On the base of the SureTrack mouse, you will also see two large glide feet and a push button labeled "connect", which is a dual function button designed to pair the mouse to the 2.4GHz wireless dongle. 
The connect button also lets you toggle DPI between three modes: 1200 dpi, 2400 dpi and 4000 dpi so, you can adjust the tracking sensitivity. The dpi mode is displayed via the led on top of the mouse (one green flash= 1200 dpi, two green flashes= 2400 dpi and three green flashes= 4000 dpi). 
Being on the bottom, you have to lift the mouse every time you want to change dpi; hence dpi adjustment cannot be done "on the fly" like you can with a mouse that has a DPI button on top. While not as convenient, the SureTrack at least has dpi function onboard so, you don't have to download software to adjust dpi.
While the dpi range is wide, you cannot lower the dpi past 1200 dpi, which is not low enough for tasks that require small, precise movements. Low dpi (~400/1000 dpi) is also ideal for MOBA games and first person shooter games when snapping crosshairs to an enemy. 
The Kensington SureTrack is more suitable for MMOs and RPG games since you need fairly high dpi (1000/1600 dpi). As far as input latency, both wireless modes experience some lag, although it is much lower via 2.4GHz wireless mode (~4ms) versus Bluetooth (~18ms); hence for gaming you want to use SureTrack's 2.4Ghz nano adapter. The buttons make a clicky sound so, they aren't silent.

Kensington doesn't seem to sell top shells separately but the SureTrack top shell can definitely be interchanged with another SureTrack top shell so, you can mix and match different colors. Thanks to the power switch and lightweight construction, the SureTrack mouse is travel-friendly. 
The SureTrack mouse is mostly made of hard plastic, aside from the scroll wheel which is made of grooved rubber with a down click (no left/right click) function. The mouse weighs 62 grams, including the top shell (weighs 10 grams) and nano adapter, which weighs 1 gram and measures 2cm long. 
The Kensington SureTrack has a classic mouse design with a beveled bottom edge. Total dimensions are 11cm long, 6.3cm wide and 3.8cm high - perfect for small/medium size hands. If you have very large hands, you can still use it with a claw grip. 
The Kensington SureTrack comes in five colorways, namely black, blue, grey, red and white, which you can buy from amazon. If interested in ergonomic type mice, checkout the review of the Expert Mouse trackball and the Pro Fit Ergo mouse. You can also read more reviews of Kensington products below:

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