I’ve always though that Genius was something of a boastful name for a company, especially one that hasn’t produced anything that’s changed the world. What Genius does do is offer a surprisingly large range of PC peripherals, ranging from mice and keyboards to webcam and game pads and quite a few things in between. I’ve always associated it with low cost, budget items and have never actually reviewed any of its products. Indeed TrustedReviews has previously only looked at only one, a set of headphones (actually two - it was the group winner in my keyboard and mouse combo group test in 2004...! Gordon). But its Traveler 915 Laser mouse seemed quite cute so I thought I’d take a closer look.
American spelling aside, as the name suggests, the mouse is aimed at the traveller, who wants a small, lightweight mouse to put in his or her bag. As such, the mouse is quite small and light at 5.6cm x 9.4cm x 24cm and only 95g. Appearance wise, it looks as if someone has pre-flattened that mouse ready for packing. It has a three colour finish, a basic grey a silver strip running down the middle and black down the sides. The Genius logo adorns the top edge and Dr. Evil’s favourite word, ‘Laser’ sits below this.
A round nodule at the base of the silver strip is actually a button, that when pressed ejects a small tray out of the bottom of the mouse. At first I wondered what this was – a small place to keep your mints, or small coins, before I realised that it’s actually for storing the USB dongle. This is a neat idea. There’s a sleek Logitech mouse knocking round the office that can’t be used as the dongle has gone AWOL.
Above this is a light that illuminates when power is running low from the two AAA batteries that power the mouse powered. These are placed in a straightforward fashion in a flap on the underside.
When you’ve finished using the mouse you can just turn it off, with a simple slider switch on the underneath. I was impressed that after turning it off then on again, it was ready for use straight away, with no lag at all. Genius are claiming six months battery life, which unsurprisingly I can’t verify. What it doesn’t have is anything as clever as Logitech’s V400 Travel Mouse, which turns itself off when you push the dongle back inside the mouse.
At the other end of the silver strip is the scroll wheel (or Magic-Roller as it’s rather amusingly named in the manual), which is covered in rather cheap looking ridges, but actually has a very good, responsive feel under the finger.