To many, the venerable notebook touch pad is an imperfect solution to a simple problem. Much the same can be applied to TrackPoints and, whichever you prefer to use, neither are ever quite as intuitive and easy to use as a proper mouse. Consequently, it pays to have a mouse with you for those times when you're on the move, but still have space to use one. However, you don't want to be carrying around a great big hulk of a thing all the time, much better something small, light and portable, and Sony has sent us a couple of its lighter mice intended for notebook users and travellers, the SMU-C3 Wide Wheel Mouse and the SMU-M10 Travel Mouse.
First in line is the SMU-C3 Wide Wheel Mouse, which with its pink and orange two tone design will certainly turn a few heads â€“ although, perhaps not for the right reasons. Thankfully Sony does also produce this mouse in other flavours, namely White/Grey, White/Green and all Black. We'd sooner take any of these over the rather garish pink and orange, though someone might like it
Besides the garish colours, the Wide Wheel Mouse is a fairly standard rodent. Compared to some, it isn't all that small, measuring 64.3 x 32 x 99.7mm (WxDxH), being more or less the same size as a standard OEM mouse. However, it is very light, weighing just 80g.
It has a generous 1.8m cable, which when not in use must be jammed into a compartment underneath the mouse. This isn't the most practical arrangement, and would doubtless be a major pain if you needed pack it up quickly, while it also means the cable can get hopelessly tangled up. That said there are some benefits because you can choose exactly how much cable you want or need to use, with the rest remaining inside the mouse. This provides a certain level of flexibility, and the longer cable means it could conceivably be used on a desktop computer too.
In use the Wide Wheel Mouse is perfectly capable. It utilises an 800dpi optical sensor, which is well suited for normal PC usage and is sensitive enough that can be used in a dual-monitor set up without any problems.
The best feature of the mouse is in the name. As it suggests the scroll wheel is slightly wider than your average scroll wheel, and it sports very nice travel that's smooth and easy to use. Other than this it's a perfectly normal and unremarkable mouse. It's quite comfortable in the hand, but there are no extra buttons or features to speak of. At Â£15 it's not too expensive, and the other colour finishes are quite attractive.
One thing that still holds it down, however, is the size. It may look nice, and is good to use, but it's a tad too large for easy transport while the cable management is mediocre at best. In addition, the build quality doesn't inspire a great deal of confidence exhibiting some annoying rattles and a rather hollow feel.
This is an easy to use mouse, but some features are lacking. The cable management seems like an afterthought, and its size means it has little advantage over any other ordinary mouse.