Saturday, April 13, 2024
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Neat, but Heavily Flawed – Review Geek


Rating:
4/10
?

  • 1 – Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 – Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 – Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 – Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 – Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 – Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 – Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 – Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 – Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 – Absolute Design Nirvana

Price: $64.99

Dell Portable MS700 Mouse Twisting to Become Flat
Hannah Stryker / Review Geek

This mouse is specifically designed for on the go use. It twists flat for easy storage, but that’s just about the extent of its pros. It sacrifices both comfort and performance for a slender profile.

Normally, I love when products break from the mold of what’s typical. While the Dell MS700 mouse flattens for travel, it lacks the remaining functionalities needed in a travel mouse. It feels gimmicky when a product’s overall performance suffers to allow for one semi-useful trick.

Here’s What We Like

  • Folds flat for easy transportation
  • Can connect to multiple devices via Bluetooth
  • Can be used by righties or lefties

And What We Don’t

  • Pinches skin near base of thumb joint
  • Touch scroll is not implemented well
  • Poor user interface in the app
  • Too pricey for the amount of flaws

Review Geek’s expert reviewers go hands-on with each product we review. We put every piece of hardware through hours of testing in the real world and run them through benchmarks in our lab. We never accept payment to endorse or review a product and never aggregate other people’s reviews. Read more >>

How the Travel Mouse Works

The Dell MS700 has a split in the middle of the mouse, so you can rotate half of the peripheral to change its shape. It can either lay flat for travel or it can be arched up for use. I was excited to try out this product as it seemed both intriguing and useful.

When I went to coffee shops to work in the past, I often opted to leave whatever mouse I owned at the time since it didn’t fit in my laptop sleeve. There were also a few times when I brought one with me but realized I forgot its Bluetooth dongle.

The twist-and-go nature of this Bluetooth mouse seemed to solve those problems.

Packing Dell Portable Ms700 Mouse in Laptop Sleeve
Hannah Stryker / Review Geek

The ability to lay the Dell MS700 flat is great for travel. I could easily slip it into my backpack or, more impressively, my laptop sleeve (as seen above) without taking up too much space or adding a huge bump. This feature is pretty nice, but it seems to be just about all the mouse offers.

Unfortunately, as I spent more time using the MS700, the intrigue of the twist started to fade, and more irritations started to surface.

Subpar Comfort

A person at a cafe using the Dell Portable Ms700 Mouse
Hannah Stryker / Review Geek

In terms of comfort, having the underside open beneath the middle is a bit weird at first, but you get used to it. My ring finger and pinky often drag alongside the mouse or wrap under it a bit. This often turns my hand slightly, leaving it angled.

This is perfectly fine, that is, until you have to scroll. Scrolling is neither smooth nor instinctual. The touch area for the scroll is narrow, which is particularly problematic since you often find your hand angled.

You either get frustrated because you are only hitting the scroll a fraction of the time, or you have to readjust your hand every time you need to scroll. It feels unnatural no matter how you end up scrolling.

Another issue is that the beveled edges on the bottom of the mouse occasionally catch the skin of my palm and pinch it between the mouse and the surface it’s placed on. While it doesn’t particularly hurt, it is annoying.

I’ve used a Microsoft Surface Arc Mouse before (which features a very similar design) and haven’t come across the same discomforts I’ve encountered here.

This Mouse Is Louder Than It Should Be

There are two plastic pads on the bottom of the accessory that sit between whatever surface the mouse is placed on and the mouse itself. When you’re sitting at a desk with a mouse pad, there isn’t any sound worth noting. Unfortunately, most places where you would be using a portable mouse, such as a café, airport, or library, won’t have a mouse pad. Instead, you will have a hard surface.

The plastic pads scrapping across a table sound very scratchy. It isn’t subtle, either. With how loud it is, I would be quite irritated if someone else was using this mouse across the table from me at a Starbucks.

Three Device Bluetooth Connectivity

Dell Portable Ms700 Mouse Next to Keyboard
Hannah Stryker / Review Geek

This mouse connects to your computer, laptop, tablet, or other electronic devices via Bluetooth. I always prefer using a Bluetooth mouse when working because not being tied to a USB dongle that’s plugged into a dock is extremely helpful when I need to bring my laptop into the conference room.

The Dell MS700 can be paired with up to three devices at a time, with the ability to switch between connections by pressing a single button on the bottom of the mouse—which is quite convenient. I have it paired to my work laptop and my personal laptop so it can be used with whatever device I’m traveling with.

It works with both PCs and Macs, but I found it to be significantly easier to connect to a Windows machine. When trying to pair to several Macs, the computers would recognize the mouse for a split second before it disappeared. It took many rounds of racing to click on the mouse in the Bluetooth settings before it vanished. Eventually, the race was won, and the connection was made, but it certainly was annoying.

As soon as the mouse is paired, it works fine with Macs. It is worth noting that mouse settings cannot be customized on Macs since the Dell Peripheral Manager app (more on this below) is not compatible with macOS.

Dell Peripheral Manager’s Limited Functionality

Dell Peripheral Manager App with DPI settings displayed

Through the Dell Peripheral Manager app (available only on Windows), you can control which side of the Dell MS700 is the primary click button. This is great because it means the mouse can be used ambidextrously.

You can also select your DPI between 1000, 1600, 2400, and 4000. I found this range to be fine for a portable mouse (you won’t be gaming with this accessory). You can’t customize the setting to your exact preference, but it should certainly get you close enough.

One thing you can customize is the scroll speed, but it is very misleading. There is a slider bar that goes from “slow” to “fast.” The automatic setting is right in the middle of that range.

When it was at that middle point, I wanted the scroll speed to be more responsive, so I figured I would bump it up slightly. I quickly had the frustrating realization that the UI was just tricking me. It seems like you have a whole wide range of options to allow you to adjust the settings to your preferences, but, instead, there is just “slow” and “fast” with a midpoint in between. Slow is too slow, fast is too fast, but the middle setting doesn’t feel right either.

This mouse is technically customizable, but there aren’t many options for you.

Should You Buy the Dell MS700 Bluetooth Travel Mouse?

With all things considered, I don’t see the Dell MS700 mouse benefitting many people. It does one cool thing, but there are just too many issues for it to be worth the price tag.

There are plenty of travel mice on the market that aren’t quite as flat, but they will give you a better performance. Two great examples of compact travel mice are the Logitech MX Anywhere 2 and the CHERRY MW 9100 Mouse. Both work well, despite not being ultra-thin.

Rating: 4/10

Price: $64.99

Here’s What We Like

  • Folds flat for easy transportation
  • Can connect to multiple devices via Bluetooth
  • Can be used by righties or lefties

And What We Don’t

  • Pinches skin near base of thumb joint
  • Touch scroll is not implemented well
  • Poor user interface in the app
  • Too pricey for the amount of flaws





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