Review: Stowaway Bluetooth Travel Mouse by Think Outside - Macenstein

Review: Stowaway Bluetooth Travel Mouse by Think Outside

Posted by Lab Rat

As much as I love my 17-inch Powerbook, I am one of those people who was never really able to make the jump to mastering the trackpad. Somehow when using the trackpad, I suddenly feel like my mom when stuck in front of a computer. It takes forever to click on anything, and forget “Drag and drop�. It just isn’t going to happen. I need a mouse, end of story.

This has never been a problem for me, since once I made the move to lugging around a 17-inch “portable�, I didn’t mind the extra weight of carrying an additional mouse. That being said, I certainly wouldn’t have MINDED if my current mouse (a Microsoft Bluetooth Intellimouse Explorer) were a tad smaller.

Well, as luck would have it last week we received a Stowaway Travel Mouse by Think Outside to review. The Stowaway is small (only 3.74″ x 2.17″ x 1.38) and yet solidly built, and actually surprisingly heavy (with batteries). By contrast, the Explorer mouse is roughly 4 feet wide by 5 feet long and weighs 59 lbs. Or at least that’s what it looks like sitting next to the Stowaway.

Compared to the Stowaway, my Intellimouse looks like a surfboard.

Using the Stowaway

Setting up the Stowaway was a snap with both my PowerBook and an older G4 PowerMac (using a D-Link Bluetooth adapter). No additional software or drivers are required.

I found the tracking speed of the Stowaway to be faster than that of my Explorer, and I needed a quick trip to the keyboard/mouse control panel to calm the thing down. Once set at a comfortable speed, the device performed well. The tracking is listed at 800 dpi, and felt accurate, similar to other full-sized optical mice I have used. The scroll wheel has a nice tactile response, giving a bit more resistance when scrolling than other mice, but I actually prefer this. The wheel is coated in smooth rubber, and is almost silent when scrolling. It also serves as a 3rd button when pressed.

The mouse puts itself to sleep after a couple minutes of inactivity in order to conserve battery life. A click of one of the buttons will wake the mouse after about 2 seconds. Additionally, there is an on/off switch for when you are traveling to prevent accidental battery drain. The unit runs on 2 AAA batteries, which the manufacturer claims will last several weeks when used for 3-4 hours per day. The Stowaway’s range is listed at 5 meters. I found the unit to be accurate from over 12 feet away, after which point I couldn’t even see my cursor, so I will take Think Outside’s word on that.

One problem I DID find was the Stowaway seemed to have more trouble tracking on some highly-polished surfaces than my other optical mice. In fact my kid’s Blue’s Clue’s mouse ($24.00) had less trouble accurately tracking across a smooth stone table.


While I appreciate the market for travel mice inherently produces small devices, I found the Stowaway a bit too small for everyday use. I’m a fairly big guy (6’ foot 4�) and after about 5 hours of using the tiny mouse, I felt some fatigue in my hand (although nothing close to the crippling carpal tunnel I would have had using that infernal trackpad!). A mouse this small does not give the hand any real support as most full-sized mice do. However, The Stowaway IS a travel mouse, and for people like me it is a welcome alternative to the trackpad. Shorter people and those more accustomed to using travel-sized mice will likely not have a problem with the Stowaway’s ergonomics.

Final thoughts

The Stowaway is a great looking and very tiny travel mouse whose brushed metal exterior nicely compliments Apple’s PowerBook line. It pairs effortlessly with any Mac with Bluetooth, and has a great range and battery life. Priced at $79.99, it is slightly pricier than most cordless travel mice, but not by much (however, if you don’t mind the cord you can get a travel-sized mouse for as low as $13.00). If you travel often and find your carry-on space to be at a premium, you will likely find the Stowaway to be a perfect fit.

Stowaway Travel Mouse by Think Outside

Price: $79.99

Rating: 7.9 out of 10

Pros: Good-looking, excellent tracking on most surfaces, great range and battery life, extremely portable

Cons: A tad pricey, has trouble with more reflective surfaces, may be too small for some users

One Response to “Review: Stowaway Bluetooth Travel Mouse by Think Outside”
  1. jeffharris says:

    While it’s nice to see some new bluetooth mice, my question is:
    When are we going to see some decent bluetooth trackballs? They’re so much easier to use and with limited space, they’re unparalleled.

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