MSI Laptop StarMouse ES-101

MSI StarMouse ES-101

Introduction

Laptop mice are made small as they have to be stowed in a tightly packed laptop carry bag. Often the cables get knotted and it takes 5 minutes every time you get your laptop out just to untangle the mouse. However, MSI have designed an all-in-one cable and mouse solution that should put an end to your woes…

About MSI

Founded in August 1986, MSI has continued to uphold a business philosophy that stresses “Award-winning product quality and outstanding customer service.” MSI specializes in the design and manufacture of motherboards, add-on cards, servers/workstations, barebones, optical storage devices, communication devices and IA accessories. Overcoming a challenging industry environment, MSI have raced to the head of the pack and are now ranked among Taiwan’s Top 3 and the World’s Top 5 motherboard manufacturer. Besides, our VGA production has been on the No. 1 position in the world for four consecutive years.

Specs

  • 3 buttons wired retractable USB laser mouse
  • No limitations for working on almost any surfaces, including glass (1 cm)
  • With the powerful laser model provides amazing tracking ability
  • Innovate structure design last for long lifetime
  • Compact design, easy to carry with
  • Unique shape fits in your comfortable operation
  • Easily scroll through document browsing

Buttons: 3 buttons
Resolution: 1600 DPI
Connectivity: Retractable wired
Dimensions (mm): 95 x 62 x 35.70
Weight: 71g
Cable length: 60 cm

The StarMouse

MSI StarMouse ES-101

Packed in a small cardboard and plastic box, the StarMouse is on display from day one. Dotted around the outside of the packet are different logos describing the mouse’s capabilities, namely that it’s equipped with a laser sensor that can go to 1600dpi.

MSI StarMouse ES-101

The back of the packet goes on to show the benefits of using a laser instead of the usual LED diode. It also displays the ‘Uni-Retractable’ design of the mouse, which essentially means that the USB cord is coiled inside the mouse.

MSI StarMouse ES-101

Once out of the packaging you realise why they try to make it clear about the internal cable; the mouse looks like the cable is missing. The StarMouse is made of shiny black plastic for its buttons, silver shiny plastic for the upper sides and finally black matt textured plastic for the lower sides and the bottom.

MSI StarMouse ES-101
MSI StarMouse ES-101

Speaking of the bottom, this is where you find the cable. It’s hidden behind a small flap. You simply pull the cable out and let it lock in place, then you close the flap and there is a little notch allowing you to feed the cable out. By the side of this flap there is the laser pickup hole surrounded by a fairly unnecessary hologram.

vMSI StarMouse ES-101

There are three feet on the bottom of the mouse which give it the ability to slide over surfaces easily. There are two small feet located at the front and a large U-shaped one sited at the rear. These pads, whilst smooth, are nowhere near the quality of the ones found on either Razer mice (Krait or Death Adder) or the Ideazon Reaper.

On the top of the mouse you find the usual two buttons for left and right click and the scroll wheel which also acts as a button. The two main buttons are all made of one piece of plastic which comprises of the back part too. This makes the StarMouse look sleek and sexy. On this back part, there is also the MSI logo printed in white.

The StarMouse is a little tall at the back to fit into the natural curve of your hand directly below your knuckles. As the mouse is symmetrical, it’s ambidextrous.

MSI StarMouse ES-101

Installation

As there are no proprietary drivers or software delivered with the mouse, there is no need to install the mouse. Simply insert it into a spare USB port and Windows will detect it as a basic HID and within a few seconds your StarMouse will be fully working. This allows for it to be used quickly and simply.

Testing

MSI StarMouse ES-101

The testing was done both on the Nova Killer Laser mouse pad, and the NO.ID Custom pad.

The first thing that became apparent with the StarMouse was the lack of cable; only 60cm. This is because the cable has to fit inside the mouse when not in use, so there isn’t a lot of space unless the mouse was made bigger. This is where it becomes obvious that the mouse was designed to be used by laptop owners as they would be using the mouse very close to their available USB ports. The USB plug is also slim allowing for close adjacent ports to be used.

MSI StarMouse ES-101
MSI StarMouse ES-101

The mouse could find its way into a server environment for quick testing/diagnostics if necessary. It would be handy just to carry round just in case.

The cable that the StarMouse uses is a lot thinner than the standard type, this allows for it to be coiled into a small space inside the mouse’s body.

The sensitivity of the mouse allows for it to be used in a ridiculously small space. The 1600dpi means that within one inch, the cursor with move 1600 pixels (depending on your Windows sensitivity setting). This means that for most laptop users, they will only be moving the mouse in a 1 x 1“ (2.5 x 2.5cm) square meaning they effectively require only 7 x 7” (18 x 18cm) to comfortably use the mouse. This is great news for people using a laptop in an enclosed space. Of course you could just lower the sensitivity and use it in a larger area if needs be.

At Windows default sensitivity the StarMouse is quick and accurate when browsing the web or word processing. In fact I’m using the StarMouse whilst I write this review and it’s a LOT better than using the touchpad. Laptop owners will know what I mean by this, and the StarMouse’s scroll wheel is also really helpful, rather than having to navigate to the scroll arrows on every window/webpage.

When using FireFox I quickly noticed that the scroll wheel was quite difficult to click, which I use all the time to open new windows in tabs and then close them down again. However, I’m comparing this mouse to my laptops touchpad – which doesn’t have a scroll wheel at all – so the StarMouse wins hands down.

MSI StarMouse ES-101

MSI haven’t made any obvious compromises to fit the retractable cable into the body of the mouse; the mouse is as tall as the Razer Death Adder and slimmer. As it’s designed to be portable, the small size lowers overall comfort. The StarMouse fails to fill your palm and you need to arch your fingers to click the buttons. If you have big hands then this problem would be even worse.

Gaming required me to grab a USB extension wire to allow the short mouse cord to reach the PC. This mouse is designed to be a laptop gamers best friend on a long journey or anywhere else where they would care to play; this mouse is NOT designed to be used on a full blown PC (hence the short wire). It has a high DPI which should make it a great choice for most games.

To test the performance, I had a quick round of Battlefield 2142 and Command and Conquer: Zero Hour.

In Battlefield 2142, the sensitivity was a little too high even when it was turned down in game and in Windows. I really missed being able to change the DPI settings like on the Ideazon Reaper or the Razer Death Adder. If you could choose to have a lowered DPI at times then this mouse would be perfect for gaming.

Command and Conquer: Zero Hour was a different story; the mouse was the perfect sensitivity when playing. This is probably due to the fact that I was running Command and Conquer @ 1600 x 1200 which is the same as the desktop, whereas BF2142 was @ 1280 x 1024. Whilst playing C&C one of the major things that I noticed was the tactile feel of the buttons; they feel soft when you click and quiet.

Conclusion

For a laptop user, the MSI StarMouse ES-101 is a god-send. Not only is it portable and self-contained, but it’s accurate and sleek. The sensitivity is over the top, but can be changed easily in Windows to a more user friendly level. This mouse is perfect for any laptop owner.

Pros Cons
Self contained Over sensitive for some
Ultra portable Uncomfortable for long periods of time
High DPI


I’d like to thank our sponsors MSI for providing us with this mouse.

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