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Kensington SlimBlade Pro Trackball Mouse Review

Tested using Methodology v1.5
Reviewed Jun 28, 2024 at 09:26 am
Kensington SlimBlade Pro Trackball Picture
7.0
Work
5.1
Video Games (FPS)
6.5
Video Games (MMO)
6.8
Raw Performance

The Kensington SlimBlade Pro Trackball mouse is a wireless trackball mouse from Kensington's SlimBlade lineup. It features a flat, low-profile, ambidextrous design that allows you to rest your wrist on your work surface while manipulating the trackball with your fingers. Instead of having a traditional scroll wheel, you twist the trackball clockwise or counter-clockwise to scroll. It has four large buttons on its top surface around the trackball that you can program using the companion software.

Our Verdict

7.0 Work

The Kensington SlimBlade Pro is decent for work use. It's a trackball mouse with a low-profile shape that allows you to be flexible in how you use it, and it offers an ergonomic advantage if you have limited mobility. You can connect it with up to two devices at a time using its USB receiver and Bluetooth. While it has good build quality with minimal flex, the buttons feel somewhat cheap, and it has a glossy finish that attracts fingerprints. It lacks a traditional scroll wheel, further adding to the learning curve of using a trackball mouse.

Pros
  • Ambidextrous low-profile design feels comfortable to use.
  • Good build quality.
  • Supports Bluetooth and multi-device pairing.
Cons
  • Few programmable buttons.
5.1 Video Games (FPS)

The Kensington SlimBlade Pro is inadequate for FPS gaming, as it's not designed for this use. While its sensor is reasonably accurate and precise, its click latency is bad, so you'll experience delays, especially if you're using it wirelessly. Also, it has a low maximum polling rate and is very heavy, although this isn't an issue since it's designed to be stationary during use. With all that said, it has good build quality and is comfortable to use once you get used to it.

Pros
  • Ambidextrous low-profile design feels comfortable to use.
  • Good build quality.
  • Reasonable sensor accuracy.
Cons
  • Click latency is inadequate for competitive or reaction-based gaming.
  • Low maximum wireless polling rate of 125Hz.
  • Heavy trackball isn't easy to move quickly and accurately.
6.5 Video Games (MMO)

The Kensington SlimBlade Pro is okay for MMO gaming despite not being designed for this use. It's a trackball mouse with good build quality that's comfortable to use once you get used to it. It has four large programmable buttons on its top shell, with additional separate inputs that register upon pressing two buttons simultaneously. Still, it doesn't have nearly as many buttons as dedicated MMO mice. While its sensor is reasonably accurate, it has a low maximum polling rate and high click latency, so you'll notice some delays while gaming.

Pros
  • Ambidextrous low-profile design feels comfortable to use.
  • Good build quality.
Cons
  • Click latency is inadequate for competitive or reaction-based gaming.
  • Low maximum wireless polling rate of 125Hz.
  • Fewer buttons than dedicated MMO mice.
6.8 Raw Performance

The Kensington SlimBlade Pro has adequate raw performance that's suitable for desktop use and casual gaming. Its sensor is reasonably accurate but has high click latency, especially in wireless mode. Also, its maximum polling rate is higher in wired mode than in wireless mode, so you'll have to plug it in for its full performance.

Pros
  • Reasonable sensor accuracy.
Cons
  • Click latency is inadequate for competitive or reaction-based gaming.
  • Low maximum wireless polling rate of 125Hz.
  • 7.0 Work
  • 5.1 Video Games (FPS)
  • 6.5 Video Games (MMO)
  • 6.8 Raw Performance
  1. Updated Jun 28, 2024: Review published.
  2. Updated Jun 19, 2024: Early access published.
  3. Updated Jun 13, 2024: Our testers have started testing this product.
  4. Updated Jun 03, 2024: The product has arrived in our lab, and our testers will start evaluating it soon.
  5. Updated May 27, 2024: We've purchased the product and are waiting for it to arrive in our lab.

Differences Between Sizes And Variants

There are no variants of the Kensington SlimBlade Pro. Here's the label of the unit we bought and tested.

Compared To Other Mice

The Kensington SlimBlade Pro is a productivity-focused trackball mouse. It features the same minimal, low-profile design as the wired-only Kensington SlimBlade Trackball. It features four large buttons on its top surface, and you operate it by resting your palm on your work surface and manipulating the trackball with your fingers. Instead of using a traditional scroll wheel, you twist the trackball clockwise or counter-clockwise to scroll. Its operation is rather unconventional compared to other trackballs like the Logitech MX ERGO, but its shape allows you to be more flexible in your grip type, which is beneficial if you have specific mobility needs. It's on the large side, so it might be unwieldy if you have small hands.

For more options, see our recommendations for the best trackball mouse, the best ergonomic mouse, and the best mouse.

Logitech MX ERGO

The Kensington SlimBlade Pro Trackball and the Logitech MX ERGO are wireless trackball mice. The main difference is that the Kensington features an ambidextrous, low-profile design, whereas the Logitech has a right-handed sculpted design with an adjustable tilt angle. The Logitech has a more conventional set of buttons and a scroll wheel, whereas the Kensington has four large, programmable buttons on its topside. These design differences allow you to be more flexible in how you grip the Kensington, which can be beneficial if you have specific mobility needs. Build quality-wise, the Kensington has a glossy finish that attracts fingerprints, and its buttons feel cheap. The Logitech, on the other hand, has excellent overall build quality.

ELECOM HUGE M-HT1DRBK

The Kensington SlimBlade Pro Trackball and the ELECOM HUGE M-HT1DRBK are wireless trackball mice designed for productivity. The Kensington has a minimal, ambidextrous design that allows for more flexibility in grip type. In contrast, the ELECOM has a right-handed design with more buttons and a dedicated scroll wheel. Both mice are on the large side and can be unwieldy for users with small hands.

Kensington SlimBlade Trackball

The Kensington SlimBlade Pro Trackball and the Kensington SlimBlade Trackball are trackball mice from the same lineup. The main difference between the two mice is the SlimBlade Pro is wireless with Bluetooth and 2.4GHz support, while the SlimBlade is wired only. Otherwise, they feature the same low profile, ambidextrous design.

Test Results

perceptual testing image
Design
Design
Style
Type
Trackball
Coating
Glossy
Lighting Color No Lighting

This mouse has a low-profile shape with a glossy, gunmetal gray plastic body. There are glossy black accents on the body surrounding the trackball and black rubber on the sides. The trackball itself is a deep ruby-red color. A Kensington logo is located on the back of the mouse's top shell.

Design
Shape
Length 6.0" (152 mm)
Width 5.2" (133 mm)
Height 2.3" (58 mm)
Grip Width
N/A
Ambidextrous
True Ambidextrous
Left-Handed Friendly
Yes
Finger Rest
No

Because of this mouse's reflective glossy finish, we applied an aerosol spray that added small white particles visible in the scan that aren't present on the mouse out of the box. This is only cosmetic and helps ensure we can capture a readable scan, but it doesn't affect the accuracy of the measurements.

4.6
Design
Portability
Box Volume
71.58 in³ (1,173 cm³)
Receiver Storing
Yes

This mouse is very large and cumbersome to transport. The trackball is removable, so it can roll around in transit if you don't secure it. It has a compartment on its underside to store the USB receiver so it doesn't get lost.

7.5
Design
Build Quality

The Kensington SlimBlade Pro has good build quality overall. Its shell is made of plastic with a glossy finish, and the removable trackball has a glossy finish and a high-quality, weighty feel. While the mouse doesn't significantly flex or creak when you apply pressure to the body, the buttons that cover the top shell sound and feel cheap with a significant amount of post-travel.

2.2
Design
Weight
Lowest Weight
287.7 g
Default Weight
287.7 g
Weight Distribution
Front-heavy
Extra Weights
No

While this mouse is very heavy, it's designed to be stationary, so its weight helps to keep it in place. The trackball weighs 107.6 grams on its own, so it requires some force to manipulate.

Design
Hand Size Recommendation
Palm Grip Hand Recommendation
Claw Grip Hand Recommendation
Fingertip Grip Hand Recommendation

You don't use this trackball like a traditional mouse, so palm, claw, and fingertip grip types don't perfectly illustrate how you use it. While trackball mice can take some time to get used to, its low-profile shape is comfortable since it allows your wrist to rest on your work surface while your fingers manipulate the trackball. While its design allows you to be flexible with how you use it, the trackball itself is on the large side, so those with smaller hands will find it awkward.

9.6
Design
Wireless Versatility
Maximum Of Paired Devices
2
Bluetooth
Yes
Receiver
Yes
Battery Type
Rechargeable
Use When Charging
Yes
On/Off Activation
Auto Off And On/Off Switch
Receiver Extender
No
Battery Indicator Yes

You can connect to the Kensington SlimBlade Pro with its 2.4GHz USB receiver or via Bluetooth. Kensington advertises up to four months of battery life on a charge. They also advertise that the mouse has 128-bit AES encryption, which is an unusual security measure and helpful if your workplace requires your wireless connections to be secure.

0
Design
Cable
Connectivity Wireless
Cable Length
4.9 ft (1.5 m)
Cable Type
Braided
Permanent Kink
Yes
Port Type: Mouse End
USB-C
Port Type: PC End
USB

The Kensington SlimBlade Pro comes with a braided USB-C to USB-A charging cable. It isn't very flexible and retains some kinks from its packaging, but this won't be an issue since this is a stationary mouse.

0
Design
Mouse Feet
Gliding Experience
Stationary
Material
Rubber
Extra Included
No

Since this is a stationary mouse, the four rubber feet are meant to provide good traction on a desk to help it stay in place.

Design
In The Box

  • USB receiver
  • USB-C to USB-A charging cable
  • USB-A to USB-C adapter
  • User documentation

Control
Control
Main Button
Switch Type
Mechanical
Switch Model
Not Specified

Since this mouse's buttons have a large surface area, there's a significant amount of post-travel, depending on where you press. Here's a video illustrating the issue.

6.5
Control
Additional Buttons
Total Number Of Buttons
5
Number Of Side Buttons
2
Number Of Programmable Inputs
8
Profile Switching Button
No
Gesture Support
No

The Kensington SlimBlade Pro has four large buttons on the top around the trackball. The bottom two buttons act as L/R clicks by default, while the top left button acts as a middle click button, and the top right button functions as a "back" button. However, you can re-program all buttons using the companion software and assign them to various functions like media controls or mice and keyboard functions. Pushing the top two, bottom two, left two, or right two buttons simultaneously acts as another programmable input you can assign.

5.6
Control
Click Latency
Expected Connection
22.5 ms
Wired
13.3 ms
Receiver
22.5 ms
Bluetooth
25.2 ms

This mouse has sub-par click latency. It's suitable for desktop use and casual gaming, but you'll likely notice minor, noticeable click delays, especially in reaction-based or fast-paced games.

6.7
Control
CPI
SRAV @ 1600 CPI
-1.17%
SRAV @ 800 CPI
2.25%
SRAV @ 400 CPI
-7.92%
SRAV @ Fixed CPI
N/A
Precision Error Between Speeds
2.95%
Precision Error Between CPI
4.09%
Worst Tracking Error
-10.94%
Minimum CPI
400 CPI
Maximum CPI
1,600 CPI
CPI Adjustment Steps
N/A

This mouse's CPI performance is adequate for desktop use and casual gaming. It exhibits some tracking errors between different CPI settings and speeds, so your physical movements don't exactly match your cursor movements on-screen.

Since this is a stationary mouse, we had to conduct this test manually instead of with our usual actuator system. To learn more, check out this article.

not tested
Control
Sensor Latency
Delay To Start Of Movement
N/A
Delay At Half Movement
N/A
Delay To End Of Movement
N/A

Since this is a stationary trackball mouse, we can't test sensor latency with our current test bench.

Control
Sensor Specifications
Sensor Technology
Optical (LED)
Sensor Model
Not Specified
Works On Glass
Yes
Minimum Lift Off Distance
N/A
Maximum Polling Rate
500 Hz

This mouse has two sensors under the trackball, so you can use the mouse on any surface since the sensors face the trackball instead of the desk surface. Its wired polling rate is 500Hz, while its maximum wireless polling rate is 125Hz. It has four CPI presets: 400, 800, 1200, and 1600.

Control
Mouse Wheel
Scroll Wheel Type
Free Wheel
Scroll Wheel Steps
No Step
Scroll Wheel Tilt
No
Thumb Wheel Type
No
Thumb Wheel Steps
No Thumb Wheel

This mouse doesn't have a scroll wheel. You have to twist the trackball to scroll. Twisting the trackball clockwise scrolls down while twisting it counter-clockwise scrolls up. While there's no tactile feedback, it feels precise and emits a quiet ticking sound when you scroll.

Control
Noise
Click Noise
Quiet

This mouse's buttons and trackball are fairly quiet and won't bother those around you.

Operating System And Software
Operating System And Software
Configuration Software
Software Name KensingtonWorks
Software Windows Compatibility
Yes
Software macOS Compatibility
Yes
On-Board Memory
No
CPI (DPI) Adjustment
Yes
Polling Rate Adjustment
No
Profile Configuration
Yes
Profile Auto-Switching
Yes
RGB On/Off
No RGB

KensingtonWorks is simple, easy-to-use software that allows you to customize the buttons, pointer speed, and scrolling speed. Although the mouse lacks onboard memory, you can save your settings to cloud storage, like Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive, or back up your saved settings to your computer.

10
Operating System And Software
Mouse Compatibility
Windows Compatibility Fully
macOS Compatibility Fully

This mouse is fully compatible with both Windows and macOS.