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Seal Shield STM042W Silver Storm Review

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating


Seal Shield STM042W Silver Storm Review

Image courtesy of Lisa Johnston

Seal Shield’s STM042W is the wireless version of the Silver Storm waterproof mouse. Like the wired version, this one can be rinsed, scrubbed or submerged in water, and it can survive a spin through the dishwasher. This is a rechargeable wireless mouse, so it’s accompanied by a bulky charging base -- which carriers its own set of pros and cons. Although the average germophobe may leap for joy over its bacteria-fighting capabilities, it was actually designed with medical environments in mind.

At a Glance

The Good: Wireless and washable, extra USB ports on the charging base

The Bad: Charging base not for everyone, wish list includes battery indicator light

Design and Comfort

Like its wired sibling, the wireless Silver Storm is a full-sized optical mouse with an 800 dpi. Both have very basic three-button designs, and both have silicone scroll wheels with detent scrolling that is slightly stiff. The body is slightly raised with a sculpted palm rest and the word WASHABLE is imprinted down the middle. The wireless version is only offered in black matte, while the wired version also comes in white.

When it comes to comfort, the STM042W is about as comfortable as your average free-with-purchase desktop mouse. Nothing fancy but nothing outright unpleasant either. It gets the job done, and you won't notice it while you're using it. The scroll wheel has pronounced detent scrolling, although I do think it's just slightly smoother than the wired version. I scrolled them side by side, and the wireless Silver Storm seemed just a tad lighter.

The STM042W Silver Storm features the company's Silver Seal Protection promise, which says that the mouse's antimicrobial plastic construction will reduce bacteria growth on product surfaces. According to the company, the mouse can withstand the following enemies: water, salt water, solvents, disinfectants, humidity, abrasives, dust, corrosives, dirt, sand, shock, alkaline, alcohol, bleach, acid, heat, cold and blood (yuck).

Seal Shield says: "It contains an antimicrobial, fungistatic agent which protects the product and keeps it cleaner, greener and fresher by inhibiting the growth of microbial bacteria, mold, mildew and fungi on the product's surface." Basically everything living on your mouse isn't anything you want to see under a microscope.

Wireless and Charging

The STM042W Silver Storm uses 2.4GHz wireless technology, bur rather than simply using a nano USB receiver to connect with the computer and an AA or AAA battery to power this mouse, the wireless Silver Storm instead chooses to use a charging base. I will admit that this isn't something you see most days with wireless mice, and charging bases obviously come with their own pros and cons.

Pro: You're not forced to constantly buy batteries. Con: You're out of luck if you forget to put it on the base. Pro: You have a spot to keep your mouse. Con: It can take up valuable desk space. And so on, and so on. Using a charging base can ultimately be a personal preference thing-- I know passionate users on both sides of this fence.

One huge point in the Pro con for the STM042W Silver Storm is that the company thoughtfully included some extra USB ports on the charging base. So instead of just a bulky base on your desk, you now also have a USB hub. The dock features three USB ports, although one is obviously supposed to be designated for the Silver Storm's nano receiver. If you truly dislike the charging base, you can pull out the mouse's receiver and just use that in your computer, but you will eventually need to recharge the mouse when it dies.

I do wish that the mouse had some kind of battery indicator light so that you won't get caught off-guard when it's time to charge. It does, thankfully, come with an on/off button, so you are able to preserver battery life as much as possible.

Die, Germs, Die

Of course, I had to test the most important feature of the STM042W Silver Storm: the waterproof promise. I ran it through my dishwasher in a full wash cycle (bottom rack, in the silverware basket). It came out spanking clean and dry, and the underside LED indicator light immediately illuminated when I pressed the power button. It worked seamlessly when I tried it with my computer.

The Bottom Line

Although washable mice are becoming a dime a dozen, it's still extremely hard to find one that's also wireless. The STM042W Silver Storm has zero frills or bells and whistles in the design column, but it makes up for it in its hardiness and durability. The company also gets points for adding extra functionality to the charging base. It's priced a lot higher than your average wireless mouse, but it's germ-fighting protection and high waterproof ratings are designed for environments where it's worth to pay extra for this type of safeguarding.

Disclosure: Review samples were provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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