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MacMice The Mouse BT IIBluetooth mouse for Mac or PC
If you like the Apple Mighty Mouse, you might also enjoy using The Mouse BT II from MacMice. The company has redesigned this wireless 800dpi infrared mouse from the ground up, adding rechargeable batteries to the mix, along with two buttons and a small scroll wheel. The mouse works with both Macs and PCs, and we hooked it up to Windows XP for this review.
When we first unboxed this Bluetooth mouse, we thought its charging cradle was a Bluetooth dongle, but that's not the case. You must have a Bluetooth receiver on your Mac or PC to use this product. We already had a Bluetooth dongle handy here at our Midwest Test Facility, so we plugged it into a test PC, and after a long song-and-dance with various drivers that needed to be installed (all automatically), the Mouse BT II was ready to go. I immediately discovered that it worked well with Windows XP's internal drivers, and there was no other software needed.
While the mouse is physically small, it fits an average-sized hand quite well. It takes a design cue from Apple's loathsome Mighty Mouse, where you're not exactly pushing the left or right mouse button, but pushing the entire front of the mouse down which is a hinged on the back. I found that feeling to be disconcerting, even after using it for a while. The Mouse BT II's clicks were also a little bit too loud for my taste.
It has a tiny scroll wheel, which is about twice the size of that tiny little nub on the Mighty Mouse, and that's a welcome increase. Its sensitivity is just about right. Plus, if you press down on the scroll wheel, that also functions as a button and can be programmed for various functions, just like most other mice.
On the bottom of the mouse there is an on-off switch to preserve battery life, and when you'd like to charge the mouse you place it on its USB charging cradle. It doesn't actually plug into the cradle, it merely rests on top of it with two metal contacts touching, and their connection is rather tenuous for my taste. It was hard to tell that a connection had been made, and it was also quite inconvenient that the charging stand didn't work unless the host computer was running.
To save battery power, after a few moments of inaction the mouse goes to sleep, and when you want to use it again it takes an annoying few seconds for it to reestablish communication with the computer. This is a common characteristic of Bluetooth mice, and I'm not picking on MacMice in particular, but the issues of battery drainage and power saving, along with the lag associated with Bluetooth mice is certainly present with this mouse.
As far as Bluetooth mice go, the Mouse BT II does an admirable job of solving the problems normally associated with them. There are some applications where a Bluetooth mouse is the only way to go, such as a home theater where you'd like to place the computer in a remote location (within about 25 to 30 feet line-of-sight) and still control it without having to deal with all of a PC's noise and heat.
While the Mouse BT II is an average choice for a Bluetooth mouse, you could do much better with a Microsoft Bluetooth mouse, which feels more substantial and performs better than this. Overall, though, I avoid Bluetooth mice or any other Bluetooth products whenever I can, at least until Bluetooth 2.0 becomes widespread. Even then, many of the nagging problems of Bluetooth may still remain. My conclusion? Stick with a wired mouse, at least for now. After extensive use and review, I think the MacMice Mouse BT II deserves a rating of 6.5 out of 10 stars.
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