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Input Devices Hardware

Bluetooth Versus Wireless Mice 519

Posted by samzenpus
from the compare-and-contrast dept.
Meneguzzi writes "Having stuck with wired mice for years, I have recently been impressed by a couple of cordless mice I've used on other people's computers so much that I now want to buy one to use with my Mac Book Pro. However, while shopping around for the perfect cordless laptop mouse I was stuck with the question of whether to go for a bluetooth mouse or one of the many proprietary cordless mice with tiny USB receivers. To my surprise, there seems to be little literature systematically comparing these two options for attributes like precision, battery life (both for the mouse and the laptop), RF interference, and whatnot. As a Mac user, bluetooth has the advantage that it won't take up a USB port, and (in theory), would consume less battery than a USB port, but I wonder if this is actually true in practice. On top of that, I noticed that there are far fewer (and less fancy) options for Bluetooth mice than there are for proprietary cordless ones. Logitech, for instance, has a very basic Bluetooth Mouse, while its proprietary options are much fancier. So I was wondering what are the experiences from Slashdotters on this particular type of hardware, and any recommendations."
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Bluetooth Versus Wireless Mice

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  • I've always gone for bluetooth since, well, everything has bluetooth inbuilt now and you don't need to plug in proprietary usb receivers into laptops, netbooks, etc.

    I can't comment on how they compare to the propeiety wireless usb receiver types since I have never used on.

    • Same experience here. I've never used a standard wireless mouse, but my bluetooth mouse works quite well, and the battery (a single rechargeable AA) regularly lasts two weeks through lengthy gaming sessions. The mouse came with a USB bluetooth dongle which I've used once or twice on desktops, but I normally use the bluetooth receiver built in to my laptop.

      • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30, 2009 @02:03AM (#27769185)
        I have a wireless keyboard and mouse bundle, and I have never have any problems with batte
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by supernova_hq (1014429)

      everything has bluetooth inbuilt now

      When buying my new laptop (~1 month ago), one of the things I wanted was bluetooth. It turns out that most people didn't use the bluetooth in their laptops, so manufacturers started pulling it from just about every model you can find. Going to the local shops, only about 10% of the laptops had it. For god's sake, there were almost as many with blueray drives as bluetooth!

    • Re:Bluetooth (Score:5, Insightful)

      by tsa (15680) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @03:29AM (#27769669) Homepage

      Same here. On a laptop a thingy in a USB port is very unhandy because if you use the computer on the couch or in bed there is a chance that it will be forced to bend due to folds in the upholstery or the sheets. This can cost you your motherboard. I don't want to risk that.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Enry (630)

        There are tiny USB BT dongles that aren't much bigger than the USB port itself. Check dealextreme.

  • VX Nano (Score:5, Interesting)

    by ciroknight (601098) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @01:16AM (#27768873)
    Honestly, I have recommended it to everyone I know. It's quite honestly the best mouse I've ever used.

    It's only flaw is that it doesn't have Bluetooth, but at the same time its battery life is about 4 times as long as my desktop's (also a Logitech) Bluetooth mouse.
    • Re:VX Nano (Score:5, Informative)

      by supernova_hq (1014429) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @03:15AM (#27769589)
      I have the v550 nano mouse. Other than being a little small, I love it. The frictionless scroll-wheel is insanely nice for scrolling through websites and my music player (thousands of songs).

      I was a little dissapointed that it was RF, but the dongle it uses is TINY and can be just left in the laptop (even when in a bag).
    • Re:VX Nano (Score:5, Funny)

      by Spatial (1235392) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @07:25AM (#27771083)
      I was going to get one, but according to reviews it has no middle button. Instead there's a gimmick to switch wheel modes. Instant fail; now how can I open all those porn tabs quickly? Ctrl-click can bite my ass, I've only got one hand free!

      Instead I got a MS Wireless 5000 BT mouse and I have to say it's pretty great. No lag, well weighted, comfortable and with good tracking and resolution. Four buttons too. It's easily good enough to play fast-paced FPS games with. I'm using it with my NC10 netbook right now.
      • Re:VX Nano (Score:4, Interesting)

        by XMyth (266414) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @08:18AM (#27771639) Homepage

        It has a middle button. It's behind the scroll wheel. Clicking the scroll wheel changes the gear behavior so they couldn't make that the middle button like normal. But there is a functioning middle button on this mouse.

        You just have to tell the logitech software to use it as such is all.

        The mouse is awesome.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday April 30, 2009 @01:18AM (#27768885)

    ...And we'll fight about every little detail, go off-topic, crack jokes about welcoming you to the year 2000, debate form over function, laser over inferred, brand versus brand versus model, and in the end you'll still have to decide for yourself.

    Have you at least read the reviews on Amazon? Are we only deciding blue-tooth versus wireless, or do we have to pick the exact model for you? Is your 'perfect mouse' going to be someone elses 'perfect mouse' and vice-verse?

    Not actively trying to troll here, but wanting to bring your attention to the fact that it ends up being a very heavy personal decision based on your preferences, hand-size, availability, etc...

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      I've tried bluetooth mice, and there's a bit too much lag on it for me. Also, bluetooth drains batteries a hell of a lot more than RF wireless. I have an iMac and I was fine with the generic wired mouse for a while, but 4 buttons wasn't enough for me. So I got the Logitech "Wireless Desktop for Mac". Keyboard has lasted me 6 months with the same batteries, while mouse (with 8 buttons) lasts about 2 months at a time with 2 AA batteries. I got it for £50 on Amazon (same price as JUST the Wireless Mighty
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Rob the Bold (788862)

        I've tried bluetooth mice, and there's a bit too much lag on it for me. Also, bluetooth drains batteries a hell of a lot more than RF wireless.

        I assume you mean "more than [other] RF wireless". I've got the Dell-badged Logitech mouse/keyboard combo (from a wootoff). Both the keyboard and mouse are powered by 2 AAs, and I get about 2 months battery life from both. If I use rechargeable batteries, I only get a few weeks, since they self-discharge faster than the hardware drains them . . . I've never found mouse lag to be a problem, except when the mouse is sleeping and has to wake up again -- if I'm using it constantly I don't notice a problem.

  • My experience... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Max Romantschuk (132276) <max@romantschuk.fi> on Thursday April 30, 2009 @01:21AM (#27768897) Homepage

    ...is that a dedicated wireless tech like Logitech's is better than Bluetooth.

    My Bluetooth mouse at work occasionally lags behind, or sometimes stops moving for short whiles (even when it's not fallen asleep). Generally it seems the Bluetooth layer adds the occasional issues encountered with wireless networking in general.

    I haven't ever seen this with Logitech's dedicated wireless devices.

    Then again, I could just be a victim of bad drivers. :)

    • Re:My experience... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by HeronBlademaster (1079477) <heron@xnapid.com> on Thursday April 30, 2009 @01:28AM (#27768963) Homepage

      I'm guessing bad drivers. My Microsoft bluetooth mouse works very, very well; I only see it lag briefly when I've let it go inactive for 5+ minutes.

      Incidentally, I don't have bluetooth enabled in my Linux kernel (2.6.27), but my mouse works. That is, movement and the right and left buttons work, but the wheel and the third, fourth, and fifth buttons don't, so it's not full functionality, but I find it odd that the mouse works at all without bluetooth support in the kernel. Can anyone help me understand why? Is my bluetooth hardware emulating something?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        My Broadcom BT identifies itself as four devices. It has normal BT interface, mouse and keyboard. So usual USB HID drivers are enough for a mouse and a keyboard.

        lsusb for BT device:
        Bus 002 Device 028: ID 0a5c:4503 Broadcom Corp.
        Bus 002 Device 027: ID 0a5c:4502 Broadcom Corp.
        Bus 002 Device 026: ID 413c:8126 Dell Computer Corp. Wireless 355 Bluetooth
        Bus 002 Device 025: ID 0a5c:4500 Broadcom Corp.

      • by xenocide2 (231786)

        Bluetooth runs in user space, as do most usb drivers. Its been ages since I configured and built a kernel, but bluez is the basic driver stack for bluetooth, as I recall.

      • Re:My experience... (Score:4, Informative)

        by prefect42 (141309) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @03:01AM (#27769517)

        Yes. The dongle will be in HID mode, so simply presents as a basic keyboard/mouse. Otherwise users of bluetooth keyboards would be up the creek with using the BIOS, or anything else that doesn't have a bluetooth stack.

      • Re:My experience... (Score:5, Informative)

        by Tacvek (948259) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @03:10AM (#27769565) Journal

        What you are experiencing is a feature of some bluetooth chips (notably those manufactured by CSR, which includes Dell's chips) which is designed to support using a bluetooth keyboard in a bios. Bluetooth keyboards and mice use the Bluetooth HID profile, which is the USB HID protocol wrapped in a thin bluetooth layer. These chips support an HID proxy mode, where the chip identifies as a USB HID device, and then simply removes the wrapping from incoming HID commands and dumps them on the USB Bus (yuck, PIN Number syndrome, but the redundancy was necessary for clear expression here :( ), and does the reverse too, which is a bit trickier.

        The net result is that usb keyboards and mice probably automagically work with your computer. I've no real understanding of how this interacts with bluetooth device pairing, as I've never gotten this to work for me, but hopefully it requires you to first pair the keyboard or mouse in question with the bluetooth chip while running an OS with bluetooth enabled.

    • Re:My experience... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by prockcore (543967) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @02:02AM (#27769173)

      My experience is similar.. although I'll go a little further.

      The problem with bluetooth is that once it's paired, it works fine.. but pairing can be a problem, especially in a busy office. The mouse and keyboard always wants to pair with the dozens of macs in the room, except for the one I want it to pair with.

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by Kotten (1416929)

      Bluetooth in a crowded environment have a tendency to make the computer (windows xp only?) hang because everybody is running around with cell-phones with bluetooth on and it becomes a lot of negotiations and discoveries going. So I have disabled bluetooth at work.

      But bluetooth has one advantage in less crowded situtations, two bluetooth mices does not disturb each other! At home we had a problem that the wireless mouse and keyboards where disturning each other, when my wife was moving the mouse (trackbal

    • by PinchDuck (199974)

      I've had the same experience, which is why I eventually dumped my bluetooth mouse for a Logitech Nano. It takes up a USB port, but the dongle is darned near invisible. I love it.

    • Re:My experience... (Score:5, Informative)

      by egjertse (197141) <.slashdot. .at. .futt.org.> on Thursday April 30, 2009 @05:03AM (#27770199) Homepage
      I second the vote for Logitech's proprietary cordless mice. I got me a Logitech VX Revolution [logitech.com] for my Asus netbook, and it has excellent battery life, great precision and an almost invisible receiver. The size of the receiver was what initially sold me on this mouse, since anything protruding from a netbook is bound to break sooner rather than later.
  • I don't think I'd ever use a usb-wireless mouse simply for the fact that it's eating up a usb port. When I can connect my mouse to my computer without occupying any of the ports I can't think of any reason not to. And bluetooth is a very good connection, at least in all of my experiences with it.
  • by Antity-H (535635) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @01:26AM (#27768943) Homepage

    I personnaly own a Logitech MX900 it does come with a usb pluggable pod/receiver but it is fully bluetooth compliant. I never pugged the pod's usb cable anywhere, just the power cord to recharge the mouse. And it has always worked flawlessly.

    http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-MX900-Bluetooth-Cordless-Optical/dp/B0000CEPDF [amazon.com]

  • RF vs Bluetooth Mice (Score:5, Informative)

    by Nasser (80677) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @01:28AM (#27768955) Homepage

    I've used several bluetooth and RF wireless mice. One thing you should consider is that when the CPU is bogged down the bluetooth mouse will become jerky and unusuable.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by macraig (621737)

      Whether or not a Bluetooth mouse was given CPU cycle precedence would depend entirely upon how the Bluetooth protocol stack was developed, wouldn't it? It's my understanding there is more than just one monopolistic stack available, so it may be a matter of understanding the issue - you do now at least - and choosing to use the better one. This has been the case with Bluetooth on Windows Mobile devices: there was a Widcomm BT stack and a Microsoft one. Guess which one had fewer problems on that platform?

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by Kotten (1416929)

        Whether or not a Bluetooth mouse was given CPU cycle precedence would depend entirely upon how the Bluetooth protocol stack was developed, wouldn't it?

        Entirely correct. I can have 100% utilization on both cores on my computer and my bluetooth mouse is still perfectly responsive. I have seen no difference between rf and bluetooth wireless mices in this respect.

        Running: Dell D630/Core 2 Duo T7250/Logitech V470/4Gb ram/30Gb OCZ Vertex/Ubuntu 9.04

        • by macraig (621737) <`mark.a.craig' `at' `gmail.com'> on Thursday April 30, 2009 @05:07AM (#27770221)

          Conversely, I have just installed a Microsoft Wireless Desktop 6000 V3 tonight, and I have already encountered significant hiccuping and lagging with both the keyboard and the mouse. The keyboard is actually missing keystrokes entirely, lagging at times, and the mouse... the mouse is just horrid! This is apparently a 2.4GHz non-Bluetooth variety. The mouse in particular seems to be adversely affected when I have WCG (World Community Grid, BOINC) running in the background; WCG is running at lowest priority and is supposed to yield to virtually everything, even normal-priority processes, but the mouse still seems to be affected. The mouse also seems to be VERY sensitive to the surface it's on, even though I have two other optical MS mice here that have worked fine on it for years. My guess would be that the mouse emitter was deliberately under-powered versus its wired cousins to try to save battery juice, with predictable consequences in the variety of surfaces it can tolerate.

          The short story is that this RF-based product, at least, is awful. I've deliberately omitted mention of issues not pertinent to this, but there are more. Had I still been using my previous keyboard and mouse as I wrote this, it would have taken only one third the time it has required now from having to accommodate said hiccups.

          You'll have to excuse me now... there's an RMA I need to arrange.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by prefect42 (141309)

      That would make bluetooth mice impossible to use with games. This isn't true. They're still not as good as wired mice, but they're not bad. The refresh rate is noticeable lower, which can be an issue, but only for the hardcore.

  • Murhpy (Score:5, Funny)

    by mrbene (1380531) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @01:29AM (#27768969)

    Your decision to move to a system that requires an independent power supply (batteries) is an invitation to Murphy to send his law to your house / place of work at the most inopportune moment.

    Oh, and radiation. I'm sure it'll kill you too. Bluetooth will force you to visit your dentist too.

    Plus what are you going to fight off the ninjas with if you don't have a mouse cord?

    Holy surrealism, bantha!

  • Go with Bluetooth. While USB wireless mice can be good, if you're not looking for anything terribly fancy, a Bluetooth mouse will more than suit your needs. I also recommend getting rechargeable batteries - some mice go through batteries ridiculously quickly, so it's a great investment to get two pairs of rechargeable AAs or AAAs. Keep one pair charging until you need them, then swap - no downtime at all.
  • Highly Uneven (Score:5, Informative)

    by ewhac (5844) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @01:34AM (#27768995) Homepage Journal
    I did some rudimentary research on this question about a year ago, except I was looking for a Bluetooth mouse to use with my ThinkPad. All the reviews I could find for Bluetooth mice seemed to point to a common set of problems:
    • Battery life is poor,
    • There is always an annoying wake-up delay,
    • They average 50-100% more expensive than their non-Bluetooth counterparts.

    Based on these findings, and my own experience in the embedded arena, I would hazard a guess that all these Bluetooth mouse vendors are using the same embedded microcontroller, probably with the same embedded firmware. Hence, they all suffer from similar problems.

    The only mouse's reviews that didn't seem to mention these issues (at least, not as bad as the others) was Apple's wireless MightyMouse. Of course, the MightyMouse has its own set of issues, such as the pretend secondary button, but if you can work around it, it's kinda sorta not too bad.

    Again, this was about a year ago. I don't know if things have improved since then.

    Schwab

  • I was looking for a nice low cost Bluetooth keyboard/mouse combo. I remember seeing a number of them about 2 years ago. Now, that I want to switch to it, I am not seeing it.
  • Unless there is a wired kind of Bluetooth, should the title be "Bluetooth and non-Bluetooth wireless mice"?

    Or would I be wrong to say that I prefer USB mice over wired mice?

  • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @01:41AM (#27769041)

    I've used... 4? 5? different Bluetooth mice with my Powerbook and MacBook Pro over the past several years. The biggest issue I've had, with the lone exception of Apple's Wireless Mighty Mouse, is that Bluetooth mice take a significant amount of time (often a few seconds) to "wake up" once they've gone into power saving mode.

    I've observed this same issue with Microsoft's Bluetooth Mouse (Intellimouse Explorer, IIRC), a Bluetake mouse, a Dell mouse (not sure who makes it for them), and another mouse whose lineage escapes me. If the mice haven't been moved for several minutes, you have to wave them back and forth like a madman for several seconds before they'll start to respond again.

    It's certainly not an inescapable shortcoming of Bluetooth, because my Mighty Mouse doesn't have this issue - if you start to move the mouse, it responds immediately, even if it's been inactive for minutes or hours.

    The Mighty Mouse has another shortcoming, unfortunately. The scrollball design is really cool and intuitive... until it gets gummed up and stops working in one direction. This WILL happen to you, repeatedly.

    I love my Mighty Mouse... except when I hate it. Right now my scrollball is gummed up again, so I'm in the "hate it" camp at the moment.

    • I was wary of that problem before I tried a bluetooth mouse too - but as I wrote in my post below, with the Microsoft offering, in my experience (I've used it for over a year) it doesn't show that lag. I don't know about the one you tried, but after it's gone into sleep mode it takes less than a second to wake up again, which I imagine is similar to the mighty mouse.

      • The Microsoft mouse I had was the first Bluetooth mouse I ever owned - and I think it was Microsoft's first shot at making a BT mouse. It's certainly possible their rev 2 and later products might be better in that regard.

        BTW have they figured out yet that an on/off switch is a good thing to have on a battery-powered device? Cuz that first mouse didn't have one...

    • "The scrollball design is really cool and intuitive... until it gets gummed up and stops working in one direction. This WILL happen to you, repeatedly."

      Agreed. I have a client with this problem. What is your solution to unsticking it?

      • by 93 Escort Wagon (326346) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @02:14AM (#27769257)

        "The scrollball design is really cool and intuitive... until it gets gummed up and stops working in one direction. This WILL happen to you, repeatedly."

        Agreed. I have a client with this problem. What is your solution to unsticking it?

        Put some alcohol on a lint-free cloth, lay it flat on a table, then roll the mouse around upside-down on it so that the scroll ball is being rolled around. The alcohol seems to free up a lot of the lint and dirt that gets in there.

      • by Plunky (929104)

        What is your solution to unsticking it?

        I found a guide to disassembling the mouse on the web (you need to prise off the outer ring the first time but the rest of it is fairly easy - I stuck it back on with a dab of silicone and its easy to remove now) and I open it up and clean out the ball compartment. I appreciate that I'm a dirty soap dodger but the amount of gunge needed to clog up the delicate moving parts is not great. The above posters suggestion of alcohol is probably better than Apples suggestion o

    • One more for the gummed up mouse crowd. I swear. I hate absolutly hate it when it gums up. Other times it's a dream. The virtual second button problem isn't a hassle when you've given up gaming too. It's an irritation. But not a show stopper. The squeeze for 4th mouse button is neat though. Beats all other 4th mouse button options I've used

      • by Plunky (929104)

        The squeeze for 4th mouse button is neat though. Beats all other 4th mouse button options I've used

        I've never configured that, as it seems that as you squeeze the mouse the pointer would move.. is it an issue in practice? (what do you have the squeeze configured to provide?)

  • by penguinchris (1020961) <penguinchris.gmail@com> on Thursday April 30, 2009 @01:41AM (#27769043) Homepage

    I have the Microsoft "Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000" and it is pretty good. It definitely looked like the best reasonably priced bluetooth mouse I could find - it really is surprising that the selection is so poor. I think they haven't pushed them into the market as much as they could have, especially now that everyone knows what bluetooth is because of cell phone headsets (even though those make you look stupid ;) ). I'm a linux user, but you have to give Microsoft credit where it is due - they may make a terrible OS, but their mouse division is excellent. I prefer their mice over all the other brands.

    Anyway - it works great. In use it feels no different than the "Laser Mouse 6000" I use when at home (the bluetooth one also uses laser, which I've found is actually nicer to use than LED optical), other than being smaller, of course. So there is absolutely no loss of precision - I've used it to make minute photo edits without a problem. And I've never run into interference. I mean, you're probably going to use it right next to the computer, so you should have an excellent signal. I have, however, used it from 20-30 feet across the room with my laptop hooked up to a projector, and it still had the same precision and no interference.

    As you may have figured out from above, I don't use the bluetooth mouse when I'm at home at my desk. I have a USB hub with a few things plugged into it, including the Laser Mouse 6000, so I just plug that in when I get home with my laptop. That's because a full-size mouse is easier to use, not because the performance is any different, and it's also to save batteries. However, the battery life is actually excellent - with normal usage, the two AAA batteries the mouse uses last several months or more for me.

    Apparently some bluetooth mice go inactive after a while, and take a couple seconds to respond again. As you can imagine, this would be annoying. With this one, though, while it does go on standby after several minutes, it starts responding again in under a second. It's never annoyed me because of that.

    Pairing it with the computer works flawlessly as well; after the initial pairing all I have to do is switch it on and it starts working after just a second or two, with no intervention required. Of course, bluetooth is partially broken in KDE 4.2 and it takes some fiddling, but that has nothing to do with the mouse and I assume with OSX it works.

    Finally - I don't like the idea of having to plug in a little receiver. It wastes a USB port, which are often lacking on laptops, and it would surely be easy to lose. Besides those mice being cheaper, I simply don't understand why you'd want to add another thing when your computer already has bluetooth built in.

  • by YesIAmAScript (886271) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @01:46AM (#27769071)

    I've used 3 mice in their range.

    The problem is the mouse goes to sleep very quickly (only a few minutes) and then misses movements for quite a time (perhaps 1/4 second) when waking. It tries to compensate by getting the first movement it recognizes and multiplying it up, so your first movement when the mouse wakes is usually a huge jump in one direction.

    Also, they don't seem to use terribly good optical sensors in their Bluetooth mice, they have more trouble with surfaces than any other logitech made in the last two years.

    The only Bluetooth mice that don't have this problem are Apple's, but they don't have real buttons on them.

    I still use a Logitech Bluetooth mouse on my Mac Mini, but I keep wishing for something better.

  • Since I used to schlep my MBP to work every day I went with the VX Nano over a year ago. When I bought my second MBP I was hooked and bought another (Circuit City close-out, red, without the glide wheel, @ $29).

    Battery life is about 4 months with the original, well over that with the newer model, as it take AA's vs. AAA's.

    They have surprising range as well, I can stretch out on the floor five feet away or more away from my home set up, and run VLC to play .mkv files just fine.

  • by M0b1u5 (569472) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @01:49AM (#27769087) Homepage

    I am a Windoze and Mac OSX user. New PC. Older Mac...

    Alhtough I have not used BT mouse on the Mac, I have extensive experience with BT mouse/Keyboard on the PC.

    I won't get another BT setup. It's that simple.

    Because it works most of the time, and when it doesn't it is a cow. This has been with Logitech almost exclusively. So, the fault may be with Logitech itself> I have never ceased to be amazed at how complete and utter shit the Logitech drivers are, juxtaposed against the amazing hardware they make.

    For my money, the VX Nano mouse with the world's smallest USB receiver is the single best laptop mouse money can buy. It is superb. Especially on the Mac.

    My only complaint is that the VX nano uses the middle click to exclusively switch between free-wheel and notched scrolling mode. This is a dire and severe flaw, and it should be controlled by drivers, not the device! Retards.

    The VX Revolution wireless for the main PC is absolutely stunning, but once again the Logitech drivers will, from time to time drop all your settings, forget you exclude ALL applications from the control list - making your buttons go whack when you are in a long list of apps.

    Battery life is monumental - espcially for the VX Nano. It has a power button, but you don't need it. 2 x AAA rechargeables run the thing for weeks and weeks of solid use. And the low battery indicator probably shows for longer than most mice will run with a full set.

    The VX Revolution battery lasts at least 4 weeks between charges, and that's with full time use.

    So, I'd say for get the BT, and just go wireless. The range of mices is better, and you'll end up with more hair on your head.

    You're still gonna lose some hair because of the whack drivers - but hey. Nothing's perfect.

  • Go for the bluetooth thingy. You won't lose a USB port, and you won't get annoyed by this stupid radio receiver which sits 5 cm away from your mouse. You might as well take a wired mouse, since the wired radio receiver will still clutter up your workspace and claim a USB port. Stupidest thing I ever bought.
  • Mother in law has the apple wireless desktop, which includes a BT (afaik) mouse.

    I started transferring pictures off of a BT phone onto the mac. The mouse became unusable. It was like using windows 3.0 while formatting a floppy disk. You'd move the mouse all the way across the desk; it would move about 1" on the screen.

    If you ever do anything else with bluetooth, i'd avoid a BT mouse.

    I've got a MS wireless mouse and a logitech wireless mouse. The logitech doesn't work at long distances very well (its set

  • by DaleCooper82 (860396) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @01:54AM (#27769117)
    Seriously. After experimenting with multiple BT and IR wireless mice in the past I have returned to having one regular wired one for desktop and smaller one for the road.

    Problems with both BT and IR:

    • you must have spare batteries ready. Otherwise your mouse will behave erratically and/or go dead at the most unconvenient moment
    • because of batteries it is heavier than wired one. After a full day heavy use you feel the difference.

    IR mouse has further disadvantage that there must be visibility between the USB thingy and your mouse.

    Therefore if you are organized (i.e. never forget to take spare batteries and never put anything between mouse and USB thingy) athlete (doing arm training) go for wireless.

    If you are disorganized nerd like me, keep wired one.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      For programming and sysadmin, where I'm constantly copy/pasting where quick precision is required (often small text in terminals), and when using multiple monitors and the screen desktop spans those monitors, a wired mouse is a piece of crap. If the wire was as thin and flexible as a strand of cotton (they *never* are), then it wouldn't be a problem. I've been using mice for,... dunno, 17 years? ...and I've yet to find a wired mouse which doesn't interfere with my movement (the wire keeps bumping into the
  • I have a related question someone might have experience with.

    If a lab of computers (maybe a dozen in close proximity) is equipped with wireless mice, will there be interference or are modern wireless mice smarter than that?

    Would using BlueTooth be better than wireless? Or should we just stick to wired?

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by taucross (1330311)

      I set up a training workshop with a number of cheap Microsoft mice, and yes, they did interfere with each other. These were standard RF, not Bluetooth. I would venture to say Bluetooth mice uniquely pair with your PC and would not have the same problem, though someone else may correct me.

      The upside however was that the range was fairly small so I was able to separate them enough to minimise interference. I would still probably recommend wired mice if you're going to have a lot of them, though.

  • You've basically answered your own question, by pointing out that Blueooth saves a USB port, uses less battery, and doesn't require a proprietary dongle. I like Logitech's wireless USB mice a lot, but I'm on my third USB dongle lost already. For my Mac laptops I've switched to...gasp...Dell's Bluetooth mice. I just like the feel of the mouse, and the precision is pretty darn good. With a black MacBook, Dell's Bluetooth "travel mouse" coordinates pretty well.

    I really can't stand Apple's Bluetooth Mighty
  • FYI, I now own nearly identical spec. Logitech mice. A bluetooth and another with a little USB thing to go with it.

    As an Ubuntu user, I first found www.hidpoint.com that promised to provide drivers to get my proprietary mouse to function. To date, they've never delivered a driver I can use, say in 64bit.

    However to my shock and amazement, sometime a few months ago, the proprietary unit Just Worked! Seemingly it was some Ubuntu patch. I had to try on several boxes and it worked consistently. I think those hi

  • At the least the belkin mouse I had. There was always a delay when moving the mouse, which makes any kind of graphic work impossible.
  • by pecosdave (536896) * on Thursday April 30, 2009 @02:28AM (#27769337) Homepage Journal

    Get Bluetooth if you have it built in. Even if you don't have it built in (which having a Mac you do) get Bluetooth. It beats having a dongle for every damned device you want to plug in (keyboard, game control, mouse, headset) the Bluetooth one can do all of it.

    DO NOT get a fucking Apple Mighty Mouse. I've had a couple, great idea in theory, but not a good mouse in practice. Right click sucks. It works at first and stops working over time. If you completely remove your index finger from the mouse and click with your middle finger you can usually get a right click, or if you take out the batteries and put them back it works again. It's not worth it. The ball always gets fucked up over time, you can fix it and it will work again for a while, then fix it again, and again, and eventually, not anymore.

    Get this Logitech [logitech.com], reviewed it, you can find my review in that link, and I did chastise Logitech a bit, but when compared the other Bluetooth mice I've used that's the best.

    The USB wireless mice do have one advantage. They work immediately on boot up no problem on every OS. With Bluetooth I've found that to be the case with Linux. On Mac I have to either hit the connect button while booting with the Logitech (the Mighty Mouse actually did better at this - go figure) or fidget with the buttons and hope the Mac pics up on it after a while. With Windows, well, very mixed experience there, especially when it forgets the mouse should exist.

    On my Macbook Pro I always carried a mini bluetooth keyboard and a mouse in my bag, and I left a bluetooth keyboard and mouse on my work desk, used Synergy at home. I had at least 3 each keyboards and mice paired with it, they all worked great every time. I even paired a bluetooth headset with it, but that seemed to be problematic. Audio quality would degrade with time, and the applications were stupid, if the headset wasn't present it wouldn't automatically switch back to the built in or external mic/speakers. Not to mention I paired a Motorola Q, a Blackberry and an iPhone. The Q was awesome with it, surprising since it sucked all around otherwise. The Blackberry was functional, but not that great. There was no point with the iPhone. I don't even see why it's pairable.

    Linux on the other hand, I've paired everything above and a PS3 Sixaxxis, the Mac I could only get that to work via USB.

    I like Bluetooth, I'm pushing Logitech to support it a bit better, and I can't wait for the day the dongle dies. The electronic dongle, not my dongle.

  • Run a speed test before and during using a bluetooth mouse.

    With the bluetooth mouse performance sucks. There is interference.

  • I own a wireless mouse with USB dongle, and a MacBook Pro, so I'm exactly where you want to be.

    While I like the specific mouse I have a lot, if I had a choice of this mouse as bluetooth or USB, I would go with bluetooth in an instant.

    When you actually travel with your notebook (and why else have one), over the years you will accumulate a good number of instances where you simply left the USB dongle at home. In your average home setup, with keyboard, mouse, iPhone, printer, etc. you have a USB hub involved,

  • Look for a mouse with:

    a) a power switch
    b) a short wake-up time
    not to light or heavy, with a centred mass

    Some mice go to sleep in as little as ten seconds and then take a second or two to wake up and start transmitting again, almost unusable because mouse use is intermittent.

  • Does anybody who dual-boots have a solution for the shared Bluetooth adapter MAC address pairing problem?

    That is, currently I have a nice set of BT stereo headphones and soon (hopefully) a BT mouse. When I pair in Linux, it generates a key which is unique to the MACs of the adapter and the device and stores the key on both PC and BT device.

    Now, what happens when I reboot into Vista? It doesn't know it has been paired, but the BT headphones *do* think they are still paired to the BT adapter that is present

  • Mainly as it doesn't involve messing about with drivers.
    Put teensy dongle into your PC and as far as it's aware there's a physically wired mouse and keyboard plugged in.
    Doesn't matter what OS, whether it's POSTing, whether your BT module has decided to wake up etc etc. You have a working mouse and keyboard. Maybe Bluetooth has improved since I last tried - put I really can't see the advantage (and seemingly neither can the marketplace).
  • by mlts (1038732) * on Thursday April 30, 2009 @03:19AM (#27769611)

    Realistically, this is a very low risk to most people. However, session hijacking and packet sniffing via TCP was considered a low risk as well in the past.

    One reason I go for BT mice over generic USB radio is the fact that BT traffic is encrypted once the devices are paired. Someone sniffing traffic would not be able to figure out your mouse patterns, or even worse take control of your mouse and start clicking on stuff.

    Similar with a BT keyboard versus a wireless keyboard and either intercepting keystrokes or injecting them.

  • by Peeet (730301) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @03:20AM (#27769621)
    Logitech DOES have a fancy modern Bluetooth Mouse, it's the MX Revolution. Unfortunately, the bluetooth version of the mouse seems to only be available by buying the keyboard and mouse set. Otherwise, you can only get the MX Revolution mouse on it's own in proprietary RF style.

    I've been using it as a desktop mouse in both windows xp and linux and despite a few small quirks, I love it. I've very much gotten used to the auto shifting scroll wheel and am quickly approaching "how did I ever live without it". It does take a second to start up after idle but never more than 1 second. It has a lot of buttons and a very responsive laser sensor.

    Personally I would use a Mighty Mouse Pro or whatever it is in your situation just because it goes with the mac, is a more compact design (for stowage) and has replaceable AA batteries (I think it will even run on only 1 battery). The MX Revolution has a charging cradle (which they finally improved and fixed from the old fiddle-with-it-for-an-hour pain in the ass cradle that would never make proper charging contact) and non-replaceable batteries.

    One other advantage (I think it is an advantage) is that bluetooth is better about dealing with interference from other bluetooth devices and from other devices in the same bandwidth area as bluetooth. Thus, if you're working in a public place around other bluetoothers or RF mousers, I think it is naturally more likely that you can mouse in peace with a BT mouse than with an RF one, but this is a partially untested hypothesis. I've seen 2 RF mice fight with eachother at work whereas I've used two BT mice at home without problems. There aren't many good choices for BT mice out there for whatever reason, but keep asking about it and maybe manufacturers will pick up on the trend again and we'll see more and better designed bluetooth mice.
  • by Jane Q. Public (1010737) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @04:09AM (#27769921)
    what so many others have said:

    The Apple "Mighty Mouse" is the best mouse to use with the Macbook Pro. There are several reasons for this. Let me take care of the negatives first:

    (1) Right-clicking can be a pain. You have to move your finger way over to the right-hand edge of the mouse, and maybe even lift your other finger. This is the one thing I can say that they really screwed up. On the other hand, considering that their original mouse had only one button, it's still an improvement.

    (2) The bearing surface is a smooth (teflon?) ring, all the way around the mouse. As a result, there is a bit more drag than there is on other mice, and the ring tends to pick up a bit more dirt than other mice do.

    Now for the positives:

    (A) At least there is a right-click. And in fact there are actually 3 buttons: press the ball on the top for the 3rd button, much like you press the wheel on other mice.

    (B)I got that wrong. I forgot about the side-buttons, which work as a pair. Squeeze them together, and they behave as a 4th button.

    (C) The Mighty Mouse works seamlessly with the Macbook over bluetooth. In fact, my regular work setup is a Macbook Pro with a Mighty Mouse and their bluetooth keyboard. There is NO noticeable lag, glitching, or delay like there are with some wireless mice. It is rock-solid.

    (D) The battery life is great even if you just walk away at the end of the day, and if you want even more life, there is an off-switch on the bottom. I have had this mouse for over a year, I am a professional developer, and I often do not bother to turn it off at the end of the day. I think it was just last week I inserted my 4th pair of AA batteries.

    (E) The ball on the top is a full trackball, far superior to wheels, even the wheels that tilt for side-to-side. You get full 360-degree control, and very smooth. Nothing else on the market has a full 360-degree secondary control like this. Scrolling horizontally is as easy and instinctive as scrolling vertically.

    (F) This is the only control device (mouse or trackball) I have EVER owned for more than a year without having to at least partially disassemble it for cleaning.

    I am not sure what else I can say. The right-click could use some improvement. Big deal. And the ring on the bottom should probably be 3 or 4 teflon pads instead; also "big deal".

    And you are getting this from a long-time Windows person. There are some Apple practices or design decisions that I am still not convinced about. But as for the Mighty Mouse: the pluses so far outweigh the minuses that this is a no-brainer.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by moonbender (547943)

      You could fix the ring thing by sticking 3 or 4 pieces of teflon tape under the mouse. It's sold for exactly that purpose. I still won't get a mouse where the right-click functionality could "use some improvement", but then again I'm not using OS X.

  • My $0.02 (CDN) (Score:3, Informative)

    by FlyingOrca (747207) on Thursday April 30, 2009 @08:45AM (#27771963) Journal

    I've used a LOT of mice over the years, and I went wireless way back. Currently I use a Logitech MX Revolution on my main home machine and another on my work notebook when it's docked. For travel, I use a Logitech V470. I'm no hardcore gamer, but the Revolution has always performed very well in every application up to and including casual gaming. The V470 is my second Bluetooth mouse (on my second Bluetooth notebook) and also performs very well.

    I use my notebook all day every day at work, so I only get about a week of battery life out of the office Revolution, but it charges fairly quickly and I always have the Bluetooth mouse for backup if the Revolution runs low while I'm working. No manual switching necessary, it just works. The V470 runs on AAs, and I have yet to need a battery change, but I've only had it for a few months.

    The one thing that will drive you crazy with some Logitech wireless mice, the MX Revolution among them, is their crappy charger design. I love the mouse, but you have to keep the charging contacts very clean (especially on the mouse, where a small pencil eraser helps) and fiddle with placement in the charging cradle waaaaay more than you should, especially with an older one. It's enough of a problem that I've seriously considered "acquiring" some electrolytic paste (like they use on ECG contacts) to make charging easier. That being said, it's still worth it.

    To zero in on your original question - I would avoid USB dongles unless they are tiny enough that you can leave them plugged in all the time. I killed my first notebook (the one before the one before this one) by plugging a USB dongle into it one or more times a day - eventually the USB port separated from the motherboard, and everything went to hell after that. This, incidentally, is why I use a dock at work... and why both of my subsequent notebooks have had Bluetooth and a Bluetooth mouse.

    So... I'd say go Bluetooth, and the V470 is a good choice if you're after a compact ambidextrous mouse with good battery life and a power switch (you want a power switch). Good luck!

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