BTMicro Mouse review
July 30, 2005 by Keith Benicek, Editor
I live by my notebook computers; whether it’s my 12-inch G4
iBook, my 15.4-inch G4 PowerBook or my Compaq 3.6Ghz hotrod PC notebook.
On a plane or at other cramped situation, I don’t mind using
the TrackPad, but give me a nice big flat surface and I want to use
Macally has long been known for their line of Mac mice that dates back
to the ADB connector Macs. Macally was one of the very first out with
nice hand fitting USB accessory mice for Macs, when Apple was trying
to force that damn awful “hockey puck” mouse of iMac Bondi
and B/W G3 infamy. They were the first with functional three-button
Mac mice too.
Macally has dabbled with wireless mice for some time now, I love and
still use their now out of production RF based Wireless Mouse JR. on
my desktop at the office with my G4 PowerMac. And now with Bluetooth
all the fad, Macally had jumped in as an early adopter with both feet.
Their first BT Mouse Jr had a very nice feel and connected with a “BT” equipped
Mac better than Apple’s own Bluetooth mouse, but it had the huge
drawback of not being rechargeable and there was no on/off switch.
This second generation of BT mini mice, the BTMicro has all that the
BT Mouse JR didn’t’ and it uses a recharging cradle that
you can leave on your desktop between iBook or PowerBook “road
runs” with the BTMicro.
things come in small packages –
The BTMicro is smaller than the BT Mouse JR, which fit my big-palmed
hand surprisingly well. I was worried that the BTMicro being smaller
might bring on cramps, but it’s unique shape makes it a finger
grip mouse instead of a whole hand grabbin’ mouse you’re
I got used to it very quickly and the few other reviewers at our publication
that tried it out, agreed too. I wouldn’t suggest that you could
use it all day, but for a few hours at a time, you shouldn’t
encounter hand-cramping problems.
The Scroll Wheel is smooth and has mild detents to gauge rotation
and the three buttons, which includes a clickable Scroll Wheel, are
positive and reliable. Cursor tracking is very good with only the slight
expected delay of Bluetooth.
Teflon like pads on the bottom insure smooth sailing across a hard
surface or a mouse pad if you still like using one as I do.
who are you? –
Here is the one thing I hate most about Bluetooth and that’s
the relative uncertainty of “connecting”. That damn handshake
and exchanging passkeys that might or might or work, and the excessive
time it all takes. The fault lies with the BT technology and not the
manufacturers, however some product better than others.
Supposedly, once you’ve done the setup procedure with a specific
device and saved it as a Favorite pared device, the BT equipped computer
should link to it each time you boot or turn on the accessory device.
I’ve only found one device made by Logitech that does than 100%
of the time.
The BTMicro usually “mates” repeatedly with the same computer
it was pared with, but not always and especially not if you’ve
turned it on after booting up the iBook or PowerBook. As I’ve said,
Macally is alone in this problem of BT and Apple vaulted Wireless mouse
fails at it too.
Once the Macally BTMicro has been pared, if your Mac portable goes to
sleep, the BTMicro will be found …. eventually after seconds and
once you click a button or two. You’ll get used to this, but it
is a bit frustrating if you’re in a hurry.
No special software is required for the Macally BTMicro mouse when used
with a Mac running OS X 10.1.5 and above, or a even a Windows PC. You
will need to have a BT equipped notebook or buy a BT USB “dongle” separately.
Here are the specifications, per Macally:
• Advanced wireless Bluetooth technology
• Working distance up to 33ft (12ft actual tested )
• Power saving On/Off switch for travel
• Charging cradle and AC adaptor included
• Auto sleep mode when computer shuts down
• Two buttons and one wheel button optical
• Soft rubber side grips
• Accurate and responsive optical technology
• No moving parts to clean
• Compact size for portability
• 2 'AAA' rechargeable batteries included
• Any desktop or portable computer with a built-in
Bluetooth module or an external USB
Bluetooth adapter (not included)
• MacOS 9.2, 10.1.5, 10.2.8, 10.3.x and above
• Windows98SE, Windows2000, WindowsME,
• Net Weight : 3.7oz
Dimensions : W 3.2" x L 2" x H 1.3"
• Warranty : 3 years
• Part Number: BTMICRO
• MSRP: $49.99
Bottom Line –
If you’re looking for a small, but not too small Bluetooth mouse
for travel, you’re not going to find any better than the Macally
BTMicro. It’s very well made and the cursor tracks smoothly and
precisely. The only bug is in the nature of the slow Bluetooth software
technology imbedded into Mac OS X and Windows versions as well. It just
takes too long to “hook up”, which just doesn’t exist
with RF technologies.
Tech-Edge E-zine Tech Lab gives the Macally BTMicro Mouse
our Editors’ Choice 2005 for travel Bluetooth mice.