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Macally 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 a mouse.

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.

Good 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 used to.

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.

Hello, 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.

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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:


Features:
• 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
   mouse
• Soft rubber side grips
• Accurate and responsive optical technology
• No moving parts to clean
• Compact size for portability
• 2 'AAA' rechargeable batteries included

System Requirements:
• 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,
    WindowsXP

Specifications:
• Net Weight : 3.7oz
• Dimensions : W 3.2" x L 2" x H 1.3"
• Warranty : 3 years
• Part Number: BTMICRO
• MSRP: $49.99

The 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.



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