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We would be frank with you, and we certainly hope you are frank to yourself; a mouse is often not a priority. Of course, when the cursor is not indicating or working fine, it becomes a priority: but then, when it gets to buying a PC, we’re talking RAM, SSD, processor, video card, speakers. Mouse?! Okay, we will get it, but just about any model we can find.
In reality, we are the average Joes. There are enthusiasts like pro gamers who feel weird when they grip the regular mice, unlike the rest of us at ExtensivelyReviewed who are generally okay with them. Nonetheless, across the board, a mouse is essential for effective usage of a computer: majorly for a PC; but it offers better accuracy and usability on a laptop than the default trackpad, which makes it desirable.
Best Bluetooth Mouse Complete Guide
A mouse permits extensive and comfortable use of your computer. It is akin to an extension of your hand that allows you to draw, drop, grab, outline, copy, cut, and paste. For gamers, it can perform exclusive in-game functions.
Traditionally, a mouse is connected to the computer using a cord or wire. With recent technological advancements, we are increasingly moving away from wired connections to wireless connections, and a Bluetooth mouse is what we end up with (Bluetooth isn’t the only wireless technology though, more on that later) when we ditch the wire. In clear terms, rather than send command signals through a wire, a Bluetooth mouse sends command signals wirelessly using Bluetooth technology.
Aside the convenience, the absence of a wire enhances a clean and clutter-less appearance of your PC setup. Like with the wired mouse, using the wireless mouse does not pose any difficulty. When you want to use the Bluetooth mouse for the first time after purchase, you will have to pair it to your computer or laptop, much like you will connect the wires to the appropriate port (USB) for a wired mouse. After this first time pairing, all other pairings are automatic; much like is the case with a wired mouse.
Different Types of Wireless Mouse Technology
For a wired setup, a mouse may interact with the computer using a cord running on the USB standard. It is similar on wireless mice. Although in this case, there are two main types of wireless technologies that may be used to establish communication between the mouse and the computer—Radio Frequency and Bluetooth.
On a basic standpoint, both wireless technologies operate over the same frequency—2.4GHz. However, where they differ is on the preferred mode of connectivity. While a Bluetooth mouse will only connect with Bluetooth-compatible PCs and laptops, an RF mouse will connect with any PC or laptop that has a USB port. This is because, an RF mouse requires a USB dongle (which is fixed into a USB slot), and the connection is established between the mouse and the computer via the USB dongle.
Currently, Bluetooth compatibility is a basic (out-of-the-box) offering on computers. Occasionally, a rare few models do not support Bluetooth connectivity. On these disparage occasions; it is possible to purchase an optional Bluetooth USB dongle. This dongle equips a computer without Bluetooth compatibility with BT compatibility. Then, like with the RF principle of operation, you would be able to connect the mouse to the computer via the Bluetooth USB dongle using Bluetooth wireless technology. Alternatively, you may want to purchase a RF mouse, but Bluetooth mice are more common and the Bluetooth USB dongle offers more connectivity options over a RF dongle (for example, you could connect your smartphone using the Bluetooth USB dongle, but would not be able to with the RF dongle).
Important Mouse Buying Considerations
The bottom line of cursor accuracy is that between two mice, the one that offers superior comprehensive usage is better. This is a function of the ability of the optical sensor to work on a wide variety of surfaces, be it a mouse pad or the top of a marble kitchen island. Therefore, you want a mouse that offers brisk controls and response while also being able to function elegantly on less ideal surfaces.
Many questions fall under the “functionality” tag. If you are on the go quite often and take your mouse along with you, you would want a portable, lightweight mouse that can be bandied about. What features are you looking for: Motion Sensors? Functionality is all about what you want in a mouse, and how well a specific mouse implements the features that interest you.
In general, a mouse regardless of mode of connectivity (wired or wireless) offers two buttons and a scroll. Premium mouse models however, may offer additional buttons and sensors for extended functionality, like acting as a shortcut to move forward and back between pages while surfing the web. Even better, some models may permit you to customize features to your peculiar needs, say a button for copying text, another for cutting, and yet another for pasting.
A mouse is a durable computer paraphernalia and regardless of how often you use your computer, you want to be sure that every time you use your mouse, its tactile feel is comfortable. In tech-speak, this is referred to as Grip Comfort. A number of factors influence grip comfort, but the major ones are form factor, size, and key/button placement. Sometimes, the material used for the manufacture may influence the ergonomics of the mouse.
The specifics are out, but perception is subjective: as such, it is very difficult to determine if a mouse will be comfortable for you before trying it out. To limit this problem, classification of mice was adopted to ensure that people could easily figure out if a mouse is “one that could work,” or “one that is way off.” This classification is referred to as grip style.
There are three common grip types—palm, fingertip, and claw (we will discuss each shortly). Often, people transition between grip styles unconsciously as an adjustment to the type of activity performed – for example, during gaming you may grip the mouse differently than for web browsing. Citing this fact, most Bluetooth mice have a major grip style and offer support for other grip styles. Still, some mice with better ergonomics ditch versatility for top-performance by adopting a design that allows for only one grip style.
Which mice you go for depends on how you use a mouse typically. You have to determine all the grip styles you make use of, and how often you do. If you use, say all three grip styles in roughly equal time proportions, then you would be hard-pressed for a Bluetooth mouse that allows for all grip styles. If, however, you use only two grip styles, with one grip style predominantly used, and the other used occasionally; then a mouse that allows only the grip style you predominantly use with better performance should be your pick.
The hand arrangement for this grip style is such that the palm (all of it) rests on the mouse, the index and middle fingers are positioned at the front, and the thumb is moved to the side of the mouse. The elbow and shoulder provide much of the force for movement of the mouse.
Palm-grip mice (mice specifically designed for palm grip) are designed to have a deep, rounded arch; this is to provide support for the bulk of the palm resting on the mouse. The palm grip traditionally frees more digits/fingers, which is often exploited by the provision of fin-like rests that have dual functionality. These rests serve as resting bases for the thumb, little, and ring fingers, to prevent the fingers from dragging on the desktop. Secondly, extra buttons are affixed on the rests to exploit the free fingers.
In this style, the heel of the palm, the part of the palm nearer to the wrist, rests on the back surface of the mouse. The rest of the hand rests on the mouse in an arch-like presentation that causes only the fingertips to touch the buttons up front on the top surface of the mouse (where the buttons are usually positioned).
This grip is favored by gamers, many thanks to the style providing increased agility, which produces better point-and-click accuracy. Claw-grip mice are smaller than palm-grip mice, and have simple curves with a prominent absence of finger rests. Like the palm grip, the elbow and shoulder provide the bulk of movement.
A person using the fingertip grip will only have his or her fingertips touching the mouse. The rest of the hand and wrist will by default rest on the desktop. For better comfort and improved usability, a padded wrist rest could be used instead to serve as a better alternative than the desktop surface.
Fingertip-grip mice are usually the smallest of all grip specific mice, are thin, and commonly feature touch-sensitive controls.
What is the Best Bluetooth Mouse?
The most celebrated feature on the MX Master, which practically makes it our top pick amongst the several Bluetooth mice on the market, is the Darkfield laser. The laser is capable of producing a resolution of up to 1,600 dpi.
By default, the resolution of the mouse is set at the resolution used mostly—1,000 dpi. However, there is extensive controls that allow a user to change the resolution by a factor of 200 dpi, up from to 400 dpi to the top limit of 1,600 dpi. This range of cursor sensitivity and level of control is better than what competitors have to offer.
The cursor accuracy of the MX Master is over the top. We tested the device on several surfaces, from the common to the obscure, and we were thoroughly impressed with its performance.
We tested on carpet, denim, glass, laminate, marble, and wood. Of all six of them, the lowest rating was with carpet—at 90%. It aced all others at 99%, which literally got us drooling. We knew the crazy high dpi levels would give us some eye-watering performance, but this took our expectations through the window and back. Notably, with its cursor accuracy on glass and marble—these surface have for ages been the death knell of mice.
The Logitech MX Master drive to offer as much control as possible to the user also crosses into the connectivity ring. Unlike several other mice, it offers dual connectivity. First is a conventional Bluetooth Smart Connection; the other is via a 2.4GHz Advanced Wireless nano-dongle.
Each has its benefits and cons. Both permit wireless connectivity, however, they do so differently. The unique benefit of the Bluetooth Smart Connection is that it does not require an accessory to work. On the flip-side, the unique plus point of the Advanced Wireless nano-dongle is that it can work with virtually any computer provided it has a USB port.
The cons of using the Bluetooth Smart connection is that it works only with Bluetooth-compatible computers, and that it requires the user to download a proprietary software during setup. A software is not required by the Advanced Wireless nano-dongle, however it has its pain point, and it is that the nano-dongle itself is very small, which makes losing it quite easy. Another pain point is that you do have to free up a USB port for usage.
|Bluetooth Smart Connection||No accessory Zero need for free USB port||Software download
Only works with Bluetooth compatible devices
|Advanced Wireless Nano-Dongle||No software download Works with any computer||Small accessory required
Free USB port required
The excitement with reviewing the MX Master was truly pleasurable as we looked at the hardware to ascertain the versatility of controls on the mouse. It totaled five buttons—that are programmable—and two scroll wheels.
Three of these five buttons (Right, Middle, and Left) are located at the traditional position—the front. One of the scroll wheels—a vertical scroll wheel—also share the front with the primal three buttons. The rest of the party is on the thumb rest, where the horizontal scroll wheel is positioned along with the two extra buttons. The best part about these many buttons is that you can configure them to perform other tasks through the Logitech software.
The personal computer world has always been torn between devices on the Windows platform, and well, the Macintosh platform. Of course, the stats point to Windows being the winner, but the MX Master is not one to alienate a user base with equal support, performance, and functionality on both platforms.
A common caveat with Bluetooth mice is that you have to worry about how they obtain power. In a wired setup, that is not a concern, and for the most part recent advancement in the wireless space would not require you to be concerned either.
The MX Master’s battery is rechargeable. We don’t mean the fly-by-night less than a day usage cycle of modern smartphones (sorry, couldn’t help myself); we are talking 40-day cycles before the need to recharge. That is a step up from the use of AA or AAA batteries on competitors, which though offer a respectable six to nine months cycle, require you to be vigilante to keep replacements close by. That may prove limiting if you end up in an obscure vacation destination without replacement batteries, and no stores to get fresh batteries for miles. By contrast, the MX Master only needs you to connect it to a USB port when it needs a charge.
Right, here is where we talk about the Logitech MX Master and grip styles. Its form factor is adapted for the palm grip. However, do not hold out just yet, it can also be used with the claw and fingertip grips. Talk about versatility, Aye?!
We have discussed the great stuff about the MX Master, how about the aspects that may not appeal to everyone. First off is size, some people may want a very portable mouse, in which case the MX Master is not a fit. However, be ready to lose on some top-grade performance, which you can only get on the MX Master. Alternatively, you could get the Logitech Wireless Performance Mouse MX (our #2 pick) that offers great performance in a compact build.
The second is that the mouse is not ambidextrous. Practically, the engineering possibility of making the MX Master with its current makeup (especially the addition of extra controls on the thumb rest) ambidextrous (can be used effectively by both right- and left-handed people) is very slim. There is no left-handed variant either for now.
Salient Selling Points
- Best resolution of up to 1600 dpi
- Top-grade cursor accuracy
- Dual connectivity
- Extensive functionality
- Versatile for all grip styles
2. Logitech Wireless Performance Mouse MX Review
The Performance Mouse MX is a departure from the age-old design of contemporary mice that is need of a retouch. Retouch it gets and the result is breathtaking. Premium design meets high-rate functionality on the Logitech Wireless Performance Mouse MX, where with Logitech’s proprietary Darkfield technology, we are able to avail of cursor accuracy like can be found on the MX Master. There is much more that the Mouse MX has to offer, which we will get into shortly.
Features, Functionality, and Performance
We will start with the build, which permits the mouse to be moved about conveniently. This is a plus when compared with the MX Master for example. An elegant black case is nested in the product package to drive home the point that it can be bandied about with ease. Its usability and cursor accuracy is top-notch with terrific performance across diverse surfaces including glass that still manages to get the competition with their pants down.
A centrally placed button allows a user to adjust the scrolling sensitivity of the scroll wheel, which can be handful when scrolling through documents quickly or doing a quick web surf.
In terms of connectivity, the Mouse MX uses a 2.4GHz USB wireless receiver. The receiver is tiny though, so you have to be careful about handling as it could easily be misplaced. What’s more is that when a compatible wireless Logitech keyboard is available, the receiver can pair to both the keyboard and the Mouse MX without a flinch.
Battery life is stellar, and like with the MX Master, the battery can be recharged using a micro-USB cable. Which by the way, permits simultaneous wired usage while charging.
Salient Selling Points
- High-end design
- Rechargeable battery
3. Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse Review
If you are a fan of a sleek update to the contemporary mouse designs, then the Arc Touch will appeal to you right off the bat. It even sports a nifty collapsible design update that permits intriguing portability aimed at those that are always on the go.
Keeping with contemporary design, the Arc Touch Mouse only offers two physical buttons for basic right- and left-click functions. Like the Magic Mouse, the Arc Touch utilizes touch-based scrolling, which is better implemented on the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse—a pleasant surprise.
It is possible, using the touch-based scrolling functionality, to also perform quick scrolling through lengthy pieces of text for example (like on the Magic Mouse). Where Microsoft sports better implementation is in the Arc Touch being skeuomorphic, in that it is equipped with vibration feedback that mimics the sound and feel of a traditional physical scroll wheel. This setup allows for increased precision. It is possible to adjust the scrolling speed from within the mouse’s software.
The Arch Touch can be used on a variety of surfaces with defining cursor accuracy. You would have to skip on glass though, as BlueTrack, the proprietary laser sensor technology does not perform satisfactorily on glass surfaces like Logitech’s Darkfield.
Unlike our Logitech picks, the Arch Touch uses non-rechargeable AAA batteries. For a prolonged usage cycle, the mouse is equipped with a nifty functionality where the mouse powers off in its flat mode to ensure that there is discharge of the batteries when not in use.
Salient Selling Points
- Sleek design
- Top-grade performance
- High-end battery life