MacMice The Mouse BT Review

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Product Requirements:
Mac OS X 10.1 or
higher and
Windows XP systems that support the Bluetooth v1.0 HID device profile

Not too long ago, I reviewed

Bluetake’s BT500 Bluetooth mouse
. While it worked pretty much flawlessly
with my Apple PowerBook, the short battery life left me wanting more. I actually
ended up going back to a regular wired mouse not too long after the review and
relegated the BT500 to my travel gear.

When I first saw the Mouse being advertised on the
MacMice site, I knew I had to try one out
mainly because it just looked so cool. When I saw that they were going to be
coming out with a Bluetooth version, I didn’t waste any time sending a review
inquiry to the MacMice powers that be. A month or so later, FedEx dropped a
small box off at my day job. My friends gathered around to see what new geek toy
I had received. When I opened the box, I heard several ooohs and aaahs
(including my own) as I held up the Mouse BT. Since no one had a computer there
with built-in Bluetooth, I had to wait until I returned home to give it a try.

macmice mousebt4
macmice mousebt3

Included in the Packaging:

The Mouse BT
2 Toshiba AA Alkaline batteries
Instruction/Info sheet

Out of the box, this mouse feels very light. Almost too light. Installing the
included AA batteries makes a big difference and raises the weight to 4oz.
Installing the batteries is an easy task. A slide switch on the bottom of the
mouse enables you to remove the cover to reveal the battery compartment. After
you insert the batteries, the cover snaps back on relatively easily.

macmice mousebt2

Besides the cover lock switch, the bottom of the mouse also has an On/Off
switch, Connect button and the optical eye.

The only computer that I have with built-in Bluetooth is my 15" Aluminum
PowerBook, so that is the machine that I tested the Mouse BT with. Pairing the
mouse with the PowerBook was simple as simple as sliding the power switch on the
bottom of the mouse to On, holding down the Conn button on the back of the mouse
for 10 seconds, and then opening the Bluetooth prefs on the PowerBook to
discover the new device. This whole process probably took less than 1 minute to
complete, so I was mousing around in no time.

macmice mousebt7
macmice mousebt9

Construction of this input device is very similar to

Apple’s own wireless mouse
in that it also has a clear acrylic outer shell.
But, the similarities stop there as the BT has a scroll wheel, along with a left
and right mouse button. Apple’s wireless mouse only has one button, and
no scroll wheel. The addition of the right button, allows for access to the
contextual menus normally accessed with a Control-Click.

The design of the clear outer shell is pretty clever. The shell sort of
floats on top of the actual body of the mouse. The two buttons are made from
splitting the shell in such a way that the button area flexes to press an actual
button under it. Both buttons have excellent tactile feedback and provide an
audible click when you press them. Although pressing the buttons is no different
than with any other mouse, I did find that the acrylic shell of the mouse would
move or pivot when I would click a button or move around on the screen. Users of
Apple’s wireless mouse are probably used to this phenomenon, but it took awhile
for me to become acclimated with it.

I will say that I absolutely love the scroll wheel on this mouse. Besides the
fact that it glows red when you’re moving the mouse, it is unlike any that I’ve
ever used. Instead of providing a bumpy or clicking sensation as you scroll with
your finger, it has a completely smooth/quiet action. The scroll wheel is also a
button, which allows the ability of using it as a select button in some
applications. Pressing it over a link in a browser will navigate to that link,
and pressing it on a button in the dock bar will launch the application.

Size-wise, the Mouse BT is a full size mouse that is comfortable to use. The
batteries make it weighty enough to get it a substantial feel and to provide
good traction on a flat work surface. I did notice on my review unit, that
something on the bottom of the mouse would cause a snagging sound as a would
move it around on a cloth style mouse pad.

macmice mousebt5

This mouse is available in White and Aluminum. Silly me, I thought the
aluminum version had a real aluminum body under the clear acrylic shell. Wrong.
It’s all plastic. I even took it apart just to make sure…

macmice mousebt1 
macmice mousebt6

Even though this mouse isn’t really aluminum, it is still very cool looking
and matches the aluminum PowerBooks perfectly.

macmice mousebt8

I do have a few gripes… In actual use, I found that my cursor would
sometimes skip around. I would find myself overshooting buttons and webpage
links quite often. Adjusting the tracking settings in the mouse preferences
seemed to help a little, but not totally. This behavior would occur on both flat
surfaces and mouse pads.

I also found that trying to wake up the PowerBook with this mouse after the
PowerBook goes into screensaver mode, takes several seconds. The Mouse BT seems
quite a bit slower at this than the Bluetake mouse.

It’s too early to tell about battery life for this product as I’ve not had it
long enough to do any accurate testing. MacMice claims weeks of usage from one
set of AA Alkalines. We’ll see. I really wish there was a recharging cradle that
I could ‘park’ the mouse in at night when I wasn’t using it. Oh well, I guess
that’s for the next version…

The MacMice Mouse BT is a very sharp looking input device which feels great
in hand. Although having no wires is a huge plus, they will need to remedy the
cursor skipping problem and make it rechargeable before it becomes my next fave


Price: $69.99

Great design
Plug and play
Smooth scroll wheel

Cursor skips around
Not rechargeable
Slow wake up time


Product Information

  • Great design
  • Plug and play
  • Smooth scroll wheel
  • Cursor skips around
  • Not rechargeable
  • Slow wake up time

15 thoughts on “MacMice The Mouse BT Review”

  1. Gadgeteer Comment Policy - Please read before commenting
  2. Good review- I’ve been holding off on buying a bluetooth mouse for my 15″ PB until I saw a review of this MacMice model (they recently sent out an email that it was available for preorder).
    From your comments at the end of the review, you may want to check out the logitech mx900. It’s a bluetooth mouse that apparently (if we are to believe the reviews at newegg) pairs well with the Powerbook. It’s also around $70, has a rechargeable dock, and has a few extra buttons that you can pair w/ the various F9-F11 Expose functions (depending on your mac, you may have to install a program like gamepad companion if your mac’s not recent enough).
    Anyway, this review just about cements it for me- I think I’m going to get the logitech.

  3. I really like the style of this mouse, and could even deal with the cursor skipping issue if it wasn’t for the need to replace batteries every couple of weeks or so.

  4. On mice and docks….

    Having used a wireless, dockable MX700 in the past, I can say that a recharge docking station is NOT the best solution. The problem is that you can and will forget to dock the mouse. Leaving it for a day or two is okay, but if you leave it undocked during a vacation, it’ll be dead when you come back.

    The better solution is 2 sets of NiMH batteries and a small charger. One set is in the mouse, the other is in the recharger that you’ve dedicated to your mouse (plug it into an outlet next to the computer). Some RF mice will have this recharger built into their base station unit, which is a perfect solution, but for a bluetooth mouse, you’d have to buy the setup yourself (costs about $20 for 4 AAs plus charger).

    While I too like wireless mice and use one at work, I find that they are not good enough when playing games or manipulating graphics. With a 100ms lag and 300ms wakeup times, wireless mice become objects of frustration very quickly during any activity that requires fast or precise movements.

  5. thsu:
    I’m just too lazy to deal with switching batteries in and out like that. It’s a pain. But just setting a mouse on a charger is easy. Now what would be super cool would be to have a special mousepad that had the inductive charger built in (like the cradle for Spot watches). So the mouse would be constantly charging all the time.

  6. Well, the few things I’ve read about the MX900 (and similarly, the new mx1000) say that it only needs to be charged every few weeks or so. Unless you vacation in several week chunks, it should be ok taking a trip every now and again….
    There are a million reviews on the mx900- you can google it to see them- but this is the 1st review I’ve seen of the BT MacMice. None of the mx900 reviews reference a battery problem- perhaps that was fixed as they moved from mx700 on?

  7. This company has a very checkered past so thats one consideration. As much as I would like a bluetooth mouse to go along with my bluetooth keyboard I don’t think there will ever be one fast or smooth enough for me because I play alot of games. Bluetooth is just to slow for that. I have the new Logitech MX 1000 and its the best mouse I’ve ever used. My first mouse was on the 128k Macintosh so I’ve been through a few of them. 🙂

  8. tthiel:
    I would not recommend this mouse due to the cursor skipping issue.

    One of our readers sent me his mx700 because he just purchased the mx1000. The 700 feels very nice! Tell me more about the 1000.

  9. I figured the MacMice history was not that important in this case b/c their mouse only got an “ok” review here.
    I was thinking that if I saw a glowing review of the BT mouse, I might research a little more to see if this company had emerged from its checkered past- but I think it’s moot considering the various logitech mice are much better suited….

  10. Obviously we’ll get Julies opinion on the MX700 soon, but my experience was about 2-3 days of heavy usage, and a week, at most 2 weeks, of typical usage between recharges. Docking the mouse just never became a habit for me. It was annoying to dock it everytime you left your desk, but if you didn’t do that, you wouldn’t remember at the end of the day.

    The reviews I’ve read about the MX900 have been that the battery life is worse, not better than the MX700. More like a day of heavy usage, and at most a week of typical usage.

  11. The MX 1000 just came out. It uses a laser for tracking instead of an optical light. It is very precise and has a great shape and appearance. I really like it. It is supposed to be 20X more precise than an optical mouse. It uses a Lithium-ion battery can can go several weeks without a recharge. The charging cradle is much smaller and easier to get the mouse into than ther MX 700. It makes the MX700 obsolete in my opinion. You can see more information here.,CRID=3,CONTENTID=9043&ad=hp_mx1000

    Julie wrote:

    I would not recommend this mouse due to the cursor skipping issue.

    One of our readers sent me his mx700 because he just purchased the mx1000. The 700 feels very nice! Tell me more about the 1000.

  12. I use a PowerBook G4 15″.

    This looks like a great mouse. Looks good, good size, has on off switch, and works without drivers.

    However, I don’t think I could tolerate the mouse skipping thing. There have been comments on this forum about the MX700 being a fantastic mouse. Unfortunately for me, the MX700 skips big time for me. And I don’t think it is surface related.

    What I mean when I say “skip”: moving the pointer quickly from one end of the screen to the other is ok. It’s when I have to slow down to hit a button or icon, that the pointer jumps erratically despite small mouse movements. Annoying!

    I currently use the Apple BT mouse when I travel. And a very basic Microsoft wired optical mouse on my desk. Not keen to buy any more new mice, until one appears that is really really fantastic, and doesn’t cost a bomb. The MX1000 looks good, but a bit too pricey.

    I actually relegated the MX700 to a desktop PC. I haven’t used the PC enough to notice if the skipping thing happens there as well.

    And one last thing. I have read the MacTable/MacMice stuff. Although I would be wary of this company, I have bought the SightFlex from them. Works wonderfully.

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