capsule review

Danger Mouse

Apple’s introduction of the Mighty Mouse (   ) was a nod to what many Mac users have known for years: a mouse with scrolling capability and more than one button is a good thing. Although it’s cheaper and lacks a few of the Mighty Mouse’s features, the Danger Mouse USB Laser mouse from MacMice is similar in concept to the Mighty Mouse. The color and outside shell are pretty much identical, and they both have small scroll wheels, but the Danger Mouse doesn’t have the Mighty Mouse’s carpal tunnel-inducing squeeze buttons on the sides.

True to its name, the Danger Mouse USB Laser employs higher precision laser positioning (rated at 1,600 dpi) instead of the older and less exact optical technology found in the wired Mighty Mouse. This is most useful when you’re fine-tuning the position of a page layout, playing a first-person shooter game, or performing other precise mousing tasks. The mouse performed well on a variety of surfaces.

The top housing of the Danger Mouse is constructed from a single piece of plastic with a split running down the center of the body and stopping halfway. Pressing on either side of this split activates the respective left and right mouse buttons. Pressing down on the scroll wheel activates a third button, although pushing this button required considerably more force than the other two. No software is included in this package, which prevents you from further customizing the mouse’s functions.

Just plug the mouse’s cable into any available USB port, and your Mac will instantly recognize the mouse, and you can use it immediately. The cable is thinner than other mouse cables we’ve seen, and twice the length of the cable on the Mighty Mouse—a boon if you don’t feel like tethering the mouse to your keyboard USB port.

The small 10mm scroll wheel has no audible or tactile click—a welcome feature, as I’ve always found scroll wheel clicks to be a bit distracting. If you find that the hyper-speed 1,600-dpi tracking is a bit too hyper for you, you can easy toggle back to the 800-dpi standard tracking speed by simply holding down the two main mouse buttons for five seconds.

Macworld’s buying advice

If you’re looking for a basic and inexpensive technology upgrade from your older mouse, consider MacMice’s Danger Mouse. Its high resolution gives you finer control when positioning the cursor, but it lacks some of the fancier features found in other mice, such as the 360-degree scrolling available in the wired version of Apple’s Mighty Mouse and software that lets you fine-tune the mouse’s functionality. But these extras will cost you more, and at about $19 less than the price of the wired Mighty Mouse, the Danger Mouse definitely won’t dent your budget. For owners of the sleek black MacBook, the Danger Mouse also comes in a matching black version.

[ Jeffy Milstead is a Macworld Lab alumnus and writer living in San Francisco. ]

Danger Mouse
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