capsule review

The Mouse BT II

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If you have a Mac with built-in Bluetooth and you’ve wondered about alternatives to the Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse (   ), you won’t find it in the Mouse BT II. While this mouse has some salient features, its $70 price tag makes it less compelling. Unlike the Wireless Mighty Mouse, which sports precise laser positioning, the Mouse BT II is based on older optical technology. And thus, it should be less expensive.

With its half-notch running down the top and its 10mm scroll wheel, the Mouse BT II looks nearly identical to MacMice’s Danger Mouse USB Laser Mouse, (   ). On closer inspection, the batteries in the Mouse BT II make it about 40 percent heavier than the Danger Mouse. The third button in the scroll wheel is also somewhat easier to push than that of the Danger Mouse. Whereas the Mighty Mouse’s scroll wheel can move the cursor freely (including horizontally and diagonally), the Mouse BT II’s scroll wheel is a traditional wheel and it moves only vertically. But it is quiet and does not have any tactile scroll wheel feedback.

To install the mouse, begin by plugging the small USB charging cradle into an available USB port on your Mac. After loading the mouse with the two supplied AAA rechargeable NiMH (Nickel metal hydride ) batteries, place the mouse on the charging cradle--the LED on the cradle will change from flashing to solid once charging is complete. Slide the power switch located on the bottom of the mouse to the On position, press and hold the Connect button for 10 seconds, and then open the Bluetooth Preference Pane and pair the device to your Mac. Although Wireless Bluetooth mice are compatible with Macs upgraded with an external USB Bluetooth adapter, they function better with Macs that have built-in Bluetooth.

Where other vendors include software for creating actions and assigning them to particular buttons (Kensington’s MouseWorks is one such utility, and the Wireless Mighty Mouse driver also provides a limited set of controls), buyers of The Mouse BT II must use a third-party utility (such as Plentycom Systems’ $20 SteerMouse (   ) if they want this capability.

Macworld’s buying advice

MacMice’s Mouse BT II might be more interesting if it were less expensive than Apple’s Wireless Mighty Mouse. While the Mouse BT II does include a charging cradle, the mouse is based on older technology, does not include bundled utilities, and lacks the 360-degree scroll wheel of the Wireless Mighty Mouse. While some features of the Wireless Mighty Mouse may not be to everyone’s taste, on balance, and for the same price, the Wireless Mighty Mouse is a better choice if you’re looking for a wireless mouse to help clear your desktop of cable clutter.

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

The Mouse BT II
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