7 Best Bluetooth Mice | March 2017
- scooped right thumb imprint
- 2 aa batteries last up to 10 months
- wireless connection is a bit weak
- just the right amount of resistance
- rechargeable lithium ion battery
- designed for use without a mousepad
- winner of several design awards
- buttons are easy to customize
- compact and lightweight
- comfortable ergonomic design
- five programmable buttons
- up to 40 days of use on one charge
A Tail Long Enough To Function
For as long as computers have been around, the communication between parts manufacturers and office furniture designers has been deplorably minimal. There are desk units and office stations for the home out there that can barely fit half the towers on the market, and some still boast dimensions amenable to old school computer monitors, as though the flat screen had never been invented.
One of the first such pieces of office furniture I had in my home supported an old Dell desktop that probably had fewer megabytes of hard disk space than most modern computers have in RAM. It was also probably made in a prison, because this was the golden age of computer manufacturing. The furniture piece was part desk, part shelf unit, and it came in at just under six feet tall, a real albatross.
The worst part about it, though, was that the distance from the back panel of the tower to the spot where any right-handed person would put their mouse pad was comparable to the distance from one end of the Sahara to the next. And don't forget that the desert is slowly expanding.
As a result, the mouse could just barely reach the pad, so if you wanted to move the cursor down on the screen, you had to do so in a half-dozen micro-movements. Bluetooth technology existed at this point, but it was neither widely available nor economically practical, so we struggled on.
Any of the Bluetooth mice on our top ten list would have been a godsend. Each mouse is outfitted with a Bluetooth transmitter, some of which connect with a paired Bluetooth receiver that you plug into any of your computer's USB ports. Other mice on our list pair directly with the receiver in your computer. The outboard USB receivers also have all of the necessary software on them, so when you plug them in, they automatically walk you through the installation of any and all drivers you might need to use the mouse without interruption or worry.
When it comes to the power for your Bluetooth mouse, most run on simple AA or AAA batteries, though a couple of the options here are rechargeable.
A Mouse In The Hand...
Back before mice used an optical tracking mechanism, one of the worst things about using a mouse was having to intermittently clean the trackball on its underbelly. About once a month, the mouse would confront you with physical evidence of average human filth. Most of the grit and grime on those balls was, like the vast majority of dust, made up primarily of shed human skin cells.
Even without the trackball, though, maintenance of a mouse–or any part of your computer–is a pain, so any way you can avoid it is a good thing. The Bluetooth mice on our list require extremely minimal maintenance, though evaluating that probability in each might help you narrow down your selection.
The thing you'll have to do more than anything else with these mice is change or recharge the batteries. Obviously, the mice that operate on disposable batteries make your life easier in the sense that you can get them back up to full power in as little time as it take you to swap the batteries out. Rechargeable mice need to spend time charging before you can use them again.
What the rechargeable mice offer you, though, is a little economic and environmental peace of mind. Bluetooth can really chew through batteries, and not only can that expense add up rather quickly, you'll also create a ton of non-recyclable waste in the process.
Once you've decided what you want your power source to be, you can think about how these mice will fit into your hand. If you're going to use your mouse for long stretches of time, it's vital that it has some ergonomic comfort in store for you. This is largely a matter of personal preference, but it's important to keep in mind.
Danish King Meets English Mouse
The first computer mice in history used neither an optical tracking system, nor a tracking ball. Invented by Douglas Engelbart in 1964, the first computer mouse ran on a pair of metal wheels connected to a circuit board and housed in a cubic wooden shell. That design would dominate the landscape until eight years later, when Bill English developed a mouse that used a trackball much like the ones still available today.
Seventeen years after the development of a trackball mouse, Swedish inventor Johan Ullman invented a short-range radio communications technology that he named after a tenth-century Danish king famous for uniting tribes and introducing Christianity to the far reaches of his domain. That king's anglicized name was Harald Bluetooth.
Although the technology was originally designed for hands-free, wireless headsets, the ability to transmit smaller flies like music in the same essential way that a radio tower does appealed greatly to both software and hardware industries looking to streamline aspects of the computer user experience. In swift order, throughout the late 90s and into the 2000s, manufacturers designed more and more of their products with Bluetooth connectivity, including their wireless mice.