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Mouse Round Up

Volume Number: 22 (2006)
Issue Number: 6
Column Tag: Kool Tools

Mouse Round Up

by MacTech Staff, Jordan and Neil Ticktin

There's so many mice on the market today, that it's common for most techs to get asked about mice recommendations. This month, we thought we'd take a look at three very different types of mice.

Apple produces a nice mouse, but there are great third party solutions that are better for mobile users, more precise, or help users to be more productive. With that in mind, we selected RadTech's BT500 mobile mouse, Razer's Pro mouse and ProPad, and Logitech's MX1000, to cover these three types of mice solutions.

RadTech's BT500 Rechargeable Mobile Mouse

What It Is

RadTech, the people you may know for ScreenSavrz and Sleevz, have an array of other products. We recently came across their BT500 Rechargeable Mobile Mouse. This $59.95, 800-dpi, 3-button plus scroll wheel mouse is designed to be small and mobile, and particularly easy to charge.



Figure 1: RadTech's BT500 Rechargeable Mobile Mouse

Weighing in at 64 grams, the BT500 is meant for travel. RadTech makes available the RadPak Travel Case for an additional $10, making it a particularly good candidate for travel.

Using RadTech's free RadMouse HID driver, you can customize buttons and control. A Bluetooth Class II device, it works with your Mac (or PC) without special software. Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum technology minimizes interference from other devices.

The BT500's indicators are intuitive. When you press the button on the bottom of the mouse to pair with your computer's Bluetooth interface, the button glows blue. When it needs (or is) charging, it's red. When it's done charging it's green.

Unlike many cordless mice, this device can be used while it's charging. And, since you charge it with a USB cable, it will just seem like a regular mouse during this time.



Figure 2: RadPak Travel Case

There is a sleep mode to save battery. And, when you are not using it (like while in transit), there is an on/off switch on the bottom. Using 2 AAA NiMH rechargeable batteries, the BT500 will last about half to a full week if left on 24/7 without charging, but will last up to several weeks if used for only 4 to 6 hours a day and is switched off when not in use. A full charge takes about 2-2.5 hours. You can also use alkaline AAA batteries if you'd prefer.

What We Thought

One of the traumas of traveling is a lack of a real mouse. You may not have room for a full size mouse in your bag, but a mouse can make you a lot more productive in the hotel room than a trackpad does. We thoroughly enjoyed testing RadTech's mobile mouse solution.

The ability to charge it and use it at the same time was totally unexpected. Not even many larger cordless mice let you do this.

For many, even though small, it's ergonomic design will make it quite usable even for daily use. For travel use, it's far more comfortable than you would expect from a mouse this size.

For more information on RadTech's products, visit <http://www.radtech.us/>.

-By Jordan and Neil Ticktin




Razer Pro Mouse and Razer ProPad

What it is

The Razer Pro V1.6 is a high precision optical mouse for high-end graphics and graphics, precision engineering, and gaming applications. Razer Pro V1.6This product features an infrared engine, powered by "Razer Precision" and with 1600 dpi precision (against the industry standard of is 800 dpi). Razer Pro V1.6 supports a frame rate of over 6400 frames per second (5.8 megapixels per second), and high-speed motion detection of 40ips and 15g.

Other features of Razer Pro V1.6 include 16-bit data path, Alwaysalways-On on Mmode that ensures optical sensor never powers down, 7 independently programmable physical buttons with multiple macros, large non-slip mouse buttons supporting tactile response, non-slip side rails, ergonomic ambidextrous design, zero acoustic Teflon feet for smooth motion over any surface, and a gold plated USB connector for maximum conductivity.



Figure 1: Razer Pro Mouse

Razer Pro V1.6 requires Mac OS X v10.3 or later and it is supported by drivers featuring On-the-Fly sensitivity adjustment. It's a full size mouse about 5 inches long, Razer Pro V1.6It is 5.04 inches long x 2.5 inches wide, and x 1.54 inches high and it comes with 7 ft. lightweight, non-tangle cord. Razer Pro V1.6 is priced at $59.99.

Razer ProPad: For Those Serious About Mousing Around

Razer ProPad is an over-sized mouse pad with support for a variety of opto-mechanical and optical mice. The ProPad is two-sided, (i.e., both sides have the mousing surfaces on an anodized aluminum base). It comes with a non-slip, anti-reflective, abrasion resistant hard coat and gel-filled wrist rest. Available in dimensions of 10.4 inches x 13 inches x 0.1 inches, Razer ProPad costs $29.99.



Razer ProPad is a mouse pad with an over-sized design to support variety of opto-mechanical and optical mice. Razer ProPadIt features two-sided, long-lasting mousing surfaces on an anodized aluminum base. Razer ProPad comes with a non-slip, anti-reflective, abrasion resistant hard coat and gel-filled wrist rest. Available in dimensions of 10.4 inches x 13 inches x 0.1 inches, Razer ProPad costs $29.99.

What We Thought

If you need a super precise mouse, the Razer Pro is a device to look at, for sure. With or without the Razer ProPad, this mouse is incredibly accurate ... far more than a standard mouse. It's comfortable to use, intuitive to customize, and works as you would expect ... just a whole lot more precisely.

If are serious about your mousing, and are willing to invest a little bit into the ultimate mouse pad, you should take a look at the ProPad. The only down size to this pad is that if you have limited desk real estate, consider the size and make sure you have enough room.

If you have the room for it, however, you'll see a difference in how precise your mousing can be ... particularly if you use it in conjunction with the Razer Pro Mouse.

For more information on either of these products, visit <http://www.razerpro.com/>.

-by MacTech Staff




Logitech MX 1000 Laser Cordless Mouse

What it is...

According to Logitech, the Logitech MX 1000 Laser Cordless Mouse is the world's first laser mouse that offers 20 times more sensitivity to surface details than the LED optical mouse; facilitating tracking of difficult-to-navigate surfaces such as highly polished or wood-grain surfaces..

The MX 1000 features a Fast RF (i.e., not Bluetooth) cordless connection that matches the performance of a USB corded connection, deep-sculpted thumb support for comfort, and outside finger grips for enhanced control. Logitech MX 1000 comes with a rapid-charging base station, an illuminated 4-level battery indicator, and a lithium ion battery. The base station connects to your machine via USB, and plugs into AC.



Figure 1: Logitech MX 1000

It is also equipped with a scrolling system that covers the user in a variety of different angles. For example, for side-to-side scrolling, the user can tilt the wheel from side to side. When scrolling up and down, you can use the scroll wheel, or the "Cruise Control" rocker for continuous speed-scrolling up and down,. The MX 1000 also features thumb-button controls for universal page forward and back, and an application switch for quickly moving between open windows.

What We Thought Of It

Logitech talks about the detailed laser being able to handle a variety of surfaces. And, they are right ... it's able to handle the wood grain of my desk, an inexpensive mouse pad, and more.



Figure 2: MX 1000 in Charger

The shape of the mouse has its pros and cons. This is a mouse with a ton of features, a high profile, and deep sculpting. The main con is that the mouse definitely takes some time to get used to. It felt somewhat foreign at first, and took a day or two to really feel comfortable with. That said, once I was comfortable with it, it was wonderful to use and without a doubt, is a great desktop mouse.

The software was intuitive and easy to install. It allowed us to easily customize the buttons on the mouse to our taste and favorite control mapping.

If you are looking for a desktop mouse ... this is definitely one to consider. One of the best mice we've ever used, and definitely a productivity enhancer compared to other mice.

What comes in the package

The Logitech MX 1000 package contents include Logitech MX 1000 Laser Cordless Mouse, a rapid-charging base station, a CD with SetPoint software, an installation guide, a USB to PS/2 adapter, and an AC power adapter. Logitech MX 1000 is priced at $79.95. For more information visit <http://www.logitech.com/>.

-by MacTech Staff


 
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