If you use a laptop and are like me then we probably agree that touchpads are something not worth it. I rather have a mouse to use with my laptop and preferably with no wires, since I'm already used to have a cordless keyboard and mouse on my desktop computer. Mind you, space is always a problem when you carry a laptop, a spare battery, a removable DVD drive, charger, cables, etc.
Luckily we are seeing more and more Bluetooth enabled keyboard and mouse products. Most of these products come in a combo, including a Bluetooth adapter. Although this is handy, some users don't need this combination; either because the laptop already has a built in Bluetooth, or a USB dongle is already installed.
Bluetake launched a new Bluetooth mouse that gives the user the option. You can buy just the BT500 or a bundle including a USB Bluetooth adapter ready to use. You'll buy this device alone because you already have a Bluetooth adapter in your current configuration and just need the pointer device. Or the bundle if you want to have a USB dongle that works with your mouse, and Windows Mobile Pocket PC, Palm OS, mobile phone, and other devices.
It's a very cool looking mouse actually. It includes left and right buttons, plus a scroll wheel with click action. It's small enough to fit in a pocket or just snugly in your laptop case.
The mouse will work with any Bluetooth device that implements a profile called HID. In this case HID is short for Human Interface Device, and is only available in some drivers. It's implemented on Microsoft's own Bluetooth stack (but the hardware comes with a combo, doesn't it?) and adapters using drivers Widcomm 1.4 and up. This include Bluetake, DLINK, Belkin and soon TDK. I have a Bluetake BT007SV USB on my laptop, but I actually tested the mouse with a TDK beta driver on my desktop.
The mouse is nice to touch, and you have to get used to its size. It's probably two thirds of the size of a standard Logitech cordless mouse (see picture below). Dimensions are 85.2 x 50 x 32.6 mm and only 64g.
This is an optical device (800 DPI), meaning less moving parts and no problems having to clean it. The mouse glides extremely well on a 3M mousepad thanks to its very smooth, er, bottom. On its bottom you'll notice a on/off switch and a reset button, used to start Bluetooth pairing procedure.
Size comparison with a Logitech Cordless mouse
Connecting the BT500 Bluetooth mouse to another device is very simple. When you insert the batteries (included) and turn it on a blue led will shine through the scroll whell. It's indicating the device in Discoverable mode. From your computer do a search and when the device is shown in your Bluetooth browser you double-click the icon. It'll ask if you want to connect to this Human Interface Device. Simply click Yes and the devices are paired. No need to enter PIN.
Windows will then copy some files (it may ask for your original CD) and you're ready to enjoy the freedom. If you ever want to connect this mouse to another Bluetooth enabled computer, simply press the reset button and repeat the procedure. The mouse will automatically connect to the paired device when switched on. This is a class II device, meaning its range is 10 metres (30 feet).
No doubt another cool device to add to the wireless collection. If you already have Bluetooth installed in your computer it will take less than a minute to start using this mouse. It works extremely well and it's easy to setup and use. And what's more: works with the Apple Mac OS X Bluetooth stack too !