Micecapades

No one makes the mouse I want. If they do, I certainly can’t find it. For years, I’ve been an avid user of the Microsoft Intellimouse Optical, practically since its introduction. I use one at work and one at home. Now that I have Bluetooth support in my iMac G5, I’d like to use a bluetooth mouse. Apple’s single-button excuse for a mouse is a joke (come on Steve, get over it), which is why my Apple bluetooth mouse has never been unwrapped. Unfortunately, I can’t find a single bluetooth mouse that compares to my Intellimouse. I like it so much that when my old standby at home needed replacing (my fault), I bought two, just incase they stop making them.

Prior to first using an Intellimouse, I had already made the switch to scroll-wheel mice. Two buttons and a working scroll wheel are what I consider the absolute bare minimum for a useable mouse. The Intellimouse Explorer was the first optical mouse I ever used, and the optical performance was my original reason for switching to the mouse. Over time, a couple of other features have become just as important.

First is the shape. The height of the mouse feel perfect under my hand, as does the symetrical shape. More expensive Microsoft Mice with fancy ergonomic shapes, such as the Intellimouse Explorer for Bluetooth feel uncomfortable to me. Given that I’ve used the same mouse design for at least five years, I’m sure any new mouse will feel strange, but I;m certain I want a symmetrical mouse design.

The second important consideration is the button count. The fourth and fifth buttons are important to me- especially the thumb button, which I use as a web-browser back button. Any time I’m forced to use a mouse without this button I suffer an immediate drop in usability- it’s like suddenly losing one of your shift keys. I want at least four buttons on my bluetooth mouse, with the fourth being a large thumb-activated button.

I had hoped to find a bluetooth version of the Intellimouse, but it does not seem to exist. The only bluetooth mouse I’ve found from Microsoft is the one I linked above- Asymmetrical, and with the fourth and fifth buttons next to each other in a placement I find awkward.

Checking other manufacturers has proved fruitless as well. I’ve never been a fan of Logitech mice, but their MX 900 Bluetooth Mouse may be the current frontrunner. It is symmetrical, but the total of 8 buttons seems like overkill, and the dual thumb-accessible buttons don’t look comfortable. I’ll have to find one in a store where I can try it before I decide. Also, it comes with a horribly ugly charging stand/bluetooth hub. I don’t need a “hub” (my computer has bluetooth) and I don’t want a charger- I want a mouse with replaceable batteries like my Apple Bluetooth Keyboard.

DVForge, a company that appears to specialize in accessories for Apple products, has a nice looking contender called The Mouse BT, which would look great next to my Apple Keyboard. Unfortunately, it has only three buttons.

If you know of a bluetooth mouse with at least four buttons and symmetrical form factor, please let me know. This mouse cord is staring to bug me.

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3 Responses to “Micecapades”

  1. chornbe Says:

    Like you I’m not a fan of the single-button jobbie that Apple provides, but I’m going to keep and use it until I find something better. I don’t mind Logitech mice at all, so theirs is probably where I’ll look first. I’m currently a huge fan of their $29 2 button w/scroll wheel optical (corded) and have several of them about the house. If their bluetooth is comparable, it’s an easy sale for me. If not… (sigh)

    I’ve never been a fan of any Microsoft mice since the original. I think they go too far with the curves and palm-cramping humps. But then, I’ve got odd-shaped hands. Sausage fingers and big palms. Drives the chicks wild, but makes most mice an excercise in pain management for me.

  2. Matej Barac Says:

    If you only use additional buttons for back/forward in web browser, you might want to look at All-In-One-Gestures for Firefox. That’s what I’m using right now – mouse1 + mouse 2 = forward, mouse2 + mouse1 = back. That is, if you use Firefox.

  3. Kevin Puetz Says:

    For what it’s worth, I would bet the battery setup on the Logitech one is the same as on my MX700 (which is not bluetooth, but the charger looks the same). Despite the inclusion of a charger, it’s not a custom cell; the mouse uses 2 AA batteries. The package came with a no-brand pair of 1800mAH NiMH batteries, which recharge when it’s in the base station. So if you didn’t want to use the base, you could just stick something else in.