Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 ReviewFinding the perfect Bluetooth mouse can be a difficult task. You could go all out and get one that is perfect for gaming, ergonomics, or that is small and portable. It all comes down to your individual needs. For me, portability is king. I can use larger mice at home all day long, but space isn’t quite so abundant in my bag. I needed something small enough to stick in a side pocket on my camera bag without losing the added benefits of a four-button mouse.

Enter the Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000. It’s a long name for a fairly small device. Its Bluetooth integration allows you to free up a USB port that might otherwise be occupied by a cable or a proprietary wireless transceiver. The 5000 works great on both Windows and OS X.

Here’s a look at some points that might influence your decision regarding the Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000.

Design

This mouse has an interesting design. While it is smaller than a regular mouse, it doesn’t feel awkward in my big hands. It has a height to it that tricks you into believing that it’s longer than it actually is. Even with a wrist pad in place, I had no problems with the size of the device. Typically, the tips of my fingers would be dragging on the mousepad unless I bent my hand in an unnatural position.

A battery indicator light sits between the two main buttons, allowing you to see whether or not the battery needs changing fairly easily. If the light glows green, then it’s okay. When it turns red, it’s time to change them. It takes two AAA batteries and works fine with either alkaline or NiMh rechargeable batteries.

An extra button located on the right-handed user’s thumb allows for quick backtracking. You don’t get an additional button on the right side of the mouse, though. There’s a total of four buttons on the 5000, allowing you to do the vast majority of the things you’d need it to.

Connectivity

Concerning this particular mouse, this is one area with which I have a problem. It has a short battery saver shutdown timer, and there’s no way (on OS X) to change that. Most of the time it takes a click and some shaking to wake up, but sometimes it doesn’t reconnect at all. I’ve had to repair the connection on my MacBook Pro five or six times in the past two months, which is far more than with any other Bluetooth device I use.

The range is actually quite good. A Mac mini located six feet away in the living room connects and stays connected fairly well. I’ve had a few issues with connectivity on my HP Pavilion PC running Windows 7 after about five feet, though that might be attributed to the signal noise present in my home office.

At about 10 feet, the mouse stutters and loses connection almost every time.

Battery Life

Battery life is great, which might be due to the very short battery-saving timer. I’ve replaced batteries once in two months of daily use.

Two ribbons sitting in the battery compartment make it very easy to remove and replace batteries. This process takes just a few seconds before you’re back up and running. An on/off switch allows you to conserve battery life during travel.

Final Thoughts

This is a great mouse for folks on the go with limited space in their laptop bag. It has some frustrating points that make it a hassle to use now and then, but the benefits of better ergonomics and the additional button make these issues a small price to pay.

The Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 retails for about $50.

Image: Microsoft