by Jerry Jackson
The Logitech M555b is the newest Bluetooth notebook mouse that is a perfect match for laptops that come with built-in Bluetooth technology. Modeled after the Logitech V500 Nano cordless mouse, the M555b is compact, offers great battery life, and is highly customizable with Logitech's SetPoint software. Let's take a closer look at this smooth tracking Bluetooth mouse.
Before we take a closer look at what the Logitech M555b has to offer, below are the key features and specs for this Bluetooth laser mouse:
Design and Features
Anyone familiar with Logitech's V550 Nano mouse will recognize that the new M555b looks nearly identical. The only obvious change to the exterior is that the color of the mouse is now black and gray rather than silver and gray. In any case, the M555b is a compact mouse but the size and shape are still comfortable enough for everyday use. You can find a few notebook travel mice that are physically smaller than the M555b, but none of the smaller mice I've used are as comfortable under my hand.
Since the M555b is identically contoured as the V550 this mouse is perfectly comfortable to use for either right-handed or left-handed users. The MicroGear alloy scroll wheel allows for hyper-fast page scrolling or standard scrolling by pressing down on the scroll wheel. I personally like the scroll wheel to function as a middle click when pressed, so having it toggle between standard scroll and hyper-fast scrolling isn't as convenient for me. Beneath the scroll wheel is a one-touch search button for rapid Google searches.
Logitech includes a software CD so that you can adjust some settings on the M555b, but the mouse is designed to be plug-and-play so you don't need to install the software to use the basic features of the mouse. However, without the software you will be unable to customize the buttons.
Despite the compact size of the M555b, the mouse is powered by two standard AA batteries rather than two AAA batteries which are typically found in smaller mice. The benefit of the larger batteries is usually improved estimated battery life, but Bluetooth changes the game a bit. The V550 had an estimated battery life up to 18 months with average use, but since the M555b has to maintain a Bluetooth connection to your PC this mouse only has an estimated battery life of 4 months.
Everyday notebook computing with the M555b was simple once you've paired the Bluetooth mouse to your notebook. Rather than having to plug in the receiver every time I wanted to use the mouse I just pressed the "connect" button on the bottom of the mouse and used the Windows Bluetooth manager to pair the mouse to my PC. The real benefit here is that I don't have to sacrifice a USB port for a USB wireless mouse receiver.
If you're someone who uses multiple USB devices on a regular basis I cannot overstate how nice it is to have a Bluetooth mouse that keeps your USB ports free. I no longer have to use a USB hub when I'm using my desktop replacement notebook at home.
The three large plastic glide feet are identical to what we saw on the V550 nano and provide a smooth movement as you slide the mouse around on a desk or mouse pad. The bottom of the M555b is really quite nice compared to the tiny glide feet on most travel mice.
As mentioned earlier in the review, there are only two things that really bothered me about this mouse ... both of which are pretty much unavoidable. First, you have to use Logitech's SetPoint software if you want to customize the mouse settings or change the functions assigned to each button. Since the M555b doesn't have page forward/back buttons or a middle click button you will have to use SetPoint to create commands for those functions.
Second, the Bluetooth connectivity really does mean that this mouse won't last long on a single battery charge. I've found that non-rechargeable lithium batteries tend to last the longest, but standard alkaline AAs or rechargeable NiMH batteries might last less than two months if you're a heavy computer user (spending more than 6 hours a day on the PC).
The Logitech M555b is a nice notebook mouse that offers Bluetooth convenience and an ambidextrious design. Size does matter for notebook users, and a giant desktop mouse just doesn't cut it if you're a road warrior. The Bluetooth Mouse M555b is easy to use on the road and easy on the wallet. While I would have liked some additional buttons and better battery life, it's hard to find much fault with this travel mouse. If you're looking for a Bluetooth mouse that can go everywhere with you then Logitech has exactly what you're looking for.
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