Review — Targus Bluetooth Mini Mouse with Bluetooth Adapter

by Reads (34,229)

Targus has recently released their Bluetooth mini mouse, geared toward notebook users who want a portable mouse without the wires. I’ve been using this unit for several weeks and have found it to be a reliable companion, worthy of the small amount of space it takes up in my backpack. At $80 MSRP though it’s a little pricey, given RF equivalents are near $30 now. Read on to see if it’s a good fit for your lifestyle.

Specs Overview:
 High resolution 800 dpi optical mouse
 Bluetooth Class 2 and v1.2 compliant
 USB Bluetooth adaptor
 On/off switch to preserve battery life
 Dimensions – 3.5″ x 2.1″ x 1.1″
 Weight — 2 ounces
 Warranty — one year
 Carrying case included

In the Package:
 2 AAA batteries
 Carrying pouch
 CD ROM with Bluetooth stack and drivers

Design

The Targus Bluetooth mini mouse is of course small, just 3.5 inches long. It’s designed to be used as a travel companion though; not a full time desk mouse. Further along this line, it weighs in at only 2 ounces. Even the USB Bluetooth adapter is tiny, something that really helps Targus differentiate from the competition. Competing models offer large adapters in many cases, if they include one at all. Of course people without integrated Bluetooth, which includes most notebooks, will need the adapter and will appreciate the small size.

The adapter makes for a fully functional Bluetooth machine. It will support seven simultaneous Bluetooth connections, more than anyone will need. This means that you can use the Bluetooth adapter to connect to a phone for internet service while using the mouse at the same time. This is an important bit of functionality and flexibility that you can’t get with infrared alternatives. I won’t go on about the power of Bluetooth, but if you don’t have it integrated, the Targus adapter is great, even without the mouse.

The mouse itself is a techy looking silver with blue accents and trim. It’s a two button mouse with integrated scroll wheel that when pressed has an action button. The mouse is relatively flat, without the large hump that is becoming popular in desktop models. To properly use it, you won’t rest your palm on it, there’s just not enough room for that. You’ll actually pinch it with your thumb and ring finger, using the index and middle fingers like rabbit ears for the two mouse buttons.

The bottom of the mouse houses the power switch, latch for releasing the battery cover, pairing button and the 800 dpi optical sensor. The mouse runs on two AAA batteries that have a very long life, especially when the mouse is turned off when not in use. Targus doesn’t quote battery life in their manual, but I got about 6 weeks on my first set. In addition to the ability to power off the mouse, it will go to sleep after 20 minutes to help preserve juice.

Overall I find the design and build quality of the mouse to be very strong. After riding in the bottom of my backpack for several weeks, it’s no worse for the wear, certainly a good sign if you’re going to shell out $80 for a travel mouse. Although it’s not as ergonomic and comfortable as my MX900 desktop mouse, it’s not supposed to be. It’s perfectly comfortable and usable for short periods of time, especially when you get tired of using the touchpad or knobby on your notebook. Certain tasks are just easier with a mouse, and the mini mouse doesn’t disappoint.

Pairing

Pairing Bluetooth devices is often easier said than done. In my case I had a few struggles because of an older Bluetooth stack and software from Logitech that competed a bit with the Targus software. However after updating both the Targus and Logitech software online, setup was a breeze.

As soon as the USB adapter is plugged in, it’s powered up, as indicated by a green light on the unit. There’s a nice software wizard that will help you set up your machine. If this is your first experience with Bluetooth, I think most will be pleasantly surprised with the ease of setup.

Once your machine is set up, the pairing with the mouse needs to take place. This part is easy. Just pressing the pairing button on the adapter brings up the Bluetooth software on the PC. It immediately starts scanning the area for Bluetooth devices which are discoverable, which the mouse is when you push and hold the “connect” button on the bottom. At this point the devices are paired and the mouse is fully operational. This is the same process that would be used to pair with a PDA, phone or other devices.

Usage

I found the buttons and wheel on the mouse to be very responsive, offering a click and tactile feedback users expect. The optical sensor is very accurate, I didn’t experience any “mouse jumping” on the screen that is common with cheap optical components. I would really like forward and back buttons, I’m become addicted to them thanks to my desktop mouse, but there is only so much space for such things. Even so, I’m glad they included a wheel, which is just so critical for most when it comes to web browsing or working in large documents.

Conclusion

I really love Bluetooth; I wish Fujitsu would integrate it with their ultra-portable product line. They don’t though and neither do many other manufacturers, though some, like Dell, offer it for $45. Targus was smart to include a nice USB Bluetooth adapter as part of this package. They’ve provided everything needed to create a Bluetooth environment with a reasonably easy setup.

Pros:
Long battery life
Included USB Bluetooth adapter
Easy setup
Accurate optical sensor

Cons:
May be too expensive for some
No PDA support

Bottom Line:
If you want a Bluetooth mouse, certainly give this one a chance. It works well, is comfortable and delivers the quality that is expected From Targus.

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