Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000 Review

by Dustin Sklavos Reads (50,647)
  • Pros

    • Comfortable, ambidextrous grip
    • Good sensitivity and reception
    • Excellent battery life
  • Cons

    • No drivers to program buttons
    • Unclear instructions
    • Horrible product name

by Dustin Sklavos

About two years ago I purchased a custom-built HP Pavilion dv2500t, a charming little 14.1″ number with what would become glaring heat problems (good ol’ faulty Nvidia silicon). When I custom-built it, I found the Bluetooth upgrade was a pittance – $10 is a drop in the bucket on an $800 laptops – and went with it.

The idea of being able to use a mouse with your laptop without having to plug anything in, just turning it on, is pretty cool. At least it is for me, depending on whether or not you’re as big a nerd as I am your mileage may vary.

Shopping around for a good Bluetooth notebook mouse was surprisingly difficult. A visit to NewEgg reveals just nineteen choices, many of which are just different colored versions of the same mouse, and very few of which see the light of day in retail.

At the end of the day, I went with the Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000, also called the “Microsoft Bluetooth Wireless Laser Notebook Mouse 5000” on the box. It had the best feel when I’d gently fondled it in public, and probably more importantly, it was about the only one I could find with any kind of reliability. HP has a Bluetooth notebook mouse out there, but I generally see it running for at least $10 more than Microsoft’s option.

Specifications:

  • Bluetooth 2.0 connectivity
  • Battery status LED
  • Includes two AAA batteries and travel pouch
  • Compatible with Windows XP, Vista and 7
  • MSRP: $49.95

Build and Design
Part of the reason I chose the Microsoft Excessively Long-Winded Named Mouse 5000 (there’s only one so the model number seems kind of gratuitous) was because the grip felt right. It has an ambidextrous grip – not a huge deal, I’m not a southpaw – and it does fit fairly comfortably given how tiny and frustrating notebook mice can be to use.

The buttons work well with a good click, adequate roll on the mouse wheel, and the whole thing is generally pretty comfortable. The power on/off switch and the connect button are both on the bottom of the mouse.
Complaints are minimal, honestly. The battery door can be a real pain to remove, and the connect button is tiny enough that you’ll have to use your fingernail, but other than that it’s not a huge deal.

In Use
I’ve been using this mouse for nearly a year and a half, so I’m reasonably certain I have a good grasp of how well it works. Sensitivity and reception are absolutely excellent, and in many ways it feels much more fluid and responsive than the RF-based Logitech MX Revolution I use on my desktop, which starts having kittens when it’s more than a foot away from the receiver.

The Microsoft We Hope You Like Really Long Descriptive Names 5000 is pretty solid as a gaming mouse, too, and it handles well on just about any surface. I’ve used it for video editing, Quake Wars, and every menial task in between. And if you’re concerned about battery life, while I don’t use it with the great frequency I’m sure others will, it’s been operating happily on the same two batteries since I bought it.

If there’s one major gripe, it’s that eventually using a mouse of this size – tiny – does become uncomfortable after a while. This isn’t a marathon gaming session kind of mouse, but very few if any notebook mice are. It’s designed to be portable and wee, and it does that job well. If you’re gonna need a mouse for extended, hardcore gaming use, pack your Razer Common House Spider or Logitech G-something or other.

Problems
Unfortunately, this mouse has some pretty nasty drawbacks. While for basic functionality it works great, there are no, I repeat, NO easily found drivers for it. The back button on it is always going to be a back button.
The second is that the documentation is really weak. It has a tiny page on Microsoft’s site if you Google it, but the easy set-up guide (only available in the package and not, impressively, online) omits a crucial detail (or at least mine did when I bought it): in order to connect the thing to your computer, you’ll need to actually press down on and HOLD the connect button until the battery LED begins alternating red and green. If this is in modern documentation or I’m just a moron, that’s fine and I’m willing to accept it. But it’s a pretty easy mistake to make and I figured it was worth sharing in case someone else got irritated like I did.

Conclusion
As a general rule I don’t like installing drivers for input devices. The only reason my desktop has drivers for my Reclusa keyboard installed is because the e-mail key doesn’t work automatically in Windows 7, and the MX Revolution requires actual configuration (at least I think it does). But anything that works cheerfully with regular old Windows drivers is fine by me.

This curiously supported creature is really a pretty excellent mouse. While no mouse this size is designed for prolonged use, the Microsoft Bluetooth Wireless Laser Notebook Mouse 5000 (AKA, Microsoft Sesquipedalophobia 5000) is probably the best choice you’re going to find on the market as far as Bluetooth-enabled notebook mice are concerned, and it’s not a bad one to default to. I cheerfully recommend it over the competition.

Pros:

  • Comfortable, ambidextrous grip
  • Good sensitivity and reception
  • Excellent battery life

Cons:

  • No drivers for programable buttons
  • Unclear instructions
  • Horrible product name


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