Review: MacAlly BTMicro

by on March 10, 2005

Plenty of Macs come with Bluetooth built in, or at least as a build-to-order option. Older models can have it added inexpensively with a USB adapter. Although the number of Bluetooth devices on the market is still quite small, MacAlly’s new BTMicro is a Bluetooth mouse designed for Mac users, especially for those on the go.

BTMicro
BTMicro in Charger

BTMicro
BTMicro + Charger

BTMicro
BTMicro Battery Compartment

BTMicro
BTMicro (Bottom View)

For around $50, the BTMicro falls at the cheaper end of the Bluetooth mouse spectrum. The mouse itself is tiny, roughly the size of a Matchbox car. Included with the mouse is a charger and two rechargeable AAA batteries, giving you the flexibility of using rechargeable batteries, or any other AAA with the BTMicro.

The BTMicro matches most Mac hardware, with both white- and silver-colored components. It features a standard two-button/scroll wheel layout found on most third-party mice. Rubber pads on either side allows the BTMicro to be easily grasped.

Setup is quite easy. After a few hours to charge the batteries, simply place the BTMicro near the Mac you want to use it with and pair it using the Bluetooth Setup Assistant. No extra software is included, nor is it necessary. Once paired, the mouse will always connect to that Mac, even after a restart, shut down, or sleep. Batteries can be changed without losing the pairing as well.

At first, I thought that the small size of the BTMicro would be uncomfortable for my medium-sized hands, but after getting used to it, larger mice seem too big. After a few weeks on both an iBook G4 and Mac mini, I’ve found both the battery life to be good (I’ve never run the batteries down, but I’ve gone for days without having to charge it), and the mouse tracked accurately for almost as far as the advertised 33 feet.

It should also be noted that the BTMicro has an on/off switch to prevent it from turning on in a laptop bag. The mouse does sleep when left unattended, so the on/off switch is unnecessary for desktop use. We found it a bit tough to wake up the mouse, requiring multiple clicks before the optical sensor came on. Use of the charger is not required, so you can take a bunch of AAA batteries to use as spares if you’ll be on the road for awhile.


The One-Sentence Verdict™

The BTMicro is a compact, reasonably-priced, full-featured mouse perfect for road-warriors, or those just looking for a precise Bluetooth mouse.

Pros: Excellent design matches Apple hardware, good battery life, three-year warranty

Cons: Small size might not be for everyone, sometimes hard to wake

The Facts

4/5Product: BTMicro
Company: MacAlly
Platform: Mac/Win
Price: $49.99

This post has been filed in Input Devices and Reviews