How to Purchase a Bluetooth Mouse for a Laptop

by David Lipscomb
A Bluetooth mouse offers sleek wireless control over your computer.

A Bluetooth mouse offers sleek wireless control over your computer.

Bluetooth technology offers wireless convenience for a multitude of electronic devices. One such solution is a Bluetooth mouse, which you can add to nearly any computer using its built-in Bluetooth capabilities or via a dongle. If you need to remove a little clutter from your desktop or just can't get used to your laptop's trackpad, going wireless may be your best bet.

Adding a Mouse

Blueooth is a form of wireless radio technology available on many new computers and laptops. However, don't assume because your unit is new that the feature is included. Check your computer's documentation or go online to your computer manufacturer's website. If Bluetooth is not included, you need a USB-based dongle to add the feature to your computer. Some manufacturers offer a factory Bluetooth add-on using a slide-in card or a small device that mounts under a panel on a laptop. Some models may also come with a separate CD containing drivers for the mouse, or these may load automatically with the USB dongle. Apple computers have Bluetooth built in, so all you need to do is pair the device to the machine.

Selection

Prices for Bluetooth mice are usually in the $20 to $200 range. Key differences between units include docking stations, the use of laser tracking versus optical, and tracking sensitivity, measured in dots per inch, or DPI. Interestingly, price does not always seem to have a direct correlation with published performance specs. As with any electronic device, you should consult reviews to find out various quirks in operation or charging performance. Retailers like Radio Shack offer a variety of cost-effective units that offer an ergonomic feel with the convenience of wireless.

Battery Life

Wireless devices, despite their intrinsic convenience, involve the use of batteries. Some units offer a proprietary recharging base with long-lasting lithium battery packs that rarely require replacement. Other units are designed for disposable batteries, with some devices rated for battery life measured in months. Of course, any Bluetooth mouse using AAA or AA batteries is compatible with third-party rechargeable batteries, but you should never use these types of batteries with a proprietary docking station.

Lag and Response

Input sensitivity is especially important for gamers, graphic designers and users that require a high level of cursor precision. High resolution devices operate in the 1600 to 2000 DPI range, eliminating stuttered or jerky response. Some, however, do have a bit of delay in response, commonly called "lag." This is typically resolved by adding more memory to your computer, removing obstructions between the mouse and dongle, or reinstalling the mouse drivers.

About the Author

David Lipscomb is a professional writer and public relations practitioner. Lipscomb brings more than a decade of experience in the consumer electronics and advertising industries. Lipscomb holds a degree in public relations from Webster University.

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