If you don’t likes using your notebook’s touchpad, a wireless USB mouse is the best substitute. Microsoft’s offering on this front is an innovative little puck that recharges through USB, has 1GB of flash memory in the receiver, and includes cool magnetic cables that allow the mouse to charge while in use. The only downside is the flash memory is about as fast a glacier, and it’s a bit spendy to boot.
Features and Design
Since most people tote their notebooks around with them, the most important feature of a wireless USB notebook mouse is size, or lack of it. It has to be small and highly portable, and the Mobile Memory Mouse certainly fits that bill.
The Mobile Memory Mouse has a right-handed shape, with grooves for both your thumb and ring finger on the sides. Behind the smooth-scrolling (no ratcheting, in other words) mouse wheel lies a battery life indicator light. It features left-and-right click buttons, plus two buttons for web navigation. You can also depress the mouse wheel for a click, and push the wheel left and right to scroll sideways.
The mouse has a right-handed design that is very comfy despite its small size.
The mouse uses 2.4GHz wireless technology and works in conjunction with a memory stick transceiver that has 1GB of memory inside it – which is clever. All these mice use a little USB stick to communicate with the mouse, so why not push some flash memory inside it?
Unlike most wireless USB mice designed for notebooks, the Mobile Memory Mouse is rechargeable, but rather than putting it into some sort of charging dock, which would be totally inconvenient, you just attach a little cable to both the mouse and the USB transceiver. The cable rests under the mouse and lies flat with the surface, so you can still use the mouse while it’s recharging. The cables attach via magnets, so connecting them is just a matter of putting the cable near the outlet and it snaps into place.
The charging cable attaches to the mouse and transceiver via magnets.
Use and testing
We use our notebook just as much as we use our desktop, and we found the Mobile Memory Mouse to be very comfortable. It’s very small but fit perfectly in our palm, and we had no trouble reaching any of the buttons or using it as it is intended.
The charging cable is really cool, which sounds odd to type, but it is. Rather than using normal plugs, the cable has magnets on both ends, so you just have to put the cable near its socket and it literally snaps into place and stays put. It’s a clever design and one we hope other mice manufacturers adopt due to its simplicity.
So the mouse works fine, it’s easy to charge, but what about that 1GB of flash memory? Well, we’re sorry to say that though it may be useful in a pinch, it’s so unbelievably slow we would not recommend ever using it for anything but the smallest of files. How slow is it? We transferred a 700MB AVI file to the key, which took – drum roll please – 14 minutes! Yes, that is minutes with an M. We transferred the same file to our own 8GB Sandik USB key and it took just 1:37. This is honestly the slowest flash memory we’ve ever seen, so its inclusion in the package is more of a detriment rather than a bonus.
Microsoft also includes a snazzy carrying case for the mouse, and we had no problems stashing the mouse inside for transport.
Microsoft includes a handy little pouch to ensure the mouse and transceiver don’t get separated in your notebook bag.
The Mobile Memory Mouse is a very good as a mouse in that it’s comfortable, portable, and just works without any hassles. We also like the magnetic charging cables, as they are very easy to use. However, it’s very expensive given its feature set, and the included flash memory is so slow that we’re just not excited about it. If Microsoft made it a 2-4GB key that was actually fast, we’d had no trouble giving it our highest recommendation.
• Magnetic cables are cool
• 1GB of Flash
• Flash memory is unbelievably slow