I am rather chuffed. Having been unsuccessful with cordless mice in the past with installation problems and short battery life, I was rather sceptical when I was given this mouse as a present. I honesly thought that cordless meant trouble.
I was wrong.
This mouse comes very cleverly packaged and included with it is the CD for the installation, a USB connection with an extension so that the owner gets the choice of either using one of their precious USB slots, or by using the extention, the traditional mouse slot. The handbook with instructions in 4 languages, battery and a very neat gadget that surprised me, like a docking cradle/receiver that recharges the mouse, power lead.and of course the five button mouse itself. Power adaptor.
Before I could use this mouse, I had to install the AAA NI-MH battery supplied with the unit, and charge the mouse for a period of 2 hours.
Getting it set up.
The instructions for set up were rather bland, although I followed what little advice there was to the letter, turning the computer off, plugging in the charger/receiver, after having installed the programme from the CD. It was actually quite easy because after the installation of the CD, I had to reboot and whilst the computer was off, managed to get the mouse plugged in.
The only confusion that I had as a user was that there are five buttons instead of the usual left and right clickers. Wanting to use all five buttons and not knowing what they were for, inquisition took me into google to find out what the Function Buttons on my computer were, because the two additional buttons are swift access to your keyboard function buttons. Programming which function buttons you want to respond to the mouse is simple. You simply tap the mouse icon at the bottom of the screen and chose between F1 and F12, and learning which ones were useful to me, I decided that I would opt for a refresh of an internet page, and a search for files on the computer.
Programming the extra two buttons was simply a matter of a drop down menu giving you the choice, and the only snag with the choices I made is that they function with Internet Explorer rather than Firefox, although this is a small hiccup. The programming can be used in conjunction with intellimouse and supports Microsoft features of scrolling, zoom and automatic scrolling.
All computers that use Windows 98, ME, 2000, XP or equivalent.
The manufacturers advise not to use the mouse on a metal surface and say that it works best on a light coloured surface which is ideal for me as I have a light grey desk. They also suggest that a glass or mirrored top will interfere with the function of the mouse. None of these apply to me which is fortunate but should be considered when purchasing.
RANGE OF RECEIVER
4 to 5 feet, and you are told not to put the device too near to the monitor. Mine is about 9 inches away and works fine. What is neat here is that the receiver doesn't even have to be in direct sight of the mouse so can be hidden neatly away.
There are two channels on this receiver. I am not sure of the benefits, although found that one worked better than the other. Changing between channels is simple by the movement of a slide switch.
PROGRAMMED AND IN USE.
The mouse feels comfortable in my hand and the clicks that you use on left and right button are definite ones. The scrolling wheel is extremely sensitive though not so much as to make it awkward to use. Compared with my last mouse, I actually find scrolling easier. The charged mouse works without problem and seems to keep its charge for up to four hours of use, which is easily made longer by simply putting it in the cradle between uses.
CHARGING THE BATTERY BETWEEN USES.
I use the computer for long periods of time. I do not want hassle. I was concerned that the battery life in between charges would be insufficient for my needs although here I was proven to be wrong. When you are not using the mouse, i.e. busy writing a review, or playing a game that does not require the use of the mouse, you simply put it into its docking cradle and let it recuperate its strength and it is actually amazingly quick to recharge, taking minutes rather than the original two hours.
At the end of the evening, simply place the mouse in the cradle and it is ready for the next day.
LOOK and FEEL
It's a neat looking mouse and equally as user friendly. I was concerned about looks because I like to have up to date gadgets and perhaps this is vanity. There are better looking mice on the market, but when you look at the features available on this mouse in comparison with others, then the price really makes it a reliable option. Also the feel of the mouse is rather nice and getting used to using two extra buttons housed on the side of the mouse was almost automatic and second nature.
The mouse is solid. The housing is solid and the manufacturers are so sure of their product that they give a years guarantee. That's good enough for me. The downside is that you really are taking a chance when you buy it because it comes in a sealed pack and only a user can tell you about its robustness, and here I would assure future buyers that its a strong little creature.
This was bought for me at £24 and to my mind is superb value. I have had equally expensive mice in the past that do not offer as many features, such as the Function buttons and the docking cradle that recharges the battery.
Targus have their own Website with a link for contact, and also downloadable users manual, which gives me the impression that their products are well thought out and that contact is available. Just out of curiosity, I downloaded the manual in a matter of 1 minute 16 seconds on a 56K connection which means that the file is always available if, like I am prone to, you lose the manual.
MY MOUSE HAS NO BALL
Optical mice do not have the traditional cleaning problems of mice that have a removeable ball, and can be used on any surface without the risk of dirt getting into the workings. This for me is a big plus.
MY OVERALL CONCLUSION OF THE PRODUCT
Despite my sceptical start as I opened the package, I am impressed by the range of features, the fact that the manufacturer looked at mouse use from every angle, thought out about the battery problem that many users have, and combined the receiver/charger. The unit is lightweight, feels snug in the hand, is responsive and easy to use and actually encourages you to use the two extra buttons as their accessibility is so simple, and your choice of which function you want these buttons to have can be changed at any time in a simple manner.
10 out of 10 for a well thought out product.