“ Brand: Xenta-Tech / Connectivity Technology: Wireless / Interface: Bluetooth „
I suspect that the thing that many laptop users hate most is the built-in mouse, usually a "Touchpad" but for some the even more despised "Accupoint" rubber blob that sticks up out of the keyboard between the keys. Over the years I've had to struggle with both of these, some, even, on the same machine! I have never come to terms with them and really only use the Touchpad if all else fails. Give me a proper mouse any day.
However, the problem with a mouse, a "normal" one that is, is that it usually comes accompanied by the amount of wire required for attaching to a desktop tower computer; few have a short length that would suit a laptop. Also, plugging it in occupies a USB port and on many machines there aren't a large number of those to start with!
A wireless mouse would certainly solve the problem of the wire but, as most require a wireless receiver, the problem of occupying a USB port is not resolved. Indeed, many of the older wireless mice had such large wireless receivers that they alone occupied a lot of space on the side of the machine, often exactly where you would want to use the mouse!
The answer to the problem would seem to be a wireless mouse but one that uses Bluetooth wireless technology rather than "normal" wireless. Most laptops now come with Bluetooth wireless technology built in as standard. This is often used for things like connecting a mobile phone, so as to transfer photos, music and such like.
So, when my recent wired mouse was diverted to my wife's computer, for reasons I won't go into here, a search for a suitable replacement became urgent.
Bluetooth mice are not thick on the ground it seems and even those seem to carry a premium that prices them, on average, around twice the price of other wireless mice. I can see no reason for this other than that manufacturers seem always to capitalise on rarity. I suppose that's why it's called capitalism!
Then, I noticed a product on the eBuyer website. It was a brand of which I had never heard - Xenta - but seemed to be exactly what I wanted, at a very reasonable price, just under £8, including a delivery charge of £2.50. So I ordered one.
I must admit I had never done business with eBuyer before but I was very pleased with their service; buying from their website was easy and the product was delivered, well packaged and protected, within a couple of days.
This mouse is much the same size as most and fits comfortably in the hand. It is all black, with the Bluetooth logo to indicate the technology it contains. It has just the normal two buttons, with a clickable scroll wheel between. Just below this is a button to change the DPI setting between 800 and 1600.
Underneath there is a compartment for two AAA batteries (not supplied), into which I fitted a couple of Maplins 1000mAh rechargeable batteries. The mouse contains technology to reduce battery consumption by switching it to standby after a while when no movement is detected.
There is a recessed on/off switch, for which you may need a ballpoint or something similar, to operate. Just below this is the Bluetooth pairing button. Alongside this is the manufacturer's label, which says "Made in China"; isn't everything these days!
Connecting to your laptop is fairly straight-forward, or should be. First you make sure that the Bluetooth wireless is switched on on your machine. It may not be, as standard. Of course, if your machine doesn't have Bluetooth built in then you will require a Bluetooth receiver as well, but then, you probably would buy an ordinary wireless mouse if this was the case. On my HP Pavilion, the wireless network and the Bluetooth wireless can only be operated separately using HP's Connection Manager software.
During the initial installation (no special software is required; you machine should already have all the driver software needed) you will need to pair the mouse with the machine and it is at this point that you flip the mouse over and press the pairing button underneath with a biro, until the mouse is recognised.
Well, that's what's supposed to happen. With this mouse, no matter what I did, it would not be recognised by my laptop. Yes, it knew there was a mouse there but, clearly, the pairing button just did not work. Fortunately, Windows enable you to select "Pair without pairing code" as an option and, after this the mouse was recognised and successfully connected.
I used the mouse for an evening and then shut everything down, including switching off the mouse. The following day, I started up the machine but the mouse pointer just would not respond to any movement of the mouse or its buttons. I tried new batteries, re-installing, shutting down and starting up again, but to no avail. The machine still knew the mouse was there but responded as if it was dead which, I suppose, it was!
I contacted eBuyer and explained the problem. They accepted without quibble and asked if I wanted a refund or a replacement. I was prepared to give it another go as, apart from the fault, it was exactly what I wanted. They immediately dispatched a replacement and didn't need me to return the broken one.
The replacement arrived a couple of days later. I went through the same installation process and this time it completed without a hitch. It worked all day long and, when I shut the system down, switching off the mouse, and then restarted again the following day, this time the mouse reconnected immediately.
So, I think we just have to assume that the first one was faultily manufactured; it happens. As to it's replacement, I couldn't be happier. It does exactly what it says on the tin; what more could you want. Only time will tell if it remains working reliably or how long the batteries will actually last.