Help me mouse from the couch.
March 17, 2009 3:09 PM   Subscribe

Recommend a wireless mouse with a good range.

I just got a Logitech V320 wireless mouse to use with my new Mac mini, and the range is disappointing. I suppose the "for notebooks" in the product name should have tipped me off. I'm looking for a good alternative.

I'm using the Mini as an HTPC, so normally I'll be using my Harmony remote to control Plex, but I'd also like to be able to do the occasional mousing from my couch, which is (I'm guessing) 6 to 8 feet away. If I lean forward a foot or so to the coffee table, the V320 works perfectly, but mousing slightly further away on the couch is a frustrating exercise with only one in several mouse clicks registering. I've tried different surfaces, so I'm quite sure the signal is just not strong enough.

I got an Apple Wireless Keyboard at the same time, which works beautifully from the same distance. Is the issue here that RF doesn't have as good a range as Bluetooth? I've had a hard time finding definitive information about the range of different mice.

So, any recommendations? I don't need too many bells and whistles, just left and right click and a scroll wheel would be fine. RF or Bluetooth, as long as the range is good. I do have a strong aversion to the Mighty Mouse, but I've never used one long term.
posted by ocha-no-mizu to Computers & Internet (10 answers total)
1) Run a USB extension cable under a rug, put a USB hub and the mouse receiver, useful for plugging in USB keys, game controllers, iPods, etc too.

2) Get a Bluetooth mouse and don't bother with receivers. Ensure it is Mac friendly.
(newegg bluetooth mice)
posted by ijoyner at 5:13 PM on March 17, 2009

Apple does sell a Bluetooth-powered PunyMouse. You can pick it up cheap on eBay.
posted by megatherium at 5:39 PM on March 17, 2009

I have a Gyration Ultra GT mouse and keyboard (the Gyration site appears to be acting up, atm) that I use for mousing on my Mac Mini from the couch. The keyboard is meh, but the mouse is great. It doesn't require a mousepad (though it can work with one) and can operate by moving your hand around in the air. It really is perfect for using while on the couch. Once you get the hang of it, it's quite accurate. There are newer versions (as shown by a Newegg search).

I've used mine in a few size living rooms with the largest being about 15 feet away with no range issues. The little dongle has a 4" antenna that seems to work just fine.
posted by Tu13es at 5:54 PM on March 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

I just got the Logitech V450 Nano Cordless Laser Mouse and found out today that it has at least a 25 foot range. That range is fairly useless to me as I only have a laptop...
posted by buttercup at 6:45 PM on March 17, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers.

megatherium: is "PunyMouse" a derogatory term for "Mighty Mouse"? If I can find a cheap used one, maybe I'll give it a try.

Tu13es: that thing looks pretty cool, but it's a bit pricey for something that will only get occasional use.

buttercup: did you test the range yourself, or is that advertised somewhere? I did see a review on Newegg which says the same thing, so maybe this is what I need.

Any other thoughts on the wireless range for Bluetooth mice? I see some reviews saying "good" and "great" range, but nothing specific.
posted by ocha-no-mizu at 8:29 AM on March 18, 2009

FWIW, I got my Gyration mouse/keyboard from for $35 or so. I agree that otherwise, they're pretty pricey.
posted by Tu13es at 11:43 AM on March 18, 2009

I wryly used "PunyMouse" to refer to a regular old Apple mouse, but wireless. No scroll wheel, no side buttons.

It was actually hard to figure out what you want. You say you want left and right mouse clicks, but no Apple mouse uses them (I think). You want a scroll wheel, and that is MightyMouse. But you have a self-described "aversion" to the MM. The wish list is consuing.
posted by megatherium at 6:41 PM on March 20, 2009

should of course be "confusing" - and so is my reply
posted by megatherium at 6:42 PM on March 20, 2009

Response by poster: megatherium: actually, the Mighty Mouse can do right clicks, but the implementation is fairly clumsy (you need to lift your finger off the left "button" before it will recognise a right click). I have an aversion to that mouse just based on very briefly using one in an Apple store, but I'd be willing to reconsider if there were reports of getting used to it after spending some time with it. Sorry if that was confusing.

My Logitech mouse has actually started working pretty well since I asked this question, so I'm going to stick with it. Maybe I was getting interference from somewhere? Maybe it just need to be broken in?
posted by ocha-no-mizu at 9:47 AM on March 22, 2009

Response by poster: A quick update in case anyone stumbles upon this. The Logitech mouse was still giving me problems at a distance of more than about 6 feet most of the time, so today I picked up one of these Bluetooth mice for a good price, and it works beautifully. Works great from the couch. I even tried it about 20 feet away, it had no trouble.
posted by ocha-no-mizu at 3:14 PM on May 31, 2009

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