Review: Microsoft Bluetrack mini

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Daily WTF?

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I’ll keep this short, since the mouse is small. Not as small as this one, but small nonetheless. Check out what’s nice and what’s not about this little traveller.

This mouse’s big brother, the Bluetrack Explorer mouse, was reviewed just a few days ago, and carries a certain design flaw that made it hard to recommend even if the price were to be halved. This little travel mouse fares much better; the side-button issue is non-existent here.

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The form factor is almost exactly the same as the Explorer, but obviously reduced in size. This is good because the swoopy curves of the new Bluetrack mice are comfortable and the build quality is good as well. It also shares the Bluetrack sensor which, we are reminded by Microsoft, is very advanced and will track on just about everything. With a travel mouse that is actually an issue — who knows whether those other mice will track on a particular varnish or material?

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The similarities extend to the lackluster scroll wheel, which has little grip and gives no feedback, but it functions. The four buttons are sensitive but I never clicked any by accident. The mouse’s little dongle fits rather snugly into a slot on the mouse’s undercarriage, simultaneously powering off the mouse itself. It works on one AA battery and is not rechargeable in-mouse, unfortunately. I didn’t get to use it long enough for this battery to run out. It claims power saving techniques, but the unbelievably bright blue halo around the bottom of the mouse probably isn’t included in that.

This Bluetrack Mini is a good option for a travel mouse if you’re paranoid about what you might have to mouse on. At $60 it’s $10 more expensive than the sleeker and more portable Arc Mouse, and $20 more expensive than the small but wired Razer Salmosa. Which you prefer is your own business, but personally I’d go with the Arc Mouse for travel. The Bluetrack is nice but it’s still a bit chubby, although knowing you can mouse around on the floor of the Acropolis is a good feeling.

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