Sunday, June 27, 2010

Gear Head Wireless Nano Mouse

Review: Gearhead Wireless Nano Mouse MP2900. Nice mouse, affordable. It comes in designer colors. No complaints until recently -- when the mouse died and it never recovered.

2010.10 update: The mouse, after about 6 months of use, mysteriously died and as near as I can tell, this is a hardware problem. Ultimately, I trashed the mouse. Judging by the number of hits to this article, it appears to be a common occurrence and I no longer recommend this product.

To fix the Magnifier bug, see this article: Keyliner Magnifier Bug

The remainder of this article is the original review and as you will see, I was originally pleased.


Mouse Drivers

If you are looking for mouse drivers, install Microsoft's Intellipoint drivers, described below. No other drivers are required and the vendor does not provide drivers. If the mouse 'died', installing/re-installing Microsoft's drivers will not fix the problem.


Original Review:

GearHead Optical Wireless Nano Mice are medium-sized mice, suitable for laptop or desktop computers. This is a straight-forward, simple 2-button mouse with no bells-and whistles.

It has a comfortable feel and appropriate heft. The buttons have a nice click, the rubber-sides are comfortable, as is the scroll-wheel. At $14.00 US, it is less expensive than similar Logitec and Microsoft mice. I like this mouse.

Reasons to buy this mouse:
  • The "Nano" transmitter is about 5mm deep and it can stay plugged in to your laptop.
  • At $14.00 US, it is affordable.
  • It only has two buttons; a very straight-forward, comfortable mouse.
  • Uses Microsoft Intellipoint drivers

Features:
  • 2.4ghz Wireless "Nano" Transmitter
  • Small transmitter, no need to remove, even on laptops
  • High resolution, 28" per second
  • Inexpensive: $14.00 US
  • 2-button mouse; no pesky side buttons
  • Clickable scroll wheel (3rd button)
  • Uses Microsoft's Intellipoint drivers
  • 2 Standard AAA batteries

The small USB transmitter is the main reason I bought this mouse. The transmitter is small enough to leave permanently connected to a laptop and it can be plugged into any port without interference. The range is also surprising -- you can use the mouse from across the room. It also works well on desktops which are tucked under a desk.

I expect the battery life to be on par with my other non-rechargeable wireless mice -- a single set of batteries will last for months, if not a year. The mouse has an on-off switch which should be used while transporting, but if it is sitting quietly on a desk, it will go to sleep. I've had this mouse for two months on a desk and I've not bothered to turn it off. When resting, the slightest movement will spring it back to life. The mouse does not have a battery-level indicator.

Installation and Drivers:

To install the hardware, insert the USB transmitter into any port.

The vendor does not provide drivers; standard Windows (and Macintosh) drivers work as-is. However, if you have not already done so, I recommend downloading and installing Microsoft's Intellipoint drivers (see the end of this article for a link). These drivers give better features, such as the "snap-to" option. You will need to make control-panel adjustments with the mouse, described next.

Mouse Driver Speeds

Because of the mouse's high resolution (I believe it is near 1400dpi), you will have to slow-down the cursor speed in the Mouse Control Panel. If you don't, the mouse will be erratic. This makes it difficult to switch between the mouse and a laptop's touchpad. Once the mouse-speed is slowed, the touchpad becomes intolerably slow.

Problems:

I've had no real problems with the mouse. However, not that I consider this a problem, if the mouse remains turned on, but the laptop turns off (and back on later), the mouse is not detected properly. I flip the mouses's power switch, or you can press the underside "connect" button, and it immediately re-establishes the connection; this is a reasonable expectation.

The center mouse (Scroll-wheel down-click) is stiffer than it should be. With that said, I've never used this feature, so it has not been a problem for me.

It comes with a limited life-time warranty -- you must provide a receipt and the original packaging - which is an odd requirement -- but at $14, I'm not sure the mouse would be worth the trouble. (This proved to be true: when the mouse died, it *was* too much trouble.)

The owner's manual is a sheet of paper that needs reviewed by a first-year English student and it includes references to AA batteries (it uses AAA). I'm probably being too critical; after all, this is only but a mouse.



Purchased at Office Depot. I've also seen it at this price on Amazon.com and Walmart. I believe this is the normal price.



2 comments:

  1. My Logitech Laser Mouse has a similar transmitter. I really like this mouse but it is certainly not at that price point. As I remember, it was $50.00 or there abouts. It uses 2 AA batteries. They last about a year but I'd certainly give this a try.

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  2. I'd say this mouse works well enough. I'm using one right now. This Gear Head nano mouse is sleek, small, stylish, perfectly responsive, and the two buttons click just as they should. When I first used it, the mouse would sometimes move on its own while my laptop was asleep, and wake it up. I solved this my just turning off the on/off switch, and turning it back on when I use my laptop once again. You don't need to reconnect it or take out the USB. You should also replace the batteries after quite a few months though. The mouse won't respond and will be very jumpy when it does. but, it doesn't happen often. I do have one major problem right now. See, I sorta dropped a few feet onto a hard tiled floor. It landed face down, completely messing up the scrolling. The rolling thingy (please excuse my terminology) won't respond at all. My mouse won't scroll at all. I mean, it is completely my fault it broke, but still, I wish it was built sturdier. It's a pain to not use the scrolly button thingy. Otherwise, this mouse is really great.

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