Two Wireless Mouse options from Macally

Company: Macally

Price: $29.99 Each

Do you have too many wires cluttering your desktop? If so, one of these mice by Macally might be for you.

Macally’s rfMOUSE (rf) and rfMOUSEJR (rfJR) are two great wireless mice. The rf is an oversized mouse which fits nicely in your hand, while the rfJR is a smaller mouse (a little shorter than the standard Apple Mouse, but with more bulk) geared toward the laptop market, but perfectly usable on a desktop machine.

Both mice use rechargeable batteries (included), and the first step is to charge those batteries. The rf has a great system for this. The small remote receiver is the battery charger. It connects to your computer via USB, and two AA batteries fit right inside. There are no extra cables to plug into an outlet- the charging is done by the computer. Yes, the first charge might be annoying because you have to leave your computer on for about eight hours, but the payoff is worth it. You see, the rf comes with two extra rechargeable batteries. These batteries sit in the receiver, charging whenever the computer is turned on (don’t worry about rechargeable battery memory, the batteries are NI-MH). When the batteries in the mouse die, swap them with the charged batteries in the receiver and always have the wireless mouse going. No need to have that wired mouse or standard AA batteries on standby for those times you would be waiting for the batteries to charge. Great feature!

You would think the rfJR would use this same method of charging. Unfortunately, it doesn’t. The rfJR has a charging base. The charging base must be plugged into the wall to charge the mouse. This is understandable, because if you are using this with a laptop, you don’t want a receiver hanging off the edge of the computer as you move from place to place. However, I would have liked the charging to base to have the ability to house extra batteries for charging, like the full size rf. The base is definitely big enough to hold two batteries. Of course, if the batteries die one could just use the trackpad on a laptop, or have those standby pieces on a desktop; but the charged batteries always ready to go is really nice.

So you now have your rfJR charged and ready to go. There are two receiver options for the rfJR. You can use the USB receiver, which is the size of a USB thumbdrive (my preference), or you can house the USB receiver in the charging unit and connect the charging unit to the computer via its USB cable. Why you would want to do this over the smaller USB receiver, I don’t know.

Once you have either mouse set up, you can connect them to your computer and install the included drivers. Both mice have drivers for OS 9.2 and OS 10.2 or higher. Once the drivers are installed, the software lets you customize all aspects of the mice, including what the buttons do. There are no Intel drivers yet, but I have been informed that they are on the way. However, I did find that the mice work without the Macally drivers. The left button clicks, the right control-clicks, the scroll wheel works, and the scroll wheel button activates Exposé’s show all windows feature (which is what I use this button for anyway). This is true on the Intel machines too. The mice were also fully adjustable via the Apple Mouse preference pane, if the Macally drivers were not installed (you just can’t customize the buttons).

The full size rf mouse has no further set up, besides turning it on. The receiver plugs into your computer, and the mouse just works.

The rfJR has to sync to the receiver. this is an easy process of pushing a button under the mouse and pushing a button on the USB receiver. I did find that if the rfJR is turned off, it will lose the connection to the receiver and this syncing process has to be repeated.

So how do they work? Great! They work just like wired mice. I noticed no lag in clicks or movement with the rf or the rfJR. The range on the mice is about 3-4 feet. For most users, this will be fine.

The only annoyance I found was with the rfJR’s USB receiver. The receiver has a BRIGHT blue light on top of it, which activates every time you use the mouse. It basically lets you know the signal is being received. This is fine, but the light is REALLY BRIGHT. It is bright to the point of annoyance and distraction. I’d like to see the light on back of the receiver, or at least a little dimmer. I’d even consider covering it with a piece of masking tape, or fabric. Yes, it is that bright.

Overall, these are two great wireless mice from Macally, and the price is really reasonable. Plus, they both come with a three-year warranty! A decent wired mouse is not much cheaper. I highly recommend either mouse if you are in the market for a wireless mouse.

rfMOUSE: rating: 4.5 out of 5 (5 out of 5 if there were Intel drivers)

rfMOUSEJR: rating: 4 our 5 (4.5 out of 5 if there were Intel drivers)

Both mice work great. There was no lagging while using the mice.
Both mice are comfortable in your hand.
Easy setup for both mice.
Mac drivers are included for customization.
The rfMOUSE has a small receiver that acts as a spare battery charger, and it does not require an AC adapter.
The rfMOUSEJR has a USB thumb drive sized receiver.
Both mice have a three-year warranty.

No Intel drivers- yet.
The light on the rfMOUSEJR’s receiver is too bright.
I would like to see the rfMOUSEJR’s charging base have the battery charger option of the rfMOUSE.
Some people might want a larger range than 3-4 feet.


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