Microsoft Touch Mouse’s fatal flaw

English: Image of a pair of Energizer AA Batteries

Not the guilty party – Image via Wikipedia

Microsoft’s Touch Mouse has a fatal flaw that didn’t show up when I wrote last month’s review: it chews through batteries.

After six weeks use, I’m now on my sixth pair of AA batteries. That’s unacceptable.

The mouse came with a pair of Energizer batteries in the box. I picked up a pack of 10 Duracell batteries at the same time. The last pair of batteries are now in the mouse.

I’ve spent long hours at the computer in recent weeks working on a couple of big projects, certainly more than 12 hours a day for six days a week. That shouldn’t make any difference.

In contrast, the batteries in my Microsoft Wireless Mouse 5000 last for about three months – that’s roughly 12 times as long as in the Touch Mouse.

One possibility is the batteries are all duds.

To be fair to Microsoft, I’ve not been good at using the switch on the bottom of the mouse to turn it off when I’m not using my computer.

This is hard to remember and, frankly, it shouldn’t be necessary. A well-designed mouse should do a better job of managing power consumption.

Until I hear otherwise, I’m calling this a design flaw. A serious one.

Rechargables? While I’m a big fan of rechargeable batteries, I’ve found them a problem with mice and keyboards, they fade ridiculously fast and I learnt the hard way a low-charge, but seemingly functional battery in a mouse is a fast route to sore wrist and arm muscles.

5 thoughts on “Microsoft Touch Mouse’s fatal flaw

  1. That’ll teach you to saty with a Windows PC Bill! I’ve been using a touch mouse with my Mac for quite a long time now, and certainly no battery issues to speak of.
    And stick with it – gesture based use of a mouse becomes so much faster than the old way when you’re used to it :) Although of course OSX and native apps are built for this, don’t know to what extent Win is/isn’t.

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  2. Its almost definitely a design flaw. I actually went as far as adding an off switch to my MS wireless bluetooth mouse after I noticed that the LED remained on even when the computer was off. Now that I have an Apple mouse I dont bother with the off switch, it seems to last forever.
    I’m not saying its Apple vs PC issue by any means but I think power consumption was never a consideration during engineering the MS branded devices.

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    • Had a brilliant tweet from Liam Proven (@lproven)

      He says: “@billbennettnz And this, regardless of actual lifetime, is why I won’t use cordless mice or keyboards. The resource use is unacceptable.”

      It’s a good point and not one most users will think about, if the Microsoft Touch Mouse gets through 100 individual AA batteries in a year, that’s an incredible drain on resources (and on the pocket, by my estimate it would be over NZ$200 just to keep the thing juiced up).

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    • I have the complete opposite issue. I have both mice (MS touch and the Apple version on my iMAC).
      My MAC mouse chews through batteries. My wife is constantly complaining about why the mouse isn’t working at home.
      The Microsoft mouse is fine.

      “Although of course OSX and native apps are built for this”
      OSX isn’t built for the rechargeble mice…what a load of BS.

      Its funny how people will blame Apple vs Microsoft based on 1 instance.

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  3. Its definitely a flaw in the design. I use rechargeables in mine. The battery life is horrendous. What I don’t understand is whether the device needs two batteries or not. If I put one battery in the left compartment (left when its turned over) the mouse lights up and it will work fine without the second battery. I might just start using 1 battery at a time in it since it runs through them so quickly anyway.

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