Remember when a mouse used to be just a generic-looking, vaguely round device with two buttons? Now, walk into any computer store and you'll find at least half an aisle devoted solely to mice. Do you want four buttons? Wireless? A specific color? Maybe a trackball? The varieties are endless, and it's hard to pick one out from the rest.
The Dynex Wireless Optical Mouse is a good choice for those looking for a new mouse. It's sleek, black, and wireless - which means no dangling cords or limited movement. The mouse requires two AAA batteries to run (included when you purchase it) but it is not significantly larger than other non-wireless mice on the market.
The mouse communicates with the computer through a small USB receiver which can plug into the front or back of your computer (I'm pretty sure it has a range of six feet). Other than an available USB port, the only system requirement is a current version of Windows (2000, XP, or Vista).
The Dynex wireless mouse is comfortable to grip and contoured well to fit your hand. It is highly functional, with five customizable buttons that can be assigned different functions through Dynex's Mouse Suite software driver. The mouse also has a handy scroll wheel which can be moved up and down, as well as left and right. There is a long list of functions that can be assigned to the buttons, including moving forward and back in your web browser and opening various programs.
The mouse comes with batteries, the receiver, a user manual, and software driver (on CD-ROM). If you're buying a used mouse, you can download the manual and driver from the Dynex website.
The only upkeep this mouse needs is an occasional battery change. I read somewhere that the batteries are expected to last six months, but my wife works from home, and we've gone through several sets of batteries in the past year. The driver installs an icon in the Windows system tray that alerts you when the batteries are getting close to dying, and the LED on the mouse receiver will turn red for an additional reminder.
When setting up the Dynex mouse, be sure to remove any other mouse drivers you may already have installed. Old mouse drivers can cause compatibility issues with the customizable buttons, but this is an easy fix and even if you leave the old drivers installed, it's not hard to work around the conflict.
Best Buy currently sells the Dynex Wireless Optical Mouse for $29.99, and it is eligible for free shipping if you order it online. For a reasonable price, this mouse delivers solid performance, user-friendly customization, and an overall good value.