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HP Wi-Fi Direct Mobile Mouse review

A wireless mouse that uses your Wi-Fi network rather than USBs or Bluetooth

HP Wi-Fi Direct Mobile Mouse
A unique, but not entirely successful, way to connect

Our Verdict

A good idea for freeing up USB ports, but it pulls it off with a few hiccups

For

  • Interesting use of Wi-Fi tech
  • Frees up USB port
  • Excellent range
  • Good battery life

Against

  • Compatibility problems
  • Requires a Microsoft-certified wireless networking card
  • Not compatible with Windows XP or Macs

TechRadar Verdict

A good idea for freeing up USB ports, but it pulls it off with a few hiccups

Pros

  • + Interesting use of Wi-Fi tech
  • + Frees up USB port
  • + Excellent range
  • + Good battery life

Cons

  • - Compatibility problems
  • - Requires a Microsoft-certified wireless networking card
  • - Not compatible with Windows XP or Macs

Unlike most wireless mice that connect to computers via a USB dongle, or even via Bluetooth, the HP Wi-Fi Direct Mobile Mouse connects to a computer via its wireless network card. That might seem like a bit of an odd choice, but it does make some sense.

Laptops often don't come with a surplus of USB ports, and older laptops – and even some new ones – don't have Bluetooth connectivity. Being able to connect to a wireless network is much more common, so using that technology for the HP Wi-Fi Direct Mobile Mouse is a good idea, on paper.

In practise, the HP Wi-Fi Direct Mobile Mouse's unique way of connecting does throw up a few more problems than standard wireless mice encounter.

Not all wireless cards are supported, and it works best with Windows 7, while Windows XP and OS X – the Apple Mac operating systems – are not supported.

HP includes a set-up CD that walked us through the set up process, and once connected we were impressed with the performance and range of the mouse – up to around 30 feet. It also felt compact yet comfortable to use, and the billed battery life was very decent, at around nine months.

It's a good idea for computers where USB ports are at a premium, but it's far from perfect, and the compatibility problems could make you wish you had gone for a simpler, plug-and-play USB wireless mouse.

Matt Hanson

Senior Computing editor

Matt (Twitter) is TechRadar's Senior Computing editor. Having written for a number of publications such as PC Plus, PC Format, T3 and Linux Format, there's no aspect of technology that Matt isn't passionate about, especially computing and PC gaming. If you're encountering a problem or need some advice with your PC or Mac, drop him a line on Twitter.