By March 24, 2010

Rosewill RM-8500 Wireless Nano Laptop Mouse Review

Since this post came out in March of 2010, three out of my four Rosewill 8500s have failed. Please see my instructions on the poorly-designed scroll wheel on the 8500, and what you may be able to do about it. I’ve revised my recommendation o this mouse to not recommended.

Touchpads or multi-points are okay for navigating your laptop’s screen in a pinch, but any serious use is made easier by a mouse. My friend Bond uses a Logitech VX Nano wireless mouse, and it is really well made. However, it’s about $50 – $60 and getting harder to find as new Logitech models are hitting the streets. Since I’d need to buy two mice, I needed something that was both inexpensive and reliable.

As usual, I turned to NewEgg.com and started browsing.

My overall requirements were simple:

  • RF wireless, not infra-red or Bluetooth.
  • “Nano” USB receiver dongle that was small enough to leave in the laptop full-time.
  • A smaller size, often called a “laptop” mouse.
  • A forward and back button in addition to the usual left and right buttons.
  • A scroll wheel, although I didn’t care if it was click- or smooth-rolling nor did I care if it could act as a third mouse button.
  • Less than $30 shipped each.

There are many mice in this price point, but few that meet all of my criteria. The biggest stumbling blocks are getting forward and back mouse buttons or a laptop-size mouse or meeting my goal of $30.

I lucked out and found theRM-8500 from the NewEgg house brand, Rosewill. I was triple lucky: the mouse was on sale for $19.99, included free shipping, and also came with a free four-port USB hub.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/8647-2/IMG_1298.JPG

Form factor and build quality

Let’s be honest. The Rosewill RM-8500 is not built as well as Bond’s Logitech. The mouse feels more flimsy and the buttons have a softer, less responsive click than the Logitech. The RM-8500 copies some of the ergonomic touches of the Logitech, and I like the rubberized sides, also borrowed from the Nano VX. However, the Rosewill does a half-assed job at all of them.

http://gallery.drfaulken.com/d/8644-2/IMG_1295.JPG

The nano dongle is your typical Lilliputian size now commonly found on all sorts of RF and Bluetooth wireless receivers. It fit perfectly into my Acer 5740 and Sedagive?’s Lenovo G450. Cheaper USB plugs may be too tight or too loose, but the RM-8500 was Goldilocks-just-right.

The Rosewill RM-8500 is powered by two AAA batteries, which are included.

There is a hardware ON/OFF switch at the bottom of the mouse. We’ll talk about the power profile and behavior of the mouse in a second, but the switch is easy to manipulate.

Installation

Installation was a snap under Windows 7. I plugged in the USB dongle and Windows did the rest. The forward and back buttons were BACKWARDS in their stock configuration. Windows 7 does not allow you to configure the mouse buttons with its built-in Mouse control panel, and the RM-8500 does not ship with a driver disk.

I downloaded the “side button reconfiguration” program from Rosewill.com, but I have also hosted it on Gibberish in case Rosewill removes it.

The good news is that the software allows you to re-program ALL of the RM-8500’s mouse buttons. The bad news is that you have to leave the configuration program running all the time. The program will auto-start when you boot Windows, but that’s still a drag.

Operation and Problems

The mouse has two sensitivity settings, but I left it at the stock 800 dpi. It’s just fine for me on my single, 15.6″ laptop display.

The RM-8500 does the job well, but there’s a problem with it unrelated to general usage. The mouse does not appear to shut off or “sleep.” There may be a keep-alive signal sent from the mouse to the nano receiver. The upshot is that this screws up my laptop’s power management. The monitor won’t dim, and the computer won’t enter sleep or suspend mode. I came home multiple times to find my computer in a forced suspend mode with 5% of its battery life left.

I consider this a major flaw. If I paid the regular price for this mouse ($35) I would be pretty pissed. Considering it was $20 I can live with it. I imagine the Logitech VX Nano or similar does not have the power saving issue, so that might be where some of your extra scratch goes.

Overall, the Rosewill RM-8500 is a good mouse. It’s a damn shame about the “keep-alive,” otherwise this would be a fantastic bargain.

Since this post came out in March of 2010, three out of my four Rosewill 8500s have failed. Please see my instructions on the poorly-designed scroll wheel on the 8500, and what you may be able to do about it. I’ve revised my recommendation o this mouse to not recommended.

Not Recommended.

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1 Comment on "Rosewill RM-8500 Wireless Nano Laptop Mouse Review"

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  1. NewEgg is a pretty nifty and reliable source for various thingamajigs. I got all hyped up with this mouse .. until I got to the last part of your review. That “keep alive” feature just won’t do for me. I frequently have to leave my laptop turned on while I run some errands. I’d be really pissed if I come back to find my battery drained and all my work for the day flushed down the drain.