AmazonBasics Wireless Mouse Review — 6/10
Amazon has been the pinnacle of online commerce for a while now. So as the center of trade on the internet, Amazon decided to add to their own growing market. In 2009 they launched the AmazonBasics line; simple household products for a fraction of the price elsewhere. And two years later, the AmazonBasics Wireless Mouse was born. Keeping with the theme of simplicity, this mouse isn’t really brimming with options. But for a mouse under $10, it’s a decent product. Because it’s the #1 mouse on Amazon right now, I felt I should do an AmazonBasics Wireless Mouse Review. Here we go!
- Incredibly cheap
- Good battery life
- Lame buttons
- Bad sensor
- No customization
By the way! The wireless version of the AmazonBasics Mouse is a bit different from the wired version!
So fresh out of the box, the mouse surprised me. I wasn’t really expecting a nice rubberized texture on top of a mouse that was so cheap. So good on Amazon. It feels better than some Logitech mice at half the price. First impressions were pretty good!
But, after feeling the AmazonBasics Wireless Mouse, I walked away with a sense of boredom. There’s nothing inherently wrong with the shape of the mouse. But it really leaves something to be desired. While most mice have something that sets them apart from the rest, this mouse is just about the most basic mouse I’ve ever used. And yes, I know how ironic that sentence is.
The symmetric shape is tried and true, and that’s exactly why it’s designed that way. It is a little disappointing, but the whole point of AmazonBasics is to make a product that will suit the needs of as many people as possible, at the lowest price possible. And it does just that. The shape works.
Speaking of which, this mouse is not ergonomic. It’s not really made to fit your hand the way ergonomic mice do. It follows a very fundamental blueprint without much thought regarding the shape and contour of the human hand. Long sessions with this mouse left my wrist and hand a little tired. On top of that, it’s small. Smaller than most mice. At least it’s not a mini mouse, but having your hand in that cramped position for too long could lead to Repetitive Stress Injuries (RSIs) or carpal tunnel syndrome.
So if you are looking for a mouse to use for hours at a job or long gaming sessions, the little extra money on an ergonomic mouse will be well worth it. The risk of injuring your hand isn’t worth it.
If I have to say something positive about the shape of this mouse, I will admit that it is good for mobility. It makes for a good on-the-go-mouse.
Yes! Although this mouse has a few problems, quirks, and oversights, it IS ambidextrous! With no asymmetric side buttons, lefties will have no trouble using the mouse. Hopefully the future holds more lefty-friendly mice.
Although the overall shape of the AmazonBasics Wireless Mouse is a bit lackluster, the sides are a silver lining. The sides have a nice textured plastic finish and offer a good grip for lifting. It’s nothing revolutionary, but it’s nice to see that not all sense of ergonomics was lost when designing this mouse.
Weighing in at 99 grams, here’s where the AmazonBasics Wireless Mouse actually shines a bit. While the shape isn’t the best, the mouse is actually quite lightweight. This just makes moving, lifting, and swiping the mouse that much easier. While weight isn’t usually the most important thing for non-gaming mice, the shape of the mouse is pretty mediocre. The lightweight nature of the mouse just makes it easier and more comfortable to use. This doesn’t completely excuse the virtual lack of ergonomics, but it helps.
The downside of having a super lightweight mouse is usually a hollow feeling. And sadly the AmazonBasics Wireless Mouse is not exempt from this. It just feels cheap. Handling the mouse just isn’t as satisfying with some lighter mice. I would have liked to see some kind of a variable weight system, but it’s okay.
Okay well, here’s where the mouse stops impressing me. As I already started to mention about a minute ago, the mouse is clearly not super sturdy. Things on it just seem easily breakable and flimsy. For example, the battery cover is a thin piece of plastic that can be easily snapped. Small things like this can make a big difference. It feels hollow and cheap.
I know full-well that it is an inexpensive mouse. I wasn’t expecting a titanium shell with buttons rated at 10 million clicks. But for the #1 spot on Amazon for mice, I was expecting a bit better.
Squeezing it reveals squeaks galore. Shaking it, you’ll hear rattle. It’s just not a durable mouse. The rest of this review is downhill. So if you’re still undecided, keep reading.
The four tiny feet on the bottom of the mouse are not a compliment to the mouse. As opposed to gliding across whatever surface you have, the mouse slides. Sometimes I’d actually describe it as scraping. Even on my smoothest mouse pad, I could not get the mouse to feel very good.
On top of that, the mouse feet are really good at getting gunked up as quickly as possible. After every few days of use, I had to wipe dust and dirt off the bottom of my mouse.
But the WORST mistake in the design of the AmazonBasics Wireless Mouse, by far, has to be the wobble. Quite a few people who have this mouse, myself included, have noticed that the mouse feet are unbalanced. It wobbles from side to side like a chair with a short leg. What is this? This is a problem I’ve never had with any other mouse. All I can say is that I’m honestly surprised. Once I noticed this, it ruined the mouse for me.
As the name suggests, the AmazonBasics Wireless Mouse is very basic. It has an incredibly familiar and unremarkable shape and it’s matte black. The matte black finish does do it justice, but it doesn’t look like anything special at all. I didn’t get any fingerprints on the mouse though, thanks to the nice rubber finish on the top.
But it has its problems too. The Amazon logo is pretty obnoxious, and black gloss lines the sides. Don’t know why. Sticking with the matte finish would have really kept the mouse looking uniform and clean. It’s easy to smudge gloss with your fingers. Overall, the mouse looks good. But it had potential for so much more.
Left and Right Click
Let’s move on to the buttons. While the mouse hasn’t been kind to me so far, the left and right click are better than I expected. Great? No not at all. But for the price, they do just fine. The click the mouse delivers isn’t very satisfying, but it works. It’s a fast click with a fair amount of resistance. However, the buttons are part of the mouse’s body instead of separate pieces. This can make it less durable over time and make the clicks weaker.
Well, I have to say, the scroll wheel is accurate compared to some cheap mice out there. The notches are accented, and haven’t missed a scroll on me yet. And most people have agreed with me on this. The scroll wheel isn’t the worst thing in the world. There isn’t much resistance though and I know a lot of people don’t like that. But it was fine by me.
Only downside is there’s no side scrolling, but I really don’t know if anyone should expect that from a generic brand mouse.
For some people, an audible click is a real deal breaker. If you’re looking for a silent mouse this isn’t it. It isn’t too terribly loud though. Unless you’re in a library, or particularly quiet office, it really shouldn’t be an issue. The clicks aren’t near as loud as gaming mice though. It’s just simply below average. Though, the scroll wheel is near silent.
I know that this mouse isn’t really geared toward those that care too much about performance, but I need to touch on this. Many reviews of this mouse I’ve seen are clearly just praising for an easy cash grab. But this mouse does not offer a good value. Even for the price. Some of the issues here can easily be detected by someone who doesn’t game.
These problems are just annoying. Honestly, the cheap price is the only thing keeping this from being rated lower.
For the price of this little thing, you get what you’d expect from the optical sensor. It’s not very reliable on any surface. Other than a plain mouse pad or single color desktop. Anything with a pattern introduces jitter. The cursor also jitters when you move the mouse slowly.
More: What is Mouse Jitter?
And when put to the test in some games, this mouse just fell apart. Several times while playing, I experienced spin outs and really horrible jitter issues. I didn’t even have to try a tilt slam test to get the thing to fail on me. The cursor just loves jumping around on the screen. And to clarify, ALL of these problems also showed up on the desktop while just browsing the internet. It was just as tough to hit buttons as it was to hit enemies in games. Just not a fun experience.
More: What is Mouse Spin Out?
The wireless connection this mouse has to offer is packaged in a little 2.4GHz USB dongle, or nano receiver. On a side note, you can store the dongle on the underside of the mouse which is nice. Clearly they were trying to cater to those on the move. Which is nice.
The connection between mouse and receiver is actually quite nice for a mouse this cheap. It stayed connected up to 8 feet away for me! That’s more than I could say about some Logitech mice I’ve had the displeasure of reviewing. This was a nice surprise. Too bad that the data that the receiver gets is almost always wrong in some way.
The bottom of the mouse also includes a connect button in case the mouse wont connect with the dongle, or you need to connect to a different one. I only had this disconnect once and it reconnected fairly quickly. When in doubt, just mash that button until it works.
The AmazonBasics Wireless mouse takes two AAA which come with the mouse! (Actually, some people have reported not getting them with the mouse. They came with mine. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I don’t know.) It also comes with this weird plastic tab used for removing the batteries. Cool. I’m sure that I’m not really gonna need it, but it’s a nice user-friendly feature.
Less about the presentation, and more about the performance. If you turn the mouse off when you’re not using it, you can keep the thing going for about 3 months. This is respectable. And when the batteries are low, the LED light on top will light up.
Only bummer, is there’s no charging ability. So if you run out of batteries and the mouse dies, you’re up a creek. But for the price, 3 months isn’t bad at all.
So, we’re nearing the end of the review here. And there’s not many awesome features to talk about regarding the mouse. And I understand why. It was made to be simple. But with that, comes a lack of options. There’s no bundled software to help configure the mouse.
The mouse does sport fairly good plug-n-play functionality. It works well with any OS and just works. Which is exactly what it was designed to do. But it has virtually no options whatsoever. No angle snapping or acceleration options at all. This is a short coming to say the least. This really makes it a pretty bad productivity mouse. While you can reprogram buttons with third-party applications, Amazon offers nothing of the sort.
To sum this part up, if you’re looking for a mouse with a lot of options, this is NOT what you’re looking for.
Who is this mouse for?
Okay so I hated on this mouse a bit here. If it weren’t for the price, this mouse would probably be getting a 2/10. But as it stands, the AmazonBasics Wireless mouse is marketed as a simple, cheap mouse. And quite honestly, that’s what we got here. It’s a no-frills solution for someone who sees mice as an office supply.
But let’s get this straight. It is not a productivity mouse. It is not a gaming mouse. In fact, it is not a very good mouse. It is an alternative to a trackpad. That’s pretty much it. If you’re looking for a better mouse, try anywhere else.
For around $9 at the time of writing this, it’s an alright deal. But I don’t expect this mouse to live a very long life with all the structural issues it has. And for about $10 more you could have a mouse that is leaps and bounds ahead of this one. It’s up to you whether or not the AmazonBasics Wireless Mouse is for you. (But there are a lot better options out there.)