- Review Date: 02/15/2012
- Bottom line:
The HP Wi-Fi Touch Mouse X7000 is a decent mouse, with nice features such as Wi-Fi connectivity and one-click Facebook photo sharing, but it's still a bit too clunky to replace your current pointing device.
Connects to your computer via Wi-Fi. Smooth touch scrolling. Facebook button makes sharing a breeze.
Less convenient than plug-and-play alternatives. Big and heavy. Requires Windows 7.
The HP Wi-Fi Touch Mouse X7000 ($59.99 list) performs a neat trick: It connects to your laptop or desktop not with a cable, a wireless dongle, or Bluetooth, but with Wi-Fi. It throws in an extra treat for social networking fanatics—a dedicated "post to Facebook" button—but it leaves plenty of other people out in the cold. If your PC uses Windows Vista or XP, if you own a Mac, or if you're left-handed or small-handed, the X7000 won't work for you. But if you fall into the middle ground of right-handed Windows 7 users, the X7000 offers a slick solution to a common mouse complaint.
Design and Features
A glossy plastic shell encases the X7000, with a rubber-coated thumb cushion running along its left-hand side. I'm not a fan of glossy plastic on a mouse; it puts a smooth, smudge-prone surface directly beneath your hand and gets slick after only a few minutes of use. But despite the smudge factor, the shell looks pretty sharp.
The X7000 is also big, measuring 1.83 by 3.52 by 4.86 inches (HWD) and weighing 0.38 pound, more than the Microsoft Touch Mouse ($79.95 list, 4.5 stars), which weighs only 0.29 pound. The extra weight and bulk can largely be attributed to the X7000's Wi-Fi antenna and two AA batteries (which HP claims deliver nine months of uptime), but the end result is a large mouse that may be uncomfortable and heavy for some users.
The "touch" aspect of the X7000 comes from the thin touch-sensitive strip that replaces the scroll wheel. Although the X7000 is not the first mouse we've seen with this sort of control, it lacks the horizontal scrolling capability of the Microsoft Explorer Touch Mouse ($49.95 list, 3.5 stars) or the haptic feedback you find on the Microsoft Arc Touch ($67.95 list, 3.5 stars). Aside from this, the X7000's touch scrolling feature worked well. It's worth noting, however, that the mouse has no other touch functionality, despite the glossy plastic giving it a passing resemblance to the Explorer or Verbatim Wireless Optical Touch Mouse ($29.99 street, 2.5 stars).
Several additional controls can be found on the X7000, including Forward and Back buttons for navigating between Web pages, and the dedicated button for posting text or images automatically to Facebook. On the underside of the mouse are two Teflon feet, curving like two sides of a horseshoe around the outside edge of the mouse. The Teflon helps the mouse glide smoothly on most any surface, though it won't work especially well on a couch or a blanket.
An optical laser sensor on the X7000 can be adjusted to any sensitivity from 400dpi to 1,600dpi, but adjusting sensitivity on the fly may be too awkward and slow for those who may need to rapidly shift from one sensitivity setting to another.
The X7000 is a bit more complicated to set up than most wireless mice, which simply require plugging in an adapter. Instead you will have to install its drivers and control software (which lets you adjust the mouse sensitivity and enter your Facebook login information) from either an included disc or a download from HP's product support page. Once you've done this, an installation wizard walks you through the steps of connecting and syncing the mouse. This process includes several click-through menu items, so if you don't already have a functioning mouse or touchpad, you will be awkwardly navigating around with your Tab button. The whole process takes about three minutes from the time you open up the package to the time you are actually using the mouse.
Connecting the X7000 to your PC creates a secure ad-hoc network; this won't interrupt your computer's regular Internet connection if you have one active, and will work even if you don't. This Wi-Fi connection provides a good range: HP claims up to 30 feet, but in our anecdotal testing in PCMag Labs the mouse actually maintained an operating connection over more than 45 feet.
In a vacuum, the HP Wi-Fi Touch Mouse X7000 is a solid mouse, with sleek looks and reliable wireless connectivity that doesn't require any of your precious USB ports. The touch scrolling is usable, and the dedicated Facebook button makes sharing photos with friends extremely easy. But in the larger context of wireless mice, the X7000 makes several compromises in its bulky frame, inconvenient setup, and incompatibility with any operating system aside from Windows 7. If you need every USB port on your PC, it may be a worthwhile purchase, but this product isn't quite ready to replace most users' existing wireless mouse.