So let’s be honest. A mouse is a mouse is a mouse. Right? Well, maybe not so much. Technically, a mouse pretty much does the same thing when it was conceived in the 1970s but the innards of the device itself, along with the way they connect to your PC or Mac.
Mice have also shrunk down in size as the technology they have inside them has become smaller and faster.
Lenovo sent us their new Lenovo Yoga Mouse to review. I’ll admit, when I first opened it, I wasn’t overwhelmed. But once I started using it, it turns out to be one of the most responsive and functional mice I’ve used in a long time. It works great on old PCs as well as new and, while you give up some functionality, it works great on a Mac and even a Chromebook. What really sets this mouse apart is the presentation mode that allows it to become your PC’s remote when you are making a presentation. It’s pretty awesome, and it saves you from having to carry one more thing into the conference room with you when you are presenting. After using the Lenovo Yoga Mouse for the past couple of weeks, I have to say that I’m more than impressed and I think you will be too.
Specifications & Form Factor
The Lenovo Yoga Mouse measures 4.33 x 1.19 by 2.36 inches in size (D x H x W) and weighs in at 2.4 ounces. That makes it a compact mouse that is comfortable to use both at your home office as well as traveling with for business or leisure. It has Bluetooth 4.0 technology build in or can be connected to your computer via a 2.4GHz dongle which is also included with the mouse. That dongle is stored under the bottom cover of the top of the mouse and is a standard USB-A connector.
Looking at the profile of the Yoga Mouse, it will be strikingly similar to the Microsoft Arc mouse. The design is very similar but the Lenovo mouse has a nifty little trick. The chassis of the mouse rotates 180-degrees in the middle, making the mouse completely flat and puts it into the Presentation mode. That mode enables a forwarding, reversing and pausing feature for making PowerPoint presentations or control your media playing. I’ll cover this in a bit more detail later on in the review.
As you would expect, the Yoga Mouse has a left and right button, as well as a center Windows button which, on a Windows 10 PC, brings up the Windows start menu (or returns you to the Start screen in tablet mode). The pointing device mechanism is infrared and has a 1600 DPI resolution. That makes it very accurate but, like other mice of similar design requires some level of contrast on the mousing surface to work properly.
Connecting the Lenovo Yoga Mouse can be done two ways: Bluetooth and USB. Bluetooth connectivity requires that your PC, Mac or Chromebook have the Bluetooth functionality enabled and pairing is done by powering up the Yoga Mouse then using the slider at the base of the mouse to make it discoverable. On your PC, you will see the mouse appear as a pairing device. The process is quick and easy and Lenovo should be complimented on the ease of pairing this mouse.
The other connectivity option is USB. This is done through a small USB dongle that is housed under the cover at the base of the mouse. Slide the cover off the rear portion of the top of the mouse to get the dongle and plug it into your PC. Next, on the mouse, move the small switch at the base of the mouse to the dongle position. This will tell the mouse to communicate with the dongle. Any configuration of drivers that are required will happen automatically on Windows 10 PCs.
In either connectivity configuration, I found that the Yoga Mouse was very easy and quick to set up. There were no real challenges either way and it’s great that Lenovo gives you a couple of different options. Many ultrabooks, for example, don’t have many USB ports. With this mouse, that’s not an option as it can connect directly via Bluetooth to save that port for other things.
Perhaps the most unique feature of the Lenovo Yoga Mouse is the presentation mode. This allows you to use the mouse as a controller for your PowerPoint presentation or for controlling your media. It eliminates the need to carry a presentation tool into the conference room with you and it works amazingly well.
To enter into this mode, you will need to rotate mouse to a flat position. This is done by twisting the base part of the mouse clockwise. It will rotate 180° so it becomes flat. Doing this enables the media controls and presentation controls. The controls are on what would be the bottom of the mouse when you have it in normal mode.
For media, you can repeat a track, increase or decrease the volume and skip tracks while in presentation mode, you can move back and forth to different slides and stop presenting from your PC. All of these functions are what you would expect from a 3rd party presentation tool for PCs – you just don’t need one anymore.
Using it with Macs and Chromebooks
Unquestionably, Lenovo has geared the Yoga Mouse to work with Windows 10 PCs which, given their strong position on that platform, makes sense. That does not mean however that you cannot use the mouse with other platforms. Connecting the Yoga Mouse to a Mac or Chromebook is very easy and works the same way as it doesn’t on a PC. In preparing for this review, I connected it up to a 2016 MacBook Pro and the 2016 Acer Chromebook 14. For both the dongle connectivity and Bluetooth connectivity, I was able to easily configure the mouse to work with my computer of choice.
The only drawback is the presentation mode. It does not work on Office for Mac but you can use it as an audio controller for your Mac. On Chromebooks, you are looking strictly at a mouse. The audio controls don’t work in ChromeOS nor does the presentation mode.
The Lenovo Yoga Mouse is a great choice if you are looking for a small, lightweight mouse that is highly accurate. It doesn’t an exceptional job at doing its main role. Add to that the ability to have the mouse be your presentation controller and audio controller, you have the complete package that really separates this mouse from others in the market.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: Multiple ways to connect the mouse to your PC (Bluetooth or USB dongle) and a small, lightweight design.
What Needs Improvement: Better Office for Mac support