The Rapoo MT550 is a new wireless mouse from a notorious Chinese company that is predicted to hit domestic retailers in early 2018. Readers who follow the latest trends in the wireless peripherals market will not find it difficult to guess what exactly became the prototype and reason for the appearance of the 550th model. We will only suggest that the answer should be sought in the assortment of the no less famous Swiss company Logitech. But the products of the latter are not distinguished by a democratic price, and Rapoo, as a rule, is noticeably more affordable. Let’s see what special Rapoo MT550 has to offer its customers.
|Interface devices||Wireless: 2.4GHz, BT 3.0, BT 4.0|
|Receiver interface||USB 2.0|
|Receiver frequency, GHz||2,4|
|Port polling frequency, Hz||125|
|Sensor type||Optical (infrared illumination)|
|Permission, cpi||600 / 1000 / 1300 / 1600|
|Number of buttons||6 buttons + scroll (left, middle, right, resolution switch, two side buttons, scroll up and down)|
|Maximum acceleration, g||–|
|Maximum speed, m/s||0,37 – 1,01|
|Lift-off height (LOD), mm||4|
|Mouse battery type||2 x AA|
|Housing surface material||Plastic|
|Backlight||+ (green and blue color)|
|Illumination zone||Device indicator, resolution indicator|
|Battery life, months||12|
|Dimensions, (LxWxH) mm||104 x 69 x 42|
|OS Compatibility||Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10|
|Additionally||Support up to four connected devices at the same time, power switch|
|Average cost, $||35|
Contents of delivery
The mouse box looks rather strict and stylish. Black and blue colors predominate in the design. The image of the product is only on the front side, and on the back, its advantages are briefly listed in six languages. There is practically no technical information here.
On the reverse side there is a diagram explaining the function of the keys. The flip cover is held in place by a magnet. A transparent plastic insert allows you to make sure that there is a mouse inside, but you won’t be able to try out its shape by touch.
The kit includes a mouse, two AA alkaline batteries, a receiver and instructions for use. Both batteries are already inserted into the device, and the contacts are laid with insulating tabs that prevent their self-discharge in the package. The tabs are easy to remove without having to open the battery compartment.
Appearance and design
The device is completely painted in black. The top panel of the Rapoo MT550 consists of two types of plastic. The individual main keypads are smooth, with medium grip, and dirt accumulates on them rather quickly. The rest of the body is made of a slightly rough material that feels like rubber, grips the hand and is resistant to dirt. The main buttons are pressed with medium force and a slightly muffled click. The cyclic resolution switch is strongly recessed into the body, it is pressed easily and quietly. Hidden behind it, at the end of the gap between the keys, is a dotted green/blue enable and Bluetooth indicator. When changing the resolution, it blinks from one to four times.
The left side of the arm is made of a rubber-like material and has a protrusion at the bottom that serves as a thumb rest. The two side keys are glossy, short-stroke, soft and quiet when pressed. In front of them, in front, there are three windows indicating the currently connected device. They blink green in turn when changing the current device, or connecting to it.
The main keypads fit relatively flat. They play slightly upwards and have a small downward range. The scroll wheel is rubberized, trying with all its might to look like a metal and almost does not even dangle. The encoder in it is soft and quiet, the fixation positions are present, although it is difficult to distinguish them by touch. The middle button under the wheel is pressed with a force above average and works with a soft click.
There is nothing on the right side of the mouse, it is covered in the same rough rubber-like material as the left and the back of the top panel. There are no special stops under the fingers, the sidewall is almost straight.
This is what the shape of the mouse looks like from the back. As you can see, it is not devoid of a certain ergonomics.
The shape of the Rapoo MT550 is suitable for right-handed, finger or claw grip use only. It is inconvenient to hold it with a full palm due to its small size. In addition, the balance of weight and the overall ergonomics of the device is highly dependent on the number and location of the batteries in it. The mouse works stably and from one AA battery, while having a weight of 96 g. If you put a second one, then the weight increases to 119 grams and when detached, the manipulator falls heavily towards the stern. Therefore, it is optimal, from my point of view, to operate it with one battery installed on the left side of the mouse.
The base of the mouse is quite saturated. Two thin Teflon feet are glued to the battery cover, and another one is in front. By default, protective films are pasted on them, therefore, if the mouse does not slip, then they forgot to remove them. The optical sensor with invisible infrared illumination is shifted forward and to the right. Above it is a power switch, and on the left are two oval keys. The front one is responsible for connecting with Bluetooth devices, and the one behind it is for switching connected devices.
The battery cover is firmly in place and cannot be accidentally removed. Under the cover there are two AA batteries connected in parallel, and between them there is a pocket for the receiver.
The USB receiver itself is tiny in size (the company calls this format «nano»). Judging by the shape of the plastic overlay, it belongs to the first generation of transmitters produced by the company. It operates in the 2.4 GHz band, it is detected without problems by the operating system during installation, which automatically pulls the appropriate drivers to it. Plug and play in all its glory.
Indicators on the mouse perform a purely informational role. Three green stripes on the left sidewall mark the current channel when switching, and the dot diode on top, blinking green, indicates the resolution level, and blinking or glowing blue — the current status of the Bluetooth connection.
Rapoo Proprietary Software
Rapoo MT550 uses its own special driver (it can be downloaded from the official product page), which requires installation, after which it is registered in autoload without the ability to disable it. The driver works only when a mouse is connected via a native receiver, the device is not detected via Bluetooth and works at «factory» settings. Directly from the start page, the user can select the speed of the Windows cursor, turn on the high-precision mode, assign the number of lines for the scroll wheel steps, reassign four buttons and two scroll directions to other commands, select the interface language, or open the program to resume communication with the receiver. There are 12 interface languages to choose from (including Russian and Ukrainian), but commands are only partially localized.
The left mouse button and resolution switch are not remapped. But you can put other commands on the right, middle, two side keys and two scroll directions. The list of commands includes basic Explorer functions, Windows functions, multimedia commands, basic mouse commands, and the ability to play a sound, open a file or directory, or launch an application on a mouse click. In addition, the button can be disabled completely. Macro recording is not provided.
In case of loss of connection with the receiver (which sometimes happens), the driver has a built-in program to restore the connection. It is simple and intuitive. All you need to do is click on the mouse icon and follow the instructions on the screen.
In fact, the mouse may well function without this software, so it is not necessary to install it at all, especially if there is no urgent need to remap the buttons.
Ergonomics and testing
The Rapoo MT550 wireless mouse was tested on a Razer Goliathus WoT (Speed medium) mat. The device has medium dimensions and is designed for the right hand, so the best grip option for it is a finger grip. Ergonomics of the body as a whole is quite good, materials that are pleasant to the touch are used for the surfaces. All keys and the scroll wheel also do not cause complaints, their switches and encoders behave naturally. The legs provide excellent glide on the carpet, however, on ordinary tables, the coefficient of adhesion is a bit high. The weight balance of the mouse body, as mentioned earlier, is heavily shifted back, so if the user often tears it off the table, it makes sense to use only one battery.
In terms of connection with devices, the Rapoo MT550 is doing very well. If you connect via a receiver, you need to wait a couple of seconds for the drivers to install, after which the manipulator is ready for use. When you turn on the power again, communication is established instantly. There were no failures or freezes in the operation of the wireless module. To connect via Bluetooth, you first need to select one of the three channels, then press the device pairing key. After that, the mouse will appear in the smartphone / tablet or laptop menu as Rapoo BT 3.0 Mouse. On Android, the mouse works with the cursor, scrolling up or down with the wheel, clicking the left key, and «cancel» with all the rest. More advanced features, such as multi-touch imitation, were not found. When connected to a laptop via Bluetooth, the mouse functions as standard, but is not supported by the native driver. The driver only works when connected via the bundled receiver. After turning on the power, the mouse is always activated on the receiver’s communication channel; to transfer to one of the three Bluetooth channels, you will have to press the corresponding key in sequence. But the good news is that these switches occur almost instantly. Power saving modes are standard — a shallow sleep after a few minutes of inactivity, from where the device is removed if you move it, and a deep sleep during a long idle period, to exit from which you need to press any button.
The optical sensor with infrared illumination installed in the mouse will not be able to please the user with anything special. It is very budget friendly in all respects. The available resolution range of 600/1000/1300/1600 dpi is actually shifted up by about one hundred dpi at each level. The maximum speed of 1 m/s is achieved only at the lowest resolution, while at 1600 dpi the cursor stalls already after 0.4 m/s. The polling frequency is 125 Hz, the separation height fluctuates around 4 mm, the smoothing is huge, there is acceleration. And the mouse draws ideal straight lines even without turning on the corresponding item in the settings. In addition, the sensor does not work well on glossy surfaces. In a word, the cursor positioning accuracy is low, and although the Rapoo MT550 is quite enough for office activities, it is better not to even try to play intensive games on it.
The 6610 has been in the Rapoo product range for a long time, capable of working with both a 2.4 GHz receiver and Bluetooth. If we compare with it, then MT550 is a big step forward, both in terms of overall ergonomics, workmanship and case materials, and in terms of the capabilities of the wireless module, which now supports up to three devices simultaneously and “understands” the updated Bluetooth 4.0 protocol. Looking at its closest competitor, the Logitech M720 Triathlon, it has the advantage of an inertial scroll wheel, a universal Unifying receiver, and slightly more economical battery life. However, all this with a twofold superiority in the recommended retail price. Therefore, the Rapoo MT550 acts, on the one hand, as a more affordable alternative for those who need to work on multiple computers, tablets or smartphones at the same time, and on the other hand, as a “healthy” competitor that can spur Logitech to resort to a policy of reducing the price of their product. Both in the first and in the second case, the buyer will benefit, because there is nothing better than discounts and a choice.
Regarding the Rapoo MT550 mouse itself, among its shortcomings one can note a sensor that is very budgetary in terms of its parameters and damp software (however, it can always be corrected). Other than that, it’s quite a nice and well-made office mouse, with a well-functioning wireless module that supports multiple connections at the same time. And it’s also nice to see that Rapoo, after some ideological stagnation, began to expand its product range towards the upper price segment.