Tips to improve Battery life of Wireless Keyboard and Mouse

22 Comments

  1. “If you observe closely there is a small on/off switch at the bottom of your wireless mouse”

    well, maybe yours.

  2. I’ve got an HP wireless keyboard, and a Logitech wireless trackball. I’ve also owned a Logitech wireless keyboard. Moreover, I’ll bet I use the lot of them harder and longer each day than most readers, here…

    …and, honestly, I just don’t see a problem with how long the batteries last. I’m having trouble, then, understanding why this article was even written. That said, I suppose that SOMEBODY had to write it; and so better here than most other places.

    But, seriously, I don’t end-up having to replace the batteries that often… certainly not SO often that I sit around wondering how to make them last longer. They last a good, long time in at least MY devices; and so, again, I’m having trouble understanding what is the problem.

    That said, I’m also VERY careful what batteries I use. Alkaline batteries are one area where one may not skimp. The aftermarket, no-name alkalines just don’t feed da’ bulldog; and, even one of the biggest and best-known brands doesn’t last as long as its equally-well-known direct competitor…

    …and there’s a technological REASON for that, which I am happy to share with everyone right now. In fact, I’m only too happy to provide a little flying short course in alkaline batteries, just generally, right here and now. Here we go…

    The two big brand names in alkaline batteries are EVEREADY (the one with the pink, drum-beating bunny in its commercials), and DURACELL (the one that calls itself “the coppertop battery”). There are gabazillions of other brands, some almost well-known, and others purely generic, aftermarket, private labels… like “Kirkland” at Costco, for example; or pretty much all the batteries that Radio Shack sells; and then there are seemingly countless “no name” brands. In the final analysis, though, the only two really big players — at least in the US — are EVEREADY and DURACELL. And if you want reliability and longevity, you should confine your alkaline battery purchases to stricly one or the other. Stay away from pretty much all brands other than either DURACELL or EVEREADY. Trust me on this. Only if the battery in question is provably manufactured by either DURACELL or EVEREADY, but has some other brand name on it (in other words, the batteries are “OEMed” from either DURACELL OR EVEREADY) should you take a chance on them. And even THEN, the truth is that even when a battery is OEMed from, for example, EVEREADY, said battery will not be of quite a high quality as batteries made by the exact same company, but which bear the EVEREADY brand name.

    So, stick with either DURACELL or EVEREADY; and also, if you’re not in the United States, be really careful about counterfeits. Make sure they’re really and truly manufactured by EVEREADY or DURACELL; and that they bear those brand names.

    Also, of course, make sure that they’re fresh. Both brands — especially DURACELL — have good, long shelf lives; but one should still endeavor to purchase the freshest possible batteries. Sadly, even when you do, though, they can sometimes be half-spent by the time you finally unpackage and use them because of how they were shipped and/or stored before you bought them. If they were allowed to got too hot or too cold (especially if they ever froze); or if they were stored directly on a concrete floor, or near an electrical magnet or transformer, etc., then some of their life may already have been sucked out of them. Fortunately, that doesn’t happen often, but I’m just sayin’.

    As to which to choose, here’s the simple rule: If you want longevity, always use DURACELL brand batteries unless there’s a specific and compelling reason to use EVEREADY instead.

    DURACELLS always last longer… er… you know… assuming that both the DURACELL and the EVEREADY being tested against one another are equally new and fresh (and haven’t been damaged in shipment and stuff). Always.

    And OHM’s LAW is the reason why. There’s no magic, here. It’s not like DURACELL perfected a long-lasting alkaline mixture that EVEREADY didn’t. The reason DURACELLs last longer is, simply, because they don’t put out a full 1.5 volts of DC current (VDC), where EVEREADY batteries do. DURACELLs put out about a quarter-of-a-volt less than do EVEREADY batteries. Most devices don’t care; for them, a quarter-of-a-volt is still within the acceptable margin of error. And so DURACELL gets away with its batteries lasting longer because, again, OHM’s LAW dictates that they must… it’s simple physics.

    “So why doesn’t EVEREADY do the same thing?” you might ask. The reason is simple: Because SOME devices DO care! And EVEREADY wants to be there for them when they’re needed.

    For example, my wife is a partner in a couple of restaurants. In one of them is one brand of digital thermometer, and in the other is that brand, plus one more of another brand. One of the brands — the one that both restaurants have — will take either DURACELL or EVEREADY batteries; but the other one (the one that only one restaurant has) is persnickety. Its circuitry is designed for a pair of 1.5VDC “AA” batteries, and it will bygod not work unless that’s what you put into it! One night, after trying to put DURACELL batteries in the thermometer that will only take a true 1.5VDC battery, she brought home that thermometer and asked me to figure out if it was broken. With 35+ years in IT and telecome and electronics and stuff, the very first thing I checked was whether an EVEREADY would do it. And it did. Then I tried DURACELL, and it didn’t work. Then I put the EVEREADY batteries back in, and it worked fine. So I explained it all to her, and as long as she puts EVEREADY batteries into that particular thermometer, it always works.

    So, get this: Because of the pain-in-the-rear it is to remember which batteries work in which thermometers, she started buying nothing but EVEREADY batteries, because they’ll work in both brands. But — and this is further proof of what I’m saying — after about 8 months she remarked that the EVEREADY batteries were definitely not lasting as long as the DURACELLs used to!

    So, while DURACELL and EVEREADY brand batteries are more expensive than the generic no-names and lesser-known brands, they’re nevertheless worth it. Trust me on this: Over time, you’ll buy sufficiently more of the no-name brands than either the DURACELLs or the EVEREADYs that, in the end, the cheaper, no-name batteries will actually cost more. It’s like what my old high-school girlfriend’s father use to tell me: The poor pay more! And that’s true of pretty much everything. A pound of ground chuck is more expensive than a pound of ground beef; but give it enough time and the cost of meat (versus fat and gristle) per pound will be lower with the more-expensive ground chuck. The poor will always instinctively opt for the seemingly less expensive ground beef. But over time… they pay more.

    So, always put the freshest-possible DURACELL brand batteries into your wireless keyboards and mice; and only put EVEREADY brand batteries into them, instead, if the DURACELLs, for some reason, won’t work at all. And, of course, we know that, if so, then the reason is almost certainly that the circuitry in the keyboard or mouse absolutely requires a battery that puts out a true 1.5VDC (like the EVEREADY), and not a quarter-volt-or-so less (like the DURACELL).

    And so ends today’s lesson.

    Hope that helps!

    ____________________________
    Gregg L. DesElms
    Napa, California USA
    gregg at greggdeselms dot com

  3. Point 1 – I prefer the newer Logitech wireless keyboards and mice – they have been greatly improved when it comes to the length of time that batteries last. I’ve owned several different keyboards & mice combos from both Microsoft and Logitech over the years and while both brands are high quality, I prefer the Logitech in terms of feel and features. Many of their mice and keyboards now measure their battery life in terms of months (or even years…)

    Point 2 – While I agree that there might be a difference for some people regarding name-brand and generic batteries I really don’t see the sense of paying a premium for an alkaline battery for a mouse or keyboard. I’ve used Duracell, Eveready, Ray-O-Vac and numerous no-name brands I’ve picked up at the Dollar Store. Depending on what I’m doing with them, any of them seem to last just as well as another brand. I replace them when they get too weak or my mouse fails to respond and buying them for as little as possible doesn’t seem to hurt my experience.

  4. I love my Microsoft Wedge Mouse for my tablet, but it uses batteries like crazy. I need to recharge the battery every three days. And I take the battery out each night, and use rechargeable batteries.

  5. I bought rechargable batteries for my keyboard and I’m still changing it every other day! 🙁

  6. I even bought rechargable batteries for my keyboard and I’m still changing them every other day, sometimes every day! 🙁

  7. I use lithiums and they last a good while but are too expensive. I tried rechargeable and they DO NOT WORK, because they are 1.2 v. (That’s the $20 charger everyone sells. Maybe they’ll work fine in a flashlight or remote.)
    I tried turning the mouse off, and it didn’t make much difference, because it spent a lot of time reconnecting, rather than working.

  8. Have a wireless apple mouse, will not work with batteries that are new , 1.625vdc but will work with batteries that are in the 1.5vdc range down to 1.1vdc. Is there a high voltage limiter built into the mouse?

  9. Now there are too many restrictions and worry… Just use the conventional hard wired keyboard ! it’s cheaper and no worries! 🙂 The Microsoft Desktop 800 combo is good. It has a typical battery life of 15 months for the keyboard and 8 months for the mouse.

  10. usually for wireless mouse they give on switch to make it off while in no use.

    for wireless keyboard they dont provide any switch because it is no longer needed.
    they have made wireless keyboard such that power will be consumed only when you press any key from the keyboard. Rest of the time in idle condition there is no power wastage.

  11. I was confused, because the bunny you mentioned was a parody of the Duracell bunny, which is still used here in Europe. Incidentally, I hadn’t heard of Everready, but had heard of Energizer, which is the name of the company that makes Everready and also gives their name to another battery (i.e it’s called Energizer), if that helps or interests anyone. :/

  12. Buying high quality batteries costed more than the friggin mouse and they all die after 2 months of use, no matter what i do, and i just realized it will cost too much if i continue using this crap.

    Final solution, i threw away the wireless and bought a wired one, problem solved, this wireless mice and keyboards will cost you more money than buying a premium wired mice and keyboard in long run, i advice you to do the same, buy wired ones if possible.

  13. I don’t use rechargeable batteries but I remember having them for toys when my sons were growing up, and some of them didn’t hold a charge well at all. I would think that some brands of rechargeables and some rechargeable devises are better than others. I don’t remember what brands we used.

  14. My keyboard eats batteries. I bought 100 Panasonic AA batteries. My keyboard goes through them once every 3 or 4 days. Anyone know why?

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