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Some accessories are so clever that we wonder why Apple didn’t just fold them into the product’s original design. And with the Magic Charger, a lovely rechargeable-battery solution for the Magic Mouse, you might end up wishing that Apple actually had made it.
At first, the Magic Charger seems like a dream come true. Simply remove the battery cover and the pair of AAs, snap in a battery pack designed to fill that space, and start mousing. When your battery peters out, rest your mouse on the Magic Charger’s pad overnight and let the wireless inductive charging top it off.
But we encountered notable problems with the battery pack. The first one just didn’t fit inside the Magic Mouse at all—we even tried to ram it in with a screwdriver and an unnerving amount of force. Mobee told us it was defective and sent two replacements. While one worked perfectly, the other had a tendency to slip out slightly, dragging on the desk and, over time, scuffing the finish of the battery pack. Manufacturing defects happen—and maybe we were particularly unlucky—but one out of three is a pretty cruddy batting average for batteries.
The other bizarre thing about the Magic Charger is that the only charging connection Mobee offers is USB. So if you leave your Mac on all the time, you’ll have no problems. But if you’re environmentally conscious enough to be interested in this product, you probably save energy by shutting down your Mac when you’re through with it—which turns off the Magic Charger right when it’s supposed to be charging. We solved the problem by connecting the Magic Charger to an unused USB port on a router that’s always on, but we wish Mobee provided or sold an AC power cord.
That said, the slim charger (0.35 inches thick) weighs a mere 1.94 ounces, so it’s painlessly portable if you need to take it on the road. And in two weeks of using the mouse all day, we didn’t deplete the battery’s initial charge, so it’s a strong performer.
The bottom line. If you’re okay without AC power and with a possibly fiddly battery-pack fit, the Magic Charger beats the pants off paying for a pile of AA batteries.
Magic Mouse, powered USB port
Elegantly designed solution that eliminates the hassle and waste of regular batteries.
Only charges if device to which it’s connected (via USB) is powered on. Only one out of three battery packs we tested fit perfectly inside the mouse.