Excessive latency with BT input devices?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by FloatingBones, Jan 17, 2012.

  1. FloatingBones macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    I recently saw someone characterize the wakeup latency of modern BT input devices as "homocidal" (I presume he meant that latency was intolerably long). I had never heard of latency problems with Apple's Magic Mouse, Magic Trackpad, and BT keyboard. Could regular users of the current hardware rev of these devices please tell me:

    Do these devices ever have latency problems -- either at wakeup after sleeping or at any other time?

    Are there latency problems when using with Windows? I'd particularly like to hear if BT latency is different when running different os on Macs using Boot Camp. Do different OSs do a better job with their drivers?

    Was BT latency a problem in the past? If yes, what fixed the problems?

  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I can only pass comment on the BT Magic Mouse. No lag, and very precise in use, particularly in select / drag functions. If you use eneloop rechargeable batteries, you get a good 3-4 weeks of intensive use before replacing them.

    I can't pass comment on other BT stuff as at present I don't use any, but will shortly be buying a Magic Trackpad...
  3. Lennyvalentin macrumors 65816


    Apr 25, 2011
    Yes, latency was an issue for a number of years with wireless products in general, and deservedly or not, bluetooth in particular. I had a couple BT mice quite a few years ago now that were noticeably laggy, and suffered from fairly low pointer update rate as well causing choppyness when moving the mouse.

    What fixed it? The inevitable, general march of progress of technology. :) It's not really something that is fixable once a product is designed and manufactured; instead, newer products will be inherently better.

    The magic mouse isn't quite as smooth and responsive as a corded mouse, but the difference is negligible for general use* as long as BT reception is good. On my Macbook I've had intermittent issues using the mouse with the BT antenna pointing away from the mouse (it sits in the plastic hinge of the notebook, due to the metal chassis acting like a shield), but recently I've not encountered any such episodes recently as long as I keep the mouse batteries in decent shape.

    * "General use" doesn't include high-level gaming, where the magic mouse doesn't exactly shine. Pointer update rate is a bit of an issue when playing first-person 3D games, and the Magic Mouse can't detect both left and right mouse buttons being held down simultaneously anyway, likely making the mouse unsuitable for anything more demanding than Valve Software's Portal games.
  4. FloatingBones thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jul 19, 2006
    Thanks for the responses. Since apple is over 95% converted from USB to BT for its mice, trackpads, and keyboards, I thought they must work very well.

    The question arose in a discussion elsewhere over why wonderful devices like the Evoluent Mouse and the Kinesis Advantage Keyboard don't use BT. Someone claimed that BT didn't work well enough to use.

    Small companies may have problems adding BT to their input devices, but they should not be insurmountable problems.

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