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Rapoo MT550 review: A formidable all-rounder

James Archer
14 Oct 2019
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Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
30
inc VAT

The MT550 impresses with proficient design and the ability to control up to four devices at once

Pros 
Exceptional features
Solid construction
Great portability
Cons 
Unusually light scroll wheel
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Wireless mice are a mixed blessing. The lack of a cable makes them highly portable, and even if you’re always at the same desk there’s an argument to be made in favour of cutting cables. At the same time, the risk of running out of battery in the middle of an important task is real, and if the mouse runs on AA or AAA batteries instead of being rechargeable, you have to factor in additional running costs. The slight delay in sending and receiving a Bluetooth or radio signal also means wireless mice aren’t as suited for competitive gaming as their wired equivalents.

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Rapoo MT550 review: Design and build

The Rapoo MT550 doesn’t escape these weaknesses, but is very clever in playing to its strengths. For instance, while it isn’t designed and pitched specifically as a travel mouse, it is tight and compact, with a surprisingly robust build quality for the price. As a result, it’s easy to drop in a bag, and without the worry that it’s going to come out in pieces.

Sure, it’s mostly plastic, but there’s a weight and rigidity to the whole thing that’s all too often missing on small mice. Most of the top shell has a lovely soft-touch finish that’s extremely easy on the hand, and even the parts that don’t – mainly the left- and right-click buttons on the underside – are nicely smooth.

It’s pretty good ergonomically, too. It’s too small to get a proper palm grip going, but it is quite tall, so if you prefer laying the full length of your fingers down, it’s possible to do so with the MT550’s peak nestled comfortably beneath the knuckle joints. Claw-style and fingertip grips are easy, too, and there’s even a modest thumb rest.

We complained that the Asus TUF Gaming M5’s compact size made it less comfortable, and despite being even shorter, the MT550 helps show where it went wrong. Here, the top curve is further forward, supporting the fingers in place of being able to support the palm; on the TUF Gaming M5, the curve is in between the fingers and the palm, not really a good resting point for either. Next, whereas Asus’s mouse is content to let your thumb drag across the desk, the MT550 gives it a place to sit, adding comfort and making it easier to spring into action for a side button press. It’s a great demonstration of why a more portable form factor doesn’t have to mean an uncomfortable mouse, and the MT550 has a nicer finish and more solid construction, too.

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Rapoo MT550 review: Features

If we had to find something to criticise, we’d say the scroll wheel can feel somewhat light, at least next to the heavy-duty wheels of more expensive gaming mice. There’s still a sufficiently tactile bumping sensation when it’s turning, however, so it’s easy enough to maintain precise scrolling.

The other way in which the MT550 takes full advantage of its compact wireless nature is by attempting to get involved with as many of your PCs and devices as possible. While it includes a 2.4GHz USB receiver, this isn’t the only way it can connect: it also supports both Bluetooth 3.0 and Bluetooth 4.0 at once, and can pair with up to three additional devices all at the same time, with the 2.4GHz receiver accounting for a fourth.

Once two, three or four devices are all connected, you can then cycle through them using a button on the underside, potentially creating a little battle station with multiple screens and a single mouse controlling it all. Switching is instant, although there is a delay in the sense that you need to pick up the mouse every time you want to change; having the button on the side or on top would have made more sense.

Even so, it’s a fantastic feature for juggling laptops, or even unlikely combinations such as a desktop PC and an Android tablet; if you’ve never used a mouse with Android, the UI stays the same but you get a little cursor to click what you’d normally tap. Its usefulness is obvious in cases where you might have two computers on the go, but not enough desk space to use two separate mice at once. Indeed, we often run into this problem when working in the Shopper labs. Having Bluetooth capability in addition to 2.4GHz also means you don’t need a full-size USB port to hold a receiver; most wireless mice give you the binary choice of Bluetooth or radio, but this allows you to be flexible.

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Rapoo MT550 review: Connectivity and specs

Connection quality has been fine throughout the full duration of our testing, and to help avoid confusion about which device you’re connected to, a set of three indicator lights next to the side buttons provides some extra clarity.

There’s no extensively featured desktop software for the MT550, so customisation is limited, but you can flick between four dpi settings using the button on top. These range from 600dpi to 1,600dpi, which isn’t as wide a range as that of the ROG Gladius or Cooler Master MM830, but the highest setting is fine for fast movement around a 3,200x1,800 display. You will have to be attentive when you change it, however, as there’s no permanently visible indicator as to which setting is active; instead, you need to watch for a single, small LED that flashes with each button press. One flash equals 600dpi, two flashes is 1,000dpi, three is 1,300dpi and four is 1,600dpi.

READ NEXT:Best wireless mice

Rapoo MT550 review: Verdict

Outside of the misplaced wireless switching button, there’s very little to dislike about the MT550. It’s absolutely worth considering if you don’t need fancy gaming features, but you want a quality wireless office mouse for a very fair price.

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