Global Mute and POP Mouse

I had previously posted about my M525 mouse. While I’m still very much a fan, but I recently replaced it. I was at Staples, and saw a Logitech POP mouse on clearence for $20 (about half the typical price). The shape roughly reminds me of the old Dove bar mouse. And, it’s pink.

Very, very pink.

Honestly, I have no problem with the color pink or see it as a threat to my masculenity. The leader of the Giro d’Italia wears a pink jersy, after all. It’s just not typically my style, especially for computer hardware. Often, we’d use pink cables to denote a “temporary” one, or put pink tape on loaner hardware (in both cases to make it stand out). I think I just carry forward that association.

It has a few features from the M525 I appreicated. It is roughly the same size, making it quite capable of fitting in a bag to travel with. It takes a AA battery, which is commonly available. Beyond that, it has two things that were compelling enough to convince me to purchase a new, pink mouse—both present in the Logitech M720 mouse I have at home.

First, it is a Bluetooth mouse, where the M525 required a propritary dongle. I’ve come to appreacite, where possible, using a built-in wireless protocol rather than having to plug in a dongle. As USB-C becomes more prevalent (and, like my personal MacBook, USB-A ports are not included), not having to worry about a converter in addition to the dongle is especially appreciated. As I only expect to connect it to my WorkTop, and it lives at the office, I don’t expect that to be a huge factor, but the fewer the dongles, the better.

(Like the M720, it also happens to also be multi device–I can move it from my WorkTop to my MacBook with tapping a button. As I got it primarily to keep in the office to use with my WorkTop, that’s not a critical feature to me, but nice-to-have.)

The other thing it brings to the table is a programable button. While I tend to associate this with “gamer” mice, some office mice have them. For a long time, I tended to disregard that feature. Mostly, I just forgot it was there and what it did.

However, during the pandemic, the compnay I was working for used Zoom, and I could assign a button my my M720 to be a global mute. No matter how buried Zoom got, I could toggle much just by reaching to my mouse. Could I do it with the keyboard? Sure. But somehow, using the mouse for that felt easier, especially if my hands weren’t near the keyboard.

My new job uses Microsoft Teams. I didn’t see a global mute keyboard combiantion, so, for a long time, accpeted I didn’t have that functionality. However, about a month ago, I learned that Windows PowerToys enables a global mute keyboard combination at the OS level. It will turn off the mic on any application that ties into it, including Teams. Based on the documentation, the PowerToy is for Windows 10, with the functionality built-in to Windows 11.

BOOM!!! I had my global mute back! And, with the POP mouse, I had something I could leave at the office with an extra button!

Could I have muddled through without getting the POP mouse? Absolutely. Had it not been cheap for what it was (a Logitech mouse with Bluetooth on clearence), I wouldn’t have considered it. As noted, the color is not my style, and the shape is not what I prefer. I wouldn’t recommended it absent it being on clearence. However, as it fills a very specific niche, I’m quite happy to add it to my workflow.