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USB vs. RF. Bluetooth for mice and keyboards: what's better?



  A Microsoft Wedge Bluetooth mouse next to a Logitech M720 RF mouse.
Josh Hendrickson

If you buy a wireless mouse or keyboard, you can choose either Bluetooth or wireless peripherals that communicate over radio frequencies through a USB dongle (RF.) In our experience, USB-RF has lower latency, but Bluetooth has its advantages.

What is faster?

Latency is critical on any keyboard or mouse. You want your input to appear on the screen as fast as possible ̵

1; especially if you are playing games that are dependent on twitching reflexes, such as: Eg first-person shooter.

According to Razer, USB-RF offers lower latency. The company told us that Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) devices can achieve a latency of only 1.3 ms, while USB-RF exceeds it by just 1 ms. The Razer spokesman even told us that the difference in speed is that only USB-RF devices are offered. The company focuses on games, so it makes sense to choose the fastest option.

Logitech promises a similar 1 ms wireless speed for its Lightspeed mice, but uses a proprietary 2.4GHz communication mode. According to The Verge, this meant fewer interference issues than other wireless mice (like Razer) that use the standard 2.4GHz communication format.

Which one is more compatible?

<img class = "wp-image-429908 size-full" data-pagespeed-lazy-src = "https://www.howtogeek.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/07/Apple-Magic- Keyboard-with-Numpad-HTG.jpg.pagespeed.ce.vGJPDrnNX2.jpg "alt =" Apple Magic Keyboard 2 with Numpad. [19659010] Apple prefers Bluetooth for its wireless keyboard and mice. Apple

latency is Not all USB-RF mice require a USB dongle, and not all devices have the traditional USB ports (also called USB-A ports).

Bluetooth is compatible with more devices because it uses its peripherals Devices that are not connected may not have USB-A ports As USB-C continues to grow, ownership of a wireless RF mouse or keyboard becomes more and more complicated.You can buy a USB-C mouse, what you do however, if your laptop has only USB-C ports and your desktop has none, you can either use an adapter (which is to lose) or one Purchase mouse with USB-C and USB-A.

We could not find wireless USB-C options on keyboards Known manufacturers.

A Bluetooth peripheral does not have this problem. It is completely wireless. Even if your desktop does not have Bluetooth, you can fix this problem with a Bluetooth dongle. And since it's still connected to your desktop, you do not have to worry about it getting lost.

Some devices, such as the iPad Pro, have no conventional USB ports at all, and either have or begin to take over. Mouse support. If you want to use a mouse on a tablet, a Bluetooth model will probably work best. Even tablets with USB ports like the Surface Pro usually work with Bluetooth peripherals.

What is easier to set up?

  Microsoft Wireless Sculpt, ergonomic keyboard, number pad and mouse.
Microsoft

When it's easy to set up, peripherals that use a wireless dongle are the clear winner. You plug in the dongle and the operating system should detect the new device and automatically add the driver. As a rule, you are ready to use in a few seconds. A dongle can also connect a keyboard and a mouse if they were purchased together or, in some cases, from the same manufacturer.

On the other hand, multiple steps are required for a Bluetooth mouse or keyboard. First, put everything in pairing mode, and then wait for your laptop or tablet to communicate with the mouse or keyboard. You have to pair mouse and keyboard separately if you have both. If you move to the next device, you will have to do the whole process again.

After initial setup, Bluetooth takes over the crown to make access permanently easier. Ready to move from your PC to your tablet on the go? Take your tablet and keyboard or mouse away from your PC so far that the connection is lost. The keyboard or mouse should automatically be paired with your tablet. Alternatively, you can turn off Bluetooth on your PC to force the process.

If you have a USB RF peripheral, you must remove the dongle from your PC and connect it to the next device you want to use. When you are on the move, you can easily lose. Sometimes there is a place in the mouse to save a dongle, but that's not always the case. Some keyboard-mouse combinations, such as the Microsoft Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard and the Mouse Set, are permanently linked to a single dongle. If you lose it or it fails, you will need to replace the entire set.

Select Both

  Logitech M720 Triathalon Mouse with dongle.
The Logitech M720 Triathalon Mouse can connect via radio or Bluetooth. Josh Hendrickson

If you are not sure what you need now or in the future, you can choose both! Logitech offers keyboards and mice like the K375s Keyboard and the M720 Triathalon Mouse, which are both Bluetooth and RF enabled. Some of the mice even have a dedicated button for easier switching between paired devices.

Similarly, you can connect Razer's Atheris Wireless Mouse either via a USB dongle or via Bluetooth.

Mouse or keyboard that is both RF and Bluetooth enabled means you can use your peripherals with all your devices without having to remove a dongle. Connect the dongle to a device (preferably a device that is not Bluetooth enabled) and pair your mouse or keyboard with the rest via Bluetooth.

Remember, you will not be able to use the Bluetooth connection this will result in lower latencies from USB-RF. When you connect via USB-RF, you also lose the benefits of Bluetooth.


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