thoughts and decisions for a creative edge

Mystery of the ALWAYS charging Mobee Magic Charger

You'll Never see 100%

You can wait all year long.. But that green light will keep on blinking.. Is it fully charged? Or still charging?

I got something to ask Mobee.. Why do you say that it’ll 6 hours for 100% battery charge but the LED indicator on the Induction plate still blinks after 24 hours? Technical Specifications on the box clearly says Full Charge Time: 6 hours. So begin the confusion.

Mobee thinks its normal to leave it to blink even if its fully charged. And hey, Apple approved it. I bought this from the Apple Store. But isn’t this all a little confusing… There a mystery to solve. Here’s the thing…

Mobee Magic Mouse Manual

Physically, Mobee's Magic Charger manual is on the inside sleeve of the box. Study it and tell me what you understand..

I like innovation. And of course love simplicity in a practical design. But when there rise confusion from something so simple, it bothers me.

When you buy the Mobee Magic Charger, what you get will be the charger itself with the battery and USB cable boxed in. The only manual you get is printed on the recycle paper box lid and it reads as above. Clearly the green dashes on diagram above means its Charging and the constant green light means its Fully Charged. But that day for the battery to be 100% charged WILL NEVER HAPPEN. There seems to be an explanation for this Mobee claims. But this was definitely not fore-told on the Apple Store or on their website on the product feature page. Unknowing, many would think that the product is defective. As it could be on a continuos charge cycle as long as the LED is blinking. Does the charge pulse stop? Only Mobee’s tech knows.

Never 100%

Way after 6 hours, Magic Mouse battery level after 24 hrs indicates its 95% charged.

Looking for the manual online here’s what I found. Voila! Mobee try to clear this out with the little caption regarding the ‘Level of Battery Charge’. They claiming that its due to the 1.2V NiMH battery not being equivalent to that of the 1.5V batteries we normally get from regular alkalines. Of course! So why confuse us users with the diagram stating that we can charge it to a 100%.. Sigh…

If you're thinking of getting the Magic Charger. Get ready to be confused. Oh wait what's there at the bottom column..

I’m really not too bothered about it. But it sometimes ticks me off how such things gets approved – especially by Apple. What the heck. Just let the consumers do a little snooping around to see what they just paid for.. But you know what I think? I think Mobee might have had a miscommunication with its manufacturers in China. How else can a product be launched before this kinda thing’s not ironed out? I guess China was already putting the chargers on the production line before Swiss QC caught this flaw. Easier to do the edits on the user manual and stash it online before actually printing it on the back of the box! Right. So there we go.. Mystery of the blinking charger solved.. Well in my theory at least.

Now let me try to figure out how Mobee will indicate that I’ve used 500 cycles of this NiMH battery when its never 100% fully charged to begin with. Or is that something just pre-fabbed from the usual 1000 life cycles from other NiMH manufacturers. You know to safe themselves from further explanation. Ah never knew that the Swiss can do some MAGIC too. And even win an iF product design award while at it. Now you know. As it’s at your price.

UPDATE 17 July 2011

I think I might have been wrong about the ALWAYS blinking charger. For some kind of miracle today.. the blinking stopped.. Full charge? NO… The magic mouse been sitting on the induction plate for 2 full days.. and at 40% it claims that its fully charged? I cannot even imagine out how Mobee programmed this indicator.

It's not 100%.. But Mobee Magic Charger has stopped blinking.. ???

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28 responses

  1. Hi,

    I also have some issues with The Magic Charger from mobee:

    1. My battery never charge never shows above 18%.

    2. Build quality – the plastic is awful and is not a very good fit.

    3. The resulting Mouse, with the mobee fitted battery is a lot lighter than with normal batteries, and as a result, does not feel the same quality.

    Very disappointing.

    July 6, 2011 at 4:44 pm

    • I certainly understand what you mean. Committed customers like us may have been driven by the idea that its as good as any other Apple-approved product. Only to be disappointed later on upon actually using it. It’s a shame.. 18% after long charging is definitely not good.

      July 6, 2011 at 10:30 pm

    • My Mobee charger never read above 16% even when new and after one year of use was topping out at 8%, it could barely make it through a day off the pad before losing connection. I was told by their support that their special battery pack just used a different voltage/mA then the standard batteries and that this wasn’t a cause for concern. Turns out that was a lie.

      Based on the advice of some other commenter, I opened the battery pack, and replaced the generic NiMH AAA with Rayovac Platinum NiMH. Put it the pack back together and put it on the charger. First charge and my Mac reports 90%. I assume that any premium, high mA, made for long life in electronics AAA would work. Turns out that the issue is that they are putting really crappy non-tested, non-paired, AAA batteries into their battery packs. Replacing their generic sub-par AAA with high quality ones on your own is easy, solves the problems, and is much cheaper then buying a new pack from them with the same sub-par batteries. This is a problem they should be addressing, and they should be replacing problem units, not telling people that this is just a different reading for “their batteries”, which is hogwash.

      Oh, and the indicator lights on the pad work as expected when the batteries actually can charge to a normal capacity. Turns out that their cheaping out on batteries was the cause of all these issues. This charger solution is amazing once you add good batteries into the equation. Thank goodness you can swap out them out with any NiMH AAA as simply as removing the two small torque screws, changing the batteries and replacing the screws.

      August 30, 2014 at 5:09 am

    • no_name

      Switch the mouse to the OFF position, remove the mobee battery from the mouse, re-insert the mobee battery, switch the mouse back to the ON position. Now check the battery percentage status. It should have updated to its current charge level,

      October 8, 2014 at 10:14 pm

      • Thanks for your input on this. A simpler way of having the power indicator refreshed is to simply disconnect the bluetooth connection on the desktop. Once disconnected, press or click the mouse to reconnect. And you’ll see the current charge level – which is NOT 100%. Its just how it is. Sadly.

        October 9, 2014 at 7:32 am

      • John Erick

        Well said.

        December 6, 2016 at 10:31 am

  2. Thank you so much for posting this! I was in the mind frame of wanting to buy this, until I stumbled on your site. I totally agree with you all about this erroneous feature, very dissappointing AND misleading. Why purchase f it never reads 100% full charged? Currently, I have been using the Energizer Quick 15-Minute Recharger, I’m quite sure it holds a much better lasting ability than this unit, and its cheaper. I also get a 100% readout on its status.

    July 29, 2011 at 2:02 pm

  3. Anon73

    Mine doesn’t always blink. It stops blinking after a very long time. The one thing I did notice is after it has a full charge and the light has stopped blinking, if you take the mouse of the charger – even just for a second or two, when you put it back on the light will blink for hours again. You would think it might blink just a few times and go solid again but it doesn’t. I also had to bend the metal contact clip on the battery pack just to get the damn thing to work. I think the idea is great but the execution could have used a little more work. Still a good product.

    June 4, 2012 at 7:08 pm

    • Up til today. Mine blinks. Max charge never goes above 80%.

      June 6, 2012 at 7:55 am

    • Tara

      Can you or someone describe how you bent the contact clip to make it work? MIne is not engaging and I guessed I might need to bend it, but so far no luck with my attempts. I’m committed to giving this bugger a try now that it has arrived – I think I can live with the other issues. Thanks!

      January 3, 2013 at 10:13 pm

  4. Just out of interest, after buying this product yesterday and being an über geek….. I took apart the battery pack! The batteries inside are unbranded 1000mAh NiMh Rechargables, with the inductive circuitry underneath.
    Basically, this means that you can put your own Super-Duper Energizer Re-chargables in place of the possibly “rubbish” re-chargables! (AT YOUR OWN RISK!!!)

    As for an example, most “el-Cheapo” LED solar lights for your garden will come with these unbranded re-chargable batteries in, and how long do they last 😀

    August 29, 2012 at 11:14 pm

  5. Jz

    Mine has been charged for more than 24 hours now, but the mouse shows no light, that means it is not connected with the mac, in this case how can you check how much battery level then?

    November 24, 2012 at 11:30 am

    • No idea how / why you’d want to know charge level if you’re not connected. Tried asking Apple support? If connected to your Mac to update level indicator is to Disconnect Bluetooth connection and then re-Connect. The % charge level would be refreshed. G’luck!

      November 24, 2012 at 11:42 am

  6. Michel Lamontagne

    I just purchased a new iMac and I though it would be a great ides to include in my order the Mobee charger for my Magic mouse.
    When I finally received my new iMac (December 11, 2012) I was really anxious to set it up and start using it. Which I did using the regular
    batteries supplied with the mouse. When I was satisfied my new iMac was working as it should, I inserted the Mobee batteries in the
    mouse and of course the mouse had no power. Time to charge my mouse and my first mistake !

    As my new iMac has 4 USB 3 ports and 2 USB 2 ports supplied from the wired keyboard, I decided to dedicate 1 of the keyboard
    USB 2 port the charging my mouse and leave it over night.

    The next morning, their was a solid green light on my Mobee charger and I felt content until I restored my screen from sleep mode.

    A message on my screen was basically stating that too much current was being pulled from the USB ports and the iMac had to shut down
    some of the devices connected to the USB ports. (Of course all my ports were used with external hard drives, keyboard, printer and the Mobee
    charger)

    After some research, I found that if I was to connect the Mobee charger onto a USB port, it had to be a USB 3 port as the keyboard ports were
    were not supplying enough current to effectively use the charger yet my mouse was showing a charge of 74%. I decided to start using
    my mouse as is and give it a better charge when I get a low battery indication. All seemed to go fine from this point and I was waiting for the
    iMac to indicate a low battery indication. Since after a bit more then a days I was not getting any indication and the battery level was now in the 40% range,
    I decided it was time to give my mouse a good charge. Since I didn’t was to use a good USB 3 port for this, I used the home current adapter
    I normally used for my iPad. I removed the batteries from the mouse and set them onto the Mobee charger. I left the batteries all day. At the
    end of the evening, I inserted the Mobee batteries and verified the load. The level was now 84%. It was upsetting the see it so low as I was expecting a full 100%. I placed the mouse back on the charger and left it all night. The next morning, I rechecked the battery level and it was
    only 85%. I felt it could have been the adapter I was using and decided to use the mouse as is.

    A few days later, without any advance warning, the mouse went dead. I was a tad upset but I figured it could have been my fault for not fully charging the mouse. I then as a last resort used a USB port in an attempt to fully charge the Mobee batteries. I left the charger overnight
    and the next morning, the level was 84%. I decided to remove the batteries from the mouse and charge them on their own for the day. At the end of the day, the battery level went to 88% so I decided to leave them a bit more.

    This morning, a solid green light was on and as I tested the level, it was down to 84% from 88% the night before. All this saga for one week of computer usage trying to get a simple device to meet to my expectations. I will see the outcome in the days to come and I hope for the best.

    Yet again, it would have been nice to have a bit of information for the Mobee device and also have a warning from apple as to what kind of device can and cannot e use on the keyboard USB ports. Had I seen this post ahead of time, their is not a chance in hell I would have purchased the Mobee charger.

    I thank all of you for your patience and understanding; I just had to let some steam out.

    Michel

    December 18, 2012 at 2:59 pm

    • Thanks for sharing Michel,
      I use my Wacom Bamboo more than I do the Magic Mouse this days. After reading your post, thought I check the battery level on mine (again) which LED is on solid green. But guess what, it’s only 51% charged. Talk about venting warm air..

      December 18, 2012 at 3:07 pm

  7. Michel Lamontagne

    I guess I am one of the lucky ones to have batteries showing a charge of 85%. Oh yes the Mobee batteries were due for recharge yesterday. The level was to 8% and again no low battery warning. I placed the Mobee batteries on the charger connected to a USB 3 port and voilà; about 5 hours later I had a solid green light and a charge showing at 85%. So the charge lasted about 4 days this time. My intention is to change the batteries in the Mobee with a good quality rechargable batteries and see what the outcome will be on the Mobee charger. So far, I don’t know if unstable battery charging is due to the charger or a poor battery quality as mentioned by John Gilbert. I will soon be posted.

    December 23, 2012 at 3:21 pm

  8. Michel Lamontagne

    Well, last night my Mobee batteries were out of juice. So, I opened up the casing and found what I was expecting. The batteries are smaller then AAA size and are not very powerful. Needless to say that finding a suitable replacement good quality replacement is near to impossible. What you buy is what you get unfortunately. I guess I have to consider myself among the lucky ones cause at least, I can recharge the batteries to a level which is considered acceptable (4 to 5 days of usage) and my charger light does blink while charging and goes to solid green when the batteries are re-charged. If I had knew, I would never have purchased the Mobee battery pack. End of story !

    December 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm

  9. Valeriano Tora

    Hi,!
    I don’t know what all the fuss is about, I purchased a Mobee battery set with its charger, put in the mouse and charged it. The first night I left it on charge overnight, the following morning it showed a steady green light and the battery indicator showed 100%, my set works well for days, when I remember to do it, I place it on the charger, it recharges the battery in just a few hours (the green light stops blinking) and it shows a battery level of 100% again??? Am I the only lucky person with this device?
    I have a MacBook Pro 13.3″ late 2012.

    December 29, 2012 at 6:24 pm

    • Either that or we’re the few that Mobee chose to ignore about with the problematic units.

      January 4, 2013 at 12:32 am

      • Michel Lamontagne

        My dear Valeriano you have been blessed by the Gods. If I was you I would run out today and purchase a lottery ticket. My Mobee device does recharge the batteries and the light goes from blinking to steady. But, I could never have a charge over 85%. This being said, my predicament is that I never have a low battery warning from my iMac even if it indicates low on the mouse preference pane. My iMac is also new and I did purchase the Mobee device from the Apple Store online at the same time.

        January 5, 2013 at 2:08 pm

  10. Phillip

    Thanks for the post, mine never charges above 51%. I have also heard that it is not a good idea to place the charger of the foot of the iMac (funny if true since they show it they on their website). Have you heard about that?

    March 6, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    • Never heard about that. And that’s exactly where I have mine!

      April 4, 2013 at 7:24 am

  11. Michel Lamontagne

    Ok here is what I did lately and sorry for not sharing earlier. If you carefully open the Mobee battery pack, you will find 2 cheap rechargeable batteries. The batteries being AAA size, it becomes easy to find anywhere 2 good quality rechargeable AAA batteries.

    It solved my problem somewhat !

    April 4, 2013 at 1:22 pm

  12. My family and I have been using 3 Mobee chargers since they became available in the UK (ie for > 2 years). With the exception of the issue of the tight fit and removing the battery pack, we have had absolutely no problems with charging and battery %, but it now looks as though the batteries are coming to the end of their useful lives, as the device keeps disconnecting and connecting at random.

    Does anyone know if the internal rechargeable batteries in the unit are replaceable? There is one comment above which says that they are a non-standard size.

    PS: The induction charger is likely to be a maximum of 30cm from your bloody hand, why not just put it back on the charger when you aren’t using it, rather than deliberately leaving it off and moaning if the charge falls below 30%!

    September 4, 2013 at 2:59 pm

    • Michel Lamontagne

      Yes Mark. They are normal AAA rechargeable batteries that you may purchase anywhere.

      Michel

      December 16, 2013 at 7:58 pm

  13. Tim Smith

    The apple battery indicator is set to read alkaline batteries that, when fully charged have a 1.5 volt difference between the positive and negative ends. When empty they carry only about a 1.0 volt difference between the two ends. This voltage isn’t the charge level, but it can be used as an indicator for how many amp-hours are left. This site has some nice graphs of what I am talking about: http://www.powerstream.com/AA-tests.htm

    The Mobee device uses rechargeable NiMH batteries. Due to different chemistry, a fully charged NiMH batteries will have only about a 1.2 volt difference across the ends. Discharged, a NiMH battery reads somewhere around 0.9 to 1.0. At 1.2 volts it is still carrying about the same amount of energy as an alkaline, but since the NiMH reaction isn’t as energetic as the alkaline reaction it doesn’t generate the same “force” as the alkaline reaction and doesn’t read as hot on the volt meter.

    What this means is that the Apple magic mouse battery indicator is useless for the Mobee device. It dumbly reads the voltage and concludes that the NiMH Mobee battery is low even when it is fully charged. Mine says my Mobee has only 7% charge when I know it is fully charged because the charger is solid green. I used it for more than a week without putting it back on the charger, and the whole time the Mac was frantically trying to get me to replace the batteries because it was about to die. I wish Apple would upgrade their charge meter for non-alkaline batteries!!

    So why didn’t Mobee use rechargeable alkaline batteries to be compatible with the Apple operating system? Because rechargeable alkaline batteries don’t hold as much energy and they wear out much sooner than the NiMH batteries.

    December 7, 2013 at 8:05 pm

  14. CharlesJR

    Hm. I’ve had my Mobee charger almost since they were introduced. I’ve noticed the blinking light thing before but never paid any attention to it because I leave the mouse on the charger (like a mouse pad) when I’m not using it so its never an issue.

    Three things that are already mentioned here:

    #1: your Mac will never show more than 80% to 85% because of the voltage of the batteries used. They’ve always said this on the site.

    #2: your Mac will NOT update the bluetooth battery indicator automatically for some reason. So if you check the battery level on your Mac under the bluetooth setting and it seems off (mine stayed at 4% for days once), the follow the instructions of another poster: disconnect the mouse using the bluetooth menu, then reconnect it by power cycling OR simply hitting the mouse button. When it reconnects your Mac will show the proper charge … this is an Apple issue, not Mobee’s

    #3: finally, many have noticed that the mouse, with the Mobee battery pack in, will constantly disconnect and reconnect. This is because the battery isn’t properly “set” into the mouse. If you don’t get a solid connection, even if it seems to be in place, your Mac will see it as a weak, low charge, battery and drop the bluetooth connection constantly. Simply reset the battery properly and this behavior will go away.

    Again, I’ve had the original unit for years and never had a problem (or had to replace the batteries though that’s an awesome idea).

    Hope this helps.

    CharlesJR

    December 16, 2013 at 4:15 pm

  15. (French comment) En Français, pour tous ceux qui ne pigent pas l’Anglais. Et en simplifié… Les accus rechargeables installés dans le Magic Charger Mobee sont des AAA Nimh qui, pour des raisons partiellement obscures pour moi, n’ont pas exactement les mêmes caractéristiques que les piles AA alcalines préconisées par Apple pour la Magic Mouse. Donc le lecteur de charge du Mac n’interprète pas correctement la charge des accus de Mobee. Apple pourrait faire un petit effort sur ce point de détail, surtout qu’ils vengent ce produit de tiers partie sur leur site. En ce qui me concerne, le voyant s’est fixé au vert après une nuit de charge, et reproduit cet effet chaque matin. Peu m’importe le temps que ça lui a pris pendant que je dormais ! Infographiste, j’utilise ma MagicMouse à longueur de journée et je la repose sur sont chargeur Mobee chaque soir, effort conséquent qui m’oblige à soulever ma souris à 20 cm de sa zone d’utilisation… C’est un peu pour ça que j’ai acheté ce truc au design approprié et de qualité tout à fait satisfaisante. Le fait que mon commentaire révèle que je ne suis pas fâché avec ce produit qui me rend le service que j’attendais. À bon entendeur.

    May 15, 2014 at 8:53 am

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