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Manufacturer: Microsoft
Min OS X: Any Version    Requires: USB Port

Wireless Optical Mouse Blue
October 17, 2002 | Andy Largent

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[Update] Some helpful readers pointed out a version of the IntelliMouse drivers available at the Microsoft web site newer than those listed at other download locations like VersionTracker which do work with OS X 10.2. The review has been updated appropriately.

I'm a dog person. Dogs are fun, loyal, and won't scratch up the furniture. Mind you, cats are fine creatures as well... for the most part. But having two longhaired cats in a house all day can wreak havoc on a poor, defenseless mouseball. It doesn't even matter if your cats don't like to jump up on desks like mine do, the hair will magically appear on your mousepad, I guarantee.

This is where we come to a dilemma. I love my Logitech Cordless Mouseman Wheel. While it looks to have an odd design, it is very comfortable as it contours to your hand (its design is also making a comeback with the new Logitech MX series). I like not having a mouse cord, and for the most part the ball does a great job of tracking. The mouseball vs. cat hair situation doesn't look to be getting any better though, and thus began my search for a replacement in the wide world of optical mice.

My journey led me to one of Microsoft's recent offerings, the Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse Blue. While quite a mouthful of a name, the mouse looks to have nearly everything one could want. The design of the mouse is standard but sleek, it offers freedom from cords, and it has what Microsoft dubs "the world's most powerful optical technology." Gee, that's swell. To be honest, my Microsoft ergonomic keyboard is the only item I've ever purchased from the company, so I was willing to give another piece of their hardware a shot.

Getting Started
The Wireless Optical Mouse Blue has great aesthetics, especially compared with other offerings I've seen from Microsoft. The grey on blue looks really nice, and the scroll wheel has a slightly transparent plastic. Since a mouse is usually covered by your hand though, this may not be of much importance to you.

One thing lefties will like is that the mouse is completely symmetrical, so those playing on the other side of the keyboard need not worry about a design only for right-handed folk. This is a disadvantage over more contoured mice like the Logitech in that the mouse doesn't fit into my hand as well. The mouse has a shapely pear design to try and fit both hands, but I still feel like specialization is sometimes a good thing (as my left-handed brother flames me).

The mouse has two large buttons, with the mouse wheel acting as a third button. I can't claim to have a problem with the main buttons' placement or feel. They both go up and down as they should. The mouse button is a little harder to scroll that other mice I'm used to. I've notice that depending on my sitting posture, sometimes I wind up clicking the wheel button while scrolling up a page.


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