Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse
Compact wireless optical mouse for portability with
By Jon Deragon,
Tuesday December 14, 2004; 3:00pm EST
Anybody that has lugged a notebook case through an airport several
times knows the value of packing lightly. Bulky power blocks, a
multitude of peripherals and wads of cables all add up to real space
and weight issues. So when Microsoft launched its new Wireless
Notebook Optical Mouse into the market, it made perfect sense - the
need for such a device certainly exists.
Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse is a full featured mouse, packing
the latest optical technology, wireless connectivity and scroll
wheel, into an ultra convenient form factor. At less than a 3/4 the
size of a typical mouse, its certainly a space saver, but can it
live up to what we have come to expect from a full size mouse?
The mouse comes
packed with the latest Microsoft IntelliPoint software, mouse, USB
wireless receiver, limited documentation and a single AA Alkaline
battery. The mouse comes in either a light 'winter blue' (quite
attractive), or dark 'slate' color appears almost like a pug version
of its bigger brother IntelliMouse Explorer. Ergonomically designed,
in a symmetrical fashion it is suitable for both right and left
handed users. Two mouse buttons and a scroll wheel are integrated
onto the steep sloping front that arches up into the back of the
mouse. A silver button disguised as a logo on the back can be
pressed and the top of the mouse opens to reveal the battery
compartment. The bottom features the optical reader and an
absolutely brilliant compartment the USB wireless receiver fits
inside during transit. Overall an ingenious design that works hard
to use every molecule of space efficiently.
Getting the mouse
up and running for the first time is as easy as running the included
setup software, plugging in the USB wireless receiver and pressing
the 'connect' button under the mouse. All of which can be done in a
couple of minutes. Subsequent uses of the mouse simply requires you
to plug the USB adaptor into the notebook and you're ready to go.
The included IntelliPoint software offers a generous level of mouse
customization, battery level and signal strength indicators.
The real test was
when we began actually using the mouse for day to day activities. We
were completely blown away by the comfort the mouse offered. The
mouse buttons had an excellent click feedback, the scroll wheel was
firm and accurate yet sufficiently fluent, and the shape somehow
made it as easy to use as a full sized mouse. The upper body plastic
felt secure and well constructed, the molded rubber lower half added
comfort and grip. With the batteries installed the weighting of the
device was a perfectly neutral amount so that you feel the device
has substance while at the same time not being cumbersome.
During our tests,
the mouse tracked our movements and mouse button clicks almost
without fail. We had one moment where the mouse did drop its
connection momentarily, and then restored back to normal. The mouse
was also better than others we have tested for coming out of its
hibernation mode it uses to conserve battery life - with literally
no noticeable lag time. An excellent feature of this mouse is that
when the USB receiver is stored inside the mouse during transit, it
puts the mouse to sleep until such time that you need to use it
again. Battery life is rated by the manufacturer to be approximately
Overall the mouse
simply went beyond our expectations, in every aspect. It is amazing
how the mouse is able to feel like its bigger brothers, while
packing so much into its miniature design. The mouse is compatible
with Windows XP, 2000, Me, 98 or MAC OS X, 10.1 to 10.3.x; requires
a USB port and CD-ROM drive. The Microsoft Wireless Notebook Mouse
retails for $39.99USD, includes an above average 2 year warranty,
and is available immediately from major electronics and computing
retailers across America and Canada.
Excellent design and construction quality; comfortable even during
extended use; solid mouse button
feedback; ingenious USB receiver compartment; great optical tracking
and wireless connectivity; well implemented mouse hibernation and
battery saving features; ease of installation and use.
CONS - None, however including a protective pouch for the mouse
would have been a nice touch.
About The Author
Jon Deragon is president and founder of Visca Consulting, a firm
specializing in web site design, development and usability for
businesses of all sizes. His many years in the technology industry has
enabled him to write quality, in-depth product reviews to assist
businesses make more informed technology purchases. He welcomes any
questions or comments you may have regarding his company's services,
this review or interest in having your company's products reviewed.