Pros:Solid build quality; good battery life; on/off switch; tactile scroll wheel
Cons:BlueTrack is better, but still doesn't work on glass
The Bottom Line: A solid, simple choice for mobile users
I purchased a Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 (GMF-00010) from Office Depot to replace an older Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3000 that stopped working and was outside of any warranty coverage. The 3500 is a wireless mouse targeted at mobile Windows and Mac OS computer users requiring a compact form factor.
Recommend this product?
There are multiple 3500 models that share the same black, rubberized base but with a different colored shell. I purchased the Lochness Grey model (GMF-00010) to match my laptop. Other colors include Dragon Fruit Pink, Sea Blue, Poppy Red, Imperial Purple, and a "Special Edition" Black or White. In addition, Best Buy carries various exclusive patterns, none of which I found particularly enticing.
Regardless of the color, the 3500 is a solid, well-built mouse. The 3500 has two buttons (left-click and right-click), along with a scroll wheel that also serves as a third button. The 3500's scroll wheel provides tactile feedback while scrolling. Interestingly, Microsoft's other mice in the mobile lineup lack this feedback, opting instead for a completely smooth scrolling motion. Personally, I find the tactile response preferable, and this was a major point of differentiation that swayed me to pick the 3500 over Microsoft's other mobile mice such as their high-end 6000.
The 3500 features Microsoft's BlueTrack Technology, which provides better tracking over more surfaces than earlier optical or laser mice. I've used my 3500 on patterned tablecloths, wood desks, and various mousepads with excellent results. Like optical and laser, however, BlueTrack does not work on glass or mirrored surfaces.
A major improvement over the 3000 that I replaced is the remarkably smaller USB transceiver. Barely larger than the size of the USB connector itself, it fits flush enough to the surface to leave in a laptop's port without fear of snapping it off. Alternatively, it also fits into a tiny slot on the bottom of the mouse if you prefer to remove it from the laptop, as I do.
Powered by a single AA, battery life has been reasonable. Microsoft claims an eight month battery life. In my experience, I've gone approximately six months between battery changes. An on/off switch on the bottom of the mouse allows you to maximize the life of your battery, while a small indicator lamp glows red when the battery runs low.
The retail price of the 3500 is $30. On sale, it routinely drops to $15 to $20. The 3500 is covered by Microsoft's three year warranty. I've utilized Microsoft's warranty coverage for other mouse products and have been satisfied with their warranty service that typically results in a brand new replacement (or equivalent model for discontinued products).
Amount Paid (US$): 20