Microsoft 3500 Wireless Mouse (GMF00031)

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Another Microsoft Wireless Mouse that Fails to Match the Logitech Nano V450

Feb 25, 2011
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:nano receiver, compact, light

Cons:feels cheap, hypersensitive mouse wheel, no battery-status indicator

The Bottom Line: The 3500 version of the Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse has gone nano, but it's still no match for the original from Logitech.


I bounce around among four different computers in the office, everything from a rather decrepit laptop still running XP to a high-end Dell T3500 workstation that just might have enough memory to hold the Library of Congress. Somehow my older laptop had inherited an HP wired mouse (I think the VP or marketing snagged the wireless mouse I was using for a demo machine), which up and died one day. Let me tell you, a mouse is pretty useless if you can point with it, but you can't click. I went out that afternoon and came back with the least expensive wireless mouse I could find: a Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500.

Among my many mice (mouses?) over the past few years are the Microsoft Wireless 3000 I use at home, which replaced a Logitech V220 that died after a couple of years of use, and the queen of my mouse collection, a handsome Logitech V450 Nano. I seem to be hard on mice: maybe I should stop eating at my desk??? Whatever - the favorite is still the Logitech V450.

The Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 is a two-button wheel mouse, which has the usual programmable wheel (it's model number X16-45626-02 if anyone actually keeps track). Here are some basic specifications:

• it runs on one AA battery (included)
• it's plug-n-play under Windows XP 32-bit, Vista or Windows7 32- or 64-bit and Mac OS X 10.4-10.6
• the receiver is a Nano version that projects about half an inch from the USB port, so it can be left in place while a laptop is in transit.
• The mouse has a separate on-off switch to conserve battery life, and also has a little port to store the receiver
• it's approximately 3¾" long, 2¼" wide, and 1½" high
• it's ergonomically shaped, fits the contours of the hand, and has indentations on either side for the thumb since it can be configured ambidextrously
• a USB port is required for the receiver
• an internet connection is required to download the Intelliport software
• available in a wide variety of colors. Mine's "Loch Ness Gray" -- who would name a mouse color after a monster, I ask you?

The 3500 is a two-button mouse whose scroll wheel acts as a third. One AA battery loads from the top, with a battery compartment release on the bottom. There is no battery-life LED, unlike the other wireless mice I've used.  Microsoft claims an eight-month battery life under "normal" use; I haven't had it that long.

Additional functions: If you download Microsoft's IntelliPoint program, you can program it to initiate the video magnifier - I didn't bother. Since the button is located behind the scroll wheel, you have to change hand position to reach it - kind of a drag, if you ask me. Unlike other wheel mice, tilting the scroll wheel sideways doesn't appear to scroll right-left. It does have auto-scroll, which scrolls up or down directions as you move the mouse. I find that the scroll wheel might be a little oversensitive and shift into autoscroll without warning. Maybe I just have a heavy touch...


Living with the 3500:

Installation is simple because it's plug-n-play.No software is included in; the only driver available for pre-XP operating systems is for Win 2000 SP4. The laptop is XP Pro, and the mouse worked immediately. No word on Linux, but those open-system guys are wizards with drivers.
Download: I didn't download their IntelliPoint software, since the 3500 pretty much meets all my needs out of the box.
Action: the sensitivity of the buttons seems in keeping with my 3000, but requires more effort than the Logitech V450 Nano - it takes more finger pressure to activate the click. It's not as loud as my 3000, but I still feel the scroll-wheel detents through my fingertips. I'd say it feels cruder than my V450 Nano, but more refined than the 3000.
Range: minimum of ten feet from the receiver with fresh batteries. I like that, since I make lots of presentations from a laptop.
Surface Sensitivity: They call it "blue track," which means nothing to me - just that my other mice have red lasers instead of the blue like this one. Supposedly it's more sensitive, but that's pretty hard to measure without a lab... It works fine on a Formica desktop, mouse pad, paper, counter top, and my pant leg (more presentation stuff) wooden desk without tracking problems. I don't have a glass-topped table or mirror for testing, but I'm sure it will be will be every bit as confused as other optical mice on those surfaces.
Portability: It's compact, though it still weighs about the same as a conventional corded mouse (a few ounces). It's not as heavy as the V450 Nano, but it also doesn't appear to be as well-constructed.
Buttons: Many mice come with extra buttons under the thumb and ring finger for additional controls; if you're used to them, you'll not find them here. If you're not, you probably won't care.

The Good:
Inexpensive
Plug-n-play
Long range
Compact and fairly light
Nano receiver
The Not So Good:
Somewhat lackluster battery life
No battery-life indicator
Mouse wheel oversensitive?
Feels "plasticky" compared to my favorite mouse.
The ugly:
Not available for older versions of some operating systems

Overall: A decent mouse with some shortcomings. Microsoft sells better ones, but they cost more than the $30 MSRP (I only paid $17 on sale). Logitech sells better ones that cost the same. The 3500 is probably acceptable for medium use, especially if your laptop doesn't travel much; but I doubt it will stand up to heavy use.

Weakly recommended for home and school use; not so much for road warriors. When you come down to it, however, I paid more for the Logitech V450 Nano, however, I got a mouse I like a lot better.


Recommend this product? Yes


Amount Paid (US$): 17

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