Microsoft Wheel Optical Mouse

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Terrific Value Mouse

Feb 11, 2006
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Very inexpensive! Solid construction, extremely durable. Outstanding precision. Lightweight. Acceptable cord length.

Cons:No fancy additional buttons. Color may not match many systems. Buttons click a bit loud.

The Bottom Line: If you’re in need of a mouse for personal use or mass purchases, you can’t go wrong with this one. It’s an amazing value for such a tough, well-designed champion.


Upon building my new gaming powerhouse, I needed a new black mouse to go along with my black case, speakers, and keyboard. Why? For the ladies of course!

All jokes aside though, this mouse became an answer to my prayers. After destroying my original Microsoft IntelliEye Optical mouse I found myself left with only an old Hewlett-Packard standard ball mouse. I received the switch as punishment for myself, but I decided to spoil myself and buy this black beauty not too long ago.

Out of all the selections, why did I choose this mouse? I owned one of Microsoft’s first optical mice and absolutely loved it so I simply had to buy another. I did some research and came upon this mouse: black, inexpensive, and looked just like my old one.

To my surprise I found it at a local computer store which had about ten of them packed OEM style. I took it home, plugged it right in, and just like that I had completed the process of obtaining a shiny new mouse.

Immediately I could feel the difference from a ball mouse to an optical – higher level of precision, and smoothed movement. I fell in love. I also noticed that this mouse was in fact more responsive than the one I owned a couple years ago.

Back in the old days of optical mice you could move the mouse as fast as you could and it would phase out and panic. Does this mouse? Nope. She keeps up with me, and I like that… especially if I have my own panic attack in a game.

Design & Features

You won’t find this mouse at the local Best Buy or Circuit City lineup, possibly because it’s not the most appealing or fancy mouse in the galaxy. You can either find it online or at a local computer store that stockpile OEM products.

It’s your standard mouse basically: black with a dark gray underbody, red optical sensor, standard buttons, and a gray scroll wheel. It’s also designed to be equally proportioned on its sides to suit both a left or right-handed user. So, if you’re feeling a bit ambidextrous in the morning after your morning cup of coffee, you no longer have to hold back the urge.

The connectivity is of course, the new technology we’ve all come to love, Universal Serial Bus… excuse me, USB. It also comes with an adapter that will convert its USB male to a PS2 male in case you’ve run out of USB ports or you like to keep it old school.

I personally like to stick to the mouse’s original USB male, because for some reason in my mind I think it may perform better. Don’t quote me on that though; it’s really just because I don’t want to have a bunch of adapters hanging from the back of my case.

Performance

Now the question that comes to mind with a mouse is that can it take the harsh abuse from gaming? Well, my answer is of course! I’m not one that advises people to buy extremely expensive mice or ridiculously fancy mouse pads. Sure, it may make you look cooler but it’s not going to make you a better gamer just because you can set your sensitivity to 1.337 and have your mouse actually respond precisely.

Simply put this mouse is ideal for gaming, graphic design, and everyday use such as web browsing and instant messaging. The mouse is precise, does not panic, or give any belly aches if you choose to perhaps throw it on the floor or against the wall. You won’t have to spend any time cleaning out its ball holder as well.

Durability

Another important factor with a mouse is can it take the beating of someone with possibly an anger problem or just simple years of wear and tear. For this review I will take in account the previous mouse I owned that was seemingly identical. In a few words, it can take some damage.

Previous mouse lasted a good two years before I finally beat it against the desk so hard the buttons permanently jammed. If I hadn’t of treated it so harshly it most likely would still be going!

I discovered that over time the mouse may discolor (more commonly found in white mice) and get a few chips or scratches in the surface. This is all normal, and never affects the performance of the mouse. Also I would keep in mind that these mice cannot be taken apart, unless you destroy the entire mouse. So if you do happen to hurt her, she’s gone completely my friend.

Optimization

If you do happen to consider purchasing this mouse, I would also recommend to going to any local retail store and purchasing a cheap mouse pad. Even though optical mice are built to be used on hard surfaces such as a wooden desk, I do not recommend doing so. Over time the pads below the mouse will diminish and it’ll no longer have a smooth and precise feel. So, do yourself a favor and protect it with a little padding.

Another thing I’ve noticed is Windows XP’s little feature of “enhancing” pointer precision. If you notice an awkward change in mouse movement, go to your advanced mouse options (in the Control Panel) and uncheck “Enhance Pointer Precision.” This will disable the mouse pointer from increasing its speed according to how fast you are physically moving it.

The Pros

Now that you’ve heard me ramble on about such a simple piece of computer hardware for so long, I’ll cut you to the bottom lines. This mouse is perfect and I wouldn’t recommend any other. It’s not oddly shaped, it’s not wireless (I hate dealing with batteries), and there’s nothing like the feel of high quality. The mouse is simply an incredibly huge bang for your buck.

The Cons

I have noticed a few nitpicky things about this mouse. The buttons do click a bit loud, which may not be the best thing in a quiet office or library setting. It also doesn’t have any fancy features to show off to your friends like gobs of additional precision, eighteen buttons on the sides, or an ergonomic shape to knock your socks off.

Bottom Line

If you’re in need of a mouse for personal use or mass purchases, you can’t go wrong with this one. It’s an amazing value for such a tough, well-designed champion.


Recommend this product? Yes

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