Microsoft Wheel Optical Mouse

3 ratings (3 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating: Excellent
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Cheap and Easy

Dec 3, 2010
Review by  
Rated a Very Helpful Review

Pros:Low price, ease of use

Cons:Scroll wheel

The Bottom Line: You get what you pay for


I don’t usually require much of a mouse.  It’s one of those things that you shouldn’t have to think about if it’s doing its job properly.  I really only think about my mouse when it breaks or it starts the long decline towards not working.  When my old mouse started to falter, I bought this one to replace it when the time came.  I know it’s cruel to bring a new mouse into the house while the old one is still working, but I didn’t want to have to worry about losing functionality in the middle of something important.

Could you imagine being in the middle of doing your taxes when the time comes?  You’d have to muddle through it for a few minutes until you realized that you just had to buy a new mouse.  You’d then rush to the nearest store and look for something in a rush and probably buy something you don’t really want or need, but it’s too late by then.  You’ve already opened the package and used the product.  You’re stuck with a mouse you don’t like.

That sort of happened with my old mouse.  I bought something based on price and got stuck with a mouse that had one of those extra buttons on the side.  It was the kind that let you control your browser’s forward and back functions, meaning I was always accidentally going back to the previous page.  That’s not good when you’re filling out important financial forms.  Trust me.

When I purchased this mouse, I was looking for two things.  One was a low price.  I was working when I bought this, but I knew that I was going to be out of a job soon, so I didn’t want to spend a lot of money.  The other was something simple.  I didn’t want to make the mistake of buying another mouse with that darned browser button.  The simpler, the better.

I bought it at OfficeMax for I think $15, but it could have been $20.  (It was over a year ago and I didn’t save the receipt.)  This was the cheapest option I could find without going for some no-name brand.  As much as people make fun of Microsoft, I liked knowing that it was at least a major player in the computer business.  I felt that there was actually a decent chance that it would work properly.  The last thing I wanted was to have to go back to OfficeMax and try to get an exchange.

I think that there are still mice out there with the ball-and-tracker system.  If you’ve never used an optical mouse, you may be wondering about this one.  Since it’s USB and uses a cord, you don’t need batteries.  (You really only need batteries if you go with something wireless, as USB technology allows the mouse to work off of the computer’s power source.)

You also don’t really need a mouse pad, except maybe for decoration.  I have a big black piece of material covering my desk for protecting the desk surface.  The mouse doesn’t seem to have a problem with this.  The mouse does stutter occasionally, which I think is from picking up dust.  All I have to do is wipe the sensor off with my finger and it usually starts working again.

The mouse is a slight downgrade in many aspects.  For starters, there’s a red light at the non-cord end of the mouse.  This stays on always and I don’t know if there’s any way to get rid of it.  Yes, I suppose I could install the software or go online to see if there’s any way to deal with it, but you get used to it after a few days.  I would think twice about buying this if you have a roommate.  If they’re really sensitive to this sort of stuff, I could see it bothering them.

I’ve found that the scroll wheel depresses easily with this mouse.  It’s not a problem very often, but I will occasionally be scrolling down only to get that circle with the two triangles in it.  It takes me a second to realize what happened.  This could get very frustrating if you have to scroll a lot.

While I’m on the subject of scrolling, there are times when I’ll scroll down to a certain point in a document or Web page only to have the text move up or down a little.  I don’t know if I didn’t scroll all the way and the mouse is just now moving to the next notch or if there’s a glitch.  I’ve never had this issue with another mouse.

It’s not the most comfortable mouse.  I think that comes from the fact that it’s supposed to be ambidextrous.  I think it’s ambidextrous in the sense that it’s really not for one hand or the other.  It’s like the designer simply took the average and wasn’t paid enough to really put much effort in beyond that.  When I first started using the mouse, it felt like it was slipping out of my hand.  I’ve gotten used to it, but it still bothers me a little.

They say that you get what you pay for.  That’s definitely the case here.  This is the mouse you get if you don’t want to spend a lot of money.  It’s not enough of a problem that I’d want to spend the money on another mouse, but I don’t think I’d buy another one of these.

According to the information for this mouse, there’s a third button.  I don’t know if this is referring to the fact that you can depress the scroll wheel or if someone made a mistake.  If someone knows what this means, please leave a comment.  It’s not a huge issue, but I figured I’d include it.




Logitech MX-400 (931638-0403) Mouse


Recommend this product? Yes


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