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Product: WireLess IntelliMouse Explorer
Company: Microsoft
Website: http://www.microsoft.com
Estimated Street Price: $74.95
Review By: Julien Jay

Design

Table Of Contents
1: Introduction & Overview
2: Microsoft IntelliEye Technology & Installation
3: Design & Surfaces Compatibility

4: IntelliPoint 4.01
5: Power Saving Technologies & Usability
6: Conclusion

The Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer sports an extraordinary modern look. This mouse is definitely sensual and its titanium outfit makes it look like a top model. As usual under the ‘Microsoft’ logo printed on the body of the mouse, is a small rounded and red inclusion with a silvered IntelliEye logo stuck on it. The new pinch grip design is quite pleasurable: the bended grey area on the left side of the mouse is the place where your thumb will naturally rest, while the finger scoop on the right side of the mouse is designed to place your ring and little finger. Near the thumb emplacement are two buttons that are used, by default, as previous & next buttons: to push them you’ll have to move your thumb from the comfortable pinch area. One drawback is that those buttons might be a bit too small.

   The top of the mouse features two buttons with a firm and pleasant click effect. In the middle of the left & right buttons is the wheel that lets you scroll vertical or horizontal bars in your applications. The wheel is also clickable making it the fifth button: you’ll most likely use the wheel to perform double click with a single push. For the first time, on a Microsoft mouse, the wheel is quite rough so you don’t have the bad feeling of spinning the wheel in the emptiness.

   The bottom part of the mouse is red and transparent offering a nice contrast with the dark gray and titanium finish. Four rubbers are there to make sure the mouse slides correctly. The bottom part of the mouse also hosts the connect button used to change the radio frequency used by the device as well as the batteries compartment.


Microsoft Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer (click to enlarge)

   The black device you’ll plug to the USB port of your computer is the radio receiver that’ll receive the signals emitted by your mouse and transfer them to the computer. This block is designed like a pebble. It features a small green LED to make sure it works as well as a connect button to change the radio frequency used by the wireless system: two channels are available via the RF technology. During our tests the mouse didn’t enter in conflict with any other radio devices including BlueTooth adapters and Logitech cordless devices.


Microsoft WireLess IntelliMouse Explorer Environment (click to enlarge)

Surfaces Compatibility

   The new IntelliEye technology makes the sensor more compatible with more surfaces. Below is a table of the surfaces compatible with the WIME:

Surface Result
CD Pass
Mirror Fail
Glass Table Fail
Aluminum Can Pass
Monitor Fail
Rock Pass
Wood Pass
Skin Pass
Jeans Pass
Legos Pass
Plastic surfaces Pass
CD Audio Jewel Cases Pass
Socks Pass

 

   Due to the technology used, the IntelliEye sensor performs best on surfaces with details to track. Surfaces that don’t offer visible detail (like glass) or surfaces offering reflection (mirrors) won’t support the Wireless IntelliMouse Explorer nor any other optical mouse. Finally highly repetitive patterns (like printed glossy photos) may put the mouse into difficulty.

 

« Microsoft IntelliEye Technology & Installation IntelliPoint 4.01 »

 

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