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Product: Wireless Optical Mouse Special Edition
Company: Microsoft
Website: http://www.microsoft.com
Estimated Street Price:
$44.95

Review By: Robert Stein

One of the latest hardware devices coming out of Redmond is all about color. That is right; Microsoft has just released the Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse Special Edition in its attempt to jazz up some of the hardware on your desk. Using patented Optical Technology and sporting a black/silver and hip design, Microsoft is trying to set a groove with people who want something colorful (this time on the sleek side), yet functional (and wireless), on their desktop. Does the mouse live up to its promises? Read on to find out.

  • Unique Clear Scroll Wheel: Have fun using the one-of-a-kind, wider scroll wheel to move through documents quickly without a scroll bar

  • Go With the Optical Glow: The glowing red base signifies Microsoft optical technology for a smooth and accurate experience. No mouse ball!

  • Comfort for Either Hand: Comfortably shaped for the left or right hand.

  • Dazzling Design: Unique black, soft finish with silver metallic accents add style to your desktop.

Setup & Installation 

The setup of this mouse is decisively simple; just plug the wireless hub into a port, do a quick software setup and you are ready to go. Like its twin (the Optical Blue), this mouse works with USB and PS/2 ports. Installation of the IntelliPoint software is also a breeze. With IntelliPoint you can customize the buttons to fit your needs, among other things. You can of course also download Microsoft’s IntelliPoint software free from their website. This mouse also supports some Macintosh platforms (see below). The batteries for the mouse are included.

Design

The Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse Special Edition is an extension of the Microsoft Optical Mouse. The mouse is also about the same size as the Optical Mouse, sizing up at 3 inches long, 1.5 inches wide and an inch high. The mouse has a titanium finish around the bottom, with sort of a sleek black design on the top. The black has a very "tech" feel, it is very subtle and appeasing to look at. As you can see in the image below, there is a nice silver Microsoft "Optical Technology" logo on the front of the mouse.

Unlike its older brother, the Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse Special Edition only has 2 buttons and a scroll wheel (which also serves as a button), so if you depend on a ton of programmable buttons and such this mouse is not for you. The scroll wheel is a transparent white, but unlike the Notebook Optical Mouse the wheel doesn’t light up (a light would be cool!). I notice the wheel doesn’t have much grip to it, either, as you can spin it a little (as opposed to the tight wheel designs of the Notebook Optical). Microsoft designed the mouse to be ambidextrous, so both right and left handed users can use this mouse without any problem. The size makes this mouse easy to use for long periods of times, without irritating the wrist (something I particularly find important). The wireless base is black (about 3 inches by 2 inches) and is the same type as Microsoft's standard non-Bluetooth wireless hub. Unlike the Bluetooth IntelliMouse Explorer, this mouse will only work 6-10 feet away from the base at any given time. The upside, though, is the mouse will use less battery power overall.

Let’s not forget the Optical Technology. The technology is 2,500 frames per second and works smoothly on most surfaces. It has been broken-in well with previous mice, so you know you won’t have any problem. This mouse, however, doesn’t have the 6,000 frames per second which is available in the IntelliMouse Explorer.

Final Comments

How It Grades

Installation: 94%
Performance: 80%
Design: 80%
Price/Value: 80%
Overall: 83.5%

This mouse is perfect for those who want a "techish" style in their lives without having the boldness of the Optical Blue. The Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse Special Edition is good looking; however it doesn’t bring anything functionally different to Microsoft’s line bar a snazzy design. The mouse has two buttons less than the Microsoft Optical Mouse, so I recommend the latter for those who need more functionality. Microsoft has a way to go with regards to adding color to the desktop (though Microsoft has this mouse in Black & Blue); Logitech already has mice in blue, red, black and purple along with the normal colors. This mouse is priced slightly higher as compared to the Optical Mouse Blue.

Specs & Package
Overall Score 83.5%
Version Reviewed Wireless Optical Mouse Special Edition
Release Date Out Now
The Good Points Optical Technology
Nice Color/Design
 
The Bad Points More Colors!
Scroll Wheel
Only Three Buttons
Not Bluetooth
Similar Product Logitech Wheel Mouse Optical
Microsoft Optical Mouse
Microsoft Optical Mouse Blue
System Requirements Windows 98, Me, NT/ 2000, XP
USB or PS/2
25 MB of Disk Space
32 up to 128 MB of RAM
Mac OS 8.6 to 9.x or Mac OS 10.1 (OS X not supported)

 

 

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