Product Type: Microsoft mice & trackballs
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Microsoft Intellimouse Optical
Microsoft Intellimouse Optical
Date: 13/01/01, updated on 23/01/01 (7 review reads)
Advantages: it runs smoothly
Disadvantages: nothing at all
Mice are notorious for getting dirty leading to sticking or slipping because the rubber ball (or metal in some mice!) does not turn the two little wheels inside the mouse which tell it how you have moved in the X/Y coordinates. However Microsoft have come up with an innovative idea a mouse with no ball!
Show how does it all work?
The Intellimouse Explorer when turned over looks nothing like a normal mouse, it has a red transparent plastic base with a small hole, about where the mouse ball would be.
It is actually a tiny camera that takes 1000s of pictures every second and compares each one working out what you have done with the mouse. And it is surprisingly effective!
Also with this mouse not relying on a mouse ball you (although I couldn't, shiny desk) can bin your mouse mat, and use it straight desk, on the wall, even on your arm if you should so desire, and it loses no accuracy, however on shiny objects it will not work, or work very badly, such as on my desk! If any of you have swanky mirrored/hologram mouse mats it simply wont work on them.
The Intellimouse Explorer aids general windows navigation and use of standard packages because it is more accurate and doesn't slip, but at the end of the day for £50 it really isn't worth the money, this mouse, despite what claims some may say wasn't designed to replace the normal mouse as yet for normal use, but for games.
The Intellimouse Explorer's new accuracy and high DPI USB connection (PS/2 adapter comes with it in case you don't have a USB port) allows very fast, very accurate sweeps of the mouse, the mouse does not respond well to twitching (where you flick the mouse and rely on the ball to move a little after you have finished moving your hand) because it has ball, so if you play FPS games with a flicking motion (this is one of the best methods of turning 180 very quickly), then unfortunately y
ou will have to adapt quite a bit to the Intellimouse, but for people like me who expect you stop when your hand stops moving the Intellimouse is a joy, certainly there is a certain adjustment period where you get used to the slightly higher sensitivity, and the fact you no longer have to sometimes fight the mouse. The more accurate mouse makes your control over a game more accurate, you become a better sniper, can pick out individual units that bit quicker, and can move around the screen with the utmost knowledge that the mouse will come stop over the button you want it to, and wont decide to stick when you need to hit attack/retreat urgently. I have found that whilst my pings are no better my accuracy has improved significantly, and I would go out and spend £50 for a mouse that would do that for me any day.
The Intellimouse Explorer is larger than normal mice, almost twice the size, it come with 2 finger buttons, a wheel, and 2 thumb buttons (meaning 5 buttons!), although unfortunately the 2 thumb buttons aren't supported in most games, I am sure 5 button mice become supported soon more widely. However these buttons can be used to do various standard windows functions.
The Intellimouse Explorer has a couple of problems. The first is that with Windows 2000's imminent release (and already being installed on my system!), and this being a Microsoft product, why the lack of Windows 2000 support, I had to download an additional package from the Microsoft website to get full functionality out of the mouse. Also the 2 thumb buttons feel a little loose, but they are, as far as I can see firmly attached and won’t be dropping out any time soon. This mouse is not for small handed people, it is big, very big, and if you like to rest most or all of the palm of your hand on the mouse itself the very pronounced arch of the mouse, and size of the finger buttons means that most of you palm is forced onto the desk, si
mply because the thumb buttons become inaccessible and your hand has a tendency to slip off. The Intellimouse does sometimes have the problem of being a little too sensitive, and you can find yourself slowly drifting from one side to the other instead of staying perfectly still. However it is a learning curve, and after a few weeks of use this wont be a problem anymore.
The Intellimouse Explorer is an impressive view of the future of mice. Whilst there are other companies working on increasing the sensitivity of mice with balls the future has to lie with ball-less mice, simply because they are that bit more reliable, and whilst the Intellimouse Explorer is not as sensitive as the Razor Boomslang mouse, the Boomslang can, because of the ball, get dirty and stick.