* Prices may differ from that shown
While trying to work out what I fancied reviewing I was clicking away on different items with my mouse, a thought then struck I will write about my mouse.
To give my mouse its full name it is a Microsoft Optical Wheel Mouse, 3 buttons, wired, PS/2, USB. Quite a long name but what it means is that it uses a LED rather than a roller ball underneath, that it has a wheel in the centre for scrolling up and down web and document pages, it has three buttons as the wheel in the centre is also a button, that it is play station compatible and plugs in via the USB port.
My mouse is available on amazon.co.uk for £75.00 for a pack of three. The mouse I own is white with a grey wheel in the middle. Although this sounds quite dull he is quite nice to look at because he has some clear plastic panels where the red optical light shines through.
This mouse is amazingly comfortable to hold, he fits in the palm of my hand comfortably and I have relatively small hands. The buttons are well placed for my fingers to press them comfortably and the wheel in-between is easy to use with either finger. The pointer is very responsive to the movements of the mouse and the mouse glides easily over the mat. When clicking the buttons there is an audible click.
The buttons of the mouse are customisable using the software disk that came with the mouse but to be honest I have never bothered doing that, I just plugged the mouse in and away I went.
Although the mouse is very lightweight weighing only 780g it feels very well built and he has happily survived a few falls from the desk. I have owned and used this mouse for at least the last five years and he is wearing well.
All things considered I thoroughly recommend the Microsoft Optical Wheel Mouse, it works faultlessly and comfortably is easy to click and very responsive.
Thank you for reading.
This rodent sits patiently on a wooden desk, observing its prey as it walks around the room, grabbing the necessities for its daily life. The prey curses, realises that it had forgotten to print off a piece of work vital for the day ahead. Spinning, it sits of the chair and grabs a firm hold of the rodent, all the while opening a laptop. A red light begins to pulsate from the bottom-side of the slick rodent, the rodent is moved across the desk in corresponding time to the mouse on the desktop. I am of course referring to a rodent, a computing controlling rodent at that. I talk of course, or of a computer optical mouse.
What's the point, I've already got a laptop track pad for that!
Perhaps it's just me, but I really hate using a track pad. It just doesn't really feel like it's an object, just a surface. The main difference between this device and the track-pad is that this optical mouse actually has a weighty feel to it, which can be incredibly ideal if you are using the device for extensive periods, because, let's face it, nobody likes having an uncomfortable hand.
I guess, but is it durable. I'm a little bit clumsy!
Not to worry, this mouse is incredibly durable, unlike other rodents. In the past I have (for testing reasons, of course) submerged the mouse in cold water. At first, I was thrown into panic, as it no longer (rather expectantly) didn't work. It would fizzle and simply die when plugged in. A short detention in the airing cupboard (or other humid area) dried it out and left it in a usable state. It has also been dropped from distances that even a skydiver would flinch at (OK, maybe not that high) and lived to tell the tale. As I type this review, I am dangling the mouse by its tail-like wire, watching it swing, ever reliable, hard-as-ever to break.
I'm a gamer. What does this hold for me
Well, it depends what you call a gamer, I suppose. If you're one of the gamer that requires a large bulky mouse with up to thirty-ka-jillion programmable buttons, a sleek design and blue LEDs everywhere, than this is certainly not for you, especially as there isn't even a DPI tweaker (shock horror). It may not be the most accurate when it comes to those precise clicks in your latest game of Starcraft 2 or be head-popping to the finest degree in your latest game of Counter-Strike Source, but it's enough. In fact, it's more than enough for the gamer that doesn't want to the bells and whistles so commonly associated with gamer mice and instead would like something ever-reliable and easy to tackle.
Sounds good so far, how much is it?
I grabbed mine for a measly five pounds from PC World. Bear in mind, however, that PC World is among the most expensive stores to buy an appliance like this from. You can generally find it for half that price on a website seller like eBuyer or some of the Amazon Marketplace sellers. Buying used can sometimes lead to sticky mouse buttons, but it really isn't that much of price addition to buy new and it could save you from several insufficiencies that are associated with used mice.
You've said everything about this is great, what's bad about it?
There's not a lot to say in the way of negativities about this fine device. Perhaps that it is lacking a few nice additions like buttons for website page navigation (Back and Forward) on the side of the device or a DPI modifier, but these can be forgiven because the device was made to be simplistic, not complex. The only other complaint is that dirt is extremely prominent to its aesthetics, but you really should try not to get the device dirty!
So, in short, what is good and what is bad about it?
Simplistic and clean
Great for everyday use
Alright for gaming
Lack of programmable buttons
Dirt visibly shows up on the white of the device.
Conclusion on the device
I really like this device, I think it's brilliant. It has served me now for many-a-year, through many droppings, spilling's and an accidental drop into troubling waters, and it still emerges triumphant against the elements. This piece of essential hardware is far better a track pad (in my opinion), it has a physical presence, a scroll bar and two clickable buttons just large enough for your finger. What more could you want from a mouse. Five out of five stars.
Copied from my Ciao account of the same name.
At work we have a lot of computers, as to be expected these computers each have a mouse. The purchasing of all the computers and associated equipment is done by our IT department.
The mouse of choice is Microsofts Optical Wheel Mouse.
Part of my work involves the testing employees work based knowledge, this is done with the use of a large number of computers and this involves in excess of three hundred candidates. Not all of these candidates are computer literate, so I not only guide them through the tests but I also find myself assisting the candidates in the use of the computers themselves.
The tests are point, click and drag type tests so although the candidates do not need a great deal of knowledge about using a computer they still need to be able to use a mouse. This is where the optical wheeled mouse really comes into its own, the candidates find it easy to use and it does not stick or freeze. The candidates have enough to think about without the added pressure of a computer mouse not working correctly.
What is it like?
It is a standard three button mouse; left, right and centre wheel (the centre wheel can be used to scroll up and down as well as it becomes a button when pressed, this allows a controlled scroll by moving the mouse).
Underneath is a red light that is projected onto the mouse mat and some pads that allow the correct distance for the light and to make the mouse glide over the surface of the mat so to help the user.
It is also readily available in both black and white.
What does it come with?
The mouse has an attached cable (approx 1.8m in length) for connecting to the computer; the end of this cable has a USB connection.
Also included is an adapter, this allows the mouse to be connected to a computer that uses a PS/2 connection (more about this later in the review).
Software Included: Drivers & Utilities, Microsoft Intellipoint
Microsoft two year warranty service and support
How does it connect to a computer?
This is dependant on what connections the computer has. The normal method of connecting these on newer computers is through a USB port. However older computers had a connection called a PS/2 port (these are the computers that had two round coloured coded ports; one for the mouse and one for the keyboard) and you can connect the mouse to the computer by fitting an adapter to the USB on the end of the mouse cable; one of these are supplied with the mouse.
How is it to use?
Very simple with xp computers, it is simply plug it in and use. I have also used this mouse on a windows 98SE computer and did not have to install any drivers for it to work.
However you are supplied with drivers just in case you need to install them.
By moving the mouse on a mat you control a corresponding pointer that is on the computer screen, certain actions take place depending on a click of the left or right mouse button as well as the program that you are using at the time.
How is it when compared to a ball mouse?
The main advantage is that because it does not have a ball underneath, it does not have the associated wheels that connect and over a period of time collects gunk and fluff. How many hours have I spent in the past taking the ball out and then cleaning the little wheels and the ball itself? Thankfully with this mouse that is now a thing of the past
Because you do not need to access the inside of this mouse (unlike the ball type where regular cleaning of the ball and wheels was the norm), it has been made so you cannot access it with ease.
Does it need anything to help it work better?
In general it is a component that does not need very much; the addition of a good quality mouse mat is a bonus as it allows better contact and a smoother movement of the mouse and therefore the control of the pointer on the screen.
A mouse mat however is not essential, the mouse will work on a smooth flat surface, but rubbing this on delicate surfaces could result in fine scratches on the surface, therefore I always use a mat and would recommend their use all the time.
Microsoft Windows 98/ME, Microsoft Windows 2000 / XP Professional, Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 SP6 or later, Apple MacOS 8.6 - 9.x, Apple MacOS X 10.1 - 10.3
Minimum Pentium - 233 MHz
RAM 128 MB
HD 25 MB
On occasions I have used a mouse on a laptop, being the lazy person that I am, I have on occasions held the mouse in my hand and scrolled around the screen using my thumb on the roller ball, this cannot be done with an optical mouse as there is no ball. That apart I cannot think of any downsides for this mouse.
When the design of the mouse moved from the ball type to the optical they were quite expensive, however now they have become much cheaper and this mouse now fits more into the budget end of the mouse market.
I have found this to be a well designed and fully functional product, add to that the cost is relatively low therefore I have no hesitation in whole heartedly recommending this mouse to anyone who wants to buy an optical mouse and who does not want to spend a vast amount in the process.
If you are looking to buy one then the price is between £7 and £20, but I would suggest that you pay no more than about £10.
I didn't buy this mouse as it was given to me by my employers as part and parcel of my laptop setup. It has a retail price of £24.99 and i am not sure that this is entirely justified, sure it looks swanky, is well made and has a five year guarantee, but am still no that convinced that a quarter of a hundred pounds is justifiable for something that is simply a tool to move a pointer around a computer screen. First, the good points: It has an optical sensor that picks up the reflected light from any surface that you care to place it on (except glass, mirrors etc). This really does work, i never use a mouse mat and sit at quite a few different desks and it never fails me. The shape of the mouse feels conmfortable, other people having said it was too large, i tend to disagree. I actually have quite small hands (big feet, though, does that make me a hobbit?)and have no problems in remaining comfortable using it over long periods of time. The roller ball in the middle of the mouse is easy to use and cutomisable as to how many page/liones on a page that it scrolls per click. It has both a usb and a ps2 connection, so will fit all but the oldest of pc's. It is incredibly easy to set up (using usb) you simply plug it in and microsoft does the rest, you do not even have to add the supplied software. Now, the bad bits: It has two completely useless buttons either side of the mouse. I am sorry, even if i had an application that i thought these would be useful for , i really cannot think that they would be comnfortable in use, as they seem too easy to inadvertantly press. Second, the price, as stated, seems just a tad too much for comfort. Overall impressions, then. Its really quite an excellent mouse compared to others i have used, seems very accurate, does not clog up and looks nice too. If only they dropped the price to between £15.99-£19.99 i would give it a five star rating.
I've reviewed quite a few mice in my time on this site. Some of you may start thinking that I have some sort of mouse fetish, I don't, I simply seem to come across quite a lot of mice in my day to day work! You see, I work as an IT Consultant for Doctors Surgeries, and sometimes that means doing stuff like installing mice! So, I get this new mouse on my desk the other day, it's a Microsoft Intellimouse Optical. Hey, this was the mouse I was going to buy myself instead of my Logitech Optical mouse that I bought. Microsoft make good mice, theres no denying that. They are the leader in the field of mice and probably will be for a long time, with Logitech following closely behind. Their mice are normally very durable, but you do pay for them. Take for instance my mouse at work. It's been used for 3 years now, every day. The casing is worn, you can see where every one of my fingers sit on the mouse, but it's still running as good as the day it was first used. This is certainly what I look for when buying a piece of hardware. Microsoft give me that. Surprising then that I didn't buy this mouse and didn't recommend it. It just turned up on my desk for me to put on a doctors computer. The doctor had infact bought it for himself because he has a similar Microsoft mouse at home and loves it. There was nothing wrong with the basic 'Dell' mouse he already had on his computer, he just wanted a wheel mouse, and Microsoft was the one he went for. The mouse itself doesn't resemble any other shape that MS have produced in the past. It's a bit of a clunky design, quite big with identical curves on each side of the mouse. This is meant to make it an ambidextrous mouse, and it does that, but for me as a right hand user, I still prefer the normal intellimouse shape. This one just didn't feel all that good in my hand. They had tried to hard, Logitech's optical wheel mouse is symmetrical and is comfortable, so
why wasn't this one? I don't know, but it had curves in the wrong places, maybe someone else will find it the best mouse they have ever held, it just wasn't for me. The mouse also features the optical eye. Optical technology was meant to be great, I didn't find it all that great to be honest though, I mean how many times do you have to actually use your mouse on your trouser leg!? Here's what Microsoft themselves have to day about it: "Have you ever lost your cursor? You're not alone. Microsoft has a revolutionary new solution -- IntelliEye optical technology. This entirely new, proprietary technology delivers the fastest, most accurate mouse available today. As a result, Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical provides up to four times the performance of other optical mice. This superior technology translates into precise cursor movement and unmatched responsiveness" Have I ever lost my cursor? Ummm, nope, only when my computer has crashed! What the above means is that a camera will scan for movement thousands of times a second and record any movement to your PC, which moves the cursor. Great, but it has it's downfalls. The intellieye sensor won?t work on shiny surfaces or surfaces with a repetitive pattern. The intellieye is also supposed to get rid of the need for a mouse mat, but I still have to use one, and the doctor still has to use his. Optical technology to me is just another gimmick. The only thing is saves you doing is cleaning your balls from fluff buildup! The mouse has 5 buttons, which can be customized to start up programs etc etc. It also has the wheel, which I personally could not do without anymore after getting so used to scrolling in this fashion. The buttons are all set up using the intellimouse software, which is basically a CD which is very easy to install, just selecting which version of mouse you have to install the appropriate software. What I was impressed with wa
s the 5 year warranty that's included with the mouse, yes, that's five years! That's a long time to have the same mouse, but it's also a long time to have a warranty on the mouse, Microsoft are very sure of this mouse if they are willing to give it such a long warranty. For you geeks out there, this mouse has not 1, but 2 lights! Oh yes! It has the optical light at the bottom, but not only that, it has a light at the back of the mouse (near to where your wrist sits) aswell! This looks cool and will do any geek proud! Overall, I would recommend this mouse. Microsoft are good, the product is good, but the only complaint I have is that it could have been that bit more comfortable. It feels expensive though, the buttons have a nice click feel to them, unlike my Logitech Optical Mouse which has a cheapo feel to the buttons. If your really in need of a new mouse, or just want the wheel and optical technology, this is a good place to start, but being a Logitech fan, I would personally go and purchase a Logitech! You can pick it up from PC World for £24.99, probably cheaper elsewhere.
I've been a big fan of Microsoft hardware products for many years, so when I was looking for a new mouse recently, I looked no further than the Microsoft range of rodents. Being a highly creative left-handed person (!), The Wheel Mouse Optical model was the ideal choice for me, because unlike many other mice which are available (including others from the Microsoft range) this one is suitable for both left AND right handed people. A small point, but a crucial one I think you'll agree. In addition to the left-hand compatibility, I was also attracted to the WMO model because of the simple, attractive design. The rear of the model glows red ("Terminator style"!) when the mouse is in use and the overall "feel" when using the product is excellent. The WMO is intended to be used as a USB device, but don't worry if you have no free USB ports, as a PS/2 adaptor is also included in the box. I opted to use the USB connector as it was ideal to plug it into the back of the Microsoft Internet Keyboard Pro which I already had on my PC. Installation was a breeze and I was up and running in no time. Note that it's a good idea to have your Windows 98 (or other O/S) CD/Rom handy during the install process though, as there is a chance that you might need it at some point (which once again manages to defeat the object of USB plug and play ... but there you go!) Now that I have been using this mouse for a good period of time, I can still highly recommend the product, especially to left-handed users. The lack of a heavy mouse ball inside makes it much lighter and more responsive to use and the wheel itself has been nicely judged by the designers, so it is easy to accurately scroll documents and long web pages. Overall then, this is yet another solid hardware device from Microsoft. The smart design, ease and installation and lack of a mouse ball made it a winner for me. Highly recommended, especially now that
the price has dropped!
Like I said, no bull, so lets skip the intro... System Requirements Before I go on, you'd be best to read these - no point reading the rest if you can't even use it! · Microsoft Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP or Microsoft Windows NT 4.0 with service pack 5.0 or later · 25MB of free hard disk space · Spare PS/2 or USB port(USB is Win 95/98/2000/ME/XP only) · Microsoft Internet Explorer 4.01 with Service Pack 2 or later · CDROM drive for installation CD Features and Design At a glance: · Two buttons and a central roller, both fully programmable · Optical movement sensor · Cord attachment through USB or through included PS2 adapter. · Beige top, grey/black central roller, sides and base · Glowing red ?eye? on base and again at the back(for reasons unknown - probably aesthetics) More In-depth: The none too excitingly titled 'Wheel Mouse Optical' is one of the current trend of what I call 'eunuch mice' (i.e. those with no balls) from Microsoft. For the complete layman, that means the mouse no longer uses the old 'ball and roller'? technology which mean you would periodically have to clean the internal rollers to continue smooth usage of your mouse, but instead uses a beam of light to pick out the imperfection in the surface upon which is lies and thus detect movement. Document interaction is achieved through three programmable interfaces - the left and right buttons and central roller which can be both clicked and scrolled. Both buttons are large and positioned at the top edge of the mouse with the roller splitting the two. In other words there are no surprises to be had here, its a very typical mouse design although personally I think the charcoal/beige combination looks rather more stylish than some of the less aesthetically pleasing mice out there. I suppose
I should also say that this is a corded mouse as opposed to the even more modern trend to feature mice without a cord and that the cord is around 2 meters in length so should be long enough for even the largest of desktops. I mention this only because I bought a mouse once which came with an unbelievably short cord which made it unusable for me at the time, so not as much of an irrelevant/overkill comment as it might look! Comfort A mouse is a mouse is a mouse...until you come across one which is damn uncomfortable and end up changing it very quickly. Comfort is a matter of personal taste and personally I find this mouse to be very comfortable indeed. Having moved from a cheap old IBM mouse which came with my PC 3 years ago and being forced to use the enormous, turtle-like MS-Intellimouse Explorer duds at uni I might just be easily pleased though. It is designed to be usable by both left and right handed people alike, a simple reprogramming of the buttons achieving the desired effects on that score - so no problem no matter what your dextral(?) orientation. Installation and Configuration Smooth... Installing this mouse is a doddle. As said before, you have the option of attaching the mouse through a spare USB port, or through a PS2 port - the process of installation being different for each. USB, you just shove it in and away you go - PS2 installation requires numerous time consuming and annoying reboots...which I hate. I swear Microsoft is over-zealous in this department when it comes to installing new things from them an before the install was complete I had been requested to reboot 3 times in this case. Grrr. Mouse installed however, you can then get to the task of configuring your buttons, scroll speeds etc. to suit your own specific needs and requirements. Just about everything you can think of configuring your mouse to do is offered here, so again, faultless. Inserting the CD-ROM into your drive wi
ll give you an 8 step walkthrough of your mouse features, which is very useful for the beginner, but unless you really need to be told that the buttons go click and the wheel goes round and round you might like to give it a very quick skim through... Pass this however and you get to configure your mouse through a very easy to use customise interface. Here, not only you can you set up you buttons to behave in a variety of different ways, set the scroll speed, mouse trails and all that stuff, but also configure your buttons to work differently dependant upon the program you are working within. This kind of flexibility is excellent. Performance I have no quibbles at all here. The mouse moves across surfaces far smoother than the old ball mouse I had and is much more responsive as well. It works on a variety of surfaces as well, so no need for that crumby old mousemat you?ve had cluttering up your desk anymore although there is warning that the mouse will not work so well on either reflective surfaces, those with no grain(i.e. things like glass) and those with a tight, repetitive, pattern...whatever that means. I?ve tested mine on a variety of different surfaces(well, you have to play with a new toy don?t you!) including my desktop, mousemat, shiny magazine covers, duvet...pretty much everything in site and didn?t notice any downgrade in performance. I have to say that this was my main worry and the mouse passed with flying colours. In terms of other performance issues, both buttons strike the right balance between not being over-sensitive to the touch and not requiring Herculean strength to achieve depression which is something a few other mice could learn from, particularly the former annoyance! The teeth on the wheel however, feel quite far apart and jerky when you use it which would be my only quibble about this mouse. I prefer a much smoother scroll whilst this one is rather rough, to the point where it actually causes an audi
ble r attle in the plastic body of the mouse when you use it, particularly when scrolling upwards. Satisfaction Overall, I have relatively few quibbles about this mouse at all, certainly none which would result in anything less than a 5 star rating, as it suits my modest needs perfectly. I use a mouse for surfing the net, word-processing and the occasional game both on and off-line and as such, anything more than two buttons and a scroll wheel is something of a waste. I?m sure there are those out there who love mice like the Intellimouse Explorer with its multiple programmable buttons, but that?s simply not for me. Frankly I find an abundance of buttons more of an annoyance but each to their own eh? For around £17 + P&P from Amazon(compared to £25 in PC World) I'd say it was a rather good buy all round, defintely worth looking into if you are in the market for a new mouse with medium level functionality. **6 Months Later Performance Update** Well, if you're in the market for hardware you'll want to know how well it performs over time as well as how well it performs 3 days out of the package dontcha? No point knowing it's great now and dead within a month...so... Well, it has been around 6 months since I bought the mouse and yes, some niggles have started to set in. Umm, I should say I'm not the most conscientious mouse owner and it has been dropped, sat on, spilt on and generally abused for 6 months but anyway...there are some niggles setting in as I said! One niggle anyway. The optical performance is still perfect, the buttons still sensitive, scroller still working perfectly(still juddery of course :oP) but for some reason, it goes haywire now occassionally! During scrolling it (sometimes!) goes ape and drags the screen up and down violently until you slap it around a bit and it stops! Umm, this isn't a regular occurence and it's not software or program specific either just a littl
e fault which seems to have crept in and which shows itself at most once a day. Everything else still works fine, so I'd still recommend this mouse as a good purchase...umm, especially for less abusive owners!
I had always eyed up the optical mice when they first came out, but the price kind of made me choke a bit. But all things come down in price eventually. I was looking for a mouse to use in conjunction with my new laptop and saw the Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical for what I considered to be a reasonable price. So I took the plunge and bought it. What do I think? Wow. To think I've been scraping gunge off mouse rollers and balls for all these years. I feel like a fool. The mouse is smooth and responsive, and it works on practically anything, just like the hype says (very handy for those "just use your leg" moments). However, it's not perfect (is anything?). Sometimes the pointer will jump rapidly a pixel or so, must be having the mouse exactly between the resolution of the mouse. It's not a problem for me, but for someone using a CAD program for example, entering co-ordinates numerically, then the mouse gets into a wiggly fit and stuffs it up - well, you get the idea. The other minor niggle is that one of the pads that the mouse rides on comes off occasionally. Not very well stuck down. I think I'll glue it. But I shouldn't have to. To sum up, I would recommend this (or I guess any other Microsoft optical mouse). You'll never look back.
If you've ever used a standard ball mouse for a long period of time, you will know how irritating they can be. After a while they tend to get gunged up and stop working properly, which means opening it up, removing the gunk and putting it back together again. And it never works as good as it did when it was new, right? The design of the mouse has hardly changed since it's invention in the 70's... Until now. Enter the optical mouse. It's true that this technology has existed for a while, Logitech had an optical trackball years and years ago, it's only recently though that the technology has really come of age, and it took Microsoft to do it. Forget the competition with all the unneccesary extra buttons or space age blue lights. The MS mouse has long been the standard in long lasting comfortable design. The mouse works by shining a red light down in front of a light sensor on the bottom of the mouse, meaning any movement can be registered and passed back to the PC. You don't even have to touch the surface, you can actually hover the mouse a few millimetres off your desk and it will still work. No need for a mousemat, you can use your desk, your carpet, the arm of your chair or anything you want, provided it's not too shiny. The only moving parts are the buttons on top and the scroll wheel which are manufactured to Microsoft's highest standards. After the novelty wears off though, what actual benefits does this fancy light sensing technology bring though you ask? Well I'll tell you. For one thing, these babies simply do not wear out. I've had mine for over 6 months now, if I was using a standard ball mouse that equates to about 12 de-gungings and some serious loss of accuracy, I'd probably be coming up for a replacement. But no, it's still running as perfectly and as smoothly as when I first bought it. The mouse is much lighter than a normal ball type mouse, and you don't have to wo
rk against the friction of the ball rotating inside, so the effort involved in guiding that little arrow becomes almost non-existant. There are other optical mice out there, but I find extra buttons just get in the way. This mouse has 2 buttons, a wheel and a third button effected by pressing down on the wheel. Any more than that seems a bit unnecesary and actually gets in the way. The mouse is USB, but a nifty little adapter is provided for a PS/2 connection for those of you without USB or for those of you with operating systems that don't support USB devices. The only critisism you might be able to have about this mouse is the price. Well think about how many times you've had to replace your old style ball mice over the years. If you take care of it, this will never need to be replaced. There really is no excuse for anyone to be using the arcane technlogy of balls and rollers any more, so upgrade now.
Since before Christmas, my poor mouse has been having a very hard time. Its ball just wasn't working any more. Despite frequent operations to clean the offending article, it was obviously worn out (poor thing) and needed to be put out to grass to end its days peacefully. Nothing is more frustrating than a mouse whose ball just won't roll. So finally, last weekend I decided to retire the existing mouse, and replace it with one that would point when and where I wanted it to, instead of half-heartedly jerking its way across its little mat. Not being particularly mechanically minded, I had a browse on-line to see what versions were avaiable. Prices varied from around £7.00 for your common or garden mouse, up to nearly £100.00 for a deluxe pedigree model. As all I really want it to do is slide gracefully across the mat, and point on-screen where I direct it, I decided to go for a relatively cheap one. I also decided that, as it was the ball that wore out, I would go for the castrated version. As I already shop with Amazon, I was delighted to find the Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical on sale there for just £16.99. The equivilent version from Tiny was £29.99. I ordered on-line late last Sunday night and my new Mighty Mouse was delivered before I went to work on Tuesday morning. One up for Amazon! INSTALLATION Installing the new mouse was simplicity itself. I simply unplugged the existing mouse from its port at the back of the computer tower and replaced it with the new one. The Wheel Mouse Optical comes complete with a USB connection as well as a normal port connection, so this should present no problems for those using a USB connected mouse. Mine is the common round connection, and the plug is colour coded to match the port colour, so even if your eyesight is like mine, there can be no mistaking where it goes. The plugging in part is carried out with the PC switched off, and I was a bit worried when I re
booted in case the new mouse did not move when I switched back on, as obviously I hadn't yet installed the new software which is sent on a CD with the mouse. I need not have worried, because it moved beautifully, and I was already pleased, having had to manhandle the poor old one for months! The CD was easy to follow, and after less than five minutes, and a reboot, we were ready to go. Simple, even for a technical idiot like me. HOW DOES IT WORK? IntelliEye optical technology uses an optical sensor to track movement, rather than the standard ball and moving parts. As you move the mouse, the infra-red light scans the surface over which it is travelling, and transfers the information to the screen, so the pointer moves accordingly. With no mouse ball or moving parts to keep clean, the IntelliEye optical sensor stays precise. The IntelliEye optical sensor works on most surfaces, so you no longer need a mouse pad (although I am still using it on the pad). You can use it on your desk, the kitchen counter, or even your trouser leg! I have tried this, and it DOES work! The optical sensor performs best on surfaces with detail to track. It will not function on surfaces without visible detail (such as glass) or surfaces on which it has a reflection (such as mirrors or glossy surfaces). The sensor also works better on opaque surfaces, so a clear glass table top would not be a good choice! The sensor may also have difficulty tracking on highly repetitive patterns (such as printed magazine or newspaper photographs). I have taken the information here from the User Booklet which came with the mouse, although I have added bits of my own, to illustrate how I have found the mouse so far. OTHER FUNCTIONS The buttons on the mouse can be used in exactly the same way as a conventional mouse; i.e. left button to point, select, double click etc., and right button for commands. However, with the Optical mous
e, you can reprogramme it to reverse these operations if you are left handed, or find it more convenient to click the opposite buttons. The wheel can be used in the same way as the wheel on an ordinary mouse, for scrolling down a document. With some programmes, e.g. Microsoft Word, you can use the wheel as a zoom feature, by pressing ctrl and rolling the wheel away from you to increase magnification, or towards you to decrease it. You can also click the wheel down to enable the autoscrolling feature to kick in. Another thing you can do is change the speed of the mouse to suit the user. I have mine on medium setting, which is quite adequate for me, but for a child you could change it to slow so the child gets used to how to move the mouse, or if Speedy Gonzales comes to stay, you can up the pace a bit! Other features include a whole range of different selection of pointer icons which can be used instead of the dreary old arrow pointer, and hourglass feature. These include themes such as Mice ( a "real" mouse's nose as a pointer, and a piece of cheese are 2 icons on this option) and a selection of Hands, which is the one I am currently using. A hand holding a pencil appears when I am "writing" and a hand tapping its fingers replaces the hourglass. I'm looking forward to changing to the fruit and vegetable options when the growing season starts! You can also reassign the buttons to perform various commands that you would commonly use. For example, you can reassign the right button to COPY if you know you are going to be doing a lot of copying of texts. These reprogrammings can be removed and replaced at any time. WHAT ELSE YOU GET Installed at the same time is a whole book of help items, which can quickly be called up onscreen if you need to know something. They are written in simple terms (thank goodness) and can be easily accessed from a shortcut icon on your desk top. There is also a helpful section on staying healthy on the PC! Yes, I know this sounds strange, but it is full of helpful hints on posture, sitting too long in front of the screen (hmmm) and what to do if you think you are getting muscular problems due to being on a PC too long or too often! (Maybe I'd better read this one!) I'm sure there are many more features for those more technically minded, but so long as my mouse perfoms its basic duties, I am quite happy! MY FINDINGS So far I am more than pleased with my new ball-less mouse. He moves across the mat smoothly, although just occasionally the movement on screen is a little jerky. I can live with that, as it is not interfering with what I am doing. His little red tail tells me he is working. He is lighter than a conventional mouse, presumably because he has no ball? I'm not sure how accurate he would be for games playing, but as I don't do any of that, I'm not too worried. All in all, for £16.99, which is hardly more than you would pay for a conventional mouse, I am more than satisfied. And believe it or not, I even have a nightshirt for him to keep him warm when I'm not there!
Afters spending many happy hours pulling out the bits of fur which inexplicably become attached to my old mouse: I finally gave up and bought a new one. Not any old mouse however, and I decided to go all “high tech” and buy a optical mouse for the dual purpose of better tracking (more on that later) and shining it at people while I’m gaming at LANs. =P Anyway, I forked out my £20 and plugged the thing in to my PC, hoping to feel the benefits instantly. And well, I wasn’t disappointed; this is a solid piece of engineering. Everything feels nice, the texture of the plastic, the way the wheel turns and the “click” when you press the button, all great. After a while I grudgingly installed the accompanying software and the accuracy increased again (much to my surprise, Microsoft software has caused me quite a few problems). It wasn’t quite perfect, though, not by a long shot. And that’s for the exact same reason it costs more than a simple cheap mouse: The Eye. You see, the optical tracking can be more than a little fussy about what surface you’re on, and it’s too shiny or doesn’t have enough detail strange things start happening, such as the cursor jumping back they way you just moved it. I’ve found this especially annoying when I’m playing games, and the view suddenly jerks to vertical and I’m looking at the sky. Beyond this complaint, which can be solved by using something like a pad of paper as a mouse mat, I’ve had no problems with my mouse. I’d definitely recommend this mouse to someone if they were planning to replace their existing mouse. However, if you’ve got a working mechanical one you needn’t run out and buy this to replace it, it’s more of a “definitely buy this when the need arises” than a “get this at all costs”.
Several years ago I was "gifted" with a number of spare mice, so have not really thought about buying one for a very long time. I heard about these new optical mice selling for £50+, and just nodded wisely... Recently, I found that these new fangled optical mice have come down in price to as little as £15! How could I not have one? --- Features --- Erm... It's a computer mouse... Erm... It makes the pointy thing on your screen move about. OK, so what's special about the optical wheelmouse? Well, lets start with what has NOT changed. * It still has clicky buttons on top. * It still makes the pointer on your screen move up/down/left/right. So far so good, so what is different? * It has a pretty glowing light on the back that shines so you know it is on. * It has a wheel on top for scrolling windows (some mice might already have this) * It can be connected using PS/2 or USB (Not a totally new feature) * It has NO roller ball underneath!!! --- No rollerball, so how does it move??? --- You push it about of course! Instead of a rollerball that gets full of fluff, and that black caked-on muck that comes from nowhere, this little beast has a laser under it. This laser shines at whatever surface you are using the mouse on (your lap? yes, that'll be fine) and detects movement VERY accurately with no moving parts (OK yes, the mouse and your hand still have to move...) In case you're wondering, the laser automatically turns off if the mouse is lifted. You have to be quite dedicated if you want to damage your eyesight with this thing. --- Overall --- My 3-year old daughter loves it. Not only does it have the glowing red light for a "nose", it is much more tolerant of her clumsiness, and with no mouse-mat required, it is generally easier for her to operate. Okay, I am 33 and also find it ea
sier :-) It comes with well thought out software and drivers, allowing you to modify your pointer's behaviour trivially from a little icon at the bottom of the screen, and is 100% compatible with any PC that has a PS/2 or USB port to plug it in to (at least I believe that is true.) A real winner all-round. © 2002 Steve Davies.
After travelling faithfully miles up and down and around the mousemat we thought it about time to retire our mouse. It kept getting hairs and what have you around the rollers and sticking and generally playing up. We thought that we had had enough of that kind of mouse and we would spend out and buy a microsoft optical wheel mouse. This mouse has no balls and all is done by lazer beam. You can still use it left or right handed and you have a really useful middle wheel. This is for scrolling. If you have never had a scroll wheel before you will wonder how on earth you managed to survive without one. No more having to to point the arrow to go up and down just use the wheel. After a while it does become automatic. It is so much faster and really speeds everything you do up. The mouse itself is very well shaped and fits the palm of your hand neatly. We have had this for several weeks now and it is great not to have to stop and get the needle out to get rid of all the fluff and dust! The price is £20.99 but it really pays for itself over time as you manage to get around the computer and internet that much faster.
The familiar scenario: Your about to shoot someone in half-life (its a shoot 'em up for those who don't know), but your mouse doesn't move as fast as you want it to. The reason? Dirt, grime, hairs, skin e.t.c. clogging up the rollers inside the mouse. I was so fed up with this that I went out and spent £20 worth of hard earned cash on the MS Wheel Mouse Optical. Since then my shooting accuracy has improved three fold! This mouse is a MUST for any one who enjoys playing shoot 'em ups, people who need to edit graphics, or people who use their computer very often. I was amazed at the accuracy of this mouse! Since there is no ball in the mouse, there is no need to clean it... EVER! There is one downside, however, there is a red light on the back of the mouse which stays on permenately, which could annoy a few people.
Its true folks, my new mouse has got NO BALLS. Not been content with breeding “one-balled” mice, the bigwigs at Microsoft have given their new fleet, the FULL CHOP! They call their new babies “optical” mice, no, it’s not a medical term, as you will discover later. Seen as this is a product that has opened a new era in “mice-building”, I think it’s a good time to introduce my new style of opinion – the A-to-Z. Having read a few opinions in the past, in this form, I have decided to adopt it myself. Its present the information in a clear and entertaining manner – hope you like it! ~~ A is for ~~ Aesthetics – Or if you want to get basic, the “looks” of the product. The new Microsoft “cheese-nibbler” is very appealing and looks swish even on the most fancy of desktops. Aim – Just put your pointer where you want it, no more humping your mouse half way across your desk. The advance in control is both immediate and refreshing. Ambidextrous – Both left and right-handed people can use this device. Although this may seem a little obvious, there are several mice on the market that only fit right hands. Seems a little strange, I know. However you can also get mice for use by only lefthanders, just so you don’t feel left out. ~~ B is for ~~ Ball – Or lack of one. Yep out with the old in with the new. Build Quality – As you would expect from a multi-million dollar company the build quality is second to none. The mouse feels very sturdy and complete whilst nestled in the ball of your palm. ~~ C is for ~~ Curves – The elegant lines that make up the Microsoft beauty are simple and pleasing. Cleaning – Or indeed the time you can spend doing other things as you wont have to clean it! Great for all us lazy’ens, one less thing to do for everyone else! Comfort – That’s t
he first thing you will think when you allow you hands to caress the mouse for the first time. It’s a very moving experience. But after about 5 minutes the feeling will become normal, and you will wonder what all the fuss was about. ~~ D is for ~~ Durability – I know of a few people who have had their mice for a few months. So far they have no complaints to report. Ill keep you updated on the health situation of my rodent. ~~ E is for ~~ Extra buttons – On either side of the mouse there is one extra button. These can be programmed to do a variety of functions. From opening up your email program, to copy and pasting text. Also when the wheel is pressed, it acts as a further button. ~~ F is for ~~ Five – The number of button on the mouse. Count them with me. 2 of your standard buttons, plus 2 extra side buttons, plus your wheel button. All together a very customisable set-up. Fluff – You won’t be getting any of this anymore. No more taking that ball out for a clean. No more loss of control due to “fluffed-up” roller. Enjoy your newfound fluff free life. ~~ G is for ~~ Glass – The only surface that the muse won’t work on. It’s due to there been refraction in the light as it hits the particles on the glass surface. Also some of the signals sent out bye the “Intellieye” simply pass through and out of the other sides. The again, putting things in to perspective, its not too much of a loss, considering I don’t know that many people who would actually like to use it on a clear glass surface! One for the perfectionists amongst us I think. ~~ H is for ~~ Help – Need some help setting up you mouse? Or info on any other Microsoft product? Go to: www.microsoft.com, and click on the “products” tab. ~~ I is for ~~ “Intellieye” – This is what Microsoft calls its newfound technol
ogy. It can be found in a few mice across the range. Professors began developing it back in 1997, and was released to the public in mid 2000. Installation- The process of getting your CPU to realise that you have got a brand spanking new mouse. This process is both easy and swift. You should have you mouse up and running, well gliding, within minutes. “Intellipoint” – The name of the installation software. ~~ J is for ~~ Judder – What your old mouse used to do constantly. You will now be judder free. To tell you the truth I was stumped on “J”. Oh well, I squeezed something out. ~~ K is for ~~ Kinetic – Energy you assert on the little creature when moving it about. Yes, “K” was a tough one! ~~ L is for ~~ Light – Sitting in a dark room, the cool red glow from under your new purchase can’t fail in been noticed. The warm glow is somewhat soothing, or maybe I am getting a little carried way now! Either way, it’s definitely a cool add-on, and something I would compliment Microsoft on adding. ~~ M is for ~~ Moving parts – No moving parts can be found inside the little critter. Well except all those lil’electrons whizzing along to tell your computer where you want to go. As there are no moving parts you can expect a longer, pleasanter life out of your new input device. Macintosh – Yes you can even use the mouse on a computer using Microsoft’s rival operating system. Great if you want to replace that annoying Imac mouse. (Sorry a little pet-hate slipping through there) Microsoft – The company responsible for this wonderful creation. All hail Billy Gates. Or at least his employee who designed it. ~~ N is for ~~ No hope – That’s what every other mouse in this town has got. As my wise mother would say, they have got “A cat in hells chance”. ~~ O is for ~~ Opt
ical – The word that is connected with this new technology. Like eyes on the under side of your mouse. ~~ P is for ~~ PC – It’s also “PC” compatible. Well, it would be a bit useless if not. Ports – You can either plug your new mouse into the USB port, this is found on most of the newer computers. However if you haven’t got this option, use the included adapter to plug it in to your PS2 port, more communal known as the standard mouse port. Precision – You point, it goes. Simple as that. No ifs, no but’s. Price – The current market price for the Microsoft Wheel Mouse Optical is £24.99 (RRP). However the following deals can be had: Amazon - £18. PC World - £23. Special Reserve - £20. Shop around and I bet you can find a better deal. ~~ Q is for ~~ Quick – The relative speed at which your pointer will travel. If you desire of course. Well can you think of anything better for “Q”! ~~ R is for ~~ Red – Hmmm, the red light is always there, shining from the under-belly, reminding you that this is no ordinary mouse. Rollers – Present on the old type mouse. Redundant on the all new improved type. ~~ S is for ~~ Surfaces – The hundred of them that you may use your mouse on. From your plain old desk top, to your plain, old or young (depends on your age of course), thigh. Basically any surface that is non-reflective. Scrolling – That’s what you can do with the wheel; scroll your way around your favourite web page. It saves having to click and drag the scroll bar on the page. A brilliant timesaving function that can be used in the following applications: Internet Explorer, Word, and I guess and other program where you would use an “embedded” scroll bar. Sensor – The thing that is doing all of the hard work! You have this to thank for your newfound bliss. ~~ T is
for ~~ Tracking – This is how the new technology works. By taking an incredible 1,500 images a second and comparing them. It “tracks” your position and adjusts the cursor accordingly. ~~ U is for ~~ Universal size – The overall feel of the mouse is controlled and “correct” in a variety of hand sizes. For myself with larger hands its feels very nice. And people I have spoken to, say even young children get on with it pretty well. ~~ V is for ~~ Versatility – Anybody, any surface, any computer, anywhere. What more could you want! ~~ W is for ~~ Wheel – Located in the centre of the two standard buttons, the wheel is in the perfect position for you middle finger to glide along. Use the wheel for both “scrolling” and “zooming”. Press it down and you have a fifth button, which can also be programmed to do a number of functions. White – That’s the colour of the mouse. Nice at first, however without proper care you will be left with grubby finger marks all over it. Windows – Its compatible with windows 98 or above, although my mate did have a problem with installation on “Windows NT”, but got it sorted in the long run. ~~ X is for ~~ X-Box- Come on give me a break! X-Box is the upcoming games console also made by Microsoft. At least it’s remotely relative! ~~ Y is for ~~ You! – The person who will be chuffed to bits with your newfound joy. Trust me you will not be disappointed. ~~ Z is for ~~ Zooming – Works in the same was as the scrolling function, however this makes you zoom, funnily enough. Only works on designated programs, only one I have found so far is my CAD program. Very nifty when you can find somewhere to use it. There you go, please tell me if you like my new style of opinion. James