Optical is so last year darling - well that’s what Microsoft and Logitech want us to hear when we start talking about mouse technology. Both have launched laser guided systems that promise to be the bees knees. We look at Microsoft’s offering - the Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 6000.
The silvery grey right handed mouse has like previous models been designed with ergonomics at the forefront. The Sculptured mouse features space for your thumb and index finger while offering 5 buttons all at your fingertips.
All the buttons can be programmed to what you want such as web browsing and the tilt-scroll-wheel which allows you to scroll vertically and horizontally is very smooth indeed.
In a vein attempt to offer something that Logitech doesn’t, Microsoft has introduced a magnifying feature that allows PC users to magnify any area of the screen in real-time. It’s a useful feature for all of two minutes although it does save you from leaning into the screen to get a closer look. For Mac users however the Magnifier enlarges text and images on the entire screen.
To achieve the wireless connectivity, Microsoft has shipped a wireless transmitter in the box that is roughly the size of the mouse itself and this plugs into a spare USB slot. Connecting the two devices was easy and almost instant. The range isn’t the best in the world - a mere 6-8 feet before we started losing control of the pointer on the screen, but then at this range we had to enlist the help of a colleague to make sure the pointer was still moving as we could no longer see ourselves.
Going wireless does have its disadvantages - mainly that you will need to replace the batteries. Microsoft is promising 6 months from two AA batteries.
As for the performance of the laser (don’t worry you can’t replicate the scene from Goldfinger or take your mates eye out with it) it is very good.
Microsoft say that the quality is down to a Definition Laser with Intelligent Tracking System. That translates to 1,000 dpi resolution that's hard to beat for use in tight spaces, plus a capture rate of 6,000 frames per second to improve a laser mouse's already impressive ability to work on different surfaces.
In our tests we were able to use the mouse on pretty much every surface - mouse mat, shiny desk, head, colleagues face and still get a response on screen.
The Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 is a very good mouse that certainly allows you to get the job done. The use of batteries over a rechargeable system as with Logitech will be something to bear in mind, but with one set lasting you 6 months this isn't going to be a high cost factor. What is, is the £40 price point and the fact that it's right handed.
If you can spare the cash this is a good mouse offering from Microsoft.