(Pocket-lint) - Another Microsoft product another use of the explorer moniker. But is this finally a product from Microsoft really worth the "Explorer" name? We get clicking to find out.

There are two variants of the Microsoft Explorer, a full on desktop model and a mini version suitable for travelling. The desktop model, reviewed here, is large, curved and fits snugly in the largest of hands. Compared to the travel versions of most mice, this is decidedly giant.

Featuring four programmable buttons, two on the top, two on the left-hand side, there is also a vertical/horizontal scroll wheel that features a fifth button so you've got yet more options.

For the most part the design is glossy, however the base of where your palm sits features a matt black covering giving you a slightly more comfortable grip.

Connection is via a 2.4GHz dongle, which like other Microsoft mice recently launched connects to your PC or Mac and when not in use it clips into the mouse's underside. Compared to Logitech the dongle is, like the mouse, large and it's not going to be something you could put in a USB socket and forget about.

So far so average, so what's so special about the Explorer mouse? Well its all to do with the tracking laser technology.

Using something Microsoft has called BlueTrack Technology, the Seattle corporation says it allows consumers to take their mice anywhere and work with confidence on more surfaces than ever before.

What this supposedly means is that no matter where you are it will work. But does it? Well the simple answer is yes. In our tests we tried it on carpet, wood, suede, velour wallpaper, flesh, hair - you name it we tried it - and every time the mouse kept working allowing us to swish around the screen with ease.

Great you say? But do you really need it? And that's the big question here. Do you really need a mouse that lets you move around the screen where ever you are? In my laptop usage around the world I've yet to think to myself, "I'm on the beach, I really hope my mouse works on the sand, or the zerophyte shrubbery, or wait, yonder tree".


As a mouse the Microsoft Explorer is your average mouse. It's comfortable, easy to use, but nothing out of the ordinary.

The problem is, that while it works, and works well, the market for a mouse that works anywhere is so niche that you'll probably be able to count the times on one hand that you've complained about your mouse's trackability when away from a desk.

If, of course, you're looking for a go anywhere mouse then this, as they say, is your man, but I bet you're just not that kind of user.

Writing by Stuart Miles.