When Microsoft's IntelliMouse Explorer appeared last
fall (see November 1999 New Products), I praised its groundbreaking
optical tracking technology--which replaced the traditional rolling mouse
ball--but criticized its righties-only design. Microsoft has fixed that problem
and improved overall functionality. The $55 IntelliMouse Optical costs $20
less than the Explorer, seems sturdier, and is ambidextrous.
Like its predecessor, the IntelliMouse Optical has no
moving parts. As a result, it can maneuver easily without requiring periodic
cleaning or a mouse pad. An eye on the underside captures 1500 images per
second of any surface the mouse rests on. The IntelliMouse Optical connects
to either a USB port (Windows 98 and later) or a PS/2 port.
Smoothie: The IntelliMouse Optical has no moving parts.
The mouse's ingenious scallop shape, with left and right buttons and a
middle scroll wheel/button, comfortably accommodates either hand. You can
program all five buttons (two on either side of the mouse plus the scroll
button) to perform mouse or navigational functions (like double-clicking or
moving forward and back). The Optical demands 29MB of hard disk space versus
less than 2MB for Logitech's customizable Mouseman+. But most people can spare
the space--and this state-of-the-art input device certainly repays the sacrifice.
IntelliMouse Optical Ambidextrous, no moving parts, can be used
on any surface.Uses 29MB of hard disk space.Exceptional comfort and convenience for lefties and righties.
List price: $55Microsoft800/426-9400www.microsoft.com/mouse665