Microsoft Explorer Mouse
The Blu-ray of the rodent world.
- BlueTrack technology is more precise, nice design, easy button configuration, Mac OS X support
- Not ambidextrous, no DPI stepping, large grip
This mouse combines precise tracking technology with a decent design. For the average user the mouse certainly isn’t revolutionary, but it’s a reasonable cost for a decent improvement in precision.
Price$ 129.95 (AUD)
It’s not every day that new mouse tracking technology comes along. With laser optics doing the job, there hasn’t been much of a need. Nevertheless, Microsoft hopes to turn the tables with BlueTrack, the tracking technology behind its new Explorer Mouse.
The wireless Explorer Mouse uses a blue optical diode rather than the infrared laser diodes common in most modern mice. BlueTrack is claimed to provide higher sensitivity tracking as well as a greater adaptability to common reflective surfaces such as granite and marble.
The Explorer Mouse certainly isn’t the ugliest Microsoft mouse we’ve come across. (The Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 springs to mind as one of the uglier ones to come out of Redmond.) A three-tone grey colour scheme makes for an attractive look, accompanied by an illuminated underside and BlueTrack logo. The mouse's size is an issue: it possesses a much wider and higher grip than standard units and may take some getting used to. Thankfully, the rubberised plastic material used for the heel of the mouse makes it easy to grip tightly without slipping.
The Explorer Mouse has five buttons. The mouse’s forward and back buttons are situated on the same side, making the forward button an awkward stretch for short fingers. The scroll wheel is easy to use, providing a non-slip continual run that also facilitates four-way scrolling. The grip and button positioning make the Explorer more suited to right-handed use. [A form of sinister discrimination, perhaps — Ed.]
The accompanying USB dongle is quite small and easily fits into a groove on the underside of the mouse for portability. The Explorer Mouse works off two AA batteries, which can be recharged via a bundled docking station. Disappointingly, this dock requires a power plug rather than using a USB port.
Having become used to the Logitech G7, the Explorer Mouse feels like a snail by comparison. Unlike the G7, the Explorer Mouse doesn’t provide dots per inch sensitivity configuration, so making the mouse comfortable is a matter of either configuring the standard tracking speed or simply getting used to it. Nevertheless, while it seems slower than other high-end laser mice, the Explorer Mouse feels much more precise on standard surfaces and much more sensitive to small movements. As with any non-standard mouse, the Explorer does take some getting used to but its precision is certainly appealing.
The mouse performs admirably under duress as well. We tested the mouse on various surfaces including carpet, grained wood and granite; on all of these surfaces the BlueTrack technology managed to perform without jagged movements or losing its tracking.
As with most Microsoft mice, the accompanying software provides fairly comprehensive button configuration and personalisation for both Windows and Mac OS X. Each button can easily be reassigned to a new function. Mac users have the option of assigning specific functions to individual applications or using the operating system’s integrated mouse configuration instead.
Join the newsletter!
There are so many different options for cloud (online) storage.
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 HP Envy x360 13 (Ryzen): Full, in-depth review
- 2 Dell G5 review: Easy to live with
- 3 D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD DSH-C310 review
- 4 Ring Video Doorbell review
- 5 Sony Bravia 2017 TVs: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- MSI give the AMD Radeon VII a launch day price
- The CES Files: Brydge Chrome Desktop
- The CES Files: Nemieo Keyboard
- Samsung introduce 970 EVO Plus NVMe SSD
- CES 2019: Mad Catz strike back
PCW Evaluation Team
This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.
Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications
I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)
It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!
The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.
I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.
- Everything we (already) know about the Samsung Galaxy S10, S10e, S10+ and Galaxy F
- Razer Phone 2 review: One for the fans
- Samsung’s Galaxy S10 will launch on Feb 20
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies