So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Microsoft Mobile Memory Mouse 8000
- Ships with a wireless transceiver, but can also use Bluetooth; its transceiver is also a 1GB USB storage stick and charger
- The scroll-wheel's left and right button movements can't be assigned an action in the IntelliPoint software
This mouse offers versatility, mobility and good accuracy for notebook users. While it's small, it's still fairly comfortable, but its scroll-wheel button could use a little more resistance.
Price$ 149.95 (AUD)
Microsoft's Mobile Memory Mouse 8000 is a useful little wireless gadget to take with you on those long business trips where countless hours need to be spent working on a notebook. Indeed, nothing's more uncomfortable than having to use a Trackpad or Trackpoint device for prolonged periods of time, especially when working on spreadsheets or long documents, plus regular mice can be too bulky to carry in a notebook bag. However, the 8000 is half the size of a regular mouse, so it's easy to fit in a bag. It's also responsive and surprisingly comfortable.
It's a dual-mode wireless mouse, which means it can be used with its supplied wireless transceiver, or via your notebook's built-in Bluetooth transceiver. The mouse can be set to use either mode through a switch next to the battery compartment and Bluetooth is perhaps the preferred method of connecting as it means there'll be no protruding ends from your notebook. However, the wireless transceiver that ships with the mouse is also a 1GB USB storage stick and battery charger, so you'll still need to use it at some point.
The mouse itself requires one AAA battery, which is included in the package, and it's rechargeable. A spiffy little cable with magnetic ends is provided to recharge it. Attach one end to the mouse and the other to the USB transceiver whenever the little red light on the mouse starts flashing, and charge it until the light goes green. Only a 15-minute charge is required to give the battery enough juice for a full day's work.
Physically, the mouse has left and right buttons, a very smooth scroll-wheel button -- in fact, it's a little too smooth and could use a little more resistance -- as well as two thumb buttons. When you install Microsoft's IntelliPoint software, you can change the actions of these buttons, but the defaults are quite useful. We only changed the scroll-wheel button so that it would show and hide the Desktop, while we left the thumb buttons at their defaults; the first as the back button in a Web browser, and the second as a magnifying tool, which comes in handy when viewing Web site's with a small and fixed font size. Users of Windows Vista can use the scroll-wheel button to invoke the Flip 3D function to quickly scroll through open windows.
Unfortunately, IntelliPoint doesn't offer button assignments for the left and right movements of the scroll-wheel button. We would've loved to have made these the back and forward buttons, respectively, for a Web browser. Elsewhere, IntelliPoint allows the sensitivity of the pointer to be manipulated (the mouse has a rating of 1000dpi and 6000 frames per second), and it also allows for the wireless power setting to be changed. A slider can be used to set a profile for more accurate performance, at the expense of battery life, or better battery life, at the expense of accuracy.
If you want a mobile mouse to accompany your notebook when you're working on the road, this one is a good choice.
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