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Reviewed by: Ed Lau [02.22.03]
Edited by: Carl Nelson
Manufactured by: Microsoft and Logitech


Microsoft Bluetooth Mouse - Aesthetics and Ergonomics


The moment you see this unit, you know it's something special.  From the semi-gloss navy
(apparently automotive quality) paint job to the bright blue LED on the classily designed Bluetooth
transceiver the Microsoft Intellimouse Optical for Bluetooth has a long list of features matched only by the length of its name. 

The finish on this mouse is absolutely gorgeous; this is the best looking mouse I've ever laid eyes upon.  The auto-grade navy and the chrome trim embody the Bluetooth revolution perfectly.  Other than that, however, many of you will recognize the similarities the Wireless Intellimouse Explorer shares with its corded and 27MHz bretheren such as it's scooped egronomic design. 

Because of the sculpted structure, the Intellimouse Optical for Bluetooth is strictly a right-handed
affair.  You southpaws are out of luck.  Manufacturers really should release egronomic mice for
left-handers (I'm right-handed but the left hander's plight is an understandable one).

Also, the mouse seems to have a certain "sweet-spot" when it comes to hand-sizes.  People with
small hands will find that the function keys on the left side of the mouse are difficult to access while people with large hands will simply find the mouse uncomfortable since the grooves are too


Speaking of the function keys, having them above the spot where you would rest your thumb is slightly annoying.  Being the lazy bastard that I am, raising my thumb to click the buttons makes
holding the mouse less comfortable, if only for just a moment.  I find that having the buttoms below the thumb groove is more egronomic.

The one thing about the feel of the mouse that I absolutely hate is the scroll wheel.  Unlike the scroll wheels on Logitech mice, the Microsoft wheel is jittery and makes a slight clicking noise everytime it moves.  Scrolling is not smooth because of this.

Tactile response from all buttons on the mouse is excellent.  Because of the batteries, this unit is substantially heavier than its corded counterpart.  I, for one, like my mouse to have a certain heft to it as the really light mice feel flimsy and toy-like.

The batteries are a huge drawback though...not because it increases the weight of the mouse but these things eat batteries at about a pair a month or so.  Logitech has made their wireless mouse rechargable and Microsoft should follow suit.

Microsoft Bluetooth Mouse - Installation

Before you try to install this mouse, make sure you have Windows XP with Service Pack 1.  Everyone using another OS is pretty much out of luck.

If you have the update then as with all Bluetooth devices, installation was a snap.  Plug the transceiver in and then follow instructions.  Once you "pair" (pairing makes sure that the mouse is only seen by your computer and not others using Bluetooth) the mouse with your rig, you're pretty much ready to go.

All five buttons on the mouse are programmable and can be set to do just about everything.


The Bluetooth transceiver, a work of art in itself, can be removed from its docking station and with another adapter, used portably.  It doesn't just recognize the Bluetooth mouse but all Bluetooth devices in the area.  It is, however, quite a bit larger than the Bluetooth dongles from Bluetake that we looked at a few weeks back. 

The transceiver also has a good range (rated at 9.1 meters), which is more than I could get from regular wireless mice using RF.  However, because Bluetooth uses the 2.4GHz frequency, you might run into a little interference if you have cordless phones or 802.11b stuff in the area.  To be realistic though, how many people need to use their mouse 9 meters away from their rig?

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