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Reviewed by: Carl Nelson [12.07.04]
Manufactured by: Microsoft & Logitech


Benchmarking a Mouse

The Intellimouse Explorer remained at the 50 Hz range, while the MX900 averaged about 80 Hz or so. These are both very low numbers; an MX500 is a steady 125 Hz, as would most USB mice. PS/2 mice can go even higher than that.

I wasn't sure exactly how I would go about benchmarking a mouse... When you're talking about the feel of a mouse, it's all about personal preference. Other experiences like battery life, etc will depend on the usage. I guess the only thing that can be done is a quick test with MouseRate, just to see what the refresh rate is like on these mice:


These low rates definitely translate to lowered accuracy, and this is especially noticable in games. However, even though the Intellimouse is lower than the MX900, they both feel equally inaccurate. I would not recommend either of these mice for gaming.

Both mice also suffer from the same 'wake up' period as most wireless mice. If left idle for a while, the mouse will go to 'sleep'. When you go to move your mouse, it takes around a second for the device to power up, and this equates to a bit of lag. It's a minor nuissance, but definitely worth noting. Also worth noting is the fact that other MX series mice from Logitech (such as the MX700) don't suffer from this nearly as much. I guess some concessions had to be made for Bluetooth.

As you can see above, these Bluetooth mice are both priced at around $65. So price likely won't be an issue when deciding on one of these.

And they both performed equally when it came to accuracy. Features were about the same, too, although Microsoft adds a useless tilt scroll wheel.

The one major thing that may affect your buying decision is whether you'll be using the Bluetooth dongle on a portable device. If you want to add Bluetooth to your laptop, Microsoft is the only way to go. There is no way you will want to carry the MX900's cradle around with you.

However, the cradle makes the MX900 even more suitable for desktop use. You'll never have to remove the batteries to charge them; the cradle will always be close by! I only wish Logitech could have charged the batteries through USB (there are USB NiMH battery chargers out there you know!).

If it comes down to feel, I think the MX 900 is the clear winner. It has a more solid, quality feel to it. The Microsoft feels bulky in my hand, and the unit feels somewhat cheap and flimsy for a $65 mouse.

In either case, I would definitely not recommend either Bluetooth mouse for gaming, as they suffer from very low accuracy, and mouse lag if left idle for a while.

So in the end, either mouse should suit your needs well if you're looking to add Bluetooth to your system, and a wireless mouse at the same time.