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Reviewed by Brett "MystikaL"
I didnít review this mouse earlier mainly because I wasnít too fond of
it right away, although it looked damn cool. The first time I got to try
it out was playing Quake 3 at my friendís house. Wow, was I surprised.
The mouse not only felt amazingly well positioned in my hand, but the
pinpoint accuracy it gave was remarkable. I was now able to draw better
in PhotoShop, along with keeping a steady hand in Flash. My frag count
doubled in Unreal Tournament, and I could now snipe moving targets a lot
better in CTF - Diamond Sword - A UT Map. The only drawback to it, is
it does cost 70 dollars, but backed by a lifetime limited warrantee. Your
better off buying this one now, than watching your other mice break after
a year. I have had to replace my mouse 3 times over the past year, mainly
because of the mouse becoming too dirty, and the wires getting messed
up. Although the mouse is still prone to dirt a bit, itís not anywhere
close to as prone as the old mice are with the balls. Since there arenít
any moving parts, you wonít ever have to clean the insides. You should
still keep the mouse looking nice, by rubbing the buttons clean every
so often, which isnít much of a task.
This mouse, being designed by Microsoft, is expensive, made for designers/gamers
in mind, and very slick. If your not an avid gamer, or designer, I would
still recommend everyone purchase one of these. Why? In the long run,
you will actually save money by purchasing one of these, then to replace
your mouse every year or so. If the mouse ever breaks (by accident, or
from faulty hardware), you can easily get it fixed, or replaced. On average,
I used to purchase a new $50 dollar mouse every 4 months. Thatís $150
every year and $600 in 4 years (the average time I have a computer after
upgrades). It is the cold hard facts that you are seeing here my friends.
For a gamer, or designer you are spending at least 4 times less (even
if you purchase a new one only once a year). For a home user, someone
who doesnít play games, and mainly uses the computer for online discussion(s),
stock trading, and other business related purposes, I would recommend
buying this mouse mainly because it will last longer, and even you will
save money. A few adult friends of mine have had at least 1 new mouse
a year, and have their computers for an average of 3 years. With this
mouse, you, and them, would still be spending half the amount of purchasing
a new mouse every year. I would say overall to give this mouse a try,
even if youíre not a gamer, or designer.
Letís go into detail about the actual piece of hardware now. Microsoftís
goal was to deliver a mouse to the user that would provide the most amount
of control possible. How did they do it? Instead of using the tracking
ball in the bottom of the mouse, they decided to rid the mouse of this
stone age technology and replace it with an optical sensor that scans
the surface 1,500 times per second, twelve times more than the average
retail mouse. The mouse also delivers 1200 dpi, where as the average mouse
is close to 300. This means your kill area is increased in games like
Quake 3 - you now have a better chance of killing something. The only
mouse that offers more dpi is the Razor Boomslang 2000. The Intellimouse
Explorer also comes with the ability to connect to two kinds of ports,
USB and PS/2. Hooking it up to USB will increase overall performance,
though it doesnít work on systems with Windows 95 (in USB mode). The mouse
also comes with the default 3 buttons (2 main and 1 wheel button), along
with providing two more buttons at the position where your thumb rests
(on the left side). Also, with the new optical technology, it also means
you wonít need a mousepad, go ahead and use this sucker on any surface
- from gravel, to grass. The only difficult situation this mouse could
leave you in, is where youíre using the mouse on a very shiny, or reflective
surface - without a mouse pad. The mouse will behave oddly in this situation
because of the optical technology. Behold, there is a cheaper version.
For 49.99 at Outpost.com, you can grab one of these with the default IntelliMouse
pro look to it. This version comes with the default 2 buttons and wheel/3rd
button, along with having the white plastic. The only difference between
this version, and the other Microsoft Intellimouseís is the optical technology.
If youíre a home user, get this one, or if youíre an older person and
have trouble seeing, get the more expensive slick one, which will let
you zoom in and out on screen with the two buttons resting where the thumb
Overall the mouse is something that everyone should have, even the person
who only uses their computer once a week, or that just sends e-mail. Microsoft
created an excellent new mouse here, and for the money it costs, itís
definitely worth it.
Price: US $69.99
- Shipping: now - Red Version w/ 5 buttons
Price: US $49.99 - Shipping:
now - White version w/ 3 buttons
Zalman: ZM-DS4F Headphones
An affordable, ultra-portable headphone set.