Archive for the ‘Mice’ Category

Microsoft Explorer Mouse – Wireless Nirvana

Thursday, December 4th, 2008

If you’re like me, (old fashioned and stubborn) you like things wired. You would rather climb into a fiberglass filled attic to run Cat-5 than use wireless Internet (in your bathroom). Recently, with the purchase of my new HP HDX 18t laptop I decided to revisit wireless mice. A technology I have had a long and sometimes sordid affair with over the past 4-5 years.

I’ll admit, even though I am somewhat of a wire-hugger, I am also an early adopter. I had the first Dell Jukebox (and Axim), tend to wait in lines for new video game consoles, and always install the new version of Windows the day it is released. (Tradition, right?) I have gone through several Wireless mice, in both the ‘Mouse/Keyboard bundle’ and the Mouse only variety. In my quest for Wireless Nirvana, something about each different revision just bugged me, that is until now.

Microsoft has done almost everything right with this rendition of the Microsoft Explorer Wireless Mouse. From the sleek (and don’t forget ergonomic, but lets face it, you buy it because its sexy) design to its amazing accuracy and response. I am having a hard time finding anything bad to say about this mouse.

explorer

As you can see above, this is one sexy beast. (and yes, it does glow blue.) It is clear that Microsoft has spent as much time on the design as they did on the functionality (something they have been dinged for not doing in the past).

About that technology, the blue glow is not just a gimmick. Microsoft’s new Bluetrack technology mixes optical and laser tracking technology  to deliver the best of both worlds (and just try to find a surface it won’t track on). The 2.4GHz wireless transmission system has also been refined. When I tried other Bluetooth (and even other 2.4GHz wireless input devices) I found that they couldn’t achieve any degree of accuracy from distances as short as 3-4 ft even though the rated maximum is 30 ft. With the Microsoft Explorer I have achieved accuracy at 10 ft. (Which makes this a good mouse even for home theater purposes).

Keep in mind also that my home has a fairly evil amount of wireless ‘crap’ surrounding it. I live in a condo and if I had to guess I would say every single person on the block has a wireless router pumping out tons of 2.4GHz (and likely 5.8GHz) crap all over my living space. Not to mention that I myself have a wireless LAN as well as several other wireless systems in my home.

Some other cool things about the mouse are that the USB transmitter fits neatly on the bottom of the mouse. Its re-chargeable and has a ridiculously long battery life (charge it overnight, use it for a week). It has handy thumb buttons in all the right places. It feels great in your hand and glides very well across surfaces (the sofa included). Plus it glows blue (what else do you need?)

The Microsoft Explorer Wireless Mouse delivers style, build quality, tremendous tracking, long battery life, and superior wireless technology with a price  and performance that beats most specialty ‘gaming’ mice. If you are in the market for a new wireless mouse, I would look no further.

-Drew