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Microsoft Explorer Mouse

written by: Tolga BALCI•edited by: J. F. Amprimoz•updated: 2/28/2010
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After cleaning the mouse balls, we have met with optic and laser mice. For a long time we worked with these mice until Microsoft introduced its own technology, named Bluetrack, combining the best of optics and laser. Let's see what it is up to.

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    Microsoft Explorer Mouse with Bluetrack Technology

    Microsoft has its patent for the Bluetrack technology, which is a combination of optics and laser tracking technologies. The combination comes from the power of optics and the precision of laser. These two powers bring in the mouse tracking that can work on virtually any surface. Of course Microsoft has reasons to do that, I mean, why would you invest in a technology to use a mouse on a granite surface? The reason is the laptop sales exceeding the desktop PC sales. The footsteps of the laptops were heard months ago and then in the last quarter of 2008, more laptops were sold than desktops. Microsoft successfully heard those steps and invested in an all-surface mouse technology, and now is marketing it for the “road warriors”.

    Explorer Mouse Product Details from Microsoft We must first mention that the mouse is for the right-handers. It is not possible to use it with the left hand. The mouse looks solid with black/silver/gray colors. The rubber portion that your palm sits on ensures a non-slippery grip. The right-side is a little bit large to rest your hand, while the left-side is carved for to support a better and firmer grip. There are the standard left/right clicks with a continuous scroll wheel in between. On the left-side, inside the carved surface, there are two more buttons, giving you a four-way navigation together with the wheel.

    The mouse is a wireless mouse, running at 2.4 Gigahertz band. The USB receiver nicely sits at the bottom of the mouse and makes it easier to carry. The bottom of the mouse is bordered with a blue light, emphasizing the Bluetrack technology. But after you begin to work with the mouse, the blue light slowly fades to conserve battery power. The battery is AA type and last for 3 weeks. The battery charge status indicator is placed under the slit between the left and right mouse buttons, making it easier to see for the user. The (horizontal) charge pad is included in the box.

    The mouse is plug-and-play and does not require driver installation for routine use. However, I suggest you to install the driver for extra features such as customization of the buttons. For gamers, I recommend to consider once again before purchasing the mouse. The resolution comes somewhere near to 800 dpi but for games that you need further precision, you will not be able to get from this mouse.

    If you need to work on various surfaces and you want a mouse that works well, your only chance is to go with this mouse. But for normal desktop use, it does not justify its price. For normal notebook use (on the table, on the desk, on a reasonable surface) again it fails to justify its worth (for 24 years, I did not feel the need to use my mouse on granite or on the carpet (or on the wall for that matter), so this mouse is not a top-choice for people like me. But my tests show that it works well on these surfaces.)

    The mouse comes under a 3-year Microsoft warranty and has a normal price tag of USD 79.99, but I suggest you to take a look at this mouse from amazon.com, sold as low as USD 41.90 as of this writing.