The latest Microsoft laser mouse feels and looks like a lot of thought has gone into it. There is the neat styling, it fits easily into the palm of the hand, giving users access to the two buttons under their thumb and the standard right and left mouse buttons, plus the scroll wheel ¬ which also incorporates a fifth button.
Then there is a cut-out on the bottom of the mouse to clip in the wireless USB dongle for safe transportation. It is also quite light, weighing just a little more than the two AA batteries it needs for power.
Installation is simple; either load the drivers for all the extra functionality or just plug in the dongle and go. The bundled IntelliPoint 6.2 software enables users to set the assignment of the five different buttons, or it can be further tweaked to change the assignments for each program used.
The scroll wheel has three different uses on the 6000, it works as a normal vertical scroll, flick it to one side or the other and it horizontally scrolls, and it becomes a fifth button when clicked.
There is an assignment feature in IntelliPoint called Instant Viewer, which acts a bit like a combination of Vista Aero and the ALT-TAB key combination.
When the user clicks on one of the mouse buttons it displays all the open
windows as large thumbnails on screen, and users can then click on the window
they want. When Instant Viewer is used under Vista and Aero, it accesses the 3D
In addition, there is a magnify feature that enhances part of the screen. However, we were not sure when this would be needed.
Microsoft claims that the mouse now lasts for up to six months on a single set of batteries, and in tests it lasted longer than the mouse it replaced, which needed new batteries virtually every other week.
Distributors: Bell Micro, Blue Solutions, Computer 2000, CMS, Enta, Gamma Global, Gem, Hugh Symons, Ingram Micro, Interface, Lynx, Micro Peripherals, Microtronica, Target, VIP, Westcoast
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