The two previous mice I've using lately are my trusty Microsoft Trackball Explorer, which, though a bit old, still works flawlessly, and a Wireless Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000.

TrackballExplorer I just recently gave up on the Trackball explorer for a simple reason: Pain. I'm not a very heavy gamer, and most of the games I own are fairly old ones, but the problem with the Trackball Explorer is that I end up doing too much effort with my thumb, causing a nasty pain in the thumb muscle.

Presenter8000 The Notebook Presenter Mouse is great in idea: Bluetooth, has 5 buttons and the control/presentation buttons on the lower side are great for controlling your media player. I don't even have much of a problem with its small size. However, the mouse has several really annoying features:

  • The wheel is too soft and has almost no feel to it, which makes it hard to actually control scrolling.
  • The position of the buttons 3 and 4 is, well, just useless. Pressing them requires twisting your hand in extremely unnatural positions.
  • The mouse isn't very precise. In fact, I strongly suspect mine is possessed or something becomes it sometimes goes wherever it wants instead of where I'm trying to move it to.
  • It would occasionally stop responding for 1-2 seconds, which was extremely annoying. This might be a problem with my laptop's bluetooth radio, though, so it's hard to say.

LaserMouse6000 I just got a new Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 (who comes up with these names?!?), and I'm trying to get used to it, but to be honest, I still don't know if I really like it.

The mouse has a different feel to it because of it's shape. It's a lot taller, almost like a ball, in a way, which forces your hand into a different position than the previous mice I owned.

Basically, instead of your hand being more or less parallel to the table, it's in a more natural position inclined to one side. It feels reasonably comfortable for the fingers and the arm, but I've already discovered something I don't enjoy about it: I have a really crappy way of using the mouse and I've always tended to drag the lower part of my hand and rest it behind the mouse.

I know I shouldn't do this (mostly) but it's an habit that's hard to break, and hasn't really caused me much trouble in the past. With the Laser Mouse, however, it has now become a problem.

The reason is that with the new position, it means that if I rest the lower side of the hand on the pad, the hand doesn't rest on one side only, which puts all its weight right on the bone, where I don't have much muscle to cushion it. So it's now a bit painful. I'm now going to try and find a mouse pad with some wrist protection and I'm hoping it will significantly improve this.

There are some things I did like quite a bit:

  1. The mouse wheel feeling is a lot better than on the Notebook Presenter and even than the previous Laser Mouse 6000. However, I still hold the opinion that the mouse wheel was a whole lot better on the old Microsoft mice when it "clicked" and presented certain resistance to scrolling. I just haven't been able to really like the "soft" wheel movement in the several latest incarnations.
  2. The weight: The new mouse is a bit heavier than previous MS mice I had. Surprisingly, it doesn't seem to cause any problems for moving it, and feels more "solid".
  3. The overall feel of the mouse is pretty good. Like the other Microsoft laser mice I've used, it is a bit too sensitive for my taste, but it's not bad.

For some strange reason I haven't been able to figure out, however, I'm still seeing moments where the mouse will stop responding (stop moving) for short periods of time. It's not the surface I'm using, of that I'm sure, so I'm starting to suspect it is something in my Vista installation that's causing the trouble or interference of some kind. If anyone happens to have any idea as to what it may be, it would sure be appreciated.

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Tomas Restrepo

Software developer located in Colombia. Sr. PFE at Microsoft.