The Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 6000 is designed much like the larger Microsoft laser mice, except smaller and more power efficient. It's a "straight" design -- not made specifically for right- or left-handed users, it runs off of a single AA battery, and relies on a USB transceiver to communicate with the computer.
The wireless transceiver is about the size of a stick of gum, about 1/4" thick, and has an LED to indicate power and connection. When not in use, it fits into an impression on the bottom of the mouse. In addition to storage, this also depresses a lever on the mouse that cuts power to the laser, so you won't use any more battery power than you need to.
The battery is housed in the center of the mouse, and rests in a slide assembly that comes out of the rear of the device. It's pretty cleverly hidden, but easy to install and replace.
The scroll wheel is smooth, but offers resistance; it doesn't move in clickable increments like Logitech (and early Microsoft optical) mice do. The wheel also functions as a clickable third button, and scrolls sideways on operating systems that support that feature. There is one extra button on the right side of the mouse, though it's difficult to access because of the mouse's size.
Speaking of size, the Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 6000 is about 50% smaller than most desktop laser mice. That means that it's not terribly comfortable to use, but it is highly portable. You can easily put this mouse in your pocket or computer bag without having to sacrifice space for other necessary items. Due to the reduced ergonomics of the Wireless Notebook Laser 6000, I wouldn't recommend using it for long periods of time without several rest breaks. Having said all of this, I think this mouse is more comfortable to use than the other notebook mice I've reviewed.
I was especially impressed with the Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 6000's ability to track reliably on improvised surfaces. Just as it is impractical to lug around a desktop mouse, it's likewise unreasonable to have to travel with a mousepad. That means that you'll be using things like countertops, paper documents, briefcases, and manila folders as your mouse surfaces. Unlike optical mice, this laser mouse works quite well on all of the unusual surfaces I tested it on. Not only would it track properly, but it didn't have a lot of jitter or accuracy problems. It was actually a pleasure to use, considering the touchpad alternative.
To get all of the mouse features to work -- specifically the sideways scroll and extra button -- you need to install the IntelliPoint mouse software in Windows. Linux users will not have any trouble using the basic functions of the Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 6000 -- you just plug it in and it works -- but the scroll wheel may require some xorg.conf tweaking to work properly on some distributions.
On OpenBSD, the Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 6000 is recognized, but didn't immediately work on my laptop computer. It's possible that it could work after messing with the config files a bit.
Overall, the Microsoft Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 6000 is a great little device. It has made the cut into my laptop travel bag. It's not too expensive, either, which it surprising when you consider its special small design and the fact that it uses a laser instead of an LED.
|Model||Wireless Notebook Laser Mouse 6000|
|Price (retail)||U.S. $39 Buy it from Amazon.com|