Thursday, May 22, 2008

Microsoft Wireless Mouse 7000

Product review of the Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 - a then-recommended product, but better mice are now available. This is the original product review with new notes added on 2010.12.

Contents:

In Summary:

The $30 Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 is solidly-built and comfortable, and like most Microsoft mice, it feels as if it were made with better materials than other brands. It has an understated design and works perfectly.

Since this article was written, Microsoft has released the Mobile Mouse 4000 and the smaller 3500 -- both are 2.4Ghz and both use the Nano transmitter, which is what you really want. I recently purchased a competitor; see this article: GearHead Wireless Nano Mouse but this mouse died and proved worthless. I am now using a Microsoft Mouse 4000.


Features:
  • Medium-sized Mouse; comfortable
  • Moderately heavy; feels substantial
  • thumb-drive-sized USB transmitter
  • 2.4Ghz
  • Transmitter sees past obstructions
  • 4-way Scroll-wheel
  • Battery-life indicator; 1 AA
  • 1000dpi sensitivity (40-points per mm!)
  • 3x more sensitive than a standard optical mouse


In the photo you can see the USB-transmitter "docks" with the bottom of the mouse when not in use and this also turns off the mouse. The mouse is rated for 4 to 6 months from a single AA battery. My mouse, with mid to light use, is on its 14th month with the original battery.

I have had several people write, complaining about Microsoft's 3000-series wireless mouse, which skips and misbehaves if the transmitter is on the wrong side of the laptop. (The 3000-series mice transmit at 27mhz and were still actively sold by Microsoft at the time.)

This newer 7000-series mouse transmits at 2.4Ghz and does not have these problems. On multiple laptops the mouse has worked flawlessly and it even works on the back side of a desktop computer stashed behind a desk.

The wireless mouse allowed me to perch the laptop on a laptop-stand and I can now shove the machine into the back corner of the desk. Since the mouse works from anywhere in the room, the laptop has effectively turned into a large MP3 music player.


Unexpected Magnifier Buttons

When buying mice, I have always looked for two-button mice, but these are sometimes hard to find. Now, most mice now have 4 to 6 buttons and they are often assigned to features such as a browser-back button and the dreaded "magnifier."

The first two months I owned a Microsoft Mouse 7000, the magnifier kept turning on and I had no idea why -- I didn't even realize the mouse had side-buttons because they were very small and subtly placed in the trim. Once I realized this, I started looking at the mouse drivers -- but the mouse originally shipped with XP drivers and there were no settings for the side button, making this problem devilishly-hard to find.

Drivers

In the Windows Control Panel, confirm you are running the Microsoft "Intellipoint" mouse drivers. If not, and assuming you are using a Microsoft mouse, go to Microsoft.com and download the driver.

Look here to see "Microsoft Intellipoint"


Disabling the Magnifier:

See the Windows Control Panel, Mouse.
Set the "Connected Device" to the proper mouse.
Set both side-buttons to "No action".

Humorously, I have since met several people with this same problem. Everyone laughs when the realize the solution.

Because the extra buttons are not universal or standardized, I find them annoying and inconsistent when used on other people's computers. For these reasons, I disable the non-standard buttons.

Control Panel: Ease of Access Center

There is another possibility for the Magnifier bug, albeit, unlikely. In the Windows 7 Control Panel, "Ease of Access Center", is also a setting that turns on the Magnifier.

1. Open Windows Control Panel, "Ease of Access Center"
2. In "Make the computer easier to see"
Uncheck [ ] Turn on Magnifier

More Recent Mice:

Since this purchase, nearly 2 years ago, Logitech and Microsoft have released new mice with small "Nano" USB transmitters. Although Microsoft's 7000 transmitter is relatively small, about 1.25 inches long, you really want the newer "Nano" transmitters which are small enough to leave permanently plugged into the computer. Since this review was written, I purchased a similar GearHead mouse; see this review and a later, a Microsoft 4000-series mouse.


Conclusion:

A nice product at a reasonable price ($30). I am pleased with the purchase. As of 2010.07, newer mice are available -- the 4000, and 2500 series; each with 2.4ghz and nano transmitters. Consider Logitec or Microsoft 4000 mouse if you are using a laptop.

Related Articles
Keyliner Review - Logitech T630 Ultrathin Mouse

Related Links:
Microsoft Product Drivers
Windows 7 x64 Mouse Drivers
GearHead Wireless Nano Mouse (No longer recommended)

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