Microsoft has sent quite a few mice my way in the past year or so, and most of them have been specialized in some way, such as the hard-core gaming mouse and the fancy presenter/laser pointer mouse.
At first glance, the Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 doesn't appear to have a super-exciting personality, but the reason I decided to review it is that it is rechargeable. And it has a very cool green battery status indicator light.
I charged the mouse overnight (it comes with a little charge pad that connects to a normal power socket), installed the software, plugged in the USB connector, and away I went.
Some of the highlights of the mouse are its tilt wheel, which allows four-way scrolling, with a magnifier button and browser back-button both located on the "thumb" side. Another nice touch is the Flip 3D function, however this only works with Windows Vista. Clicking the scroll wheel will launch Flip 3D, which lets you flip through open windows and easily switch between applications.
I'm running XP on my work machine so I missed out on this feature, but clicking the scroll wheel when running the older operating system will instead launch Instant Viewer, which shows you all the open windows "flat" on the screen. I could then point and click on the application I wanted.
I found this mouse quite comfortable to use. Once plugged in, it just worked and I didn't really pay much attention to it -- just what you want from an office tool like a mouse.
The mouse was fully charged in about five hours. According to Microsoft, the included AAA rechargeable battery will last for about three weeks when fully charged.
The Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 possibly looks a bit sleeker than your average mouse, dressed in a matte black coating with chrome-like lining. But south-paws look elsewhere, the ergonomic shape is designed for right-handed folks only.
Microsoft claims that by choosing a rechargeable mouse, users can reduce their battery consumption by up to 80% over three years. I don't know if this is true, but I do like the whole rechargeable idea.
Recommended retail price for the Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 is $119 (US$94) including GST. It will be available in New Zealand from April 20.