The first impression of Microsoft’s Mobile Memory Mouse is that it’s very small and very cute – in fact it seemed it would be too small to use comfortably.
However, others with bigger hands than this reviewer reported it fitted snugly into their palm and did not cause any discomfort during sustained use.
The mouse does not just get its good looks from its size, but also from its black plastic and chrome casing.
The design is aesthetically strong, but has a couple of weaknesses.
The useful transceiver storing slot on the underside built into some other Microsoft mice is missing here, which makes it harder to transport as the dongle has to be stored in one half of the supplied soft case.
The mouse is light at just over 300 grams, is about 85 mm long and 65 mm wide, but the height of the device (nearly 40 mm) is a downside for transporting. This means the mouse bulges inside its case, especially when the transceiver and recharge cable are also in the bag.
It is also not designed for left-handers.
However, the mouse’s 1000 dpi laser sensor is accurate and the mouse is responsive on most surfaces. It will work within nine metres of the transceiver.
A clever concept is the transceiver doubling as a 1GB flash drive, which is useful for storing files you need to take on the road.
You won’t be able to use the extra storage to boost your machine’s performance through Vista’s ReadyBoost feature though, as read and write speeds fall short of those required.
Microsoft provides a choice of 2.4GHz or Bluetooth wireless modes, with a switch under the battery cover to change between them.
The single, rechargeable NiMH battery is powered by a cable that makes a satisfying snap as it magnetically clicks onto the bottom of the mouse and the transceiver.
Below the tilt wheel is an LED light that shows green or red depending on the level of charge. It takes five hours to be fully charged, and Microsoft says a full charge will typically give three weeks use. The on/off switch on the bottom is useful for preserving battery life.
Along with the scroll/tilt wheel, there are five buttons including two side thumb buttons for going forward and back through web pages.
The bundled Intellipoint software (version 6.1), is just as simple to use as Windows’ hardware management to adjust key settings such as the function each button performs, either in general or in specific programs. You can also customise things like scroll and double click speed and pointer icons using the software, and you can change wireless settings too, just as you can with Windows.
It seems the horizontal tilt functions of the wheel are the only ones that can’t be customised.
The mouse supports Vista’s Flip 3D for changing the open window you want to look at, and Instant Viewer in both XP and Vista to select from all open windows, while you can also point and click to magnify.
The vendor has certainly packed a lot of features into this device, but this is reflected in the relatively high recommended price of $159.
Dimensions: 85 x 65 x 40mm
Storage: 1Gb built into transceiver
Wireless: 2.4GHz or Bluetooth