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Microsoft bills it as the first breakthrough in mousing technology since the 1960's. With it's 4 buttons, optical technology, scroll wheel, and USB or PS2 connectivity, it could be just that.
What's there to set up? Install the software, plug in the mouse, and your off. It doesn't get any simpler than that. You may want to go into the IntelliPoint control panel after installing the software, to set the global settings the way you like, and worry about the application specific settings later.Usage:
The main selling point of the IntelliMouse series is it's optical technology. When this technology was at it's infancy, people criticized it for jerky movements. But no more. The newest crop of optical mice flash their beams at a mind boggling 2,000 times per second, making for very precise movements, and no missed beats. Not to mention just turning over the mouse to look at the red light can be as fun as using it.
The Explorer comes with four buttons and a scroll wheel (which can act as a fifth button). Two buttons on the top, with the scroll wheel in between them, and two on the left side of the mouse. This equates to a right handed mouse only, unless you don't care about having buttons you can't hit. But for right handed people, it is very easy to hit these buttons, making it simple to do many things without touching the keyboard.
The buttons feel easier to press down than other mice I have used. This may take a little getting used to for some, but for me, I adjusted in no time. Also, the buttons on the side are different sizes, so you can tell which one you are pressing, just by tactile sensory. Also, the scroll wheel seems to glide along very nicely, unlike other scrolling mice. You can feel the clicks as it scrolls, but it's not physical exercise trying to make the wheel go around.
The size of this mouse is perfect for those of us with larger hands. It seems like 70% of the mice coming out these days are for people with smaller hands. That means hand cramps, and an awkwardness feeling when mousing around. Luckily, this ergonomically shaped mouse fixes that, while providing for smaller hands as well. Both my mother and my brother said that their hand fit perfectly on the mouse.
One of the biggest obstacles when searching for a mouse is what the software will be like. You can hold the mouse at a local store, but the software has to wait until you get home. Luckily, Microsoft made an excellent move in this department. They licensed the very popular USB Overdrive to create the software for this mouse. That means compatibility, stability, and application specific button assignments. Hands down the best mousing software available.
You can set the mouse buttons, scroll button, and scroll wheel to do nearly anything you want. By simply selecting what button you want to edit, and choosing what you want it to do, programming this mouse is child's play. You can set it up to control/command/option click, double click, triple click, keystrokes, forward and back buttons, and much much more. An infinite number of combinations, which allows you to suit this mouse to your exact needs. In fact, you can even set it up to open docments, folders, or applications, which means you can launch Applescripts with one click of a mouse, allowing you to do hundreds of tasks with a simple click.
Plus, you can set up the scroll wheel to scroll x amount of lines, accelerated scroll and more. Not to mention the speed of the mouse can be controlled by the system, or changed with the IntelliPoint software. You can go from SUPER slow to so fast you cant see the mouse move. No longer will you be heckled by your PC using friends and their super fast mice.
Finally, every application can be set up to use the mouse differently. Games which require different key combinations, web browsers which need forward and back buttons, graphics applications that use the same commands over and over, and every other application you may have. Unless you were to buy USB Overdrive separate for another mouse, you would not have this kind of control with any other mouse on the market.Problems:
The only problem I had was with my old mouse pad. Because of the way the infrared beam works, my mouse pad (which had clear grooves in it to make different scenes when held at different angles) caused erratic mouse movement, and sometimes mouse movement when not even touching the mouse. Replacing the pad with a cloth covered one (although a hard cover pad also works), fixed that right up.Conclusion:
There is no better mouse for right handed people on the market today. Excellent software, a great feel, and the cool red light combine to make an awesome mouse. If you are looking to replace that old ball, or single button mouse, this is what you should be searching for.