Microsoft Wireless Mouse 5000 Review

On 2010/05/09, in Review, by Greg Woods

At home, my ancient Trust wireless rechargeable mouse died several months ago. I’ve since been using the mouse bundled with a Logitech DiNovo for Notebooks bundle.
Now I like the DiNovo for Notebooks keyboard. I have a tiny desk, I rarely use a numeric pad, so it stays in the cupboard. I like the fact it’s low profile. I love that they haven’t squished the vital cursor keys and home, end, pgup, pgdn and delete keys into an unusable space, as so many ‘compact’ keyboards do. I like the fact that without a number pad, my right hand is closer to my mouse.
However, the mouse is not so nice to use. It is tiny. My hands are the same size when I use a laptop as when I use a desktop, so why shrink the mouse? The DiNovo for Notebooks is a great mouse… for a child.

So, my requirements for a mouse are

  • Ambidextrous (I often swap hands to keep the RSI at bay)
  • Wireless, I hate tugging at the wire, plus less clutter
  • Big enough to fill my fairly average sized man hands
  • Tracks well with or without a mousemat
  • Preferably bluetooth – why have yet another USB dongle
  • Look cool (I’d like to pretend this is low-priority, but who wants an ugly piece of hardware on their desk?)


I’ve always liked Microsoft Mice, and use a Wheel Mouse Optical at work, which I paid a whole £10 for, so I didn’t have to use an undersized Dell default mechanical mouse. After a browse on the Microsoft Website, I decided on the Microsoft Wireless Mouse 5000, and bought it for bargain from www.oyyy.co.uk.
The criteria it doesn’t fill is bluetooth, so I now how 2x 2.4Ghz receivers. One for the Logitech keyboard, and one for the Microsoft Mouse. It appears that many of the smaller Notebook mice are bluetooth, but the desktop versions using a proprietory 2.4GHz setup. (the 2.4GHz spectrum must be pretty crowded in my office!)

First Impression

A good choice. Very nice in the hand, perhaps the best mouse I have handled. Softgrip rubbery sides, decent size, looks cool. Really does track well on lots of surfaces.

Dislikes

  • Glossy black top surface – looks cool until I get my greasy fingers on it
  • Glide pads need to be a touch thicker. It feels like the whole mouse underside is rubbing against my fabric covered mouse mat. This makes it subtly ‘stiffer’ to move around the mat than the older Wheel Mouse Optical I have at work
  • Not Bluetooth, so I have yet another USB device to find a plug for
  • IntelliPoint annoyances. I should have known better than to install this software. If you get a new MS mouse, try it without the software first. If the button assignments work for you out of the box, don’t bother with this install. My main annoyance is that by default, middle click is disabled. It is replaced by the application-switching (alt-tab style) functionality, apparently called ‘Flip’. Whilst this may be a good idea in Windows Pre-7, in 7 it disables the ‘Middle-click-a-taskbar-object-to-open-a-new-instance-of-that-object’ feature. This is really useful for opening new folders, new remote desktop sessions etc, when you already have one open. You can assign middle click back to ‘Middle-click’, but I shouldn’t have had to.
  • the receiver is big. They produce a ‘nano’ sized receiver for the notebook range of mice, so why not use the same one for the desktop range. I’d much prefer to use this mouse for my laptop, but the risk of damage from a 2″ long receiver sticking out of the side are very high. Stick with the tiny receivers please Microsoft
  • Superfluous side buttons. By default these are assigned to ‘back’ and ‘forwards’ – in the browser at least. Maybe I’ll get used to them. Often I press ‘back’ accidentally, which can be annoying. I could disable them, but then I’d have to install Intellipoint. The extra buttons may be useful if they can be assigned in games – so this dislike is a minor personal niggle.
  • Scroll wheel. On the plus sides, it is silent, which means less audible annoyance from those people who insist on using the scrollwheel to page down 54 pages of text instead of going to the ‘effort’ of moving hands to keyboard, hitting Ctrl-F, and searching for the bit they need. My dislike is that it appears to have the same resolution as the old wheel mice. This is bad UI. The smooth rotation without detents or clicks gives the impression that your scrolling will be similarly smooth, or that you could use the wheel in Flight Simulator as a high resolution trim wheel (see my Flight Sim blog) . This doesn’t appear to be the case. Ideally, the wheel would send a signal every fraction of a degree instead of every 10 degrees, and the OS would support this with smooth scrolling.

Summary

Most of my fairly long list of dislikes are minor niggles – things which stop the mouse being perfect. Perfection isn’t required for excellence, and so overall, I’d say this mouse is excellent. I would happily use this as my home or work mouse.
Not the perfect combination of features, but very comfortable and responsive. At under £25 including delivery from a range of suppliers, I’d say it is very good value too.
Now if Microsoft would please produce a wireless Comfort Curve keyboard with the number pad removed, I’d have the perfect keyboard and mouse combo.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>