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The Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse 2000 is ideal for people who want the convenience of a wireless mouse without the price tag or complexity of an advanced model. This generic-looking mouse has only three basic buttons and no extra functionality to speak of, but it handles basic functions well, and at $29.95, it won't put much of a dent in your wallet. Users who want extra features should consider the more expensive but better-equipped Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer or the Logitech MX1000.
To start using the Optical Mouse 2000, you need only to insert two AA batteries into the bottom of the mouse and plug in the wireless receiver to a free USB port. Microsoft's IntelliPoint software isn't included in the package, but you can download it from Microsoft's Web site. This software adds a tab to your regular mouse control panel. From there, you can select the left and right buttons as well as the scrollwheel and customize them from a list of functions and tasks.
In our tests, the Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse 2000 wasn't completely comfortable, but its flat, slightly molded shape is ambidextrous and fits both hands better than the Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 5000 does. The Optical Mouse 2000's red optic sensor reads 1,000 dots per inch, which is average for today's mice. This sensitivity level is adequate for nearly any task--only gamers and graphic artists would need a more precise mouse. In our tests, we didn't experience any cursor lag or tracking errors. We were, however, disappointed in the mouse's wireless range: Microsoft rates the Optical Mouse 2000 with a six-foot range, but we only got four feet of good reception.
The mouse comes with a two-year warranty. The included manual lists support phone numbers and directs you to Microsoft's support Web site, where you can search for FAQs and helpful articles.