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The Microsoft Wireless Mouse 2000 is designed to be light and compact, and to work on just about any surface you can find. In short, it's meant to be the perfect mouse to leave hanging around in the kitchen or living room for anyone in the family to pick up and use. At around £22, there are cheaper devices out there, though, so does this mouse do enough to justify its purchase?
A satisfying handful
The 2000's build quality is impressive. The mouse is quite small, but it fits neatly in your hand, thanks to its pleasing rounded shape. Rubber moulding on either side of the mouse keeps your thumb in place and means this device can be used equally well as part of a right- or left-handed set-up. It's extremely comfortable to use for long periods of time and, mercifully, will keep your hands cramp-free.
The 2000 has just the standard two click buttons and a scroll wheel. The buttons aren't excessively sensitive, and the scroll wheel, while slightly slippery, clicks on either side, so you can navigate horizontally (you'll have to first download the free IntelliPoint software from Microsoft's Web site, though).
Tracks on beards
Microsoft's BlueTrack technology is easily the 2000's greatest asset. An extra-wide beam means light hits a larger area than with traditional laser mice, so more of that light will bounce back to the mouse's sensor, and not get lost in an uneven surface, such as a carpet or wooden desk. As a result, the 2000 will work on virtually any surface.
In our rigorous testing, we found that it operated without any drop in performance on carpets, denim, unfinished wood and the bearded face of a news and features editor. It also felt impressively smooth in use. With two AA batteries stuffed inside, it's pleasingly weighty, and two plastic feet on the underside mean it positively glides across the desk.
The 2.4GHz wireless transceiver plugs into a USB port on your computer and offers a range of about 6m, although we can't think of many situations in which you'd need to use a mouse at that kind of distance. The transceiver attaches to the underside of the mouse when not in use, which may help you avoid losing it.
The 2000 doesn't come with an installation CD, but you can download the IntelliPoint software if you feel the need to tinker. We can't see many people opting to do this, however, as the mouse will work just fine as soon as you plug it in.
The Microsoft Wireless Mouse 2000 is comfortable, performs well and really does work on an impressive range of surfaces. We'd prefer the scroll wheel to be a little less slippery, but there really isn't much to complain about. If you're looking to replace your standard, everyday mouse, the 2000 is reasonably priced and won't let you down. Spend a few pounds more, though, and you can pick up the higher-end Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 4000.
Edited by Charles Kloet