IntelliMouse Optical, by Microsoft
Posted: 3-Jan-2002

4 1/2 out of 5 Mice

Vendor: Microsoft Type: COMMERCIAL

Reviewer: Bill Catambay Class: HARDWARE

The Microsoft Optical IntelliMouse for this review was used on a G4/867.

The IntelliMouse was super easy to hook up. I just plugged in the mouse, loaded the software from the CD (an easy run of the installer), and the mouse was up and working wonderfully.

The design is very nice. The optical feature allows the mouse to work without any ball (no cleaning, no stuck ball, no need for a mouse pad). It has a cool red light in it that turns on only when the computer is on. It's stylish looking, feels good in the hand, and has two top buttons, a scroll wheel (which also serves as a button), and two side buttons.

Using the control panel that comes with the software, I was easily able to adjust the settings on the mouse, including changing the functionality of the buttons and scroll wheel. The ease-of-use of the software I would rate 4 out of 5 mice. It could be a made a bit more robust for managing settings for different applications. I also noticed that when I programmed the wheel button for Option-DoubleClick, 1 out of 10 uses the button would do a double-click without the option.

The feel of the IntelliMouse is ergonomically comfortable. What's more, it is designed for right or left hand use. The two side buttons of the IntelliMouse I have not gotten quite used to. I've tried to adjust to having these buttons on the side, but it can be easy to accidentally press these buttons during normal mouse navigation. On the other hand, the IntelliMouse Explorer's side buttons are more difficult to reach. If I'm going to use these buttons, I much prefer the location of them on the IntelliMouse Optical. If you don't want to use them, they are easy enough to "de-program" (i.e., set them to do nothing if pressed). Also, the IntelliMouse Explorer is geared more for right-handed mousing, whereas the IntelliMouse Optical can be used on either side (note that both are optical mice). The IntelliMouse Optical is also $10 cheaper than the IntelliMouse Explorer.

The IntelliMouse Optical has been extremely reliable on my G4 with built-in USB ports. It's the perfect replacement for the useless single button Apple mouse. In fact, out of all the mice that I've tried, the Intellimouse Optical is my favorite, both in terms of performance and design. For the price, you really cannot afford to be without one!


  • Optical (no ball, no moving parts)
  • Cool design
  • Five buttons and a scroll wheel (wheel also serves as fifth button)
  • Very reliable


  • Side buttons take some getting used to (but can be de-programmed)
  • Option-DoubleClick sometimes does a double-click without option

Rating: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars