Microsoft Laser Mouse 6000 Review
|Platform:||PC & Mac|
|Buy now at Amazon.co.uk|
To gamers, a mouse is a very personal thing, everyone has their favorite brand, their favorite model. Needless to say, discussions about such things between gamers can get heated. So here's the deal, I won't try and tell you whether this is "teh suck" or whether it "0wnz", instead I'll try and tell you how well it works and you can make up your own mind. That is if you haven't already made up your mind, shame on you.
The Laser Mouse 6000 is the first product in Microsoft's "Game Precision Series", as well as being their first gaming
laser mouse, it also introduces two new software features, Precision Booster and Gaming Toggle,
Let's talk about the laser bit first, it's much more fun than extra software features after all. The Laser Mouse 6000 gets it's name from fact, it is indeed a laser mouse and it can apparently track and send 6000 bits of data per second back to your PC, yes this does make it a USB only mouse and relates to roughly 2000 dpi, no more crappy PS2 port thankfully.
I'll start by talking about what a difference those 6000 bits can make to your gaming, quite frankly this mouse is so smooth, it makes my all time favorite intellimouse Explorer V3 feel clunky and slow. It's fast, precise and smoother than a hot knife through butter. I feel that it's safe to say that laser mice are the future, your standard optical gaming mouse is now obsolete I'm sorry to say, things have moved on. A side effect of that is that this laser mouse does not emit any visible light, you can turn this mouse any way you like and nothing happens, some people will clearly be gutted, no more bright red glow.
Other than being able to track smoothly, the next most important mouse feature is accuracy, how well the mouse glides across the surface on which you use it is paramount. Two things help the Laser Mouse 6000 in this area, the first being the extremely thin and unobtrusive cable, it never gets in the way thankfully, it's the next best thing to a wireless mouse, only entirely without any potential mouse lag that's always associated with such rodents.
Secondly, the feet on this mouse are extremely slick, I've been using the device on several types of surface over the last week, an old cloth pad, a wooden desk top, a fUnc Industries 1030 gaming surface and last but not least, the daddy of all mousing surfaces, (in my opinion) a razer eXactMat. Suffice to say, that no matter what surface you use this baby on it will glide brilliantly and track superbly. I cannot fault the mouse on functionality at all.
The size, shape and weight of a mouse is extremely important to most gamers, it's also a very personal thing. What feels great to
one person is most unlikely to feel the same for another, no two peoples' hands are the same size or shape if truth be told.
I've been using a Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer v3 for many years now, simply because it's fits my giant hands very well and the fact that it's an awesome mouse too of course, these things are still extremely sort after, I know of several people who are actively hunting for a supplier and one of them can look no further than me, although this Laser Mouse 6000 is a little small for my hands it tracks so damn well that my Explorer v3 has been thrown into the cupboard. That is praise indeed.
The Laser Mouse 6000 is a uniform mouse, designed to be used by both right and left handed users, mores the pity, I really wish this mouse was a similar size and shape to my beloved right handed explorer v3. Unfortunately it's just a little bit too small for my liking, but then I do have enormous hands. I also tend to prefer a mouse that has some weight to it and the Laser Mouse 6000 is not a heavy mouse, in fact it's quite light, given that it glides so well too, it feels even lighter than it actually is too. This is entirely personal though. If a small light mouse is to your liking, then this may well be the mouse of your gaming dreams.
Now I guess we should talk about those two new features in the latest version of intellipoint, Precision Booster is
pretty much what you'd expect from it's name, if assigned to this function, one of your mouse buttons will reduce the sensitivity of
your mouse to anywhere from 10% to 90% of full speed. This can work as either a toggle or as a press and hold button. Every mouse
targeted at gamers these days seems to have a similar feature, to be perfectly honest I'm struggling to think of a game that it
would be useful in, most of the time if you have to press a button to slow you mouse down while sniping in Counter-Strike for example
,the guy who isn't messing with extra buttons on his mouse could have fired 2 bullets and you'd be dead 95% of the time anyway, go
figure. Everyone is at it though, it's not just Microsoft, Logitech and Razer too do a very similar thing with their laser mice.
Perhaps I'm just missing something. Seems to me to be an Emperor's new clothes type of thing, I'll probably be mocked for suggesting
such a feature is of little use, even though in reality, very few people will find much use for it. What I would say, is that
Microsoft's implementation of this questionable feature is the simplest, decide for yourself whether that's good or bad.
Gaming Toggle is a bit more of a mystery, a fine idea that could have been cool but for two pretty serious and show stopping flaws. Before I explain, I should first say what it does attempt do, the whole idea is that if you hold down the button assigned to 'Gaming Toggle' for a second, the mouse will then tell your system to record a macro of key strokes which can the be played back later by simply clicking the gaming toggle button again. Theoretically that's one hell of a feature, you can bind up to 16 keys in your macro making all sorts or complex maneuvers simple. However, the reality kicks in and you hit the problems.
Problem 1, you can't save your recorded macro's. Every time you log out or reboot they are lost. Big, big issue to be fair. I'm not recording a 16 key macro every time I reboot thank you very much.
Problem 2, the macro's play back at lightning speed, if it's just a single key stroke that was otherwise not bindable to a mouse button then you're in business, otherwise the likelihood is the game you are playing will miss one or more of the recorded key strokes and your macro will be absolutely useless, in fact, counter productive. A nice idea that should have stayed just that, an idea.
That being said, the rest of the new version of intelliPoint is as simple, as easy to use and effective as it ever was, I would have liked some control over the sampling rate of the USB ports however, most users would be massively confused by this, but as it's a mouse targeted at gaming, it should perhaps have been included.
I don't want to suggest that this mouse has bad software however, I suppose Microsoft had to add these extra features as everyone else has, it's just that I personally wouldn't have bothered.
Laser mice are the future of gaming mice and indeed all mice in my opinion, that much is patently obvious. Microsot's first foray into
the realms of gaming laser mice is a fine one, it's cheaper than it's main rivals but also smaller and lighter than both. I can't imagine
that either track better so assuming that like me you feel changing mouse speed on the fly is more or less pointless then your choice
as a gamer is going to come down to ergonomics and price.
If you have small hands and prefer a mouse that's on the light side then this is the mouse for you. I personally want this mouse in a bigger size.
- Superb Tracking on all surfaces I tried
- Super smooth gliding
- Five buttons
- Not overly expensive
- Simple and familiar software
Not so good stuff
- A bit light
- Too small if you have big hands
- Gaming related software additions are poor
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