The optical mouse uses a digital camera with a lens that focuses light onto the surface beneath it. The camera takes an amazing 1500 shots per second and processes them in order to track movement from picture to picture. By comparing the pictures, the mouse determines exactly where it is going and where it has been, delivering far more precision than conventional mice can.
In testing a near-final version of the Explorer, I was impressed by its ease of installation on either USB or PS/2 ports. Sculpted to fit your right hand, the mouse seems to be a close copy of Logitech's award-winning MouseMan Wheel.
Microsoft didn't quite match the ergonomic comfort of Logitech's device, however. Also, some of the customisable buttons are situated right above the spot where your thumb naturally rests - a convenience, right? But I ended up clicking these buttons inadvertently on more than one occasion - not so convenient.
My score for the Microsoft IntelliMouse Explorer: technology 10, comfort 4. Your mileage may vary.
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