Microsoft Explorer Mouse
The Blu-ray of the rodent world.
- BlueTrack technology is more precise, nice design, easy button configuration, Mac OS X support
- Not ambidextrous, no DPI stepping, large grip
This mouse combines precise tracking technology with a decent design. For the average user the mouse certainly isn’t revolutionary, but it’s a reasonable cost for a decent improvement in precision.
Price$ 129.95 (AUD)
It’s not every day that new mouse tracking technology comes along. With laser optics doing the job, there hasn’t been much of a need. Nevertheless, Microsoft hopes to turn the tables with BlueTrack, the tracking technology behind its new Explorer Mouse.
The wireless Explorer Mouse uses a blue optical diode rather than the infrared laser diodes common in most modern mice. BlueTrack is claimed to provide higher sensitivity tracking as well as a greater adaptability to common reflective surfaces such as granite and marble.
The Explorer Mouse certainly isn’t the ugliest Microsoft mouse we’ve come across. (The Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 springs to mind as one of the uglier ones to come out of Redmond.) A three-tone grey colour scheme makes for an attractive look, accompanied by an illuminated underside and BlueTrack logo. The mouse's size is an issue: it possesses a much wider and higher grip than standard units and may take some getting used to. Thankfully, the rubberised plastic material used for the heel of the mouse makes it easy to grip tightly without slipping.
The Explorer Mouse has five buttons. The mouse’s forward and back buttons are situated on the same side, making the forward button an awkward stretch for short fingers. The scroll wheel is easy to use, providing a non-slip continual run that also facilitates four-way scrolling. The grip and button positioning make the Explorer more suited to right-handed use. [A form of sinister discrimination, perhaps — Ed.]
The accompanying USB dongle is quite small and easily fits into a groove on the underside of the mouse for portability. The Explorer Mouse works off two AA batteries, which can be recharged via a bundled docking station. Disappointingly, this dock requires a power plug rather than using a USB port.
Having become used to the Logitech G7, the Explorer Mouse feels like a snail by comparison. Unlike the G7, the Explorer Mouse doesn’t provide dots per inch sensitivity configuration, so making the mouse comfortable is a matter of either configuring the standard tracking speed or simply getting used to it. Nevertheless, while it seems slower than other high-end laser mice, the Explorer Mouse feels much more precise on standard surfaces and much more sensitive to small movements. As with any non-standard mouse, the Explorer does take some getting used to but its precision is certainly appealing.
The mouse performs admirably under duress as well. We tested the mouse on various surfaces including carpet, grained wood and granite; on all of these surfaces the BlueTrack technology managed to perform without jagged movements or losing its tracking.
As with most Microsoft mice, the accompanying software provides fairly comprehensive button configuration and personalisation for both Windows and Mac OS X. Each button can easily be reassigned to a new function. Mac users have the option of assigning specific functions to individual applications or using the operating system’s integrated mouse configuration instead.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Huawei Mate 9
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Acer Swift 7
Google Daydream VR headset
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Surface Pro 4
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- 2 ZTE Axon 7 review: Is ZTE dumping old stock on Australia?
- 3 Oppo R9s smartphone full review
- 4 Finally! LG OLED TV 2016 range review
- 5 Huawei Nova Plus smartphone review
Latest News Articles
- PC prices will continue to go up due to shortage of components
- Radeon Vega vs. GeForce GTX 1080 Ti? AMD, Nvidia announce dueling events at GDC 2017
- Toshiba's in chaos, but not quitting PCs -- yet
- Intel's 8th-gen 'Coffee Lake' chips reuse 14nm process as other Core CPUs ease into new tech
- Intel researches tech to prepare for a future beyond today's PCs
GGG Evaluation Team
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
- How to quit Pokemon Go (or to start enjoying it again)
- Huawei Mate 9 full in-depth smartphone review
- Time to ditch Foxtel and the iQ3: How to replace Foxtel packages with cheaper alternatives
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- TPDeployment Specialist (DevOps)QLD
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)NSW
- FTSenior Dot Net Backend Orientated DeveloperNSW
- TPBI & Report Developer (SQL Developer)QLD
- TPDigital Project ManagerVIC
- TPAEM DeveloperNSW
- CCSOA Oracle DeveloperNSW
- FTMicrosoft Dynamics AX Technical ArchitectACT
- CCSenior Mobile Application DeveloperNSW
- CCContract - System Access Administrator - major Telco in MelbourneVIC
- TPTechnical ConsultantNSW
- CCMarketing SpecialistNSW
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Sales & Marketing Modules)WA
- FTLevel 3 EngineerNSW
- CCBusiness Project ManagerNSW
- FTSenior Business Project ManagerNSW
- TPBusiness Process Analyst (Newcaslte Based)NSW
- TP.Net DeveloperSA
- CCIT Procurement OfficerNSW
- CCADABAS Natural DeveloperNSW
- FTDeveloper/ ProgrammerSA
- FTDynamics AX Functional Consultant (Supply Chain Modules)VIC
- TPNodeJS DeveloperNSW
- TPVB6 DeveloperVIC
- CCERP Business Analyst (Time Capture/ Management) - Contract - Sydney CBDNSW