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We recently reviewed Microsoft's Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 and found that it was respectable mouse for the average enthusiast. Now we are taking a close look at Microsoft's Wireless Laser Mouse 7000. The 7000 has the same high definition laser and some other common features of the 6000. For about 20 more dollars, what extra features come with the 7000 model? Let's run this rodent through the gauntlet and see what sets it apart.
Those with eagle eyes have already noticed the main difference between the 6000 and 7000. We can't get anything past you. The 7000 comes with a flat charging station, which you can conveniently leave anywhere on your desk, provided you have the extra outlet within a quarter mile. It's packaged with the same 2.4Ghz wireless technology as the 6000. Just plug the USB transceiver into any USB port and you are good to use, abuse, and play with your little mouse up to 30 feet from the computer.
The mouse sports a mostly black design with silver trim in a curvy ergonomic shape that we found very comfortable. The small light on top of the mouse indicates the battery charge status. It will illuminate for a few seconds when the mouse is first turned on, and blinks red when the battery is low. The included IntelliPoint software will also give you a nice little pop-up warning when the battery is getting low too, making sure you're never caught by surprise. While on the charging base, the light stays green.
The included battery is a NiMH-AAA 1000mAh rechargable. It's not a labeled brand-name battery like those non-rechargeable Energizers included with the 6000 model, but that doesn't mean they skimped and sent a cheap battery. The standard rechargeable Energizer AAA battery is a lower 900mAh, so don't let the green generic appearance fool you.
For those wireless users that miss the tail on their rodent, you get your fix every time you put your mouse on the rechargeable base. This base is very slim, helping to not be an eyesore on our already crowded workstation. For those that would prefer to put the base plate aside while not in use, the cord is detachable from the front of the plate.
The buttons are comfortably placed on the 7000. Many mice have the side buttons in annoying locations that are easily hit accidentally, but not so on the 7000. We found that the two buttons on the side, above the thumb, were far enough out of the way to not be accidentally pressed. But they were still close enough to be used effortlessly when needed. For frequent scrollers out there the 7000 also makes use of a nice 4-Way smooth scrolling wheel helping to browse the web ease. The sensitivity may be set a little high for those that are used to the more common click-type scrolling wheels. If you just can't get used to it, the included IntelliPoint software lets you adjust it to your liking.
Like some other mouse software out there, the included IntelliPoint software includes the ability to change the button assignments based on which program is being used. This is a big plus for those that use many different programs and like the idea of shortcuts on the mouse. For instance, the user can program the side buttons to be Back and Forward while browsing in IE and Firefox, then switch over to Photoshop and use the same buttons for Copy and Paste.
You can set one of the buttons to use the Click 3D ("Instant Viewer" in XP), default of which is set to the scroll wheel button. Using this function allows you to see all your open programs in smaller windows across your desktop and simply select the one you want by clicking it. Anyone that has fell in love with the Showcase or Tab Catalog extensions in Firefox will find this function equally appealing.
Another interesting option included with the Wireless Laser Mouse 7000's IntelliPoint software is the ability to magnify parts of your screen. One click of the side front button (default button) will kick off this Magnify option. Holding down the button and moving the mouse allows for height and width adjustments of your magnification window. Then while magnified you can move your magnified rectangle around the screen to whatever area you like. It was fun to play with but, unless you have very poor eyesight, it loses its thrill and practicality fairly quickly.
BOOM, Terrorist HEADSHOT! The 1000dpi resolution on this Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 will not "WOW" the intense gamers out there. As for the average user and gamer, this resolution is more than reasonable. As we always mention in mouse and gamepad reviews, we love anything that gives us a reason to break away from our testbenches and game it up with our fellow HLers. So we loaded our current FPS favorite, COD4. We got through missions with ease and on multiplayer had a good ol' time lighting each other up. The good news is that our kill-to-death ratios didn't suffer during gameplay with the 7000 (of course our KTD ratios were probably not quite par to begin with...).
| Warranty & Support||9/10|
All-in-all we were very pleased with Microsoft's Wireless Laser Mouse 7000. The rechargable base is easy to hide and very convenient. It was nice to not have to fiddle with removing batteries from the mouse. In addition, it was nice to be given a warning when the battery was low, from both the red light on the mouse and a warning pop-up box. We didn't get that last second surprise in the middle of a long winded rant on any of our favorite forums. The adjustment to this mouse was practically instantaneous, and it is very comfortable to hold and feel. We found no problems with the buttons. The scroll wheel required the longest adjustment period because it rotates smoothly rather than the minor clicks, but that is adjustable with the software just like many other things. The included IntelliPoint software included some statndard mouse features as well as a couple of nice extras, most notably, the Flip3D and Magnify.
For the hard core gaming crowd, the Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 is a rather pricey peripheral given the comparatively low 1000DPI resolution. Gamers would also like to see a couple more buttons to help with the on-the-fly gameplay. Probably the most noticeable concern, and not just for gamers, is that this is a very lightweight mouse. Even though we found ourselves getting used to it fairly quickly, it wouldn't have hurt to include some kind of weight adjustment option.
Aside from those requiring an ultra-high DPI setting, the Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 7000 would likely be a wonderful addition to most enthusiasts workstations. The hardest thing to swallow is the price. But for those that will appreciate the rechargeable base, where you dock this mouse, the extra money may not be that much of a factor. In reality you will likely cover the premium cost in battery savings. Heck, for those that use standard batteries regularly in their wireless mouse, would probably find that this mouse would pay for itself before the warranty is up.
Other Reviews of Note
It's always nice to have more than one opinion on a component before you spend your hard earned money. For one, we may see something others missed, or vice versa. As with all reviews published at HardwareLogic, we'll not only give you our recommendation, but also point out some reviews from other great sites around the web.