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Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 review

Ardjuna Seghers

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Reviewed:

1 of 5

Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000
  • Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000
  • Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000
  • Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000
  • Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000
  • Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000

Summary

Our Score:

7

Many of us spend far too long behind our computers, and this can lead to some unpleasant consequences. One of these is repetitive strain injury (RSI), which is a condition affecting nerves, muscles or tendons often associated with, but not limited to, computer-related work. Today we're looking at Microsoft's Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000, an oddly but ergonomically-shaped rodent meant to prevent - or alleviate, if you're already suffering - RSI, especially Carpal Tunnel Syndrome, which affects the wrist.

The package you get here is really simple, consisting of a wired receiver, pair of AA batteries and the mouse itself. There is also a quick-start guide and software CD with Microsoft's excellent IntelliPoint software.

Unfortunately, the receiver does not act as a charging cradle despite its large size, but you can always use rechargeable batteries with a separate recharger. Microsoft quotes a not inconsiderable six-month battery life for normal use and there's a battery indicator that flashes red when they're low so you won't be caught unawares.

However, it's still a pity since most other Microsoft mice we've reviewed recently (such as the Explorer and Laser 7000) have come with charging cradles. It also raises the question as to why the receiver has to be the size of a normal mouse compared to previous models that use a little USB dongle?

Moving on to the mouse itself, the first word that springs to mind to describe it is 'odd'. This is not because of its styling, which is modern and smooth, or its colours, which are an attractive combination of greys, silvers and black. Rather, it's the shape that is unlike any other mouse. While nothing as outlandish as the Zalman FPSGUN or 3Dconnexion's SpaceNavigator 3D, the Natural 6000 is more spherical than your average mouse.

What this means is that it's shorter lengthways and much taller than a traditional mouse. It's tilted design also turns and lifts your palm far higher off the desk to reduce the pressure on your carpal tunnel and wrist. When I first used the Natural 6000, I thought it was very uncomfortable, particularly in the way it altered the angle of my wrist, which took some getting used to, especially since I have been using an ergonomic mouse-pad with built-in wrist-rest. But after giving it some time, it really grew on me. How you hold it is also very important. First, you should adjust your chair so that your forearm isn't resting heavily on the desk. Then you should rest the side of your hand on the desk and allow your hand to naturally flop over the mouse from the side.

stranded

January 14, 2009, 10:06 am

Did you really work in Windows or play games with this mouse? Your right hand was ok after 10 min with that? Why almost all gaming mice are so wrong in design? Suitable for nobody. Completely unnatural. We are paying gold for perverted minds.

Randy

January 14, 2009, 11:47 am

Is this a joke? :) This mousee is more than two years old, why review it now?





I don't agree with low markings. Bought it in march 2007 and after some getting used to


i must say that ergonomics-wise this mouse is very good. And i mean it, in extensive use (8 or so hours surfing on the internet). Weight may be a bit of an issue, but here's a tip - this mouse can run on one battery only :). I'm not a gamer at all, so the radio lag isn't an issue for me. One serious complaint i have is for the stupid wheel. I mean - the person that thought that smooth scrolling is a good idea should be killed and eaten. The mouse tends to scroll by itself every now and then, which is frustrating and must be disastrous in games.





Battery life however is amazing - 5-6 months is no biggie on standard, cheap alkaline batteries, and i use this mouse alot. Someone had complaints about no power switch, but


that's no problem at all. Price - it's (in Poland at least) standard price mark for high end mouse.





Hope this helps, cheers

Ed

January 14, 2009, 2:19 pm

@Stranded





Please work out what you're trying to ask before typing next time. Deciphering gobbledegook is not part of our remit in responding to comments.

Retset

January 14, 2009, 2:47 pm

Mice are so personal. One man's meat is another man's poison etc! As a gamer, I couldn't live with the clickless scroll wheel or lag. I also feel that a cabled mouse is fine .. a well laid cable doesn't interfere with one's mousing and there are no battery or lag problems.





I bought a Logitech MX518 two years ago. I have been so pleased with it's gaming and non-gaming performance and comfort that I have just bought a second one to use with my laptop. 㿀 and highly recommended.

PGrGr

January 14, 2009, 3:28 pm

Trusted Reviews is one of my favourite websites, but this review made me angry! For a start, I bought one of these mice as soon as it was released because I had been suffering from RSI. On seeing this review, my initial thought was that MS must have brought out a newer version. It turns out that you have decided to review an old product which has been on the market for at something like two years.





At the time I bought my Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 (what a mouthful, by the way – you would have thought they could have come up with a snappier title), I was suffering quite painful carpal tunnel syndrome in both wrists due to spending most of every day using a laptop. Both hands were affected, but the pain was much worse in my right wrist, due to using my right hand more on the trackpad and “nipple”. (I also bought a Microsoft Natural Ergonomic Keyboard 4000 at about the same time.)





Within a couple of days of using the 6000, the pain had completely disappeared. Further experimentation revealed that the pain would return if I went back to my old working habits, but as soon as I used the 6000 again, and stopped putting pressure on my carpal tunnel, the pain would disappear. So, based on my experience, I would completely endorse this product for anyone who is suffering from mouse related RSI symptoms.





You are correct to point out that you have to hold this mouse a bit differently, but in the review you state that you have to raise your forearm. Is this because you were still using your wrist pad? In the instructions that come with the mouse, it is quite clear that the correct way to use the mouse is to adjust your chair so that you can relax your entire forearm and the side of your hand on the desk, and then allow your hand to naturally flop over the mouse from the side. In fact, so important is the method of hold that should be used to get the best from this mouse, that my model came with pictorial instructions in neon green attached to the receiver. Used in the correct way, the mouse is actually very comfortable indeed.





The next thing I feel I must comment on is the size-of-hands issue. I have large hands, and although this means I can’t grip the entire mouse like a cricket ball, I haven’t found this to be an issue at all. I have the pointer sensitivity turned way up, and find the mouse perfectly comfortable using tiny movements driven by my fingers rather than my whole hand.





Also, I use the mouse on directly on the wooden surface of my desk – it works fine without a mouse mat on nearly every surface.





I do acknowledge the shortcomings of this mouse: the receiver could be smaller; that the wheel doesn’t have a clicking option; it is expensive, for a mouse; and the batteries/ charging dock argument is personal preference. Personally, I get several months use out of one set of (rechargeable) batteries, and am happy that I can change these easily if they start to go.





However, I think you have missed the main point here. This mouse is specifically aimed towards people who are suffering or who are worried about suffering from RSI in their wrist. This is a relatively small group. (I am the only person in my office of about 20 people who has this complaint , even though we all use the model of laptop). The Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 is not sold as a gaming mouse, and shouldn’t have been reviewed as if for a universal audience.





Your final comments, including the choice of italicising the word “may” and your comment about working practices and taking breaks belittle not only the crippling effects of severe RSI, but also the ability to address these effects through ergonomics. I feel that the mediocre scores you give the product concede nothing to the fact that this mouse is designed specifically to address RSI. For those people prepared to put some proper thought into the causes of their RSI, and who are prepared to use the mouse correctly, it works very well.





If RSI is not a problem for you, I would recommend that you don’t even consider this product.

TechVegan

January 14, 2009, 4:24 pm

@ Stranded: As mentioned in the article, the Natural Mouse 6000 was initially quite uncomfortable. I'd say it takes at least an hour to get used to the ergonomics, after which is feels pretty good (as Randy finds).


As also mentioned in the article, it's anything but a gaming mouse. It doesn't work well as one, and Microsoft never intended it as one.


@Randy: Thanks for your comment. Because Microsoft still hasn't come out with a replacement, this is its only ergonomic model and is widely available, therefore still relevant.


Seven is not a low overall mark. If there was an ergonomics score it would have scored eight or nine on that, but for many users it has too many disadvantages compared to other, cheaper mice to get an eight overall.<br /


As to battery life, that's pretty standard for wireless mice these days; check out the Logitech V550 Nano (http://www.trustedreviews.com/... which has 18month battery life!





@ Bluepork: Glad to hear you like the website, and sorry the review made you angry. As mentioned above, the reason this mouse got reviewed despite being an older product is that it's still as relevant as ever since Microsoft hasn't updated it.





Your comment is incredibly helpful. A 'problem' with testing ergonomic products designed to alleviate or eliminate certain kinds of pain/injury is that no-one in the office (currently) suffers from RSI, so getting feedback from a person who does, like yourself, is great.





The 'raised forearm' bit is a mistake and has been modified, thanks for pointing it out.





With the size-of-hands thing I was referring only to the buttons and wheel, not mobility or grip comfort, both of which are excellent.





As to the surface: "the Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 doesn't get along with cloth pads as the narrower base can dig into the soft surface, but on hard plastic or a desk it's smooth as silk"





The reason I've italicised 'may' is because as an impartial site, we can't just take Microsoft's word for it, and as mentioned above, we have no-one who suffers from RSI in the office to test the Natural 6000. I would never belittle the effects of RSI; I have an acquaintance who suffered from it so badly they could barely hold cutlery.

Randy

January 14, 2009, 6:31 pm

@Ardjuna





My first thought was that Microsoft had replaced this product already with the new 7000, but i checked their website and this mouse doesn't belong to Natural® line. Well, as for the scores i got quite used to read your reviews of products with overall rating of 9 and 10/10, so maybe that's why i complained.





Suddenly i realised that i have Microsoft mouse alongside Apple's aluminium keyboard,


and i like both. I'm surprised that they don't bite each other to death while i'm away.





@Bluepork





I'm happy with this mouse, and i thankfully don't suffer from RSI. How about condition of yours after 2 years? Mine is good, although buttons became louder (at first they were quiet and soft, but now they are just like in any other mouse). Also, the scroll wheel sometimes scroll a bit roughly, as if it would scratch against something.

stranded

January 14, 2009, 9:28 pm

The real value of a mouse (and keyboard) is how intuitive and fast you are working with it, either Windows etc or games. We all know that computer peripherals and all kind of devices in general, are a sort of manipulation of the masses. "Right" design and "handling" are very important. I want a mouse that i can drive it, not been dr(a)(u)ged by it.


Trusted Reviews is a very good and useful site in my opinion, i visit it often. As you say about headphones, once you listen to a really good set, you can hardly "enjoy" music with a 30 euro one, i think the same should apply to mice (not only).


I had the same Logitech mouse for 2 years Retset and i was not pleased at all (except nice resolution). I don't think mouse experience is so personal after all.

TechVegan

January 14, 2009, 9:53 pm

@ Randy: "I'm surprised that they don't bite each other to death while i'm away." ROFL





@ stranded: Agree with your first point, and nice to hear you enjoy the site :)


However, I'm with Retset on this one. As an example, I've been using only Logitech mice at home the past few years and adored the MX518 (which of course wasn't 㿀 at release), with the G9 being my current favourite (although the coating of the soft grip is starting to come off!). But even though most of us at TR love the G9, some of us don't get on with it and prefer Razer's rodents.

Ed

January 14, 2009, 10:03 pm

Still can't beat the Steel Series ikari when it comes to gaming. Best mouse by a country mile, in my opinion.





For everyday mousing, though, I found this Microsoft one did help alleviate wrist pain and in that regard I'd definitely recommend it. However, I found it difficult to use accurately so it became frustrating for things like Photoshop and I ditched it - the advantage of having spare mice lying round the office.

Randy

January 14, 2009, 11:44 pm

One more thing - Why no one in Microsoft thought that in this huge receiver you could fit small, corded emergency mouse? 2 buttons, simple scroll, and sensor underneath. This would be brilliant!

TechVegan

January 15, 2009, 4:09 pm

@ Randy: Do you mean emergency as in the batteries running out? Well, it's unlikely people wouldn't have at least one spare AA battery lying around (the mouse only requires one to actually work), but the simple answer to your question is 'cost'.


Besides which, though it's an interesting idea, making the Natural mouse capable of being connected with a cable would be a cheaper and simpler solution.

PGrGr

January 15, 2009, 8:51 pm

Ardjuna: Thanks for taking the time to reply to my comments. I take your point about not relying on MS's claims without independent reference. I'm sure there's an academic somewhere who has studied these things!





With relation to using it on a fabric based mat: I suspect that if the mouse is used as intended ie without the additional weight of your hand on top pushing it down, it would be fine. (The weight of your hand should be on the mat itself, with this one).





Randy: After 2 years of use, my wrist is generally pain free. Occasionally I get some wrist pain, but this could also be due to excessive use of the laptop keyboard instead of the MS one when I'm being lazy about it. Interestingly, I also went through a period of wrist pain from using a bicycle with handlebars which were too narrow for me.





The mouse itself is as good as new in operation. When I bought it there was a tiny bubble beneath the surface of the rubber where the thumb lies. This was too much temptation for one of my colleagues, who picked it in my absence, forgetting that unlike a blister, it wouldn't heal! Obviously I was a bit miffed by this, and the rubber has degraded by a tiny amount around this area, but other than that, its also physically fine.





As a final point, I use a Mac at home, and I use the standard one button mouse which came packaged with the machine. Because there are no buttons on the mouse itself to press, I am able to use this bog standard mouse in a much more ergonomic way, and haven't had any pain at all from it.

shafeeq

May 28, 2012, 5:50 pm

hey i can see these are very old posts but i have using this 6000 laser keyboard and mouse for a while with that huge receiver worked like a charm... but the mouse got spoiled recently and i am looking for a replacment for it so that it could sync in with the receiver of keyboard and I need not use another dongle for the mouse separately... so is there any other newer version of it??? if do please suggest so!!!

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