Let's face it, however ingenious touchpads may have become, offering multi-touch, dedicated scroll zones and various other niceties, there's little that beats the good old mouse for moving a cursor around a screen. One such peripheral for those who want the comfort of a mouse while on the move is Microsoft's new Wireless Mobile Mouse 6000.
One factor that immediately differentiates the Mobile Mouse 6000 from the legion of other 'portable' mice on the market is that it uses Microsoft's BlueTrack sensor technology. Not to be confused with Bluetooth (a wireless transmission standard), BlueTrack purports to combine laser's accuracy with a large degree of surface independence - a claim we found to be true when we looked at Microsoft's revamped Explorer Mouse. In other words, the Mobile 6000 will work as well on granite as on woolly carpet, both scenarios where a laser mouse wouldn't cope.
Inside the package you'll find the mouse, a single AA battery, a CD with Microsoft's IntelliPoint software for both Mac and PC and a colour quick-start guide that clearly illustrates all you need to know.
Also included is the impossibly small pre-paired 2.4GHz RF dongle, which seems even smaller than the already miniscule effort that came with Logitech's V550 Nano Cordless Notebook Mouse. We're glad to see Microsoft catching up here.
In fact, it has surpassed Logitech in its storage implementation of the dongle: the Mobile 6000 features a spring-loaded hatch at its bottom into which you insert the dongle for transport, pressing an easily-accessible button beside it to pop it back out again. This is certainly a lot smoother than with the V550 Nano, where you had to dismantle the mouse to store and retrieve its dongle. One niggle is that - unlike with Logitech's peripheral - inserting the dongle doesn't automatically turn the mouse off, so if you don't remember to utilise the tiny on/off switch it will continue draining the battery. Still, with a claimed battery life of 10 months' constant use, it's not a big issue.
Getting onto the mouse itself, it's a very compact and light unit, weighing only 90 grams with the battery installed. Though its lack of heft does make it feel a little flimsy (especially compared to the V550 Nano's 120 grams), added weight to carry around is never a good thing.
We're less pleased about the finish for the main part of the mouse. Microsoft has gone for piano black here, which while looking great is as prone as always to fingerprints, dust and scratches - even more of an issue since the Mobile 6000 doesn't come with a carry pouch like Logitech's VX Nano or Gyration's Air Mouse.