At least the sides of Microsoft's five-button mouse, separated from the glossy section by faux-chrome strips, are a lovely rubberised plastic. There's a thumb indent and small silver thumb-button on each side of this symmetrical peripheral so it's perfectly ambidextrous - although that's a common enough feature among mice. However, thanks to its curved back it also lies in the hand more comfortably than the V550 Nano, giving better support for your palm as you grip the sides of the mouse.
On the other hand, its thin Teflon feet make using it on a cloth pad awkward, as you can feel the Mobile 6000's bottom scraping across the textile. However, given the BlueTrack technology means it can be used on more or less any surface - be it carpet or wood - it's something of a non-issue unless you absolutely must use a mouse mat, in which case you probably don't need BlueTrack or a portable mouse.
Perhaps the biggest dissapointment with the Mobile Mouse 6000 is its scroll wheel. While the four-way wheel lies comfortably enough under the finger and is finished in the same soft-touch material as the mouse's sides, its slow, non-notched action simply doesn't match up to the broad, ribbed wheels on Logitech's mice. This is especially true of those that offer the company's truly revolutionary Hyper Scrolling, which can switch between notched and 'free-wheel' modes depending on circumstances.
Finally on the hardware front, it's worth mentioning a small green battery indicator easily visible below the scroll wheel so that you'll never be caught by surprise.
Software is, as one would hope from the makers of Windows, excellent. IntelliPoint lets you adjust what any of the mouse's buttons do with a dynamic visual representation showing you their location. In a surprisingly open move, there's even a tab for Logitech's SetPoint Settings if you have any of the rival manufacturer's peripherals installed.
Essentially then, with Microsoft's Wireless Mobile Mouse 6000 it's a case of weighing up what you need and how much you're willing to spend to get it. If you require a mouse that will work on almost any surface, there simply is no 'ordinary' desktop mouse alternative to Microsoft's amazing BlueTrack technology.
Nor do you pay too much of a premium for it, since at £29 the Mobile 6000 is very reasonably priced. Its most direct competitor, Logitech's V550 Nano, costs around same and though its laser sensor can't cope with the variety of surfaces Microsoft's rodent can, its reassuring weight gives it a better balance and its scroll action is on a whole other level. There's also the Nano VX to consider, which at around £6 extra is arguably more refined than either.
Microsoft's BlueTrack techonology is well utilised in a portable mouse such as this, ensuring it will work on pretty much any surface. This is also a reasonably priced effort and though it lacks the excellent scrolls wheels found on Logitech's efforts, if you're on the move BlueTrack gives it a definite edge.