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    Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer Review

    Reviewed by Brett "MystikaL" Guarnieri

    I didnít review this mouse earlier mainly because I wasnít too fond of it right away, although it looked damn cool. The first time I got to try it out was playing Quake 3 at my friendís house. Wow, was I surprised. The mouse not only felt amazingly well positioned in my hand, but the pinpoint accuracy it gave was remarkable. I was now able to draw better in PhotoShop, along with keeping a steady hand in Flash. My frag count doubled in Unreal Tournament, and I could now snipe moving targets a lot better in CTF - Diamond Sword - A UT Map. The only drawback to it, is it does cost 70 dollars, but backed by a lifetime limited warrantee. Your better off buying this one now, than watching your other mice break after a year. I have had to replace my mouse 3 times over the past year, mainly because of the mouse becoming too dirty, and the wires getting messed up. Although the mouse is still prone to dirt a bit, itís not anywhere close to as prone as the old mice are with the balls. Since there arenít any moving parts, you wonít ever have to clean the insides. You should still keep the mouse looking nice, by rubbing the buttons clean every so often, which isnít much of a task.

    This mouse, being designed by Microsoft, is expensive, made for designers/gamers in mind, and very slick. If your not an avid gamer, or designer, I would still recommend everyone purchase one of these. Why? In the long run, you will actually save money by purchasing one of these, then to replace your mouse every year or so. If the mouse ever breaks (by accident, or from faulty hardware), you can easily get it fixed, or replaced. On average, I used to purchase a new $50 dollar mouse every 4 months. Thatís $150 every year and $600 in 4 years (the average time I have a computer after upgrades). It is the cold hard facts that you are seeing here my friends. For a gamer, or designer you are spending at least 4 times less (even if you purchase a new one only once a year). For a home user, someone who doesnít play games, and mainly uses the computer for online discussion(s), stock trading, and other business related purposes, I would recommend buying this mouse mainly because it will last longer, and even you will save money. A few adult friends of mine have had at least 1 new mouse a year, and have their computers for an average of 3 years. With this mouse, you, and them, would still be spending half the amount of purchasing a new mouse every year. I would say overall to give this mouse a try, even if youíre not a gamer, or designer.

    Letís go into detail about the actual piece of hardware now. Microsoftís goal was to deliver a mouse to the user that would provide the most amount of control possible. How did they do it? Instead of using the tracking ball in the bottom of the mouse, they decided to rid the mouse of this stone age technology and replace it with an optical sensor that scans the surface 1,500 times per second, twelve times more than the average retail mouse. The mouse also delivers 1200 dpi, where as the average mouse is close to 300. This means your kill area is increased in games like Quake 3 - you now have a better chance of killing something. The only mouse that offers more dpi is the Razor Boomslang 2000. The Intellimouse Explorer also comes with the ability to connect to two kinds of ports, USB and PS/2. Hooking it up to USB will increase overall performance, though it doesnít work on systems with Windows 95 (in USB mode). The mouse also comes with the default 3 buttons (2 main and 1 wheel button), along with providing two more buttons at the position where your thumb rests (on the left side). Also, with the new optical technology, it also means you wonít need a mousepad, go ahead and use this sucker on any surface - from gravel, to grass. The only difficult situation this mouse could leave you in, is where youíre using the mouse on a very shiny, or reflective surface - without a mouse pad. The mouse will behave oddly in this situation because of the optical technology. Behold, there is a cheaper version. For 49.99 at, you can grab one of these with the default IntelliMouse pro look to it. This version comes with the default 2 buttons and wheel/3rd button, along with having the white plastic. The only difference between this version, and the other Microsoft Intellimouseís is the optical technology. If youíre a home user, get this one, or if youíre an older person and have trouble seeing, get the more expensive slick one, which will let you zoom in and out on screen with the two buttons resting where the thumb is placed.

    Overall the mouse is something that everyone should have, even the person who only uses their computer once a week, or that just sends e-mail. Microsoft created an excellent new mouse here, and for the money it costs, itís definitely worth it.

    Price: US $69.99 - Shipping: now - Red Version w/ 5 buttons
    Price: US $49.99 - Shipping: now - White version w/ 3 buttons
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    Zalman: ZM-DS4F Headphones

    An affordable, ultra-portable headphone set.

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