Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse
The Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse is an impressive throwback to a much simpler time. A time when pointing and clicking was done without the aid of RGB lighting, and simply being ergonomic with the added power of lasers was enough to make you the envy of all the various mice in the neighbourhood - so to speak. A surprise 2018 hardware release from Microsoft, the Classic IntelliMouse brings back a design and product not seen in over a decade. At a time when the market for an affordable high-performance performance mouse has reached an almost breaking point.
The fact that it has managed to create an impressive mouse with modern sensibilities, whilst retaining that classic look and feel first born in the second half of the 1990s, is remarkable. But not surprising once you factor in the innovative history behind the IntelliMouse name.
Okay, so you know that scroll wheel on your mouse? The one that lets you scroll up and down through various articles on the internet. The one you’ve just used to scroll past this paragraph to check out the final review score - before coming back for all that juicy technical detail. Well it first made its debut on the Microsoft IntelliMouse. That and this is the mouse that got rid of the track ball for smooth laser-powered pointer movement. And the bonus of an ergonomic shape that once it came into contact with a palm was able to mind-meld or assimilate like a Star Trek character – or villain. The pointy eared dude and the cyborg lady. Anyway, the Classic IntelliMouse doesn’t exactly bring with it any huge advancements in mouse technology – but what it does is subtly bring the device into the 21st century.
Namely, in terms of feel. Lightweight, sturdy, comfortable, and ergonomic in all the right places. Gone is the bright red laser of the original, in its place a new blue laser of Microsoft’s BlueTrack sensor (which is surprisingly decent across several surface types) and a subtle charcoal aesthetic that doesn’t stand out so much as it blends seamlessly with most surfaces. In an age of designs that demand attention through aggressively angular flourishes and rainbow lighting – the Classic IntelliMouse is refreshingly boring. It looks like a mouse and nothing more.
- Sensor: Microsoft BlueTrack
- DPI: Up to 3200
- Polling Rate: 1000 Hz
- Buttons: Five
- Weight: 100g
- Cable: USB 2.0
With the aid of the simple to use Mouse and Keyboard Center app, that’s strangely a separate search, download and then install after plugging the IntelliMouse in for the first time, the Classic IntelliMouse reveals its subtle improvements and features that make it a viable choice even for high-end twitch gaming. Namely, playing a few rounds of Quake Champions. With the fully customisable DPI settings, the lightweight build and ergonomics lead to a smooth and lag-free experience that’s well – impressive. So much so that we still haven’t bother to switch back to our fancy wireless mouse weeks after the Classic IntelliMouse first arrived.
And once you factor in the low price, it’s hard not to be impressed with Microsoft’s decision to bring back its high-end mouse from the 90s. It may not be perfect, in that the cable feels a little flimsy and the macro/customisation possibilities are only limited to three buttons, but you’d be hard pressed to find a better mouse in this price range.