48 Hours with the Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 5000


Until Saturday, the last time I bought a mouse was in 2002. It was the Logitech Mouseman Dual Optical.

You’ll have a hard time finding a product page for it. It is now what Logitech calls a “Legacy” device – it means it’s fuggin’ old.

But I’ve been happily using this mouse everyday for the past 6 years. It’s like an old pair of sneakers now: comfy, rubber piece is hanging off the side, a little blemished – but it’s mine.

Still, I thought it was time to buy a new mouse, and after a visit to Staples I came back with the Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 5000.

Before I talk about that though, let’s talk about what Dan really likes in his mice, or at least what he really likes about the Mouseman Dual Optical.

  1. Big buttons
  2. *Click* sound
  3. Thumb button actually placed where your thumb lies naturally

That’s really it. No out of the ordinary needs – just responsiveness and a well thought out structure.

I delayed buying a new mouse for so long because I wanted to actually use the mouse before buying it. Makes sense, but the problem is that when you use a mouse in a place like Staples you aren’t actually using it – you’re touching it and pretending to use it.

I picked the Wireless Laser Mouse 5000 because:

  1. Reasonably cheap
  2. It’s wireless
  3. It has a really smooth scroll wheel

But despite the Staples test drive, I took it home and hated it.

Wireless Puck

On the package design, Microsoft did a really good job hiding the wireless puck. When you pick up the package you only see the mouse. I assumed I would be able to use Bluetooth – but no, you’ve still got to plug something in.

Intellimouse on OSX Isn’t So Intelligent

In fact, when you’re using it in the OSX control panel, all the features completely shut down. Expose clicks didn’t work, nor did my Shift+MouseButton4 for Spaces. The tracking speed felt really odd too.

Not ergonomic

Microsoft designed the Wireless Laser Mouse 5000 to work with right-handed and left-handed mousers, resulting in a device that’s not very comfortable in either hand.

The thumb buttons aren’t well placed either. Your thumb has to move up to click that button – on the Mouseman Dual Optical the button feels natural to click with little thumb-moving effort. On the Laser Mouse 5000’s opposite side there’s also a 5th button, and you’ll wonder at first what function you should assign it to, and then wonder what finger you should use to click that button.

There’s also this plastic coating on the mouse which makes your hand feel like it’s on a slip and slide.

Heaviest Scroll Wheel Button Ever

You have to eat a can of spinach before middle-clicking. Way too much resistance, and since I’ve assigned the middle-click to show all windows in Expose, I couldn’t stand it.

Initially, I thought “Well, you’ve got to give it some time. You have to break it in and get used to it.” But then reality set in – when was the last time anybody broke in a mouse? You either like it or you don’t, and you usually find out pretty quickly.

So, I’ve gone back to the Mouseman Dual Optical and will either return the Laser Mouse 5000 or give it to a family member. I suppose I’ll just keep using the Dual Optical until it dies – but I fear the day of having to replace it.

I just wish I could go to Logitech’s site and use a feature that just told me the upgraded version of this mouse – but from what I see I’m not impressed with any of Logitech’s current offerings.