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Microsoft Comfort Optical Mouse 3000

The Ultimate Mouse Hunt

Microsoft's mice have disappointed us somewhat lately. Their odd technological choices, such as track wheels without detents, and a general lack of innovation had left us feeling unsatisfied, especially in the area of performance and gaming. I should mention that Microsoft still has the best mouse for portable computers - the Wireless Notebook Optical. On the subject of performance, Microsoft had told us that optical mice had reached a performance ceiling and that progress would now be a matter of ergonomics and design. Fortunately, they seem to have revised that policy and made performance a concern again.

One More Step To Go

The Comfort 3000 offers what Microsoft calls High-Definition Optical Technology as a step towards laser. The sensor operates at 6,000 images per second, the onboard processor is more powerful and a specific algorithm (Intelligent Tracking System) is supposed to guarantee more fluid movement. The resolution has been pushed to 1,000 dpi - a first for Microsoft. We don't know if the sensor is still produced by STMicroelectronics as in earlier versions. But in any case, the shape is similar. Before the Comfort 3000, the highest-performing sensor was the MLT04 (22x22 pixels, 400 dpi and 9,000 ips) used in the IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0. Compared to the competition, we weren't blown away - not with laser and 2,000 dpi mice in the picture. So there's nothing revolutionary about this mouse. But Microsoft has gotten us used to excellent sensors. Figures are one thing, and actual performance is another. With less than chart-busting values, you can still create a high-performance mouse.

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