Holiday Buyer's Guide 2006, Part 3: Components & Peripherals

Mouse Mania

Microsoft Wireless Presenter Mouse 8000: Move, Point And Control

The Wireless Notebook Presenter Mouse 8000 is a cross between a portable wireless notebook mouse and a wireless presentation device. It features the common two buttons and a very smooth scroll wheel, which also acts as a middle/third button. In addition, the buttons are customizable, so you can apply different functions. Unfortunately, Microsoft's product website was still incomplete at the time we wrote this article, when we wanted to look up the product details.

The mouse is powered by two AAA batteries, so it is reasonably light for mobile use. It is suitable for either-hand use, though users with large hands should probably try it out before purchasing it, since small mice don't work for everybody. Our batteries have lasted three weeks so far.

This mouse uses the Bluetooth interface; Microsoft provides a small USB 2.0 Bluetooth dongle for those whose PCs do not feature an integrated Bluetooth transceiver. We tried both the Bluetooth dongle and the integrated Bluetooth of an Asus W5F notebook, and pairing worked immediately. If you turn your Wireless Presenter Mouse off and on again, slight movement or pressing a button will be sufficient to pair it with your host system again.

Of course, this product wouldn't be called the Presenter Mouse 8000 if there weren't an additional feature for presentations. If you turn the device upside down, you will notice several control buttons on the bottom. These can be used to control a Powerpoint presentation or flip through your slides; skip, play or pause tracks or videos in Windows Media Player; or change the volume setting. In addition, the mouse features a built-in laser pointer, which can be enabled or disabled using the center button.

Overall, this mouse certainly is worth the $80 cost if you need the wireless input device as well as the remote control and presentation features.