Once again, it comes down to two manufacturers - but who should you go for?
|Mouse||Intellimouse Optical 1.1A||Intellimouse Explorer 3.0A||Wireless Intellimouse Explorer 1.0A||MX-700|
|Power Consumption (at 5V)||100mA||100mA||25mA||50mA|
|Battery Type||N/A||N/A||Standard Alkaline or rechargeables (AA)||BYD Company Limited NiMH 1.2V 1700mAh|
|Weight||3.05 oz||3.640 oz||5.335 oz||6.060 oz|
|Cord Length||6.5 ft||5 ft||5 ft||4 ft|
|Frames Captured Per Second||6000||6000||2000||5250|
|Tracking||20-30 inches per second||37 inches per second||10-20 inches per second||40 inches per second|
|Resolution||400 DPI||400 DPI||400 DPI||800 DPI|
|Effective Range||N/A||N/A||6 ft||10 ft|
Although the specifications might give you bragging rights, actual performance is much more important. The Wireless Intellimouse is an older technology, and it shows. It is difficult to move it a single pixel, and does not move the cursor at all if you move it slowly enough. Clearly, this mouse is not good enough for gaming, though the new version might well be.
The Intellimouse Optical tracks fairly well, and only in rare cases will the average user notice any problems with tracking, but it is outclassed by the more modern versions.
The Logitech MX700 and the Microsoft Intellimoue Explorer are indistinguishable in performance. Both of them track perfectly on almost any surface, and we are totally unable to make it skip, nor did we ever see lag.
The battery life of the Wireless Intellimouse Explorer is impressive: it normally lasts over two months, even with very heavy use. The Logitech has rechargeable batteries, so if you leave it in its charging stand when you aren't using it, you'll never run out of juice.
By far the most comfortable I have ever laid my hands on, the Wireless Intellimouse Explorer 1.0A feels like it was designed from a mold of your hand. The weight, which is considerably more than others, is a plus in this case. It moves quickly and smoothly, and the weight makes it easier to control accurately. All the buttons are easily accessible.
The Intellimouse Optical can be used with either hand easily - its design is symmetric. It offers reasonable comfort, and average weight. Again, all the buttons are easily reached.
The Logitech MX700 has an odd shape which takes some getting used to, but is effective. However, though it supposedly has eight buttons, 3 of them would require a contortionist's fingers to reach without letting go of the mouse, making them pretty useless.
The Intellimouse Explorer is the form that many of us are used to, and it feels fairly natural, but it is not nearly as comfortable as the Wireless Version. The mouse is so light the cord pulls it, so only people who like light mice should get it.
The looks of the mouse are a toss-up; it depends on what you prefer. The Logitech has a unique look, but the Wireless Intellimouse Explorer looks much better to me. The Intellimouse Optical is a plain design, but it is cheap, and offers superb value.
All the mice have USB connections, which is the way to go. Using Mouserate.exe, you can check the refresh rate, which for all these mice is 125 Hz.
Clearly, both companies are offering solid contenders. Microsoft has more options, and I prefer their design to Logitech's. I recommend you try them both out, and choose the one that feels comfortable to you. If you use your mouse a lot, comfort is important, so choose wisely. All of them offer good enough performance for most people.
Here are pictures of each, just in case you want to see them before you shop.
The Microsoft Intellimouse Optical was too ugly to take a picture of, so we leave that to your imagination. Just keep in mind, unless you like drab, steer clear.
Microsoft Wireless Intellimouse Explorer
Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0