Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 Review
November 5, 2011
In a world growing more and more swamped with gaming mice, one mouse has stood tried and true to me in my pc gaming career. Ever since the first Intellimouse Explorer, I have never found another mouse quite as comfortable and precise for such a low price. Other gaming mice boast higher levels of Dpi, adjustable weights, and other features that make it seem worth its exuberant price, but honestly, for half the price you can get a gaming mouse that will satisfy everything a gamer is looking for in a mouse.
The Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 looks like a fairly standard mouse, except that it is much larger than your average mouse. As a gamer with larger hands, it is definitely a feature of the mouse I gladly welcome, and even those with smaller hands will enjoy not having to “squeeze” the mouse just to get a firm grip, just a graceful glide on its surface and it is literally in your hand.
As of right now there are two colors: the standard grey color, and the “Legends” edition which features a beige color scheme. In this review are pictures of the standard grey color, but here is a quick image search for the “Legends” Edition. With earlier versions, I remember the paint eventually chipping away over time, but having used this mouse for awhile now I can see little to no damage to its exterior, even after extensive use. Clearly with the latest iteration, Microsoft has made this great design much more durable.
Now it may not look as flashy as, say, Razer mice, or as crazy as the R.A.T. Series, but it defintely doesn’t look like some standard mouse either. The bottom red light indicates when the mouse is on, but other than that it has no flashy lights or unique effects (like the TRON Mouse and Mousepad). If you don’t mind settling on a mouse that won’t exactly turn heads, you’ll definitely be rewarded with a great performing mouse.
Installing this mouse is easy, as most mice installations should be. If you are using Windows Vista or Windows 7 just plug in and play; its simple USB! Older versions might not be supported or may require drivers. Aside from that, you can also customize the mouse’s features such as scroll speed or even the side buttons used for web browsing. These can be adjusted in the mouse settings in the control panel.
To gamers, one of the first things they’ll look for in a gaming mouse is the stats (Dpi, weight, cord length, etc.), and typically the more expensive mice are naturally the ones boasting the highest stats, so it is often assumed that those are the best mice. As a result these mice can range from $70 to even $150, which if you think about it, is quite a lot for just a mouse.
But the hardcore gamers could care less. If it has a high Dpi, is developed a high-end perpetual manufacturer, and looks fancy enough to showcase at a LAN party, any price is worth it. If this is your mentality, you will hate this mouse, and for all the wrong reasons. It’s not because it doesn’t perform well, it doesn’t feel nice, or it isn’t incredibly responsive; it has all of those things. Because of that, this mouse practically contradicts your perception about high-end gaming mice, and maybe even high-end perpetuals in general.
I used to be like that, assuming the more expensive stuff were automatically the best, but sometimes they aren’t. Think of it like this; you can spend plenty for a steak that meets your high expectations, or you can pay significantly less for a burger that blows your mind. If you still want the steak, go for it, but if you’d rather spend less money on gaming mice and more on games, read on.
Right on the box the Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 boasts being the most favored mouse in all major LAN events. This particular fact caught my eye when I went out looking for a mouse, moreso than the rest of the advertised features. While 9000 FPS, 25G Max Acceleration, and 54IPS sound like nice features, they typically aren’t on other gaming mice’ boxes. Usually its Dpi, weight, etc., so I wondered why these features were omitted. That, and the fact that if this mouse was as popular as they claimed to be, why was it only $40?
As I mentioned before, I had older versions of this mouse, but now that I had money to spend I wanted a high-end gaming mouse. Even so, I was suprised to see that these series of mice still existed. Before it was more about its ease in surfing the web, but now they’ve geared it as a gaming mouse. It’s been awhile since I’ve used the Intellimouse Explorer 2.0, and although I remember the originals being very comfortable I never knew it was a gamers’ favorite. My mind was set on getting a high-end gaming mouse, but my heart yearned to get the Intellimouse Explorer yet again. Needless to say, I followed my heart, and was rewarded greatly.
I’m not going to lie, I’m no expert when it comes to gaming mice. But, I have tried other high-end mice, and to be honest I don’t see what the big deal is behind them. Higher responsiveness, adjustable weights, extreme polling times, all of these features sound important, but these features become less and less noticable among the higher stats. Could you see the difference between a 8500 Dpi mouse and a 9500 Dpi mouse? Does a 2.5kg weight really make a huge difference?
If you believe so, and I mean REALLY believe that these minor difference will affect your gameplay, then click that “X” on the top right of this window. If you think that maybe, these stats might not matter if you like the feel, response, and control of a “lesser mouse” then
As of the time of this writing, this mouse is going for $40 average at most retailers/websites. For a regular mouse, that price is fair, and for a gaming mouse it is excellent. Even for the non-gamers I’d still recommend this mouse just because of how comfortable it feels. Gamers can appreciate paying half of what most gaming mice costs from other vendors, and sacrifice little (or even barely noticeable) performance. For future computer gamers, this mouse is a great starting point, because you might just stick with it even as you upgrade everything else in your computer.
- Appearance – 80%
- Setup – 95%
- Performance – 90%
- Value – 95%
- Overall – 92%
Little else needs to be said about this mouse. It performs great, it looks pretty good, and the price is the real kicker. Before you blindly spend your money in hopes of getting a great mouse I highly encourage you to at least give this mouse a shot. Microsoft may not be known for having the best PC gaming perpetuals, but after using a mouse like this, there is very little to improve on. Ignore the Dpi, weight, and other fancy pants features other mice boast about; this is a damn good mouse, and it is worthy of any gamer.
- Dustin S.