As things tend to do, my eleven year old Logitech mouse finally gave up the ghost about a month ago. My only backup choices were one of my Apple Mighty Mouses (Mice?) but my laptop doesn't have bluetooth for the wireless version, and the wired version's cable is too stiff for me to use comfortably. My last option was a Microsoft Explorer Touch wireless mouse I had picked up from Goodwill three years ago. My only initial concern was, like the wireless Mighty Mouse, I didn't want something that chewed through batteries at an alarming rate.
I couldn't care less about how sleek the design is, although it is pretty sleek, I just needed a functional mouse. After tracking it down in my old laptop bag, I plugged in the dongle and almost immediately everything was ready to go. Straight away I noticed just how much smoother and better the DPI was with this mouse. It was comfortable in my hand, and since there was no wire to get tangled, it was far better than what I used for just over a decade. What could go wrong?
After about a week I noticed hand gunk accumulating on the, formerly, shiny black plastic of the Explorer Touch. Then I noticed all the gunk building up in the open crevasses along the top of the mouse. But by far the worst offense from this mouse is that the mouse wheel is touch sensitive, rather than any actual wheel, making it nearly impossible to use because of the buildup. Anyone who uses a mouse often will understand that skin oils and dead cells are just a natural situation, so there isn't much I could do to avoid this issue.
The final fault for this mouse is just how easy it is to lose the dongle. The dongle is suppose to have a kind of push in and push out mechanism on the bottom of the mouse that doesn't work very well anymore. Luckily mine was always in a laptop bag, but the dongle could easily slip out and disappear, rendering the whole thing useless.
One of the things that surprised me about the Explorer Touch, beyond having better DPI than my old mouse, was the battery life. I've accidentally left it on many times overnight and the batteries that it came with, over three years ago, worked for a few weeks.
I don't love this mouse, but it functions smoother and better than my old mouse. If only there was an actual wheel in the center and it didn't have gigantic crevasses for hand gunk to get down into and need cleaned out this mouse would be perfect, instead it's just usable.