Tech geeks like ourselves tend to be a nostalgic bunch. We can remember when Tandy computers were sold in Radio Shack and when one of the choices we faced was to go with a Sound Blaster 16 or Ad Lib audio card. Every so often, a company will tap into our penchant for nostalgia. That is the case right now with Microsoft bringing back its iconic IntelliMouse, which was first introduced back in 1996.
The thing about old hardware, however, is that it's not always suited for modern times. In fact, Microsoft continued to update the IntelliMouse for several years, up through 2003 when it released the IntelliMouse 3.0. The new 'Classic IntellMouse' for 2018 is based on that 15-year-old design with the same classic ergonomic look and feel, but with improved performance and features built around modern technology.
So, what exactly is different?
"We improved two really important factors, the tracking sensor and the tactility and feel of the buttons. What we know our fans will see and feel is that it’s the exact same shape and size of the IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0 from 2003. However, underneath the hood it’s all brand-new technology, brand new mechanical engineering and brand-new structures so it’s a lot more rigid than the original. The build quality is really excellent," Microsft explains.
The new Classic IntelliMouse uses the same Omron switches as found on the previous model, but adds three Kailh switches for the middle wheel button and side button. According to Microsoft, the side buttons are vastly improved, with a snappy and crisp feel with "just the right force and click to them."
Microsoft did not go into details about the type and model of the sensor, however it did offer up that it has a DPI range of up to 3,200. That may not seem all that impressive on the surface, but it's worth mentioning that many hardcore and professional gamers feel that higher DPI settings are basically a gimmick. We won't pass judgement until we've had the opportunity to test the new Classic IntelliMouse, but as far as Microsoft is concerned, it offers exceptional tracking.
For anyone who is interested, the Classic IntelliMouse is available now direct from Microsoft for $39.99.