Microsoft Pro IntelliMouse review
- Textured thumb buttons are comfortable and shaped for easy access.
- Supports up to 16,000 DPI.
- Stays true to the classic IntelliMouse design.
- No dedicated DPI buttons.
- Right-handed models only.
- Lacks the pizzazz of other gaming mice.
Way back when, Microsoft dominated the market for computer mice. Its IntelliMouse line popularised a number of features we now take for granted, from the all-important scroll wheel to optical sensors to handy thumb buttons.
While Microsoft doesn't enjoy that same monopoly nowadays, the IntelliMouse brand lives on nonetheless. Microsoft brought it back in 2017 with the Classic IntelliMouse, and now it's taking aim at PC gamers with the upgraded Pro IntelliMouse.
From the outside, the Pro IntelliMouse stays true to the classic IntelliMouse aesthetic. You've got the choice of "Shadow black" and "Shadow white" colour schemes, both of which offer a subdued look that prioritises function over form.
This is in keeping with the original IntelliMouse design and means the Pro IntelliMouse integrates seamlessly into an office environment. At the same time, it lacks the pomp and circumstance of most other gaming mice, which could be a turn-off for some gamers.
More appealing for folks wanting to get their game on is the addition of textured grips to the two thumb buttons. This helps keep your thumb in place even during intense gaming sessions. Even better, the foremost button features a raised bump that makes it easy to distinguish between it and the second thumb button by touch alone.
Another welcome addition is the braided USB cable which replaces the plastic cable on the Classic IntelliMouse. Braided cables are typically stronger and more resilient than plastic cables. If you prefer having a single mouse you take with you, a braided cable is key to avoiding damage in transit.
Sadly, the Pro IntelliMouse preserves one of the more disappointing aspects of the Classic IntelliMouse: it's available only in a right-handed configuration. Left-handed folks will need to either switch hands or skip the Pro IntelliMouse entirely.
To better appeal to the PC gaming audience, Microsoft has equipped the Pro IntelliMouse with a new optical sensor designed for greater precision and faster response times. While I can't personally speak to the differences between this new sensor and the one on the Classic IntelliMouse, I can say that it tracked accurately and reliably during my testing.
The Pro IntelliMouse has a decent heft to it, which I appreciated. It's not heavy by any stretch of the imagination, but there's enough weight that it doesn't feel cheap and flimsy. Coupled with improvements to the button actuation to withstand more clicks, the Pro IntelliMouse feels sturdy enough to survive plenty of use.
Scrolling is solid too. Each tick of the scroll wheel delivers enough resistance to enable precise scrolling without feeling stiff or preventing rapid page navigation.
Customisability is a key component of any good gaming mouse. Microsoft clearly recognises that, as it has added a sizeable suite of customisation settings to the Pro IntelliMouse via the rather plainly-titled Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Centre app.
Admittedly, the app doesn't make the greatest first impression. At no point during the installation process is it clear that you need to download the Mouse and Keyboard Centre app separately, and there is no mention of the app in any of the included documentation. Without the app, you miss out on all the DPI settings and button customisation, so the lack of guidance here seems like a mistake.
Once you've got the app installed though, the actual customisation is quite slick. Simple menu options let you assign macros, key combinations or DPI changes to the scroll wheel button and the two thumb buttons – the left and right buttons can be swapped but not customised, unfortunately. You can change these settings on a per-app basis as well, assigning specific macros to different games and tailoring mouse sensitivity to suit individual tasks.
Since all gaming hardware needs to have some form of RGB lighting these days, the Pro IntelliMouse features a slim tail light at its base. You can customise the colour through the Mouse and Keyboard Centre app, but it only supports static colours. If you were hoping to turn your desk into a rave, you're out of luck, I'm afraid.
Microsoft's Pro IntelliMouse doesn't quite live up to the legacy of the IntelliMouse brand, but that's okay. While it doesn't redefine what a gaming mouse is capable of, it delivers solid performance and modern functionality in a sleek, nostalgia-fuelled shell.
Pricing and availability
Buy Microsoft Pro IntelliMouse from Microsoft Store
Microsoft's iconic IntelliMouse is back with a host of new features designed for high-performance gaming. Buy it now from the Microsoft Store.View details
The Microsoft Pro IntelliMouse retails for $89.95 and is available online through the Microsoft Store as well as select brick-and-mortar retailers.
Microsoft Pro IntelliMouse specs
- 69mm x 43mm x 132mm
- USB 2.0
- Up to 16,000 DPI
- Programmable buttons