The first thing to note about this mouse is its size, as it's significantly larger than its counterparts in the Microsoft range. Once under the palm of your hand, though, it is easy to see why: ergonomics.
With a curved top and tapered sides, specifically designed to accommodate the shape of a relaxed hand, you would soon forget you were holding a mouse if it weren't for pressing the buttons.
And on the subject of buttons, this mouse features the ubiquitous dual-button and scroll wheel design, but adds two additional buttons conveniently located where your thumb rests. By default these are set as back and forward buttons when web browsing, but can be redefined to perform all manner of tasks.
This button-defining feature extends to all five buttons, enabling each to perform a unique task in individual applications (i.e. the left button can be set to cut in Word, but insert comment in Excel).
The big selling points of the Wireless IntelliMouse are, of course, its wireless capabilities and the fact that it uses IntelliEye technology in order to move the cursor around the screen. In layman's terms this translates to the mouse having no moving parts (e.g. a ball) but uses an optical sensor to track movement.
This has the result that a mouse mat is no longer needed and the mouse will operate on virtually any dark surface. Combined with its wireless capabilities, this gives you otherwise unobtainable freedom of movement.
As a wireless device it has (surprise, surprise) no wires. Instead, co-ordinates are sent via radio frequency to a receiver that plugs into a PC's USB port. The upside of this is that you can move the mouse further than if constrained by a finite wire, but it has the downside of hogging one of your limited number of USB ports.
Because of this wireless feature the mouse runs off two AA batteries, fitted via the underbelly of the device, and features an early warning signal when battery strength gets low.
Battery life can vary, with the bundled batteries lasting less than a week and subsequent battery sets giving several weeks of constant use. Tip the mouse upside down when not in use, and the batteries will last much longer, as transmissions are stopped at such times.
This device is currently available only in a right-handed form. Supposedly, this is to track its market potential before introducing the less in demand left-handed version.