After installing the single AA rechargeable NiMH battery, the LED on the top of the mouse displayed a slow pulsing red glow, indicating a low charge. After plugging in the charger dock and placing the Explorer on it…
…a pulsing green LED indicated that the battery was charging. When fully charged, the green LED will glow continuously and is ready for a lot of mousing before it needs another charging.
When this mouse first wakes up from its dormant state, (which is almost instantaneously) the bottom and diamond device will light up and emit a blue glow for a few seconds. It then fades out and doesn't come back on until it goes into its sleep cycle again. Within seconds of plugging the transceiver into an available USB port, the Explorer is ready to go to work with full functionality, but the included software disk will allow the user to program some of the buttons for specific tasks they may find more useful than the plug-and-play settings.
Within a few minutes of use, it's generally pretty easy to decide if a mouse is right for you. Granted, extra features may take some getting used to, but for the most part, a mouse either feels good or it doesn't. I have very large hands and fingers, and I found using the Microsoft Explorer mouse to be a very enjoyable experience. My wife, who has very small hands, prefers a slimmer design. But like the feel or not, the functionality is nothing short of superb. The BlueTrack Technology is a noticeable improvement over what I've seen in the past.
I tried the Explorer on surfaces including bare wood, various types of cloth, carpet, glossy paper products and various dedicated mousing surfaces with excellent results. The only surfaces that seemed to confound the Explorer were glass and mirrored surfaces, which confuse all optical rodents. Tracking was very smooth and precise and delivered great performance on most any surface.
While it took over an hour to fully charge the battery right out of the box, I've been using the Explorer for over a week without having to recharge it. The charging station works well and while it takes up a bit more room on the desktop than some other solutions, this is a relatively minor annoyance and easily offset by the overall functionality of the Explorer mouse itself.