Microsoft has made some pretty decent mice over the years, and we've enjoyed using both wired and wireless models of theirs (we remember the Wireless Mouse 1000 particularly fondly, even if we didn't use it much for gaming). One of the universally favoured MS models was the old IntelliMouse, which was a solid, affordable device that doubled up nicely as an entry point gaming mouse. Now Microsoft is bringing the series back in the form of the Classic IntelliMouse, and we've taken it out for a spin.
First impressions are positive enough, as the build is sturdy and straightforward and the materials understated yet entirely acceptable. The almost-brushed plastic body is edged by rubber grips on either side, one housing two nicely differentiated thumb buttons and the other elegantly curved around the right-leaning edge. The mouse wheel, which is robust in its design and has a satisfying click, sits nicely between the two main buttons. At the back of the mouse there's a subtle solitary bar of light underneath the logo, and the whole thing is simple yet elegantly put together, with the bulky body being a surprisingly comfortable fit under our right hand.
The DPI is adjustable via the free software (it's called the Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Centre - a catchy title if ever we've heard one) if you want a particularly sensitive cursor that it's easy enough to tweak, although we thought the preset was perfectly adequate for our modest needs. Similarly, you can move the buttons around and even link certain buttons to certain actions when using particular apps, which makes it particularly adaptable if you're planning on splitting your time between gaming and working on your PC. It's easy to do and your shortcuts are simple to manage via the aforementioned software, and we were impressed by how effortlessly it all worked with our Windows 10 setup.
Customisable it may be, but what you won't find here are any bells and whistles. The backlight at the base of the mouse, for example, isn't going to start changing colour any time soon (there's no rainbow-coloured light show about to erupt out of the thing) nor are you going to find weights hidden in the side of the chassis to adjust its heft. This isn't trying to dazzle you with extensive features and buzzwords, and if you're after a gaming mouse that gives you that little bit extra, you're probably going to want to look elsewhere.
However, what the Classic IntelliMouse does offer is a competitive price point, and you can pick one up for around £30 (the RRP is £40), so when you compare it against similarly priced rivals then Microsoft's option becomes rather competitive. The wired-USB cable means that it's reliable and responsive, the tracking seemed accurate during our testing, and each of the buttons has a satisfying click, a trait more important than you might imagine.
This is a no-nonsense gaming mouse, and if you're after a new/replacement mouse that does the basics very well at a price that doesn't break the bank, the Classic IntelliMouse is well worth considering. At its price point, it's going up against some very capable mice, but this reimagined model from Microsoft is certainly worth consideration, especially if you're nostalgic about the IntelliMouse series in general and can pick it up close to £30.