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The HP scroll mouse has now gone beyond is past due date. Its looks, performance and reliability are all outdated and this clearly shows in daily usage.
The mouse is built to be basic and very cheap. You can tell this from the materials used to the performance almost straight out of the box. This mouse is slow, unresponsive and extremely unreliable. Despite inbuilt optical tracking, the quality of the response is worse than many of its ball roller ancestors. The buttons on the mouse are not comfortable to press and make a significant clunk when pressed down. The wheel is impractical as it is not easy to operate due to HP's build quality.
As the mouse has a PS/2 connector, it will not work with most modern-day netbooks, laptops and the newest desktops. Furthermore, the PS/2 signal does not seem to be as fast or reliable as the that of the newer USB-powered mice.
The only positives I have seen in this mouse are its relatively neutral and modern looks & colour scheme and a fairly long cable allowing you to thread it around and underneath the desk to free up cluttered space.
~~~ Overview & Appearance ~~~
The HP PS2 optical scroll mouse is about as basic as mice come these days. Featuring left and right click buttons and a scroll wheel, this mouse seems to be the basic model shipped with all of their HP Compaq desktop PCs. Manufactured on the sneak by Logitech, the main body of the mouse is housed in black plastic with a small, tastefully subtle HP logo printed on it in silver, whilst each click button is finished in a metallic silver. The fabulous scroll wheel is a rather boring matte grey, but has a satisfying "click" to let you know that it is registering input.
The underside of the mouse is constructed of translucent plastic with a bright red LED mounted in the centre to capture the movements of the device across your desk.
~~~ Use ~~~
Being fitted with a green PS/2 connector, installing the mouse is a piece of cake as your computer will also have a matching green port into which the connector plugs. Being a basic mouse, Windows (for this is a PC-only peripheral) automatically detects and installs the requisite driver software so you should be able to go as soon as your PC has finished booting.
I have found the mouse to be comfortable and easy to use, the domed back of the mouse fitting nicely into the palm of my hand. The generous cable attached is thick and strong and also allows for free movement of the mouse across the desk and also free placement on either side of your keyboard dependent on your dexterity.
Being a Logitech contruction, the build quality is pretty good, the device feels sturdy and despite it's relative lightness it seems quite strong.
~~~ Observations ~~~
The ease of use of this unit is also its greatest strength. Despite using older PS/2 technology for connection to your PC, this mouse excels at most basic tasks. Being an entry-level device, gamers may want something a little more responsive but for Home-Office use this is an excellent peripheral.
Both right and left buttons have a satisfying "click" sound coupled with a good level of resistance so that you instinctively know that the motion of your fingers have successfully transferred into the button. The grey scroll wheel is well designed with clicks to let you move the screen up or down by varying gradations for accuracy.
I have noticed that on occasion, the tracking LED fitted to detect motion and thus move the pointer on screen seems to run into difficulties and sometimes the mouse pointer drifts across the screen unbidden. However as this problem only occurs when the mouse is not being used, I do not think this is a major flaw. On the plus side, the LED does seem to be quite responsive on any surface (white paper, wooden table top and even a shiny black book) where many optical mice I have tested in the past would struggle to detect motion correctly.
~~~ Conclusion ~~~
In this day and age of wireless mice, this device may be unfashionable but it does the basic tasks of computer operation admirably. Despite having a wire and, worse still a PS/2 connector, the fact that this mouse often comes free with a PC is a credit to HP as they have resisted the usual corporate choice to bundle cheap and nasty peripherals with their machines to cut costs.
Being PS/2 and full-size, it is unlikely that this device will be compatible with modern laptops (they tend to only have USB connections, not PS/2). As more and more PCs ship without PS/2 connectors onboard, this mouse will have a more limited market, but if you are looking for a suitable workhorse to do basic computational tasks, this mouse from HP is hard to beat.
© 2009 ben-lloyd. Please note that this review may appear on other websites under the same user name.