PC & Console Peripherals

Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse Review: The Popular Classic in a New Design

The Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse is the rebirth of a very popular classic, which already found its origin 22 years ago. Microsoft laid the foundations for success with the first IntelliMouse in 1996. The design was quite clumsy, but quite appropriate for the time. After seven years followed the IntelliMouse Explorer 3.0, which became an absolute bestseller and was especially popular with gamers. However, Microsoft discontinued the sale for unknown reasons and restarted it in 2006, where the mouse was officially marketed for gamers due to unbroken demand with a new color scheme.

With the Classic IntelliMouse, Microsoft is now trying to build on the success of that time 12 years later. This is to be achieved above all with a modern design, new technology and adapted form, whereby the latter is strongly based on the Explorer 3.0. In our test you will find out to what extent the nearly 40 Euro Classic IntelliMouse with BlueTrack technology is suitable for gamers today.

Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse at a glance

Sensor type BlueTrack (optical)
Switch type Omron (main keys)
DPI 400 – 3,200 DPI
Connection USB 2.0
Sampling rate 1,000 Hz, 3,000 FPS
Lighting White (LED at the back of the mouse)
Form right-handed operation
Dimensions (W x H x D) 69 x 43 x 132 mm
Weight 103 g
More features
  • 5 keys incl. mouse wheel
  • 1.8m rubberized cable
  • Software for easy configuration


Optically, the modern Classic IntelliMouse is strongly oriented to its direct predecessor, which is why Microsoft has changed the basic shape only slightly. Like the bestseller, this mouse is designed for right-handed users and has two main buttons, two thumb buttons and a scroll wheel. The colour is a chic grey, which is only interrupted by the black rubber elements on the sides, which are supposed to provide a better hold. In general, the Classic IntelliMouse has a very good workmanship quality and gives us nothing to criticize at this point.

The Classic IntelliMouse dispenses with colourful LED colour games in thousands of lighting zones and only comes with white LED lighting at the rear. This shines very discreetly and like a kind of underfloor lighting. This makes the mouse look very “adult” and not as playful as many other colourful competitors. However, the lighting cannot be switched off completely.

The 1.8 meter long, rubberized USB 2.0 connection cable is very flexible, but we would have preferred a fabric sheath at this point. This usually loses some flexibility, but also gives the cable a much more chic look.

Practice Test

The mouse had to pass the practical test in desktop mode as well as with the survival game Fortnite. The two main keys, which are equipped with high-quality Omron switches and are therefore responsible for an extremely long service life of 10 million keystrokes as well as very good key feedback and pleasant click noise, were a positive feature.

On the underside, the mouse is equipped with two mouse feet at the front and two at the back, which have provided very good gliding characteristics in our test. Nevertheless, the built-in BlueTrack sensor provides a rather vague feeling during mouse movements. This often gave us the feeling that we didn’t have the mouse pointer completely under control, which can be fatal for shooters in particular. The sensor has a maximum of 3,200 DPI and can be reduced by software in steps of 200 up to 400 DPI. This range should usually be sufficient for most application scenarios, because DPI settings of up to 16,000 DPI are rarely used by gamers anyway. In addition to the already spongy sensor, we also noticed the rather high lift-off distance, because we often had to readjust the mouse when moving it.

These problems should only be a thorn in the side of gamers. The mouse is well suited for general desktop and office use. The positive thing about the BlueTrack sensor is that it works very well on many different surfaces, making the mouse ideal for mobile use.


The software of the Classic IntelliMouse was kept rather simple by Microsoft and hears the unspectacular name “Microsoft Mouse and Keyboard Center”. It can be used to adjust the DPI number from 400 to 3,200 DPI, change the assignment of the thumb buttons and mouse wheel, and create useful macros for applications. Unfortunately, it is not possible to change the colour of the lighting or to switch it off at all. On the other hand, it doesn’t attract any negative attention and illuminates the mouse very discreetly.

Conclusion on the Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse Review

The conclusion of the Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse must definitely be viewed from two different perspectives. The classic office user will undoubtedly have his pleasure with this mouse, because it fits very well in the hand and also looks good. We particularly like the discreet white LED lighting at the rear of the mouse, which generally makes the design look quite adult.

If you consider, however, that the bestseller at that time was especially popular with gamers, you’ll soon notice that the remake is a bit disappointing in this respect. The built-in BlueTrack sensor technology is simply not precise enough for shooters and generally feels rather spongy. So in order to be among the last survivors at our test match in Fortnite, the mouse had to be replaced again.

Microsoft Classic IntelliMouse

Value for Money

Sensor with weaknesses

The Classic IntelliMouse is very well suited for desktop or office use. Gamers, on the other hand, should rather reach for something else.

Simon Lüthje

I am co-founder of this blog and am very interested in everything that has to do with technology, but I also like to play games. I was born in Hamburg, but now I live in Bad Segeberg.

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