Mouse battle: is Microsoft’s new mouse the most over-the-top rodent ever?

After viewing the “world’s most advanced mouse” – Logitech’s MX Revolution with its motorised flywheel transmission – we thought mice couldn’t get any more over-the-top. We take that back.

Microsoft is following Logitech’s lead with a weight cartridge system for tweaking mouse-feel. Its SideWinder mouse (pictured above) comes with four of the small metal weights for up to 30 grams of extra weight. To add weights open up a slide tray in the side wall of the mouse.

The weights come in a little black box along with three sets of rubber pads with a different “glide” feel. The pads are changeable so you can switch depending on what works best with your mouse pad or desk surface.

FPS players will be pleased to know the SideWinder is a corded job not wireless. The accessories box also acts as an anchor point for the mouse cord so it doesn’t catch on your keyboard/PC.

For those who consider themselves decent at headshots there’s a potentially handy set of toggle buttons on the top for changing dpi sensitivity (up to 2000 dpi). An LCD screen built into the mouse – no we’re not kidding – shows what DPI you’re using.

The SideWinder isn’t cheap at $129.95 (availability scheduled for November 2007) but it’s still decent value compared with Logitech’s G5 (same price) and G9 ($169.95). Both Logitech mice have weight cartridges and customisable dpi settings.

The SideWinder is one of a few eyebrow-raising mice we’ve seen of late. The Logitech G9 also has a choice of mouse shells – a removable plastic chassis you can switch to provide a different feel. It also has an LED display.

The other mouse that’s caught our attention is Logitech’s motion-sensing MX Air Rechargeable Cordless Air Mouse. In a move that reminds us a bit of the Nintendo Wii the MX Air detects movement: wave it in the air to change the volume of music or change tracks.

Microsoft has also unveiled a dual-mode mini notebook mouse with a toggle for switching between Bluetooth and 2.4GHz wireless. Representatives from Microsoft argue that using 2.4GHz reduces the possibility of crosstalk between devices in crowded offices. The USB connector also doubles as a 1GB memory key.

Kinda handy but while the guy over the partition is copying the files you just handed him on the 1GB key your mouse is going to be moving his mouse pointer… there’s an R&D flaw there somewhere.