Product: Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 4000 Price: $309 Pros: Easy to install and comes in the right size Cons: Takes away a USB port and certain features cannot be used on the Mac How often have you wanted to throw your computer mouse out the window because the wire got entangled with some object? Mine has been through some unpleasant treatment over the years precisely because its wire always gets hooked on something. So I was pleased at the prospect of playing with Microsoft's new Wireless Notebook Optical Mouse 4000. This pointing device works with both Windows and Mac OS X systems. Still, one of the more interesting features of this mouse - its ability to magnify what is under it - does not work on the Mac. Still, the mouse was easy to install on both systems and worked without a hitch. It is physically just the right size: not too big, not too small. One problem with notebook computers is that for many of us the various touch pads and red buttons, which are supposed to work as an alternative to the mouse, are pathetically bad. Give me the real thing any day. This wireless peripheral from Microsoft may be just the answer. On the Windows platform, you can press a button on the left side of the mouse and a rectangular area pops up under the cursor that magnifies the desktop. This is very useful for those who have forgotten their glasses. There are the obvious other controls regarding speed of scrolling and using the wheel in four directions: scrolling forward, backward and pressing the wheel to the right and to the left to scroll horizontally. The big question, of course, concerns the device's battery life. Microsoft says it will last for six months. That would be nice, but only time will tell. I was surprised that I did not have to use the mouse on a flat surface. My notebook sits on a desk, raised a few inches above the surface, so the screen is at the right height. I use an external keyboard and put the mouse on the arm of my chair. I had no problem in detecting the mouse or tracking its movements. The device uses a Universal Serial Bus port rather than Bluetooth, which is a bit unfortunate because I only have two USB ports on my notebook. But that is a minor inconvenience. My only real complaint is that the mouse does not come in silver.