Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 4.0
Price: £20
Size: 126mm x 72mm x 41mm
Shape: Right-handed
Buttons: 5
Wheel: Vertical+Tilt
Sensor: Optical
Resolution: 400 DPI
USB Rate: 100 Hz (average)

The Microsoft Intellimouse 4.0 has a curvier case with a few more details than the 3.0 in a lighter grey metallic plastic.

Click for larger photos

It also features the new style wheel without indents (it spins smoothly without clicking) and a tilting mechanism to let you scroll horizontally as well as vertically. Other than the wheel, the mouse seems to be pretty similar to the IE3.0 so I imagined it would perform similarly.

MS Intellimouse Optical 4.0 Response Graph

Again we see a heavy clipping of the response at around 12500 counts per second, resulting in Perfect Control up to only 0.8 m/s (31.5"/s). I had expected to see clipping at 15800 counts per second if the hardware was identical to the other two Microsoft mice, but something different was happening here. I fired up a mouse rate checker and found that the mouse was actually responding at an average of 100 Hz.

MS Intellimouse Optical 4.0 Mouse Rate @ 125 Hz

Again the maths assuming an 8 bit buffer confirms the results that I measured: Max response = 127 * 100 = 12700 counts per second. As per previous tests I attempted to overclock the USB port to improve the performance, but it would seem that the Intellimouse Explorer 4.0 averages 100 Hz no matter what the USB port frequency is set to.

MS Intellimouse Optical 4.0 Mouse Rate @ 250 Hz

Having a fluctuating mouse frequency causes jittery control during gameplay, since updates are occuring at different intervals each time. This would explain why most gamers have avoided the Intellimouse Explorer 4.0 and demanded the 3.0 version back from Microsoft. However my tests don't check for mouse smoothness, so I will leave the verdict on this for a future test.

The resolution from the linear part of the graph measures in at 400 DPI as expected.

To conclude, the IE4.0 doesn't start Malfunctioning until the reasonable speed of 1.90 m/s. However the Perfect Control speed is very poor and can't be fixed by overclocking the USB port. This means the IE4.0 doesn't match the Wheel Mouse Optical or the Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 in terms of raw performance.

Perfect Control: 0.80 m/s (31.5"/s)
Malfunction Speed: 1.90 m/s (75"/s)
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