Testing a Cherry MC 4000

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Daniel Beardsmore

10 Jan 2018, 23:40

In an attempt to replace both my of Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical mice (due to the defective scroll wheels they use), I've given Cherry a try, with the MC 4000. I had no idea that Cherry even made such a mouse until I came across their mouse range during keyboard research.

I'm not holding out a huge amount of hope, but I'm going to see how I get on. I unpacked it yesterday evening, so this is my second part-of-a day using it.

It's surprisingly hard for anyone to get a scroll wheel right in mice with 4+ buttons. They work fine on bog standard mice but invariably suck if you want more. The MC 4000 wheel is smooth and quiet, which suggests that as time passes it will wear entirely smooth. By comparison, the centre microswitch is too stiff. I've already had at least one stray wheel rotation seemingly caused by the wheel getting dislodged from trying to click it.

Tracking speed can be changed with a sixth button. Default mode (blue) is faster than the sluggish IntelliMouse Optical ("IMO") but not so much faster that I need to reduce the pointer speed from near-maximum, while the alternative mode (red) is insanely fast on that pointer speed setting.

Yesterday, I was doing OK with the wheel, but wondering what they were thinking when they made the centre so narrow: the button under your thumb is easy to press, but the button on the opposite side seemed very hard, as you can't grip and squeeze as you can with an IMO, not unless your finger bends the other way. However, I noticed that at work—where I use the mouse left-handed—I do press the opposite button of my IMO with a fingertip instead of squeezing, and I'm doing that now at home with the MC 4000. However, now the wheel is proving to be a nuisance.

What I also notice is that IntelliPoint does not recognise it. I use IntelliPoint's acceleration at home. Years ago, I tried a number of other wheel accelerators, but all they did was fire wheel rotation events faster, each one triggering a 3-line scroll. To get this under control, I switched to single-line wheel scrolling, but some programs I use are hard-coded to 3 lines so I had to scrap all those programs. I don't know what IntelliPoint does but it seems to be sending some kind of scrollbar-style scrolling messages so that it can achieve good control and compatibility, but not only is it buggy, but it seems to be Microsoft only!

My verdict remains out for now.

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