Every computer-keyboard aficionado has heard of Cherry. The German company is famous for its keyboard switches, which form the basis for most mechanical keyboards. That’s still true despite a shift in recent years by some keyboard makers toward using alternative switch manufacturers, or making their own switches.
Yet Cherry’s multiple lines of mice, which tend to be solid and sober, have not enjoyed the same ubiquity—at least in the United States. The latest in its MC series, the Cherry MC 4000, might give us some explanation why. Let’s take a look.
The design is once again symmetrical, allowing both lefties and righties to use it with equal ease…
The MC 4000 sports six buttons, up from the five on the MC 3000. It has the standard left-click, right-click, and clickable scroll wheel, as well as one large silver button on each side, plus a top button that switches between the two predefined sensitivity settings. All are easy to activate and pleasingly tactile, and the center button is just heavy enough to avoid being accidentally hit during normal usage.
By default, while browsing the Web, the side button on the left goes back one page; the one on the right, forward. Keep in mind that, as is the case with all symmetrical mice, the button on the side opposite the thumb is awkward to use, although button assignments are configurable with software available on Cherry’s Web site. Cherry’s decision to use no rubber or soft-touch ribbing on the sides does leave the grip a little loose, but that didn’t bother us much.
Aesthetics is where the MC 4000’s biggest improvements lie. Rejecting both the old-school look of the MC 2000 and the more organic design of the MC 3000, the MC 4000 looks both modern and elegant, if a bit over-adorned for an office mouse not aimed primarily at gamers. The first mouse in this series to have lights, the MC 4000 is lit in six spots: two short lines on each side (one up front, and one toward the back), plus the scroll wheel and the DPI switch behind it.
By default, the mouse lights up blue, indicating 1,000dpi, and if you press the button behind the scroll wheel, the lights shift to red, indicating the 2,000dpi setting is enabled…
Both the blue and the red light settings complement the body of the mouse to give it a look that straddles the visual line between gaming and professional mice.
As for the mouse body itself, the MC 4000 comes only in black. While other members of the Cherry MC mouse family are sold in either black or white, it’s hard to imagine the white color meshing well with this lighting scheme, so we don’t miss the white option here.
The underside, meanwhile, is unremarkable apart from the central optical sensor, and a glide pad that encircles the bottom of the mouse, as opposed to the more typical small patches of slick material…
The MC 4000 is definitely the most stylish of Cherry’s line, although it looks busy for a strictly office-bound mouse. We think it’s best suited to straddling work and general use, with a bit of casual gaming on the side.
Since this is a wired USB mouse, setup is dead simple. All you have to do is plug the mouse into any available USB slot on your computer; it was recognized right away in Windows 7 and 10, in our tests. As we mentioned before, some optional software downloadable from Cherry’s Web site allows you to configure the mouse buttons, but installing and using it is not necessary. Lefties might want to switch the side-button functions, to bind the useful browser-back command to the easier-to-use right side, but there’s not a lot of upside here otherwise.
Weighing in at only a little more than 4 ounces, the MC 4000’s light body enables the user to experience the “high-speed professional use” that Cherry mentions in its press materials. Conversely, precision work is somewhat difficult due to that fact that neither sensitivity setting is truly slow. The two settings are 1,000 dots per inch (dpi) and 2,000dpi, represented by blue and red lighting, respectively. With most mice by default running between 400dpi and 800dpi, these two settings are essentially just fast and faster. The 2,000dpi “red” setting, particularly, felt like speed overkill on a 1080p screen, considering how light the mouse is already. The cursor flew across the screen with just a slight exertion of force. Some FPS players might find that useful for covering the screen in bullet holes, but it is generally not useful for professional use unless you’re working on a high-resolution monitor, such as a 4K panel.
Cherry’s tagline for this product is “Precise, fast, and user-friendly.” So, having shown that it is fast and user-friendly, one question remains: Is it precise? The answer is a resounding yes, if near-hairline precision is what you are after. The MC 4000 picks up on the most subtle of movements, especially evident at the red setting, where tiny nudges that other mice might miss are enough to move the cursor up a line of text. The heft of the mouse is enough that it gave some resistance to “overflying” the cirsor target. But we had to get used to it.
The Cherry MC 4000 is far from the most feature-laden mouse on the market, but it’s a reliable and efficient business mouse that can work well for gaming, too.
That said, we’ve seen many cheaper mice for which we can say the same thing. It’s hard for us to see any reason to recommend spending roughly $35 on the MC 4000 when many mice for $10 to $20 offer much of the same quality and capabilities, and some $30 mice offer more. All in all, this is a respectable mouse, but we’d mind the price; at this writing, it’s sitting in a higher league than it belongs. We’d look for it between $20 and $30 before jumping on it.
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