I recently replaced my Logitech Wireless mouse with a Apple Magic Mouse and intially had mixed feelings with the response of the Magic Mouse.
Apple’s revolutionary magic mouse is perhaps the best mouse ever made. Apple took their touch technology from their trackpads and iPhones and developed a mouse with a touch sensitive top surface which is the perfect combination of trackpad and mouse.
The Magic Mouse is a very stylish mouse and with Steve Jobs design elements written all over it. There are No Buttons, Switches or sharp edges on the surface of the mouse – basically is like a glossy white curved piece of glass. On the bottom of the mouse are two glide rails which make the Magic Mouse smooth and effortless to manouver with a lighter and more tactile feel than my previous Logitech mouse. The Magic Mouse has a much lower profile than conventional mice, it doesn’t fit or countour into the palm of your hand like Logitech mice and switching from a Laser MX mouse to the Magic Mouse took a little getting used to for the first couple days.
The shinny flat top surface of the mouse is like one large trackpad and it supports most apple track pad gestures, There are no clear left or right buttons but the Magic Mouse knows how to interpret left or right mouse clicks even though there are No physical buttons on the mouse. Scrolling is also intuitive and is performed without a scroll wheel by simply flicking your finger on the top of the mouse up or down or left and right. Unlike a conventional scroll wheel the top of the magic mouse give you the sensation of actually touching the screen (like an iPhone touch screen) and moving your finger in any direction moves the pointer on the screen the same direction. There is a scrolling system preference which will allow you to enable momentum scrolling which speeds up as you flick your finger or disable it and you get very fine-grained 1:1 scrolling.
Two finger swiping will allow you to navigate web pages up and down while two finger side to side swiping moves you forward and back between pages when browsing. I have to say the side buttons on the Logitech are better for navigating back and forth between pages but the up down swiping works better on the Magic Mouse for navigating within a web page.
Swiping gestures are also transferable between apple programs and other applications. In iPhoto for example two finger swiping left or right scrolls you between pictures and works excellent for viewing photos or cover flow browsing.
The Magic Mouse is bluetooth and therefore does not require any external dongles. The mouse is powered by two AA batteries which last 3-4 months with normal usage.
Most people develop a love it or hate it with the new Magic Mouse, for me it’s a Winner but it does have so notable issues.
1 – Tracking Speed: My biggest gripe with the Magic Mouse is the ever so slow tracking speed and distance needed to travel in order to move the mouse pointer from the top to the bottom of my 24” iMac screen. I can’t imagine what users with a 27” monitor would do. The factory settings for tracking are not fast enough to allow the Magic Mouse to track from the top of my 24” monitor to the bottom in one single jester without lifting up the mouse moving it and placing it back down again. The Magic Mouse needs to travel almost 30% more distance in order to for the on screen pointer to track the same distance as my Previous Logitech Mouse. At first I did’t believe it, I kept running the Magic Mouse off my mouse pad in order for the Cursor to travel the full length of the screen. Left and right side to side tracking was much better but for some reason up and down just doesn’t track properly on Large Monitors. Thankfully there is a Free System Preference App called MagicPrefs which fixes this tracking problem and adds more functionality to the Magic Mouse but Apple should incorporate better tracking ratio and speed adjustments right in the Operating System instead of users having to download additional 3rd party drivers to make the Magic Mouse track properly.
2 – Eronomics: While it takes some getting used to, the ultra low profile of the Magic Mouse makes it difficult to hold and even straining for some users with large hands. I have smaller hands (Size 8 ) and actually like the smaller, low profile of the Magic Mouse. I can see why users with larger Hands, say size 10 and up would find this mouse uncomfortable.
3 – Windows Users: Apple release drivers for the Magic Mouse for Windows users however they are mixed reports on the success of the drivers and touch gestures when using the Apple Magic Mouse on a windows XP, Vista or 7 Computer. Boot camp and parrellels users also report inconsistances with the Magic Mouse when running Windows. Microsoft recently introduced their version of the Magic Mouse called the “Touch Mouse” which is similar, to the Magic Mouse and for those with larger hands the Microsoft “Touch Mouse” is larger and fits in the plam of the hand better and has a palming feel similar to a conventional Logitech Mouse.
If I were to rate the Magic Mouse between 1 and 10, I’d have to give it an 8.5.
Pros: stylish, intuitive, touch gestures work great on the Mac, 360 degree scrolling,
Cons: poor up and down tracking when used with Apple only Leopard System Preferences (MagicPrefs corrects this problem), Could be a little larger to cup the palm of your hand better, those with large hands stay away from this mouse. Inconsistant behaviour with Windows OS even on Boot Camp and Parallels.
Also see our review of MagicPrefs.
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