Over the last 20 years, I’ve used over twenty different computer mice (most of them purchased) in hopes of finding the perfect combination of comfort and functionality. Working all day in front of a computer can put repetitive stresses on your hands, arms, shoulders and neck. A small amount of discomfort is magnified over the course of a long work week, so it makes sense to find the best possible pointing solution.
I’m the first one to admit that there’s no one-size-fits-all mouse. Product reviews are helpful, but there’s no substitute for actually using the product yourself.
When Apple’s new Magic Mouse was announced last month, I was interested. Was this the perfect mouse for me? It looked good online, but there’s only one way to really find out – and luckily there’s an Apple Store just a short drive away. I headed over the a hands-on tryout.
It was unlike any mouse that I’d used before. Beautifully designed. Low, sleek, smooth to the touch and across a desk surface. Either no buttons or all button, depending on your point of view. The entire top surface is sensitive to click positions and swiping motions. It’s really a cross between a mouse and a multi-touch trackpad.
I bought one and headed back to my office to put it in service for a true workout. After some fits and starts ([post=”magic-mouse-not-magical-at-first” text=”detailed here”]), I used it every day for two weeks.
Did I like it? Yes. Sort of. But was it the right mouse for me. Not so sure.
My experience… what I liked:
- It’s beautiful to look at — with Apple’s trademark fit and finish.
- Two long runners on the underside made for smooth sliding across my desk.
- The tracking across my white IKEA desk surface was very accurate – much better than the Apple Mighty Mouse, which was almost unusable because of frequent skipping.
- The whole front of the mouse clicked down, providing good tactile feedback.
- It had no problem differentiating between left and right clicks even though there’s no visible or tactile difference between the two virtual sides.
- The scrolling feature with “momentum” was superb.
- The Bluetooth connection was very reliable.
What I didn’t like:
- The mouse height is just too low, causing a slight strain in gripping. I’m not sure what type of hand it’s designed for, but it’s not mine.
- The top perimeter edge is quite angular — almost sharp. It bothered me. A lot.
- The two-finger left/right swipe motion was uncomfortable and not easy to perform. I could not do it every time without accidentally moving the mouse, which negates the action.
The Bottom Line
Although it combines the function of both a mouse and trackpad, it’s not really perfect for either.
So after two weeks of exclusive use, I turned off the Magic Mouse set it aside. I took my Logitech MX Revolution mouse out of the drawer. Fortunately, the battery still had a charge.
I love Apple’s sense of design in almost everything they make. But who’s designing their mice? I hereby offer to test their next design — free of charge — and give them my feedback BEFORE they start manufacturing the next generation mouse.
So is my quest for the perfect mouse over? Only for today. I’ll keep looking.