I am a huge fan of the Apple Powerbook’s recent no-button touch pad and have become quickly accustomed to the various two, three and four-finger gestures that can accomplish the various tasks. Contrast this with the angry one-fingered gesture I use on my PC’s brick-sized mouse.
The Magic Mouse is a sleek-looking button-less alternative to the Interlink Presentation Mouse and Microsoft Presenter Mouse 8000 I’ve been using with my laptops for the past two years. The Magic Mouse tries to combine the touch-pad gesture experience with the movements and usage of a traditional mouse. As a more-frequent-PC-than-Mac user, I find that I miss having a mouse in my hand but I also love my gestures.
Without buttons, the Magic Mouse recognizes left and right click. It also scrolls with a single finger dragging from the front of the mouse to the Apple Logo. In addition, it will advance and retreat in your browser with a two-fingered horizontal swipe to the right or the left.
The mouse itself is a little awkward-feeling at first. Its lower profile feels a little funny and the solid aluminum housing makes it feel very bottom heavy. It definitely needs a mouse pad. The gliding motion, to which I’ve become accustomed, is a little sticky without a good surface. Coupled with a mouse pad, I don’t notice its idiosyncrasies as much.
The Bluetooth connectivity works very well (much better than my presenter mouse) and has been, thus far, reliable.
The product is a little wanting in a couple of areas.
I expected it to emulate all of the gestures of my beloved no-button track pad. It doesn’t rotate or pinch which I would find handy. The four-fingered claw on the MacBook isn’t emulated either.
I also boot to Windows 7 on this laptop. The mouse gives straight-forward movement, left and right click functionality but no more. I hope Apple realizes that they must support the Windows world too and develops a driver (32 and 64 bit).
The mouse sells from the Apple Store for $ 69.00 making it a little pricey but not so much so that you won’t appreciate it. AA Batteries are included as well as a not-so-functional carrying case. Seeking a leather pouch for dropping it into your backpack would seem like a prudent move.
All in all, I am pleased, nay, entranced. Add a couple of more gestures and a windows driver and it will be a true winner.
Rikk Flohr © 2009