Pros:Multi-finger swiping; Bluetooth; on-off switch to conserve battery life
Cons:Flat shape not for everyone; chews through batteries
The Bottom Line: Multi-touch gestures make this premium input device worthwhile, even if it has a propensity for consuming batteries
I still remember the days of being ridiculed as a Mac user because my mouse only had one button. Right clicking? Totally foreign to me, a long time Mac user. Fast forward to today and Apple's Magic Mouse (MB829LL/A) is one of the more sophisticated input devices on the market today.
Having used and enjoyed Apple's multi-touch gestures on both my iPod touch and my MacBook Pro's touchpad, the Magic Mouse was a natural replacement when my aging Microsoft Intellimouse broke. I purchased my Magic Mouse from Best Buy for $69, plus tax. Pricey, yes, relative to basic (=cheaper) mice, but in line with other premium input devices such as Microsoft's Arc Touch.
The Magic Mouse is packaged in a clear hard plastic case that's just slightly larger than the mouse itself. Included are the mouse itself, two Energizer AA batteries, and a bare minimum of documentation with the ubiquitous sheet of Apple stickers (historically included with just about every Apple product). Since the Magic Mouse uses Bluetooth to communicate with the computer, there are no wires and no receiver or dongle.
A couple things you'll immediately notice about the Magic Mouse. First, there are no buttons explicitly visible. Second, the surface of the mouse is completely flat -- no wheel and no specific area that you're supposed to touch.
That's the cool part -- think of the top of the mouse as a trackpad. Press down on the left side of the mouse to left-click. The entire mouse body "clicks" and provides a satisfying tactile response. Same thing for a right-click.
Scrolling is accomplished with single-finger gestures, both up and down and left and right. Two-finger gestures moves between pages. It sounds like a lot to remember, but it becomes a lot more natural the more you use it.
The trade-off for the Magic Mouse's unique shape is that it's a bit awkward to grab at first. Unlike other mice that are contoured to fit your arched hand, the Magic Mouse requires you to grab its sides with your thumb and pinky, freeing your three other fingers to click and gesture. I had to switch to a different type of mouse pad, as my old one's gel wrist rest elevated my hand too high to effectively maneuver the Magic Mouse.
Finally, battery life. Much has been said about the Magic Mouse's propensity for consuming batteries. Apple claims four months under normal use. My experience has been closer to about two months under what I'd consider normal use -- however, I'm partially responsible here since I rarely use the on-off switch on the bottom of the mouse. You will see a low battery warning in the menu bar (appears in the Bluetooth icon), so you will have a few days notice if you don't keep AA batteries on hand.
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Amount Paid (US$): 69