Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Review: Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

Ever since my last Microsoft mouse stopped working I have hard pressed to find a decent replacement (short of buying another on eBay). I tried a variety of mouse, even borrowed a very basic mouse from work to get me buy. But this mouse has always stirred a curiosity in me and today I broke and bought one to test out.

The Microsoft Arc line of computer mouses are widely known for their unusual design. The mouse nothing more than a curved slate of plastic (forming and arch). The design doesn't look, nor feeling very ergonomical, which is something that is important when it comes to keyboards and mouse regardless of the frequency of use.

Out of the box, the mouse comes flat. I guess they did this for portable reasons, but as I think about this concept, I think that in my laptop bag, this are going to press it and bend it back into it's "Arc" form. Which incidentally is also the power switch.

As most wireless mouses these, it comes with a set of batteries (AAA) and the USB Receiver dongle to connect to your computer. Installing this on my Windows 7 laptop was painless as the drivers and software were downloaded and installed from the internet. Interestingly, the receiver is magnetic to the underside of the mouse itself for "portability". However I can see it getting lost in somebody's laptop bag.


For the buttons themselves, the main left and right button feel rather hard to click, while the centre section is actually a touch surface which responds to gentures for scrolling and clicking. Sliding your finger up and down the surface will resulting in the associatied scroll on the screen. This surface also gives a slight vibration as feedback for scrolling.

Holding it does feels awkward as your fingers sort of end up under the Arc and you feel like you should be holding on to something rather than just letting them slide under the mouse.



Ultimately, this mouse is more about looks than practicality. I couldn't recommend this for daily use, and I feel my hand is cramped from using this mouse. It's great that Microsoft is thinking out of the box with these devices, but has somewhat missed the mark with this design.

For Microsoft Hardware Mouses, see http://www.microsoft.com/hardware/en-us/mice

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