Product: Apple Magic Mouse Price: $69 Rating: Strong Recommend When Apple released the Magic Mouse a few months ago I instantly wanted one. Bruce, my life and housemate's only response was, "Do we really need another mouse?" When our review unit came in the mail, who was the one ripping the packaging open? Exactly. Bruce's series of responses once he got the Magic Mouse synched goes as follows: "How did they do this?" "This is the best thing ever!" "This is the best mouse ever, because it has nothing noisy or clunky on it."
Unboxing: Like with all Apple products, the packaging for Apple's new Magic Mouse is inspiring. No oversized boxes here, rather a petite plastic coffin that perfectly fits the mouse, a small manual, and a warranty booklet. Two double A batteries are already installed in the mouse; all you have to do next is synch the mouse with your computer and you're ready to go. The bottom of the case has simple illustrative instructions on how to take advantage of the Magic Mouse's multi-touch capabilities.
Performance: When you first look at the Magic Mouse and see just how basic it's design aesthetic is, it's hard to believe that it can compete with more complicated mice with their track balls, right and left buttons, and crazy ergonomic shapes, but it can and it does. The first thing we noted when using the Magic Mouse is how hardy it feels. Without a flimsy trackball or wheel to scroll through pages, there are literally no moving parts that can break, get gunked up, or lose their abilities. The laser tracking engine Apple has built into the mouse allows you to scroll, click, and move onscreen from almost any surface. We moved our Magic Mouse from our home office to our Mac Mini run media center in the living room and were impressed with how much better this mouse works when using our couch as mouse pad than our previous mouse. What We Liked: While there are many great advances within the Magic Mouse, our fave has to be the lack of track ball. There's something so much more intuitive having the entire surface of the mouse act as your track ball than having a rotating ball be your point of contact. Plus multi-touch functionality can be super helpful when you're like me and are constantly moving web pages back and then forward in your browser. The 360-degree scroll is great when working on zoomed in image files in Photoshop. What Needs Improvement: Having the entire surface active can also be frustrating for those of us with lazy fingers. I noticed that while reading web pages my fingers tend to rest on the mouse and, through unconscious finger ticks, I often accidentally swiped to previous pages in my browser. You can switch off swiping if you tend to have very fidgety fingers. Left on, I'd like the dual finger swipe to work not just left and right in iPhoto but up and down. Bruce, my partner in testing crime, misses the exposé buttons he had gotten used to in Apple's previous mouse incarnation -- alternately, you can program a screen corner to activate Exposé. Technical Specs: Bluetooth Laser Tracking Requires Mac computer with Bluetooth wireless technology and running Mac OS X v10.5.8 or later with Wireless Mouse Software Update 1.0 Existing keyboard and mouse for setup Two AA batteries (included) *Our Ratings: Strong Recommend Recommend Weak Recommend Don't Recommend (Bottom 2 Images: flickr user chrisdejabet via Creative Commons license)