on August 17, 2011
I (like many others) have been waiting for the release of this mouse. I go through about 1 mouse a year since the micro-switches for the left-click stop debouncing correctly. After 3 different Logitech mice, I decided to start looking for a mouse in February. I bought the Magic Mouse and started using it with Windows 7. Disappointed that Apple didn't make it work better with Windows...they could have made some great money there since it's a really nice product. I returned it and saw that Microsoft was coming out with a mouse. I decided to wait for it and just use a cheap corded mouse for several months. (I hate cords on mice)
I got the mouse last night and brought it into work this morning. Opened it and hooked it up. It installs very easily, has a little tutorial that allows you to play with the touch functionality as well. After using it for a couple of hours, I've found that it does take a little getting used to. Some of the touch functionality has to be done correctly to get it to work.
- Right clicking. You can't have both fingers touching the mouse at the same time, because it doesn't know which one to use (left or right). You have to lift your left finger slightly when right-clicking. I actually saw someone else's post about this as well and thought about how I use a mouse before buying the mouse. I naturally do this, so it wasn't a big adjustment for me.
- Scrolling. You can scroll with any finger. I'm used to using the scroll wheel in the middle. After playing around with the touch, I found that it actually scrolls better if I just use my index finger in the same location as where I left-click. It seems to respond better in that area of the touch surface.
- Thumb flick (forward/back). Very intuitive and I haven't had any issues with it. One other observation is that Microsoft added "touch trails" to the cursor (enabled in the Microsoft Mouse software by default). So, when you swipe forward, then a little blue indicator appears next to your mouse cursor and indicates this motion. The touch trails also display with some of the other touch movements (not scrolling though).
I do wish Microsoft allowed more customization of the movements. It hits all of the main functionality, but would just be nice to tweak some to my common tasks. Hopefully they do that in future releases of the software.
So far, I'm very pleased with the mouse, but caution people to think about how they use a mouse. Read the reviews about some of the quirks of the touch movements to see if it's natural for you. If you can't handle picking up your index finger when right-clicking, then this is probably not the mouse for you.
on August 3, 2011
The Touch Mouse looks to be Microsoft's answer to the Apple Magic Mouse. I have both Windows and Mac computers and use the Magic Mouse on a daily basis, and was anxious to see how the Touch Mouse would compare.
The upper surface of the Touch Mouse is a touch-sensitive area that allows you to perform mouse functions by sliding and swiping your finger rather than pressing buttons or spinning a mouse wheel. Only the basic left and right click require you to physically press down on the mouse; everything else is controlled with the touch of your finger.
One of the basic and most-used functions is sliding your finger up and down to scroll vertically through a Web page or other document. Unfortunately the Touch Mouse is a little clunky here. Moving your finger does not seem to register right away; I have to slide my finger about 1/2" before the page actually starts scrolling. Even when the page does start scrolling it doesn't feel as fluid and precise as with a regular mouse wheel. The Apple Magic Mouse is smooth as silk when it comes to scrolling; the Touch Mouse needs some work.
Moving forward and back through Web pages (the equivalent of clicking the forward and back buttons in your browser) is usually handled by side buttons on a regular mouse, but to do this with the Touch Mouse you swipe your thumb back and forth. This works perfectly and I LOVE this particular function of the Touch Mouse. This function is configurable to use the left or right thumb, so lefties should have no trouble with this mouse.
There are other touch gestures that let you arrange windows (via a two-finger swipe) and bring up the Windows Instant Viewer (via a three-finger swipe). However, these functions are not configurable. You can turn them on or off, but you can't assign them to some other function. The only functions that are configurable are the left and right mouse click. Also, there is no way to middle-click with this mouse (unless you want to re-assign the right click to middle click).
Like the Apple Magic Mouse, when you "click" the whole body of the mouse moves. The Touch Mouse's click is stiffer than I would like it to be. Since I use a computer so much and am concerned about repetitive strain injuries, this may be a deal-breaker for me.
I like that the Touch Mouse is contoured to fit your hand like a regular mouse. My glossy wood grain desk has given some mouses problems in the past, but the Touch Mouse tracks perfectly without a mouse pad.
I really love the idea of being able to use the touch surface to control mouse functions, but the clunky scrolling performance, stiff clicking, and lack of configuration options mean I'm probably going to return this mouse and go back to my "old fashioned" optical mouse.
on August 18, 2011
I've been mostly pleased with the new Touch Mouse itself, although the accompanying Intellipoint software (which is required for full functionality) still needs some work.
First of all, as a plain old mouse it works just fine. Tracking is great; it feels good in the hand - much better than the Magic Mouse if the comparison has to be made. The fact that the entire top is one solid piece which moves when clicked took a little while to get used to, but after a few hours I barely noticed it. I still occasionally have issues right-clicking - I think my hand is wandering towards the center, and as there's not a discrete button I can't tell exactly where I'm clicking. I expect this won't be a problem for long, although someone with small hands might find it more of an issue. I've also ran my mouse up to my headphone cable a few times, which fits so perfectly between the bottom of the button and the top of my desk that I can't click at all. Guess I need to keep a neater workspace!
I don't think the much-maligned scrolling is as bad as some have made it out to be, although it's definitely not perfect. I've been playing with the scroll speed setting a lot, and still haven't found a spot that's just right for me. There is a way to identify applications that don't scroll well and have Intellipoint "help them scroll", but I haven't been able to tell exactly what this setting does, and it hasn't made anything noticeably better. For some other mouse functions (well, just left and right click really) Intellipoint offers program-specific settings. So you could reprogram the right-click button to double-click or zoom or whatever, but it would only take effect in a Outlook, for example. If the same thing could be done with scroll-speed, I think that'd go a long way to solving the problem. If I could set Firefox to speed 5 and Excel to speed 3, I'd be all set. Also, for some goofy reason, Microsoft decided to cover the nice, flat, smooth black mouse with little printed-on X's and dots. I suppose it makes it look cooler or something, and I think the area they cover corresponds to the touch sensor underneath, but they are also slightly raised. Have you ever heard of a touch surface intentionally made bumpy? Apple's gone so far as to replace their plastic surface with glass to reduce wear and friction. Microsoft puts speedbumps on theirs. Fortunately, 30 seconds with a very fine nail file took care of the problem and didn't really scratch up the surface. The X's and dots are still nice and pretty, they're just flat now.
There is no middle click. This might bother me if anyone still made a mouse with a real middle button. I accepted the death of the true middle button when the scroll wheel was born, because I haven't found a decently clickable wheel yet. Lots of people feel differently, so this might be a dealbreaker. It does seem like a pretty big oversight...
Now my biggest issue, which I touched on earlier. Intellipoint is just not very good. Mostly it's simply the lack of features that bothers me. With other MS mice, all the buttons are reprogrammable. With this one, none of the touch gestures are. Two-Fingers-Up to maximize is great, but I wish Two-Down would just minimize instead of restore - who uses that? I should be able to change this. I should be able to reassign touch gestures to different commands. For that matter, I should be able to reassign touch gestures on a per-application basis, like I can with the two clicky buttons. For you other nerds out there, I've tried AutoHotKey, EventGhost, and plain old key-remapping in the registry - nothing has worked so far.
Oh, I almost forgot the worst part of Intellipoint. It doesn't play nice with UAC. For those of you who forgot what UAC was a minute after you turned it off, it's the security feature that says something like, "This application requires admin rights to run - click OK to continue". I turn it off at home too, but that's not an option here in the office. This might get a little geeky, but basically when an application requests and is granted elevated rights, Intellipoint can't talk to it. Meaning no gestures - including plain old scrolling. All you get is mouse movement and the two clicks. The way around this is to launch Intellipoint as an admin (shift-right-click on the Microsoft Mouse start menu item and select Run As Administrator.) But of course you want Intellipoint to start up automatically when the system is started (by default it's in the HKLM Run key.) So I deleted it from there, created a new shortcut using the Task Scheduler UAC trick (google it) and stuck that in the Startup group.
Oh and if you're used to touch gestures on a Mac, be prepared for some irritation. I've been trying to scroll with two fingers all day, which just resulted in my windows being either snapped to the side or maximized/minimized. Instead of the thumb swipe the Touch Mouse supports, I've been trying to do a three finger swipe to go forward and back... Can't really fault MS on this one, it'll just take some getting used to.
After all this rambling, my final thought is - you'll have to try this for yourself to see if it will work for you. It's not a huge change, but it's big enough and the mouse is so key to PC usability that I'm sure more than a few Touch Mice will be tossed across the room. So far the new features outweigh the annoyances for me, and over time I'm hopeful it will get even better.
After another week of use, all my annoyances are tied to single-finger gestures. Copying Apple and making scroll two-fingered and back/forward three-fingered would have been awesome, but maybe that would have caused legal issues...
I also did some monitoring of the USB HID traffic, and it looks like the mouse is constantly sending finger position information back to the PC. This makes sense, as the processing of that data to translate it into gestures doesn't have to be programmed into and run on the hardware. It means MS could update Intellipoint to allow you to set sensitivity for each gesture. It also means that making a shim using AutoHotKey or a similar utility is possible, but would be a real pain in the butt.
on August 12, 2011
As other reviews have stated, the ergonomics of the mouse are good. The quality is good. Unfortunately, it has some serious drawbacks that make it a "don't buy" recommendation.
- It's Heavy: The mouse feels heavy. It doesn't glide, you push it along. This hampers accuracy and creates fatigue.
- It's "Touchy": I don't mean this in a good way. This is my second time writing this review because when I reached over to move the pointer just touching the mouse caused some unknown operation to occur and closed out the review window. This is fairly typical. There are times when I am scrolling along with one finger and the mouse suddenly decides I have two fingers on the unit and it minimizes the entire window.
- It's Not A Good Value: You can spend less money and get a lighter, easier to use mouse.
Spend your money on something else (like one of the Microsoft's BlueTrack mice). You will be happy you did.
on November 21, 2013
Before I begin I just want to state I would probably rate this a 2.5 if I was able to. Also, as a graphic designer I have had and have many mice and am very capable of commenting on the overall value of this mouse compared to other mice.
Build quality is top notch. Probably the finest mouse in terms of pure material quality I have owned.
Software that works with mouse is solid and is absolutely a benefit to the mouse and therefor to the user.
The attention to detail in the product design is excellent, things like the spring loaded nano receiver, the tactile print on the top of the mouse, the quality plastic the entire mouse is made from, the click feedback etc.
Battery life is excellent.
Mouse works on nearly every surface you can imagine.
The overall design/concept of the mouse doesn't work for a daily mouse driver. Due to the overall design concept of the mouse, the fatigue on the hand is multiplied significantly. Let me explain. True to the name of the mouse, the thing has a touch surface which basically gives the user the ability to swipe either direction and to scroll up or down with your fingertips. These are pretty cool features (if they worked consistently...read below) in and of themselves but create a bigger problem than any benefit they bring.
The user HAS to lift his right or left finger off the mouse to perform a right or left click, which means at any given moment and several hundred times a day for heavy users, the hand is performing a tiring action that begins to wear on the wrist and hand. You quickly realize there is no cutting corners here either, you have to make sure ANY finger is not making any contact with the mouse other than the one you need to make the selection, if you fail at this any text selection you are trying to edit is gone, any menu your trying to access will fail to materialize, any box your trying to select will disappear...etc. etc. etc. I cannot tell you how many times I have taken the time to select a block of text only to have that time erased when I either didn't time the click precise enough or failed to lift my fingers off the mouse.
This seems ridiculous I know, but think of how many times you have to completely remove your fingers on a normal mouse. Never. So it takes time to get used to and even when you do you overcompensate every click and are forced to hold the mouse with your fingertips to create a hand position which allows you to click efficiently in this manner (think using a laptop mouse pad for long periods of time) which only serves to fatigue your hand faster.
As if the above point is enough of a deal breaker here, the swiping mechanics work ok at best and are not supported in every application so there is no real consistency. It becomes quite apparent that you will never be able to become proficient with this mouse through consistent practice.
I bought this hoping for a miracle daily mouse driver to compliment windows 8. After using I decided to offload it to my carry-on bag. After using it in this manner for a while I just stopped using it.
on November 4, 2011
First things first: yes, one must master the one finger right click (1 day learning curve, it's survivable). The touch surface of this particular device must have obligated the engineers to only one physical button, thus it relies on touch to distinguish right from left click (with left being the default, and right click requiring one to lift their index finger).
Moving past that, this is an awesome little mouse. The touch functions are very precise, thus imprecise movements ARE exaggerated (i.e scrolls to the bottom of a page with a flick; which may be the source of other reviewers discontent with the scrolling function). The thumb driven forward and back function is there when needed, meaning it does not get in the way of normal tasks (at least for me). The "expose-like" functions are neat, however it should be noted that left/right two finger swipe may leave residual patches of the re-aligned window (i.e. two finger swipe left results in a phantom "minimize, full screen, exit" cluster to the left of the actual working buttons. Despite this, I really appreciate the ability to "snap" windows left and right with the mouse because I am currently running two monitors. Otherwise, it is next to impossible to snap a window on the side of the main monitor adjacent to the secondary monitor (the window would prefer to slip onto the next screen).
TIP: I rest my thumb and pinky on the shiny plastic base, not the "touchy" shell
In sum: If one was so inclined, they could purchase an unsupported, yet shiny, Apple interface device for their PC and fool around with extracting drivers from the bootcamp.iso and get something comparable to this mouse. In my opinion, however, that is a lot of effort (and money) for a device that isn't really supported in the first place and will never be as integrated (i.e. try using an apple wireless keyboard in BIOS), not to mention the fact that this mouse is very functional in it's own right.
So I got the mouse today, and fired it up immediately.
The mouse comes with 2 batteries, a USB antenna, and an extension for the USB antenna for using it with a desktop that is located under your desk. A nice feature is that you can store the USB antenna in the mouse.
The mouse works as advertised. All the gestures work great. I was hoping for interaction with the Windows 7 Phone Emulator, but there is none beyond the features available with a normal mouse.
Even though it does not work with the Windows 7 Phone Emulator I cannot ding it for that since it didn't advertise that it would. I just made that leap hoping for a better programming experience. Maybe this mouse will allow for interaction in a future release of the Windows 7 Phone Emulator.
The size of the mouse is very comfortable. Right now I am using a smaller one that I carry with my laptop. This mouse will be a nice relief. The other one got annoying after long use. The speed of the pointer and the amount of pressure needed for paging and scrolling it just right.
UPDATE 8/3/2011- After getting to use this for a while I decided to down grade my review to 3 stars. Primarily because the mouse does not work in visual studio at all. The normal windows of code do not scroll.
UPDATE 8/4/2010- In order to resolve the issue of not running in Visual Studio 2010 you must run C:\Program Files\Microsoft IntelliPoint\ipoint.exe with elevated permissions. Right click on it, open properties, go to the compatibility tab and select Run this program as administrator.
What clued me in was that it did not work with the event viewer either, which was running elevated privileges also.
on August 18, 2011
The concept for the mouse is good, however it is a failure on three major aspects:
1) The touch sensitivity is poor. Scrolling is klunky, going back in a web page works 10% of the time, and sometimes it recognizes a swipe but doesn't act on it (three swipes up only functioned half the time, even though the visual cue that I swiped was showing I had made the action properly).
2) The mouse is poorly designed. It doesn't fit my hand well, and the right-click is very touchy - I end up left clicking more times than I meant to.
3) Programability - there simply is none. I have more features with my Logitech mouse and the extra buttons it provides. I would like to program swipes to perform certain tasks, but am limited to the functions Microsoft provides (and which I hardly use).
on November 8, 2011
I must say that I was eagerly awaiting this mouse for quite awhile, and then when it came out, I decided to pull the trigger. Needless to say, I wasn't impressed with the overall experience. Below are my personal pros and cons of the Microsoft Touch Mouse.
1. Gestures work pretty much as advertised. Many people have said that it doesn't respond to gestures properly, doesn't track smoothly, etc., but everything worked fine for me once I used the USB extension cable. My only thought is that those people having problems maybe didn't use the USB extension cable to have the USB receiver on the desk, and instead just had the small USB receiver plugged into the back of the computer. When I just had the USB receiver plugged into the computer under my desk, the movement was very jerky due to a poor wireless connection to the receiver. Using the the extention cable and having the receiver on top the desk took care of the issue.
2. Somewhat Decent Ergonomics
1. Scrolling. It issn't as sensitive as is should be, and thus doesn't work as well as it should. I don't know if it's an issue with the drivers, the actual hardware, etc., but when you sometimes want to scroll just a bit, it doesn't really pick up on the movement. Maybe a driver update can fix it, but if it's the hardware, they need to improve upon it.
2. Clicking. Since there are no separate left and right buttons to click, the whole front of the mouse tilts down when you click. This is rather uncomfortable to me. Also, since there aren't any separate left and right mouse buttons, the mouse relies on touch to determine whether or not the user wants to right or left click. Because of this, for example, you must make sure that your pointer finger is completely removed from the touch surface of the mouse if you want to right click. This is extremely uncomfortable for me, and since I'm not used to removing my pointer finger to right click, I ended up doing a left click many times when I wanted to do a right click instead. Some may not have an issue with this, but for me it was a constant annoyance.
3. No separate left and right buttons. Some may actually like this, but for me it's really annoying. I think it would be possible to make a touch mouse that had separate buttons. If someone does, I'd look into getting one again.
4. Ergonomics. While the ergonomics are OK, for me they need to be better. Microsoft did a somewhat decent job in making a touch mouse that's ergonomic (unlike Apple's Magic Mouse). For me, the problem is that the palm arch is too low. Maybe it's because my wrist has been accustomed to mice that are more high sloping in the palm area, but for me my wrist was a bit uncomfortable after using the mouse for only about 5-10 minutes. Also, there is no curve out toward the bottom of the mouse where you rest your thumb. For me that helps keep my thumb off the mouse pad, and is much more comfortable. Again, this is just me -- others may find this a non-issue.
5. Textured Touch Surface. While I know it was Microsoft's intent to make the touch surface textured so that users could feel what part of the mouse was touch sensitive, I personally don't like it, and would rather it be completely smooth, with only a line separating the touch-sensitive area from the non touch-sensitive area.
6. Wireless Range. My mouse is at most 3 feet away from my PC under the desk, and having the USB dongle plugged directly into the computer wasn't enough for it to have a stable connection. I had to use the attached USB extension cable so that the dongle was on my desk. Logitech mice I've used never had this issue at all. If this isn't because of a defective unit I received, then to me this is a complete failure on Microsoft's part.
Again, this is totally my opinion. There may be some people out there who won't mind or won't experience some of the cons that I have, and will end up liking this mouse. If that's the case, great. While the gestures to use Aero Snap, minimize, maximize, back, forward, etc. work great, for me that wasn't enough to outweigh the cons. If any of the cons I mentioned would seriously bother you, I would highly suggest you stay away from this mouse.
on August 22, 2011
There is nothing not terrible about this mouse. I've been using Microsoft Explorer mice for the better part of 10 years and this is the worst mouse I've ever used of any brand.
-The touch gestures barely work. Up and down scrolling is incredibly aggravating if you're used to using a standard scroll wheel. Likewise, if you've been using your thumb to click a "back" button on the side of your mouse, it's tough to get used to swiping your thumb down the side of the mouse - especially when it only works about one-third of the time.
-It's slightly heavier than a normal wireless mouse, which takes some getting used to.
-Right clicking is difficult to do. Again, if you click the right "button" where you normally would on any other mouse, it doesn't register. You have to move your hand/finger and click on the very corner of the right side of the mouse.
-This next one is going to sound nitpicky, but it's driving me nuts. Since the whole body of the mouse is the button, the seams on each side are right where your thumb and ring finger rest, so every time you click either button, it pinches your skin ever so slightly.
In summary, I am frankly shocked that Microsoft let this mouse get to market with such poor ergonomics and functionality.