Top positive review
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An attempt at an objective review
on November 14, 2009
Okay, I will say I'm very partial to this mouse, but I'm going to try and write an objective review here for kicks. I'm going to break this down into topical sections for easy digestion.
=== Tracking ===
Tracking is, surprisingly for a Bluetooth mouse, superbly smooth in everyday use. (I'm not an FPS gamer, so I can't comment on the performance for twitch gaming.) Pointer movement is very smooth and consistent, as with the best corded and non-BT cordless mice. Also, in my tests, the mouse tracked perfectly on a white laminate table and a brushed aluminum table -- both difficult surfaces for many laser and optical mice.
Many reviewers have complained that the tracking is too slow, even at the highest speed setting. Although I haven't experienced this problem, I believe it is real for those people; but I think it must be a problem that is specific to their particular software and/or hardware environment, by no means a universal problem. (The Magic Mice at the Apple Stores I've been to have not manifested it.) These users may find relief with a new third-party freeware called BetterTouchTool, which has a greater range of mouse speed adjustment than Apple's prefpane -- more on BetterTouchTool below.
=== Scrolling ===
The touch-based scrolling is a revelation. I leave the momentum option on, and scrolling through long web pages is a dream. So smooth! The scrolling action is similar to dragging the slider on a scroll bar, rather than clicking the up/down scroll buttons as it is with most other mice. After having used the Magic Mouse and its amazing scrolling talents for a couple of weeks, when I'm now forced to use conventional mice, the scrolling feels jumpy and crude. That said, I do sometimes miss the feel of turning a physical scroll wheel. I'd say that a physical wheel might provide more predictable scrolling. But the nearly pixel-precise scrolling action of the Magic Mouse just feels really luxurious. The only thing I would ask Apple to improve is to let users adjust the "friction" of the momentum scrolling with a slider in the prefpane. I would reduce the friction a bit.
=== Buttons/Configurability ===
As you will know already, this is a one-button mouse that can be used as a two-button mouse thanks to smart software. I have experienced zero problems with the mouse distinguishing between left and right clicks. It is true that the mouse does not recognize right clicks when your index finger is resting on the mouse. This hasn't been a problem for me at all, because for some reason I naturally lift my index finger slightly when I start pushing down with my middle finger. The other thing that is widely known is that there is no provision for middle clicks or other actions besides the ones mentioned in the product literature. Apple really has a lot of room for improvement in the device driver in this area.
But what is perhaps less known is that there is an excellent little freeware third-party app called BetterTouchTool (for OS X only) that addresses these shortcomings very well. For example, you can map a three-finger tap to Expose or any key combination. It is an absolute must. The app is still in a very early development phase and is frequently updated (sometimes several times in one day), and there are several features yet to be fully implemented, but already it has removed all cause for complaint about lack of configurability, as far as I'm concerned.
=== Ergonomics ===
The mouse's shape takes some getting used to. It's very low, which discourages resting your palm on it (or wrapping your whole hand around it). The sharp edges also detract from holding this mouse as you would rounder ones. The optimum way I've found to hold this mouse is to lightly grip its sides, with my thumb on one side, my ring finger and pinkie on the other, and my palm making no contact with the top. This is easy to do because the sides curve inward from top to bottom, providing a sure grip. It's a sort of dainty way to hold the mouse, but it works, and it also minimizes accidental scrolling, which happens sometimes when you inadvertently touch the top. As a bonus, the aluminum sides provide a nice, cool sensation to the fingertips when you grab it again after letting it rest for a while.
Another ergonomic quibble I have is that the smooth plastic top of the mouse produces too much friction when my fingers are not perfectly dry. The textured glass of Apple's latest trackpads is much better in this regard. As a workaround, I have taken to putting a little light oil on the mouse top to reduce this friction and make scrolling easier.
=== Conclusion ===
This is an unusual and innovative mouse that unfortunately demands some adjustment in usage habits to get the best results, but then rewards you with superior functionality -- especially with an assist from some third-party software.