Apple Magic Mouse Review – From the Comfort of my laptop

Apple Magic Mouse Review

From the Comfort of my laptop

After I was given a review of having done an ‘unbalanced review’ in my “Apple Magic Mouse Review from the Apple Store in Glendale, CA,” post, I decided to do a more comprehensive review of the mouse now that I’ve literally had my hands on it for a couple of hours.

My comparison on the Apple Magic Mouse is to 1) The Microsoft ARC Mouse and 2) The Apple Mighty Mouse 4 Button mouse (wired).

First things first

You will need OS 10.5 or above in order to use the Apple Magic Mouse.  I will also cover the main features of the mouse, which can be adjusted in System Preferences – Mouse.

Setting up the Apple Magic Mouse is quick and easy. Have Bluetooth enabled on your Mac then slide the On/off switch on the bottom of the mouse to turn it on. Follow the onscreen instructions in Setup Assistant and you are ready to go.

Note: if you don’t pair your mouse with your Mac within 3 minutes, the light and mouse turn off to preserve battery life. So just Slide the On/off switch to on again which will allow you to pair it with your Mac.

Out of the box the mouse feels as it looks: a smooth, porcelain like surface with incredibly nice curves. It is, by far, an assuming gadget compared to the Mighty Mouse and the ARC. The Microsoft ARC is ‘sexier’ in how it presents itself – much like a stingray in the ocean. Sleek, smooth, mysterious and possibly vicious. The Apple Mighty Mouse looks literally, ike a mouse.

The Apple Magic Mouse feels a lot sturdier than I remember but I never got to try the functionality until today. I wrote about it here: “Apple Magic Mouse – What do you think?

Resting my hand on it felt awkward as I was more used to the higher arch on the MS ARC. Hence, probably, the name. Instead of my palm resting on its (the Magic Mouse’s)  surface, there is gap in between the top surface and my palm. The base of my thumb is pretty much all that touches the mouse along with my three fingers on top.

Both the ARC and the Magic Mouse feel more comfortable than Apple’s Mighty Mouse in my opinion.

Moving the mouse on my table surface made no difference in feel. Performance wise, I am looking forward to using the Magic Mouse at the Pasadena Library where the glass table surface did not bode well for the ARC. I had to use a magazine cover as a mouse pad – whereas Apple says the Magic Mouse can work on glass surfaces – so that remains to be seen.

There aren’t any buttons, per se, as the top surface serves as a button. The Mouse does recognize a left click and a right click which is 10 times better than holding [ctrl] down when needing a right click on the Mighty Mouse.

The biggest productivity difference between the Mighty Mouse and the Magic Mouse is the sensitivity to clicks. The Mighty Mouse’s 4 buttons were very sensitive to me. I would constantly move the mouse and click a button accidentally with my thumb or three fingers on top. I could not stand t his! I would a accidentally click either the top surface or one of the side buttons. It was extremely irritating and it was a big reason why I purchased the MS ARC!

Both the ARC and the Magic Mouse trounce the Mighty Mouse in all aspects. So the comparison with the Mighty Mouse can stop now! If you do not want to spend the money on the Magic Mouse, do yourself a favor and get the Microsoft ARC!

Okay, now on to the good stuff…

A scrolling we will go

In order to scroll, all you need to do is to swipe a finger. You would most likely use your index or middle finger and swipe away or towards you. To scroll up, swipe a finger away from you (or length-wise on the multi-touch surface). To scroll down, do the opposite.

The multi-touch surface is extremely smooth to the touch and the response is quick. I haven’t experienced a real delay.

The ARC has a click wheel and scrolling is much slower with the click wheel. The ARC also has a small thumb button and the click wheel is also a button. You can use these for scrolling as well and there is momentum depending on how much forward or back you move the ARC. I did not like the thumb button at all and rarely used the click wheel as a button to scroll.

The Apple Magic Mouse, on scrolling, is a lot easier and faster (with momentum turned on).

I’ve developed a little habit of ‘skating’ or ‘moon walking’ my index and middle finger away or towards me, like walking my fingers but on skates. It allows me full control of scrolling without having to stop, lift a finger, reposition and re-slide. A quick slide of your finger (a flick or pull) will send your page scrolling on its own. Just touch the surface and the page will stop.

This is extremely responsive and so much better than any mouse I’ve used. It is similar to the iPhone or iPod Touch scrolling feature and I love it.

Navigating web pages are also more efficient.

Instead of clicking on back or forward on your browser, two fingers swiping left, across the surface of the mouse, will page back, and two fingers swiping right, across the surface, will page forward. This is extremely useful with iPhoto as well!

And here’s something I don’t normally do – Zoom

Yes, you can Zoom in on anything you are working on. This requires holding the [ctrl] key down while swiping a finger away. Swipe it back to get a normal view of your screen. Does Zooming help with anything? Maybe not. I never had use for it before. If I use it in iPhoto its not a ‘true’ zoom of the picture – it’s a pixilated zoom of your entire desktop.

So what do I think? And what do you think?

In this Apple Magic Mouse review I can’t say that this is the best mouse ever made. Logitech has some incredible multi-functional monsters out there! I was sold on the Microsoft ARC and still will stand by that mouse as a wireless USB device. I don’t look too much at all the features a mouse has to offer. I like convenience, portability, and ‘cool looking’ gadgets. The ARC and the Magic Mouse serve this purpose with functionality.

The Apple Magic Mouse is by far, more ‘feature heavy’ than the ARC. And I can get used to these features quite quickly.

The Apple Magic Mouse, with all its cool “Apple-esque” look and built in features makes it unique, and in my opinion, stands head and shoulders above the Apple Mighty Mouse – which I’ve never gotten used to. It just seemed there was never enough surface for the Mighty Mouse to maneuver over. I’d always have to lift and reposition it. Both the ARC and the Magic Mouse have to be repositioned from time to time, but I think they cover more ground, aren’t too sensitive to the touch (which is a good thing), and both are convenient and cool looking gadgets!

The Apple Magic Mouse provides efficiency in a sleek design that any Apple enthusiast can appreciate. The $69 price tag is not to low and not extremely high for a multi-functioning mouse like this one.

Plus – there are some things you can do in Firefox to navigate tabs, and with the link provided in the previous Apple Magic Mouse review, you can download a mouse driver that will make the Apple Magic Mouse do more than what it already does right out of the box.

Ok – why does it feel sturdy? Because it feels like a solid piece of construction versus a flimsy piece of hollow plastic like the Mighty Mouse.  The ARC has what seems more stability and freedom on a table surface too, wheras the Mighty Mouse feels like it needs more space to move and gets tangled on its tail all the time. Grant it, I have a USB wired Mighty Mouse.

I love this mouse – but I love my ARC a lot too! Mighty Mouse, your days are done.

As I download more drivers for the Magic Mouse, and figure out what else it could do for me, I’ll post that in a review. For now, the basic features are what drove me to the check out guy with the cool iPhone looking scanner.

So what are your thoughts on the Apple Magic mouse based on your experience and on this review?

Thanks for reading.

Oh – I ended up buying the wireless keyboard too! Which means $150ish dollars spent that could have gone to the iPad! Uh oh.

More features for the Magic Mouse:

About Glenn Magas