Magic Mouse Review

In the past, previous Apple mouses have left a lot to be desired, including the scroll wheel problem in the Apple Mighty Mouse.  However, the Magic Mouse is fantastic, with innovative  multi-touch capabilities and a sleek design.  It might be expensive, but once you have tried it, you won’t want to use another mouse.  Now packaged with the iMac’s, and available to buy standalone, this product meets the usual high standards of Apple.

The mouse comes packaged in a clear perspex case, which is very modern.  As you open the packaging, a small piece of dividing plastic is revealed.  Below this, is the instruction manual which gives all the information you would expect, such as how to pair the mouse to your computer, and how to update it so that you can take full advantage of all the features.  However, the full instructions for things such as the supported multi-touch gestures can only be found in system preferences, which can be rather annoying if you need to take a quick glance and work in another programme at the same time.

As the world’s first multi-touch mouse, it brings a few of the features from the Apple trackpad to a mouse, including the pinch to zoom and two finger swipe.  This works just like the trackpads, as you use your fingers to operate the mouse.  However, to move the mouse pointer, you drag the mouse around the table like a normal mouse.  In a nutshell, it combines modern and proven technology so it is easy to get used to.

The design is very sleek, matching existing Apple products, such as the Wireless Keyboard, which means it can blend in with your existing set-up.  With the seamless multi-touch pad, and the smart aluminium finish, it is one of the smartest available.  On the other hand, it is heavier than the Mighty Mouse, which makes it seem so much more professional and of higher quality.  This also means that it is harder to accidentally knock the mouse, which means it can be more precise.

Another great feature is the use of bluetooth, which means that your workspace can stay clutter-free.  It is easy and hassle-free to pair the mouse to your computer, in a process which takes seconds with a Mac.  Search for the mouse using the bluetooth, enter the passcode and away you go.  The mouse pairs every time, and connects every time, no fail.

With such as low profile design, it does take some getting used to.  It could also be uncomfortable for some, as it requires a different grip compared to other mice.  However, after you have got over this, it is wonderful, as it enables you to take full advantage of the multi-touch capabilities.  Optimal use is achieved by gently pinching the sides, and with your thumb and little finger, and using your other fingers for the multi-touch capabilities.  In some ways, it isn’t ergonomic, so some people might find this a little hard to use, as it is simply different to the usual mouse, which means that it will feel bad in your hand.   On the other hand, the removal of the click wheel is a welcome departure, as it makes it so much easier to use.  The previous one on the Mighty Mouse would get stuck, with dirt ‘clogging’ up the trackball.  With a seamless surface, this can no longer happen and the scrolling action can now be preformed anywhere on the surface.

Another welcome feature is momentum scrolling, which adds the ability to ‘flick’ around the page at various speeds depending on the speed of your finger as it glances over the mouse.  A short, slow flick will see the page gently move in the direction before coming to a slow stop, whereas a quick flick will see the page move quickly before stopping.  This feature, and the various speeds can be activated in System Preferences.  Overall, this is one of my favourite features, as the mouse works seamlessly, and there is no lag between the actions activated on the mouse, and the action preformed on screen.  Another great feature is the ability to zoom into the screen by simply pressing the ‘Control’ key and scrolling with your finger.  You can also flick through photos or documents in ‘Cover Flow’, like flicking through a magazine.

Two finger multi-touch also works flawlessly, and is the moment this mouse really shines.  You can move two fingers forward or back, emulating the forward or back buttons in a browser, such as Safari.  Again, there is no delay and this is responsive and smooth.   The laser tracking can be thanked for this, which means it far more responsive and more precise on more surfaces.  This means a mouse mat is no longer need for most of the time, giving you back some more space from your desk.

However, if you don’t like these features, you can change them all in System Preferences.  This includes things such as activating multi-touch features or adjusting speeds.  Also, you can activate secondary (right) click and even switch over the buttons if you are left handed.  It also shows a handy video tutorial, which means you can learn how to use it very quickly.  Here, you can also check the battery level.  The only bad thing is that you need Snow Leopard to take full advantage of some of the features, such as momentum scrolling, but 10.5.8 works fine most of the time.

One bad thing about the mouse is the price.  It is more expensive than similar products, at £55, but you will soon realise it is worth it, with the brilliant design and leading multi-touch features.  Also, the Magic Mouse ‘eats’ through batteries, as they last about 3 months.  This means that the ‘Apple Battery Charger’ might be another product worth purchasing, as the batteries last about one month based on heavy usage of several hours a day.  It does ‘go to sleep’, like the computer, but having to replace the batteries and making sure you have some available can be quite annoying.

Overall, this is a fantastic mouse.  It’s not cheap, at the more expensive end of the market but is another product that a Apple lover must own.  It works brilliantly, and has a terrific design that blends in with your existing Mac setup.  The multi-touch is amazing with some innovative features from the trackpads that make it such as pleasure to use.  It can be quite hard to get used to, with a different design, but once you do, it is simply breathtaking.  However, some users might find it quite annoying that you have to change the batteries so frequently, and replacing these batteries might become so expensive, that the Apple Battery Charger might be a sensible option, but that means more spend.  In my opinion though, it’s a must have gadget for every Mac owner.

Recommendation:  This product can be brought from Amazon at a discount, meaning you can enjoy your product even more!

Apple Magic Mouse at Amazon

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