Review: I Want To Love The Magic Mouse, But I Can’t

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I’m a multitouch junkie. Everything I touch has to be multitouch, or it just ain’t right. I can no longer use a regular laptop trackpad — there’s no two-finger scrolling. It irritates me no end if I can’t point, scroll and double-click with my fingers.

How long will it take then, to get used to the Apple’s new Magic Mouse? So far, it’s been frustrating. It seems like the Magic Mouse would be perfectly natural to use, but it isn’t.

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The big problem is that the Magic Mouse doesn’t operate completely like a little trackpad. Instead, it’s a hybrid between a regular mouse and a multitouch trackpad.

To move the cursor onscreen, you move the entire mouse, just like a traditional mouse. And when you want to scroll up or down a webpage, you swipe your finger across the multitouch surface.

So far, it’s been awkward. I keep wanting to scroll my finger across the top of the mouse, and have the cursor track across the screen — the way it does on the trackpad of my MacBook. I also keep trying to use two fingers to scroll up and down webpages, but I only need to use one.

My muscle memory is working against me. I keep making the wrong gestures, and getting frustrated as a result.

It’s obviously a question of getting used to it. But do I really want to? I would like to use the surface of the Magic Mouse like a MacBook trackpad. But then why have a mouse at all? I’d be better off with a multitouch trackpad like Wacom’s new Bamboo Touch Pad.

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The build quality of the mouse is excellent. It’s a beautiful piece of aluminum and plastic that resembles a highly-polished stone. The seamless top surface reminds me of an inductive cooktop for some reason — perhaps because it hides its nature.

It has a nice, satisfying clickiness when pressed, and moves buttery smooth because it’s so light.

Because it is so light, it sometimes moves when you scroll, especially if you make a sideways swipe to go back or forth through web pages. Then the cursor moves on screen, and has to be moved back again to hit a link.

But, who’s kidding who here? What do you guys care if I find it slightly awkward?

It’s a new Apple product! It may be expensive, but it’s utterly intriguing. It’s flying off shelves (I had to call a ton of stores to score one). It’s beautifully made and fascinating to pick up and play with, even if using it is not immediately natural. Pay no attention to my silly opinions, go out and buy it right now.

[xrr rating=4/5]
Company: Apple
Model: Magic Mouse
List Price: $69.00
Compatible: All Bluetooth-equipped Macs
Buy Now: The Magic Mouse is available from Amazon for $69.00 with free shipping.

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