This past summer, I had the awesome opportunity to visit Microsoft headquarters in Redmond Washington. While we were touring the facility, we had the opportunity to test out some of the new products that were soon to be released. Of course, I was impressed with Minecraft EDU and with the new things coming out in the world of Windows 10, but the one product that stood out to me the most was a little wireless mouse that not only was oddly shaped, it had a bit of personality to it.
The is a much needed companion to anyone using a surface tablet. I have had the privilege of testing out both the Surface 3 and Surface 4 tablets and although there has been a much-needed advance in keyboard and trackpad this year, I found myself over the last year wishing that the Surface had a much better navigation system. Sure, you can use a pen, but when you are brought up and used to using a mouse, a pen simply doesn't cut it for normal web browsing and application use. I'm afraid to say that as a podcaster, and blogger, the mouse …. the mighty utensil that is designed to be an extension of our hands, is still the chosen way that I wish to interact with my computer.
Unboxing and First Impressions
Overall, the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse provides a very nice user experience. It has a very slick design and it doesn't feel like it is ever going to slip out of your hands. There are two states of being for this mouse. When not in use, the mouse lies flat and can be easily put into a small pocket or secured in a travel bag.
To turn the device on, simply curl the device like a caterpillar until it clicks on. I enjoy this feature very much as I feel I am constantly struggling to remember to turn off my Apple Magic Mouse every time I leave my computer.
The mouse essentially has 4 buttons but it is not the easiest to get used to. The two big buttons provide the left and right click, where two buttons running down the center provide the “click wheel” effect. The mouse even comes with a clicking sound when you scroll your finger in one direction swiftly. Although I think there is a need for this feature with newbies, I really wish I could turn the sound effects off.
The Cost and the Confusion
When I went to the store to purchase a new mouse for the Surface tablet, I went looking specifically for this mouse. I was greeted with two versions. One was a USB Versionretailing for about $49 and the Bluetooth version which I ultimately settled on for $69. Although these seem a bit high in price for a mouse, my mouse of choice is the Apple Magic Mouse which currently retails for $79. Where the Arc Touch has nowhere near the capabilities of the multi-touch surface of the Magic Mouse, the price did seem competitive. My final decision was to purchase the Bluetooth version of the mouse because I wanted something portable that didn't take up the USB slot on the Surface tablet.
Would I recommend This Mouse?
As stated before, I am a big fan of Apple's Magic Mouse, it's a great mouse with a nice feel to it. I don't ever remember having my hand cramp up or get tired. The Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse is just a different type of experience. There have been times where, while using it, I accidentally push too hard and it collapses and turns off. I also miss my finger swipes and other neat features that the Magic Mouse provides its users due to multi-touch gestures. Although I have only been using this mouse for 2 weeks, I have a feeling that the batters (2 AAA's) will ultimately be changed less because I will be remembering to turn the mouse off when the Surface tablet is not in use.
Ultimately, if you are going to be a Surface Tablet user, this is a great companion accessory and I would absolutely recommend the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse. If you are a user, please feel free to leave your own comments or recommendations in the comment section below.