March 21st in Gadgets by .

Apples Magic Mouse – Is it any good?

Apples Magic Mouse. . . fantastic or flawed?
Given Apples checkered past when it comes to designing mice, see what we thought about the latest creation here at Todays Top Tech.

Apples Magic Mouse

After owning, (not for long before I returned it), Apples last “revolutionary” mouse, the Mighty Mouse, I was more than a little nervous when I decided to purchase the new Magic Mouse. But after seeing the super sleek design and lack of any buttons spoiling the beautiful lines, I thought it was worth the risk. Now I know it’s a little unusual to get straight to the punchline so to speak, but before I get to the actual review, let me break with tradition and tell you right now that I absolutely love this mouse.

The Design

the Apple Magic Mouse

click for a larger image

As you can see from the photos, it looks very much like a super shiny bar of soap. There are no buttons or scroll wheels to spoil the look. Just one piece of glossy white plastic. The shape of the mouse itself is a little unusual, it is very low and so doesn’t fit into the palm of your hand like other mice, but in no time at all, I got used to it. I find myself just using my fingertips to move it around instead of my whole hand. It glides effortlessly over any surface thanks to two plastic edges underneath to minimise the surface in contact with your desk. Even the battery cover is a beautiful piece of crafted metal.

How does it work with no buttons?

The shiny and sleek Magic Mouse

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Don’t think the lack of buttons equals a lack of features. Thanks to Apples touchpad technology in their Macs, the whole surface of this mouse is like a giant touchpad. Once configured in the settings, it will easily recognise and differentiate between a left click and a right click. And don’t even worry about the missing scroll wheel. Simply swipe 1, 2 or even 3 fingers up or down the mouse surface and it will scroll effortlessly. You can determine yourself what kind of scrolling suites you best. If you turn on “momentum scrolling” it will fly up and down your webpages at break-neck speeds. If you turn off the momentum, you get the more usual steady, accurate scrolling you may be used to. You can even scroll left and right with the same easy finger swipes. Something I find really useful when navigating large spreadsheets for example.
Another great feature that I can no longer live without is the ability to set up, two finger swiping to go forwards and backwards in webpages, almost exactly as I do when using the touchpad on my macbook. I know some people have said that they find this movement difficult to achieve with this mouse, but it didn’t take me too long to “re-train” myself to do it slightly differently than with a regular mouse. I just let go of the mouse, hover my hand just above the mouse, and with the lightest of touch (so it doesn’t actually move the mouse) swipe across the face of the mouse. It is so touch-sensitive that I sometimes imagine I could blow on it and it would still know what I wanted to do.

A common complaint

The Magic Mouse, great to touch

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You may have heard many, many people complaining that the tracking speed of this mouse is too slow. Well, yes I have to agree. I am not sure what Apple were thinking when they set the maximum speed for this mouse. It is definitely too slow. But STOP, don’t let this put you off buying this fabulous mouse. Fear-not, help is at hand. There is a great, free mac app available that not only lets you speed up the tracking speed to a much more sensible level, but also lets you define countless touchpad functions to suit how you prefer to work. One great little shortcut I set up was a four-finger click that brings up the cmd+shift+4 key combination to allow me to do a cross-hair screen grab. Something I do a lot whilst writing reviews for Todays Top Tech. The software in question is called MagicPrefs and it is totally free. To my mind this single piece of software is what makes the Magic Mouse complete. Without it the result of this review would have turned out a little differently. We recently reviewed the MagicPrefs app, I strongly recommend taking a look if you are considering buying the Magic Mouse.

Other features

The underneath of the Magic Mouse

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As we Mac users are clearly so style-conscious, you will be pleased to learn that this mouse connects via bluetooth, so there is no need for an unsightly USB dongle spoiling the lines of your precious macbook. Underneath that exquisite metal battery cover lies two simple AA batteries that Apple claim will last up to 4 months. Now I didn’t have the foresight of mind to check this the first time mine needed replacing, but they certainly did last a very long time. If you are going to be away for some time, there is a handy off switch on the underside as well instead of leaving it in standby mode.

Magic Mouse Packaging

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One last comment that may sound a little geeky, but I’m going to say it all the same. When I first bought my Magic Mouse, I was even impressed with the packaging that presented the mouse so well. No space was wasted, just a well crafted clear plastic container that shows off the mouse to all potential customers whiles waiting on the store shelf. I have kept my packaging just in case I ever need to take my mouse away with me, I can be sure it’s safe and sound during transit.

Today’s Top Tech Review Our overall rating:   4/5

What we liked…

  • The stunning looks
  • Excellent one-finger scrolling from anywhere on the mouse surface
  • Instantly recognised as an Apple product
What we weren’t so keen on…
  • The slow track speed could have been a major problem, but thanks to the MagicPref software, it only takes a moment to fix this slight niggle

Vital info

Gadget: Magic Mouse
Supplier: Apple
Website:http://www.apple.com/uk/
Price: Around £58, but cheaper prices can be found at Amazon, check now!

I love anything and everything to do with tech and gadgets. Having dabbled in graphic design, I like things to look stylish as well as functioning well.

VIsit Steve Smith's website

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