Apple Magic Mouse Review

By on April 12, 2010
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The trackball is replaced by a gesture sensing surface which is whats magical about this mouse.

Editor's Score
The Verdict:
The Magic Mouse's surface gesture sensing technology is awesome but its a bit pricey and not the best ergonomically.

“Mighty Mouse” used to be the extremely cool name for Apple’s rodents previously however a trademark awarded to another company made them change the name of their latest device to Magic Mouse. Although its not magical, the technology behind Apple’s new mouse is certainly fascinating and one that makes you think why nobody else thought of it before.

True to Apple, the Magic Mouse adopts a minimal design with milky white and silver colors. In fact, if it wasn’t for the Apple logo towards the bottom half, you would not be able to tell which way was up without trying to click the hidden buttons. The belly has a couple of teflon strips to make gliding the mouse an easy process as well as catching any dirt on the surface. The mouse is a bit flatter than most other ones you’ve used and it took me a few days of using it to get comfortable with it. I should mention that I have fairly large hands. My wife, on the other hand, felt instantly comfortable with it.

Like the Mighty Mouse, the single mouse button acts as a left and right click depending on which finger you tap it with. However, to register a right click, your index finger (or the one you use for left-click) should not be rested on the mouse which is exactly how it was with previous Apple mice. What you will find missing is the track ball in the center that was used for scrolling and the squeeze buttons on the sides on the mouse.

The trackball has been replaced by a gesture sensing surface and that is whats magical about this mouse. You can swipe your finger in any of the four directions to scroll in that direction. This becomes very natural after using the mouse for a few hours. Inertia is also supported so you can speed your scrolling, however, this does not work in all applications we tested. For example, Firefox had no issues but Tweetie couldn’t realize the momentum.

Other than scrolling, you can use two finger swipes to the left or right for going back and forward. This works in finder as well as your web browser. Apple could add to these gestures for Expose effects by using two or three finger vertical swipes as you lose the squeeze functionality which, at least I used to show all windows.

The Magic Mouse connects to your Mac through Bluetooth so there are no dongles to worry about. You can also take it with you for your notebook without any issues. Although Windows isn’t officially supported, Apple does provide Magic Mouse drivers for Bootcamp.

Now due to the limited time I had testing this device, I cannot really comment on the battery life. What I can tell you is that it takes two AA sized batteries and there in an on/off switch on the back. However, reading comments by end-users online, I have heard some people complain about the batteries barely lasting a couple of months which is definitely a lot lower than, say my Logitech, which goes on for almost six months. I suggest getting a pack of rechargeable batteries to avoid recurring costs on batteries.

Priced at AED 379 (US$100), the Magic Mouse is a tad bit on the expensive side but there really isn’t anything like it in the market. You’ll very easily get used to its swipes.


Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

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