Web Working Gear: Apple Magic Mouse

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apple-magic-mouseApple (s aapl) has recently been getting  a lot of attention from the online press and tech enthusiasts for something that it really should’ve done a long time ago. The company replaced its standard issue Mighty Mouse with the new Magic Mouse, a completely new design which features touch sensitivity in addition to standard mouse functionality.

It took a while, but I finally found one in stock at an Apple retail store, and I’ve spent the past couple days using it as my primary mouse. How well suited is it to web work? I suppose that depends on your work environment, but it won’t be replacing my usual desktop mouse anytime soon, and I’ll tell you why.

First, let me provide some context. For some time now, I’ve been using the Microsoft Explorer BlueTrack (s msft) mouse. I have big hands and that device is ergonomically designed to accommodate a larger grip. Also, tracking has never been an issue, nor has connectivity with the included dongle. So it would be fair to say that I’m coming from a rather satisfied position.

That said, I did enjoy my time with the Magic Mouse. I went in with a fair degree of skepticism, since my only previous experience with Mac mice had always been disappointing. I used the Mighty Mouse supplied with my iMac for about three days before mixed up right and left clicks and erratic tracking sent me screaming into the arms of another.

Both right and left click differentiation, and tracking are completely fixed with the new Magic Mouse. A new laser replaces the old optical tracking component, and despite the fact that there’s still a single, unbroken surface for both clicks, Apple’s engineers have improved the device’s guts.

There’s also the matter of the Mighty Mouse’s scroll nub, which used to frequently stop working due to dust and dirt build-up. Now it’s gone completely, replaced by touch scroll functionality. Just drag your finger down the surface of the mouse, around 3/4 of the length of the device, and it scrolls. It works very well, and supports both horizontal and vertical scrolling.

The reasons the Magic Mouse will never become my primary desktop mouse are twofold. For one, it’s too small for comfortable use for extended periods of time, in my opinion. Second, it lacks a third button, which means that I can’t assign Exposé functions to said button. Considering how often I use that feature of OS X in the course of my work, I can never give it up. A recent post at our sister site TheAppleBlog shows I don’t have to, but a simple button click is still much simpler than using that workaround.

If you’ve managed to get hold of a Magic Mouse, let us know what you think of the device below.

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I’ve been using the Magic Mouse now for 2 complete work days and some change. I’d say 20-25hrs of work so far with stretches lasting 6hr. I’m a technology worker and I’m remote so I’m only working when I’m on my computer.

The Magic Mouse has been a delight to work with. Overall it’s comfortable, tactile and all around nice to use. Happily I’ve made it my new daily desktop mouse. The Expose functionality the Darrell mentions is not an issue I’ve ever bumped into, however I use the whole pointer in the screen corners when I need these things so the workaround there is pretty dead simple.

There are 2 things I’ve found to be potential issues:
1- If your hand sweats at all, you’ll find scrolling tough as your fingers sort of squeak across the surface. It’s not a common thing for me so not a deal breaker.

2- In the commercials, if you flick on the scroll, it scrolls faster and then slows down. Mine doesn’t do that for some reason. Again, not a deal breaker.

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