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Sunday, July 4, 2010

Review: Apple Magic Mouse

After making some reviews on the 2010 MacBook Pro, I decided to make a min-review for one of it's accessories: The Apple Magic Mouse.

The MacBook Pro has its own touchpad, but some people just want to use a conventional mouse with their laptop or computer. The Magic mouse is Apples recommended accessory for that, although it's not conventional at all.

Magic Mouse Features:

At first glance, the Magic Mouse looks sleek and elegant, with no buttons on the surface, just a shiny reflective veneer with the Apple logo near the bottom. One might think the design is reminiscent of the simplicity and elegance that is found on the iPod or the iPhone. The surface also has a smooth coating that makes it soft to the touch and  easy to slide your fingers through. In lieu of buttons, the entire top 70% of the mouse can be clicked. There is an option under Mac preferences to divide the surface into a left-click region and right-click region, to be more familiar to mouse users.

On the flip-side of the mouse, you have a bare silver colored base and the optical viewer to track movement. One of the 2 things you will find in this area is the "On" switch, that will allow pairing of the mouse to your Mac. It needs to be paired because the wireless connection is established by Bluetooth. There are no wires or infrared's necessary, and I found the set-up to be very fast and simple on my MacBook Pro. The other point of interest under the mouse is the switch to open the battery case. The Magic Mouse uses 2 AAA batteries, which lasted me 2 months on regular daily usage. You can even see the battery level % of the mouse on your Mac's bluetooth devices information.

How does it work? Here are the commands of the Magic Mouse as described by Apple:

  • 360° scroll

    Brush one finger along the Multi-Touch surface to scroll in any direction and to pan a full 360 degrees.

  • Screen zoom
    Hold down the Control key on your keyboard and scroll with one finger on Magic Mouse to enlarge items on your screen.

    Two Finger Swipe
    Using two fingers, swipe left and right along the Multi-Touch surface to advance through pages in Safari or browse photos in iPhoto.

Here is a short video of the Apple Magic mouse in action. I added "picture in picture" view in some scenes to show how I am controlling the mouse by touch, and the corresponding effect on the Mac screen.

Overall, I find the Magic mouse to be a perfect accessory to enhance the Mac experience. Apple has long tried to incorporate TOUCH controls in all of their technology, from the iPod to the iPhone to the iPad. With the Magic Mouse, they are able to apply the same principle to their computers. So until Apple released touch-screen iMacs and Macbooks, this is the closest we will get for now. And it's a satisfying experience indeed. I often find myself trying to swipe the surface of my mouse when I am using my Windows Laptop, a testament to how intuitive the touch interface is to the average users.

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