Apple Magic Mouse great at being pretty, not so great at being mouse

Gadget Rating: ★★★½☆☆☆☆☆☆ 

This week I bought an Apple wireless keyboard. I told myself it’s because I don’t want to damage my Macbook’s keypad with my constant jabbing, but really I just love the way that the keys feel having used one at work for a while. So I bought one.

The guy selling me the keyboard also had a Magic Mouse for sale, and at $30 it was a very good deal, so I went ahead and bought it. After giving it a few days to review it, I can now safely say that buying it was a mistake. Well, mostly a mistake.

Apple Magic Mouse Review

Looks and ergonomics  – 3 stars

When I got home and connected the mouse I was instantly underwhelmed. The Magic Mouse is a desperately pretty accessory, all curves and reflections. Judging from the way it looks, I thought it would be phenomenal. The first problem I encountered is that I’m not quite sure how to grip it. After using a ‘regular’ mouse for so long, I’m used to the comforting hump in the middle of the mouse for my palm to rest on. No dice on the magic mouse. It’s flat, meaning that my fingers would either be all the way down or I would need to actively keep them raised. Which is tiring.

The mouse is also too heavy. Maybe this is because my current mouse is very light and very nimble, but the Magic Mouse felt like a stone in my hand when I started using it.

Tracking 2 stars

Tracking is way too slow – even with tracking turned all the way up, it was still a pain moving the mouse around. The way to get around this is to install a third party piece of software called Magic Prefs which allows you to boost the tracking speed of the mouse by a further 200%, making it finally usable. Trying to use the mouse with the default settings made me feel like my computer was retarded.

Gaming 1 star

The points raised above mean that the Magic Mouse is not really any good for gaming. Playing Counter Strike :Source I was constantly aware of the mouse. It was no longer an extension of my mind, like my previous mouse, but rather something else to get used to in the game. The slow tracking and inaccurate placement meant I got fragged a lot. The multi touch gestures also get in the way of the games functions when playing, which meant I was often switching weapons unintentionally and sometime literally bringing a knife to a gun fight.

Another reason it’s no good for gaming is that it’s very cumbersome to move around – this is partially because of the weight and partially because of the two plastic rails along the bottoms which make it about as nimble as a freight train.And again, tracking is slow as sin.

I was really hoping that this mouse would work as well as it looked. Actually, I take that back, I was actually hoping that the mouse would work as well as the keyboard. Because the keyboard… oh the keyboard. It is a thing of beauty to use. But that’s a story for another post.

Multi Touch an Magic Prefs

So far, the only redeeming feature of the Magic Mouse is the Multi Touch gesturing. Being able to swipe through apps and view Expose straight from the mouse is convenient, if a little awkward at first. The standard gestures are very limited, which is why I installed a free third party gesture enhancement app called Magic Prefs. This nifty nettle app integrates into your system’s Mouse prefs and allows you to tweak all sorts of things from gestures to the sluggish tracking speed.

MagicPrefs is a great way to enhance the functionality of the Magic Mouse


Overall ? ?

I would not recommend this mouse. It sacrifices too much functionality for the sake of it’s (admittedly very pretty) form. If you really want Multi Touch, you’re probably better off getting a Trackpad.

As a side note:
My current mouse is a Genius Ergo T355, which unfortunately only seems to be sold in South Africa and Australia. If you can find this mouse, buy it. It’s an amazing mouse – very accurate, 1600dpi resolution. It has a touch scroll at the top which feels amazing and a turbo scroll button on the side, so browsing long web pages is a breeze. If someone from Genius is reading this , I have three questions

1. Do you make a bluetooth version?
2. Can you send me one please (pretty please with a cherry on top)
3. Why the bloody hell don’t you sell the T355 in the US!