Apple Magic Mouse review

Multi-touch meets mouse - is this the cleverest mouse yet?

Apple Magic Mouse
Apple's Magic Mouse is the world's first multi-touch mouse

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magic mouse

You can swipe two fingers horizontally (the Magic Mouse can tell the difference between two fingers touching and just one) to move forward or backwards between web pages in Safari and photos in iPhoto. It's a neat feature, and once you get used to it you'll find you do start to use it a lot.

Hold down Ctrl and drag a finger up or down and you can zoom into the whole of your Mac screen. This feature has been available in OS X for a long time (as part of the Accessibility settings), but its nice to see it being utilised so well here, but it will mainly be of interest to visually impaired users.

magic mouse

And, unfortunately, that's it… With multi-touch technology finally being implemented on a mouse we were expecting more. The ability to scroll, swipe, and left or right-click seems a bit limited. What about the famous pinch gestures for zooming-in that we're used to using on the iPhone? For once Apple is lacking enough innovative new features here.

apple magic mouse pinch

A few concerns have been voiced about its ergonomics, too, but we'd disagree. We've been using it in Photoshop, Safari, iTunes, Microsoft Word and all manner of other apps without a problem. In all cases, the Magic Mouse is sharp and responsive, but the fear is that all this new finger twiddling will leave people crippled with RSI. We'd beg to differ.

The increased range of motion it puts your fingers through actually means your actions are less repetitive. In fact, we'd say it was a pleasure to use, especially after our daily battle with trying to get a two-year-old Mighty Mouse to simply scroll up and down within a window in Safari.

It also lacks the side buttons of Mighty Mouse, too. These were popular choices for Exposé or Dashboard, and some Mac users used the trackball as a button itself, which was the Apple equivalent of a middle-button. None of these options are now available, so again the Magic Mouse ends up feeling a bit basic, despite all its advanced technology.

magic mouse

But while button-obsessed gamers will be disappointed, graphic designer-types will be overjoyed. Graphic designers have to frequently drag windows and palettes around very large screens and often run out of desk space.

Because of this they hated the Mighty Mouse because if you lifted the mouse off your desk to re-position it, you'd stop clicking, which made dragging windows difficult. The Magic Mouse has none of these problems. Click and lift it off the desk to reposition the mouse and you stay 'clicked'.