Saturday, March 26, 2011

Review of Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse

Wireless mice are a becoming commonplace these days but Microsoft’s Arc Touch mouse stands heads and shoulders above the rest.

Designed by the famous French designer, Philippe Starck, the mouse comes with its unique "collapsable" design. With this design, the mouse can be flattened for storage when not in use. That’s not all for this sophisticated device. The mouse powers up when it is snapped into a curved position and automatically powers down when it’s flattened to save battery. The mouse is covered with a thin black rubber and this includes the articulated frame of the device. It has a very minimalistic design with only two physical buttons and a touch-sensitive scroll wheel for scrolling located in between the two buttons

The Arc Touch also has a few other cool features such as a magnetic strip below the mouse that holds the nano wireless receiver in place so that you don’t lose it. The mouse runs on 2 AAA batteries hidden on the underside of the device.

Installing the Arc Touch mouse is a quick and simple process. Just slot in the wireless receiver and it will automatically start up the program installation. This will only take a few seconds, after which the mouse is ready for use.

Practical Test

The curved design of the mouse makes it comfortable to use but we still prefer a standard mouse for day-to-day use. It works fine for simple tasks like web surfing or editing a document. However, it isn’t accurate or comfortable enough when making fine adjustments or quick movements. This was evident when we used it to edit an image in Photoshop and played a few games. The touch-sensitive scroll wheel is remarkably effective for quickly scrolling through a long document. It is able to distinguish between short controlled flicks and longer flicks that quickly scrolls a page to the end.

Interestingly, the touch-sensitive scroll wheel offers tactile feedback - it vibrates gently as you drag your finger over it. Another feature of the Arc Touch is that it uses Microsoft’s proprietary BlueTrack sensor which allows the mouse to work on almost any type of surface, in theory. I tried using the mouse on a variety of surfaces and it worked fine on most but not all. On a glass table top, for instance, the mouse’s tracking capability suffered quite a bit. The mouse also doesn’t function well on most highly reflective surfaces.


The Microsoft Arc Touch mouse is without a doubt a very cool looking and practical wireless mouse. The collapsible design and how the mouse automatically powers up when unflattened are two of its best features..As cool as it is, the Arc Touch still feels like a novelty item and can’t really compare to a regular mouse in some areas. It is not ideal for playing games or doing rigorous video/graphic editing.

No comments:

Post a Comment