Touchpads and touchscreens are great, but sometimes you just need the ultimate precision of a mouse.
Microsoft has always made great computer mice. The Microsoft Mouse has never tried to pretend to be a fashion computing accessory. It’s always been a reliable workhorse that feels great in the hand, does what it is supposed to do, but otherwise just gets out of the way.
Modern portable computing is all about compactness. A traditional mouse shape isn’t ideal for a portable computer accessory.
I was recently looking for a new portable wireless mouse, and I came across the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse.
The Ark Touch Mouse consists of a clever arcing design. The arc snaps into the flat position for storage, and into the raised arc position when in use. Cleverly the arc/flat position also serves as the on/off switch – arced is on, and flat is off.
It uses BlueTrack technology that works precisely on virtually any surface, including reflective surfaces such as glass or rough surfaces such as wood or even carpet. I can confirm this claim – it works precisely on every surface I’ve tried, making it extremely useful for portable computing situations.
It has physical left and right mouse buttons, but in the center it has a narrow touch surface that functions as a virtual scroll wheel. The touch surface simulates a scroll wheel with the use of an integrated vibrator that does a pretty good job of mimicking the feel of its physical counterpart. The center touch surface also has an accelerated scrolling function that responds to faster up and down finger motions for fast window scrolling. The palm portion of the mouse is constructed of a smooth rubber material that has a velvety feel that offers a good gripping surface. The mouse runs on two AAA batteries, which are included.
The basic Microsoft Arc Mouse comes in two versions – one with a tiny nano-sized USB dongle that is cleverly magnetized and sticks to the back of the mouse for storage, and the other version with integrated Bluetooth for a few dollars more. On Amazon the Arc Touch Mouse dongle version is currently selling for $39.93 and the Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse is selling at Amazon for $44.30.
There is also a new Microsoft Arc Touch Arc Mouse Surface Edition that Amazon sells at $58.57 that uses Bluetooth 4.0 that will work with compatible “SmartReady” PC’s and tablets.
The dongle version Arc Touch Mouse is Mac OS/X compatible.
For the Bluetooth versions I would make sure to research specific devices to make certain they can recognize and work with the mouse.
I don’t need the mouse for every task because my Surface Pro 3 type cover has an integrated touchpad that works fine for many jobs. For tasks such as precision video editing, the mouse is easy to pull out of the storage bag, plug the USB dongle in, snap the mouse into the arced “on” position, and it’s ready to go.
If you are looking for a very capable mouse that is easy to store in a flattened state and will work precisely on virtually every surface portable computing situations might force you to encounter, the Arc Touch Mouse is a mouse to consider.