Wednesday August 3, 2005 12:33 pm
Apple Mighty Mouse Review
So, Apple announced the availability of their first two-button-esque mouse yesterday. While two button mice have been supported by the Mac OS for years, Apple itself has never released anything but the one button mouse they are notoriously known for. With the release of the Mighty Mouse, Apple has taken a step forward in computing in my opinion. The mouse has some great features, and is highly customizable - but it’s not without its shortcomings. We take a detailed look at the mouse that shocked the tech world in our review.
Okay, so the Mighty Mouse was announced, and was immediately sold out at all four of the Apple Stores that are within a 1 hour driving radius from where I am. That being the case, I placed an order for the mouse online, and received it the next morning. The packaging for the mouse is fairly simplistic - a theme that is common with this product. The box is black, with a top down image of the mouse on the front, and a more detailed image on the back. Nothing too fancy at all.
The Apple Mighty Mouse Box
USING THE MIGHTY MOUSE
Looking at the instruction manual, it’s extremely simplistic. Basically, if you are on OS 10.4.2 or later, the mouse will work fine. Install the software on the included CD, reboot, and plug in the mouse. By default it is set up as a one button mouse, but this can be changed in the Mouse System Preferences area. The click area has a touch sensitive panel on the inside, which recognizes where you click - for the most part. Most people use their mouse with two fingers resting on top of it. Using the Mighty Mouse, this is fine for when you want to left-click, or scroll-click. The problem is that if you want to right-click, you actually need to lift your pointer finger off of the left-click area, otherwise the right-click will register as a left-click. While it sounds like a small issue, it can get quite annoying. I am sure that after a week or so of re-training, I will be a pro at it.
The Apple Mighty Mouse Box Opened
The Mighty Mouse also improves tracking speed, which was a huge complaint that I have had with the Mac OS. I would have preferred a more functional scroll sphere customization panel. You are able to say whether you want it to be able to scroll vertically and/or horizontally, and set one speed setting which will be used for both. This results in the horizontal scrolling being ultra-sensitive. An example of this is using the scroll sphere to go back and forward on web pages when using Firefox. If you scroll to the left slightly, you may go back a page - or you may end up going back two or three pages. There is a very slight click feel to the scroll sphere, but it is barely noticeable, and therefore doesn’t help when scrolling.
The squeeze function is pretty interesting. I have it set to display Expose, which is the default. When you squeeze, Expose come up. You need to maintain the squeeze while you move the mouse to the window that you want to bring to the front. Release the squeeze, and the window comes to the front and deactivates Expose.
Using the mouse on Windows XP and Vista is super simple. Plug it in, and it uses a basic Windows driver to function. You get left, right, and scroll clicking out of the box.
The Apple Mighty Mouse is a great product. I like the fact that it has the “One button look with two button appeal”, and I like the scroll sphere. What I don’t like is that you need to lift your index finger for a right click, and the fact that horizontal scrolling is hit or miss when using it as a back and forward mechanism rather than for horizontal scrolling on a web page. The fact that Apple is likely to release a Bluetooth version in the very near future rather than making it available from the get-go is a bit of a downer as well. The cord on this thing is way too short. All in all though, the product is designed nicely and feels good in your hand, whether you are left or right handed.
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