Review: Magic Mouse

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by *LTD*, Oct 31, 2009.

  1. *LTD* macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    I initially reviewed the Wacom Bamboo Touch and took a bunch of marks off because of:

    a) discomfort
    b) poor button placement
    c) overly-sensitive double-tap recognition.

    After using the Magic Mouse for the better part of an hour (after figuring out I needed some obscure Apple software update that did not show up automatically under . . . that's right, SOFTWARE UPDATE), my experience is sweet and sour, which is great if you're eating Chinese, but not so great when you're testing a mouse.

    So I finally got the mouse to work, but even before pairing it I noticed it had a button. A multitouch mouse with a button! Oooh, middle-click here I come! Wrong. No middle click. No assigning any functions to that button . . . because it's THE button. That's right, bring your Mighty Mouse thinking along because that is EXACTLY what Apple duplicated for the right/left click functions. So that's Strike One. Why am I clicking left and right on a MULTITOUCH mouse?

    So what are the multitouch gestures? Screen Zoom (*yawn*, unless you specifically need it, does this need to be a standard gesture??), right/left swipe to go back and forth between webpages (and I assume any other horizontally-facing pages), and up/down scroll, which works like a dream. Vertical touch scrolling (with momentum turned on) is like cream for cats. Nicely done. But that's it.

    So without left/right click (or "tap") touch functions the Magic Mouse feels half-finished. Admittedly, the vertical scrolling is sweet. But not sweet enough to divert my attention from the fact that a) I have no tap functions, and b) I have middle-click, which I loved to use in order to open a new Finder window.

    But it's not all bad. There's some good here. Read on.


    Apple nailed this. This has to be one of the lightest mice I've ever used. I can move it around using two fingers with no effort at all. Mind you, I'm using Lithium batteries. Note that the mouse doesn't seem to work on only one battery, unlike the wireless Mighty Mouse. Odd, but it doesn't detract from the experience. This thing glides.


    The Magic Mouse's shape might seem awkward at first glance, but start using it and you'll see that it's shaped for SPEED. Two fingers up top are all you really need to move this thing. The low-slung profile looks great. The right/left swipe movements feel fine. Surprisingly, the acrylic texture feels good and it looks like even sweaty fingers won't hamper the use of what few touch gestures there are on this thing.



    It's fast. But is it comfortable?

    This might be a personal preference, but being able to rest your hand on a mouse is a good thing. With the Magic Mouse you're only resting the tips of your fingers on the mouse. Not quite as comfortable as my Mighty Mouse. And those somewhat sharp, angular edges of the Magic Mouse don't quite feel right. My Mighty Mouse feels like "home", and felt like it from Day One. The Magic Mouse feels like it'll get the job done faster, but pull me along for the ride and expect me to shut up while it's doing me all those other favours. My wireless Mighty Mouse is like an S-Class Merc. The Magic Mouse is a Lambo. You get the idea.

    Things I'll ignore:

    Tracking. OS X's tracking/mouse acceleration is horrible. Been this way for years. I'll ignore this because it's not really a mouse-specific issue. There are terminal hacks and utilities (like USB Overdrive) which solves this issue. But I still hate having to look to 3rd parties just to get better tracking.

    Perhaps USB Overdrive will also extend the touch functionality of the Magic Mouse, though I'm not betting on it. There's a new version already in the works with Magic Mouse support, so we'll see.

    Really annoying:

    So no right/left taps. Fine. Alright, I'll let this slide. But in that case, where's my middle click? At least give us ONE other button or somewhere else to touch in order to get a lousy middle click! Cool vertical scrolling and a great shape doesn't quite make up for this lost functionality. Yes, I can reach for the keyboard, but why should I? Can I at least assign left swipe to open the Finder and right swipe to do something else? Please?

    Clicking takes a lot more downward pressure than with the Mighty Mouse (especially left-clicking, for some reason), or with any other mouse, really. I don't like that. When the click functionality on a multitouch mouse is NOT an afterthought, it should be implemented correctly.


    There's always the possibility that Apple could extend the touch functionality of the Magic Mouse or that a 3rd party will do it.


    I think The Magic Mouse's home is back in the Apple Store. My desktop still belongs to Apple's wireless Mighty Mouse (yes, I've got one of the ones that actually work right and continue to work right.) Gimped touch functionality plus ergonomics that aren't quite up to par all but break the deal. But the speed and the vertical scrolling are sweet.

    I'll hang on to the Magic Mouse for a while longer and see if the seas suddenly part, but I'm not expecting any miracles.

    70/100 (B-)

    REVISED (1/11/09)

    I'm bumping up the score.

    I'm beginning to feel the ergonomic benefits of the Magic Mouse. Your hand, while not resting on top of the mouse surface, does rest in a more natural position. It's painless and it allows for very precise movement. Further, it can be gripped very high or very low. Nearly the entire surface of the mouse is responsive.

    The addition of middle-click functionality in some form would put it over the top.

    Clicking takes more pressure than it should, however, especially right-clicking.

    80/100 (A-)


    Yes, this review took nearly three days to complete. Interestingly enough, it shows the progression of my experiences with this mouse. The ergonomic benefits and sheer speed (due to the light weight) are becoming much more pronounced. I feel compelled to give Apple even more credit because these are such salient factors. The Magic Mouse has replaced my wireless Mighty Mouse completely, and even though there is no middle-click option, I'm finding that given the benefits of the mouse I'm not missing it as much.

    A middle-click option or some sort of similar tap functionality would earn an A+.

    All in all, well-done, Apple.

    Final score:

    85/100 (A)
  2. Aadhil macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2009
    Good review.

    Comfortwise it was just as I expected. It's sort of obvious that it defeats the purpose of the mouse to be able to rest the whole hand (palm and all) on the mouse because then you would not be able to efficiently take advantage of the whole touch surface.

    Apple was really smart in it's design. Most people would rest part of their hand on the rear of the mouse so Apple stopped the touch surface right above the apple logo. Therefore resting the back of your palm on the rear of the mouse will not accidentally trigger any unintentional touch features.

    Bottom line; if you're looking for an ergonomical mouse; avoid this one (though I'd suggest you at least try it out first before condemning it).

    I actually rest my fist on the table and control the mouse with my fingertips. Works really well that way and my hand does not get tired.
  3. -Ryan- macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2009
    I've had my Magic Mouse for 48 hours now and this thing is just crippled. It is almost featureless, like a tremendous step back in time to the days when a mouse did left/right click and scroll and nothing else. But it's supposed to be a multi-touch? Useless. I need at the very least a middle click and tap to click functions to make this worthwhile keeping. I'm going to hold on to it for 10 days in the hope 10.6.2 might expand its features, but if not, it's going straight back to the Apple Store. Disappointing. I do agree with you on the good though; the weight is absolutely perfect; it truly is beautiful; the iPhone-esque scrolling is amazing - but the the rest is just 'meh'. I really hope Apple can improve on this one with software updates or it'll be the next Apple iPod HiFi.
  4. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    I'm pretty sure a 70/100 is a C- — at least that how it was for all the years I've been in school.

    And I have to say the Magic Mouse fails at the more fundamental functionality of being a mouse. And that is just unacceptable.
  5. jeffy.dee-lux macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2003
    why would you waste money on lithium batteries in something like this?? they're way more expensive than NiMH and they're not rechargeable. I have a pair of lithiums, but I just keep them as a backup for my camera for when my NiMH die on a long trip away from electricity.

    I've got a MBP and I've been deliberating on getting a mouse ever since i first got it a few years ago. i used to have an imac with a mighty mouse and I liked that despite the ball gunking up and failing every once in a while.

    I'm going to wait and see if they add an exposé gesture to it, then I'll get one. I really liked the side button squeeze on the mighty mouse, i used that for exposé all the time. I use hotcorners for exposé instead now, but that gets people really confused whenever they use my computer.
  6. FieryFurnace macrumors 6502


    Sep 19, 2008
    Berlin, Germany
    Thanks for the review!
    I really want to try one out soon too, but I already know the result I think,... :(

    I currently use a MS Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 and I never had a better feeling/control/comfort with any other mouse before.
    I have to use a MightyMouse in School which is a real opposite to my MS mouse.
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    Still not enough to convince me to switch from the MX Revolution.
  8. Aadhil macrumors regular

    Aug 4, 2009
    Lol I cannot believe how many people cannot survive without the middle click option.
  9. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    We need at least one extra "click" for mice. I want to be able to assign at least ONE extra thing. On the Mighty mouse I had two buttons for this. I can stand to lose one, so long as I have one left over for my most important function assignment.

    About the grading scheme. I'm following my undergrad alma mater (and current Post-grad uni), the University of Toronto, although i assume it's standard across Canada, at least.

    90 - 100 A+
    85 - 89 A
    80 - 84 A-
    77 - 79 B+
    73 - 76 B
    70 - 72 B-
    67 - 69 C+
    63 - 66 C
    60 - 62 C-
    57 - 59 D+
    53 - 56 D
    50 - 52 D-
    0 - 49 F

    Had Apple simply taken the wireless Mighty Mouse and replaced the scrollball with touch scrolling and incorporated nothing else, I would have gone for it.

    it seems the Magic Mouse was a bit overly-ambitious of Apple. And I can understand that in a way. When you push the design envelope so successfully most of the time, you'll have a couple of misses now and then. But there have been a few too many misses with mice, unfortunately. In the big picture, though, I'll get over it.
  10. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    That's how I remember it too (and the rest of my family raised in CA, US).

    90-100 A
    80-89 B
    70-79 C
    60-69 D
    <60 F

    (on topic: I LIKE the Magic Mouse. :) )
  11. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    I'm gradually getting adjusted to the feel of the mouse. At least it doesn't hurt my hand or my wrists/forearm like the Bamboo Touch did. That wasn't a mouse, obviously, I'm just comparing multitouch navigation solutions.

    BUT . . . my wireless Mighty Mouse is still more comfortable, and the lack of a middle-click is just killing me. I mean, come on, at least give is ONE configurable swipe, button, or tap. Even a cleverly recessed button just on the side where the thumb would be placed, completely flush with the curve and the surface. The pressed state doesn't even have to be very deep.

    Lucky for Apple the vertical scrolling is so well implemented, not to mention the 360-degree scrolling. The Magic Mouse's scrolling kills Logitech's implementation now.
  12. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
  13. Roofus macrumors newbie

    Jan 7, 2007
    Magic Mouse

    There is nothing wrong with the Magic mouse that software improvements will not fix:

    1. Separate speed and acceleration controls
    2. Allowance for higher speed settings for those of us with messy or small desks.
    3. Cursor size adjustments (bigger.)

    These shortcoming have been around for years, people have been complaining for years and Apple has been ignoring the situation for years!:(
  14. gerrynjr macrumors member

    Oct 16, 2007
    I'd give it a D... I'm a 6'2" tall person with rather large hands. I thought the multitouch aspect would be awesome and it is, but I would need this mouse to be twice the size it is for it to be comfortable to use.

    I've decided to return mine and will be picking up a logitech performance MX mouse.

    Just a warning to fellow large-handed people out there...
  15. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
    The PMX will suite you just fine. Its a behemoth of a mouse.
  16. ntrigue macrumors 68040


    Jul 30, 2007
    I've had the Magic Mouse for 72 hours and I am very pleased.

    I DO NOT require dozens of buttons for gaming. The height that I sit at my desk makes the ergonomics ideal. The scrolling is responsive and the pointer has great feedback and momentum.
  17. Dybbuk macrumors 6502a

    Aug 8, 2006
    you're actually making me consider picking up this mouse and trying it for a few days

    though since i have a macbook with a trackpad it seems sort of redundant, i want a mouse for stuff i can't do with the trackpad
  18. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    Meh . . . you can always return it - that's how I tested and returned the Wacom Bamboo touch.

    I was about to throw the Magic Mouse against a wall yesterday. This morning I revised my review. And now it's my main mouse. YMMV of course, but it's surprising how this thing grew on me.
  19. VanNess macrumors 6502a


    Mar 31, 2005
    You need to take a trip to Universal Access preference pane in system preferences, click the mouse tab. Been there for years...
  20. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
    The options in Universal Access don't really improve tracking/acceleration that much. At all. At least with regard to the Magic Mouse. But the other options are useful. And there is no way to kill mouse acceleration in OS X, except to disable it temporarily. When your session ends or you do a restart you need to disable it again via the Terminal. There little utilities that do this, but most of them don't allow for high speeds and a lot of them don't work with 64-bit SL.

    So it's Terminal hacks or USB Overdrive/Steermouse for those that find OS X's tracking too slow (even at the highest setting) and mouse acceleration a big PITA.
  21. iorangutan macrumors member


    Nov 2, 2009
    he Magic Mouse - my quick review...

    The Good :D :
    • It's looks - stunning
    • Tracks Smoothly (The old Mighty Mouse was terrible)
    • Multi-touch is great

    The Bad :p :
    • Tracks far too slow with two screens - unbearable. Installed third-party Mouse Zoom, which helps a lot, and am waiting for USB Overdrive to be updated (Can still fix this Apple - as it's just a software issue)
    • No Middle Click - I use this function all the time browsing

    The Ugly :eek: :
    • Not Ergonomic - My hand hurts a lot in several different places after using it for an hour or two - might have to consider going back to my Logitech.
  22. kgapp macrumors regular

    Jan 6, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    My experience has been quite the opposite. After using it for a solid week I feel like my hand/wrist rests in a very uncomfortable position because of the low profile of the mouse body. I find it is fatiguing on my wrist after a while and it seems to cause me discomfort.

    I do like the multi-touch features but I think this mouse badly needs some additional gestures to make up for its lack of buttons. A few extra gestures that could be user definable to things like expose, dashboard or even a third mouse button click would be ideal.

    Someday someone will make a mouse that gives my MX Revolution a run for its money but apparently it is not today.
  23. ViViDboarder macrumors 68040


    Jun 25, 2008
    I have a few issues with the Magic Mouse and a few ideas.

    Obviously they have the capability to do a lot with the sensors underneith.

    I don't see why they have the ability to recognize Right Click but don't have a region for middle click. They could even just make it a click with 3 fingers on the mouse. Seems too simple. I'm sure image zoom and rotation will probably become gestures. Also... Screen Zoom? It's Ctrl+Scroll... That works with ANY mouse. :p

    Coolest add on functionality would be to have the ability to switch it into TouchPad mode. Where it turns off the laser and lets you use your fingers on the mouse surface to mimic the touchpad on a Macbook Pro. You use one finger to track, two to scroll, press down to click. Seems simple and would be great for sitting it on your lap with that tiny keyboard. The 27" could easily be used as a TV with no need for a desk.

    My biggest frustration is also an issue with the Mighty Mouse. I would like to use my Mac for the occasional FPS game, but the right click is so weak. On any 2 button mouse you can hold the right button down and then click the left. This is impossible on either of these mice. Oh well...
  24. *LTD* thread starter macrumors G4


    Feb 5, 2009
  25. Pagemakers macrumors 68020


    Mar 28, 2008
    Manchester UK
    It looks nice

    Slow tracking. Over 2 screens it’s soooo irritating.
    Should be an option for 1 finger page back and forward. Using 2 fingers is clumsy.
    Fingers stick to mouse when sweaty!
    2 mouse button clicked should give you expose.
    Mouse software is too limited.

    Debating whether to return it.

Share This Page