Targus AMW43US Wireless Mouse for Mac review: Targus AMW43US Wireless Mouse for Mac

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Targus AMW43US Wireless Mouse for Mac

(Part #: AMW43US) Released: Nov 1, 2008
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3.5 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Mac-like design stands out from the crowd; tiny USB receiver doesn't get in the way; optical sensor instead of scroll wheel is an interesting innovation; curved, ergonomic shape.

The Bad A bit big for mobile MacBook users; optical scroll sensor isn't the best for super-accurate scrolling.

The Bottom Line Targus' new Wireless Mouse for Mac replaces the scroll wheels and trackballs found on other mice with a clever optical sensor. It takes some getting used to, but is great for four-way scrolling.

7.5 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 8.0

MacBook users (and desktop Mac users as well) are often as enamored of their hardware's look as its performance, so a healthy side industry has popped up for accessories that share Apple's basic design cues. Accessory maker Targus has a new line of Mac-flavored devices, including this one, called, simply, the Wireless Mouse for Mac. A similar Bluetooth model, the Targus Bluetooth Laser Mouse for Mac, is also available.

This $49 mouse has an all-white body, and even though the latest MacBooks are all aluminum, white is still the universal Mac color in many minds. There are large left and right mouse buttons, plus two small programmable thumb buttons on the left side of the base.

The mouse is powered by two AA batteries, and a mini USB dongle is hidden inside the battery compartment, which is accessed by lifting off the top of the mouse. The receiver only sticks out from the USB port a few millimeters when in use, so you can leave it plugged in all the time without it getting in the way.

At 4.6 inches long by 2.5 inches wide by 1.5 inches tall (at its highest point), it's a bit big for travel, although the body design, which curves up in the middle and tapers at either end, is comfortable even for long stretches.

The most striking aspect of the Targus Wireless Mouse for Mac (and its Bluetooth cousin) is the small, dime-size, round, optical sensor that sits between the two mouse buttons in place of a traditional scroll wheel. Targus calls the concept "four-way touch scroll," and its functionality is similar to that of a trackball. The scroll zone is very sensitive, which makes scrolling up and down long Web pages a snap, but makes precision scrolling nearly impossible.

Since the optical sensor has no moving parts, the lack of any tactile feedback under your finger makes it hard to, for example, scroll up or down just a single line or two in a document. Still, it's an intriguing idea, and with practice, becomes easier to use. It also works well for zipping through wide spreadsheets.

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