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Full Review: Apple Magic Mouse makes big splash, can't tread water

Apple's new wireless Magic Mouse gets a sleek makeover and even has multitouch controls, but it's better as a portable laptop companion rather than a full-size desktop accessory.

Apple's new Magic Mouse Sarah Tew/CNET

At first glance, Apple's new Magic Mouse might change your thoughts about love at first sight. The curvature of the soft white shell paired with the speckled silver underbelly is enough to make any Applehead salivate, but we warn prospective buyers to head out to your local Apple Store before taking the plunge, because you might be disappointed.

The first issue we raise with the Magic Mouse is its size and shape. While there's no way anyone can dispute its simple hotness, we struggled through a difficult learning curve due to its uniformly narrow profile that sits too low for comfort. It might be because we're so used to the Logitech MX 1100 cradling each of our fingers with a designated resting point, while the Apple Magic Mouse just feels like a chunk of finely carved polycarbonate.

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Next, we also had a problem with the multitouch functionality. Specifically, we felt awkward and unnatural sliding our middle and index fingers across the flat surface of the shell to navigate through several Web pages. Even worse, if you don't have a uniform grip on the sides of the mouse with your thumb, ring, and pinky fingers, the shell can easily get away from your hand--this is why a touch surface with no hard buttons just doesn't make sense on a mouse. Although Apple's instructions tell you otherwise, we did find it easier to use our middle and ring finger to swipe from left to right.

Finally, the Apple mousing preferences don't allow you to reassign the action that happens when you swipe. We'd love to be able to direct the mouse to open a program or advance a track in iTunes with a simple finger gesture, but as it stands, the custom preferences for the Magic Mouse only include check boxes to turn off the secondary click, momentum scrolling, and screen zoom, as well as options to alter tracking, scrolling, and double-click speed.

Want to hear more? Check out our full review of the Apple Magic Mouse.