CNET First Look
Microsoft Arc Touch MouseMicrosoft's new Arc Touch Mouse features a travel-friendly design and some clever technical touches to its touch-sensitive scroll tab. Neither of those features make this mouse better than a full sized desktop mouse, but the Arc Touch Mouse is unique...
-Hi, I'm Rich Brown, Senior Editor for CNET.com. Today, we're gonna take a look at the new Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse. This is the brand new mouse from Microsoft. It goes for about $70, so, it's definitely kind of a luxury item. It has some unique things going on about it though and we think it will appeal to people who are into say design or just like some technicality to flash around. So, first thing you'll notice that the mouse has a relatively simple design. You can see it curves over here, like this. It's nice and light weight. There's no scroll wheel down the middle. You've got 2 standard buttons, but down here you've got a touch sensitive scroll tab. Now, this actually has some cool features too and it works just like a scroll wheel; so, pretty much like you'd expect, but there's also a vibration function built in. They give you sort of some tactile feedback as you're rolling your finger down to kinda give you the feeling that you're actually scrolling down the page. There's also an acceleration function built into it so you can swipe your finger fast in either direction and it will go down the page faster. It's a similar feature same as the other scroll wheels out there and not as good as the physical one, but it actually does work fairly well. And, the other really unique feature about this mouse is that it has a convertible design. You can see that it lays flat and Microsoft says that is makes it easier for lets say travelers to pack it into a laptop bag. We can't say we've ever really filled a premium of space in the laptop bag. So, generally we just packed along a desk top mouse, but---- if you like to travel light, maybe this flat design will have some appeal. It also comes with a nano-size USB receiver. You just plugged it in to your laptop and it's so small, it's almost flash. So, you don't worry about knocking it off or getting in the way of what you're doing. Now, when the mouse is in its flat mode like this, it powers off automatically, so that's handy. There's a couple AAA batteries included here, so they wound wear down when the mouse is lying flat. When you curved it back around, the power comes back on and you can see here that there's a blue laser that's Microsoft blue track technology. We've seen blue track in other mice and it's actually pretty useful. Let's use the mouse on a variety of surfaces from reflected surfaces to glass, so, it gives you some nice versatility in terms of where you can actually use this thing. Now, we do like to scroll wheel. I think the design is pretty unique, but let's say we wouldn't use this as a mouse to replace our standard desk top model. There's no thump side button for example, so, there's no quick forward and back between web pages and you cant use the software to make a third button here on the middle, but its still just a little bit awkward and we never really felt that confident using this mouse. It's a little bit sort of flimsy and definitely made for travel and lightweight in mind. So, overall we think this is probably best as a novelty piece or for people who really demand the most lightweight travel option out there. So, I'm Rich Brown and this is Microsoft Arch Touch Mouse.