Hands-on review: Microsoft Arc Touch mouse

Hands-on review: Microsoft Arc Touch mouse

Summary: Microsoft's Arc Touch mouse has been available for some time now, but it's still a rather evolutionary peripheral. Here's a hands-on review.

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TOPICS: Microsoft
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Microsoft's Arc Touch mouse has been available for some time now, but it's still a rather evolutionary peripheral. Here's a hands-on review.

SET-UP

The set-up process is extremely easy. This wireless USB mouse is a plug-and-play operation with the option of installing additional software to customize the buttons. However, that's not really necessary as most of the preset controls are very intuitive.

First, I installed the included pair of AAA batteries into the reverse side of the mouse. When I folded the palm rest into an arc, then the blue LED light turned on signaling that the device was turned on. When it's flat, the light shuts off and the battery power is conserved. Then, I placed the USB receiver into an open USB port on my computer, and voilà! Ready to roll.

USE

The curvature on the Arc Touch is designed so that the mouse is more comfortable to hold for longer periods of time. It certainly was comfortable, especially with the soft, rubberized grip on arc of the mouse. And considering it flattens out and is so thin it could slip into pants pockets, this accessory is highly portable.

Equipped with BlueTrack technology, the Arc Touch worked fine on glossy, soft and hard surfaces. I tried the Arc Touch on my mouse pad, directly on my desk and even a magazine. The glossy surface was the hardest to maintain control, but that's stretching it a bit. The mouse still did what I wanted.

The most innovative feature (aside from the arc design) on this wireless peripheral is the touch panel for clicking and scrolling. The basic ideas of a mouse are all still there: spaces for left and right clicking along with a scroll wheel. It's a bit strange to go from traditional clicking and tap-to-click, but after a few seconds, it becomes natural. It's also far quieter, although there's still a scrolling noise, which is probably just there for effect.

Otherwise, this is just a mouse that does its job. I'd recommend it for those who travel with computers often and want to use a mouse instead of the laptop's touchpad and anyone who likes the latest fancy, cutting-edge gadgets. I also find it easier and more appropriate for computer users doing processing, programming and web browsing. Graphic designers, photo editors and such users might find doing editing with a touch mouse as easy as doing the same work on a laptop touchpad. Personally, I find it much harder to do such editing on a touchpad, and I feel the same way about the Arc Touch.

AVAILABILITY

The Arc Touch retails for $69.95 and is available now. That's a bit pricey for a mouse, especially a wireless USB model without Bluetooth support. But the pricing is still on par with Apple's Magic Mouse.

Topic: Microsoft

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13 comments
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  • RE: Hands-on review: Microsoft Arc Touch mouse

    Does it support multi-touch like the Magic Mouse?
    Real World
    • Does it need to?

      @Real World
      That might be useful if you could preprogram cad or photoshop commands or something, but how complicated should it get?
      It's just a mouse. I use the non-touch version, and it works fine.
      Will Farrell
      • It does matter

        @Will Farrell

        Since the buttons and scroll wheel are all touch instead of traditional click it pretty much has to support multi-touch. If not you wouldn't be able to left click while holding down the right mouse button. That would be a pretty serious problem.
        LiquidLearner
  • Repetitive hovering syndrome

    With normal buttons you can rest your fingers on the buttons and just press to click. With this mouse (or any touch-enabled mouse), do your fingers get fatigued from having to hover them all the time?
    scH4MMER
  • Wa-a-a-a-y-y-y-y-y too pricey...

    Especially when you can get a (non-touch) clone on eBay for about $10. Besides, I'm cheap!
    andy.hefty@...
    • RE: Hands-on review: Microsoft Arc Touch mouse

      @andy.hefty@...
      Well I bought one 2 weeks ago for $38 on amazon. If thats wayy too pricey then yup you are cheap. Get a better job.
      rengek
  • RE: Hands-on review: Microsoft Arc Touch mouse

    I do not think I will try another Microsoft input device again, just to get burned like before. I did that with the Trackball Explorer and then they quit making it!!!!! Damn You Microsoft!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    lowery9@...
    • RE: Hands-on review: Microsoft Arc Touch mouse

      @lowery9@...
      Why would MS stop making the trackball burn you? If it still works what difference does it make to you? I'm pretty sure logitech stopped making my keyboard and mouse years ago. Doesn't mean I need to throw them out.
      rengek
      • RE: Hands-on review: Microsoft Arc Touch mouse

        @rengek even the best product will wear down after 9+ years, unfortunately. I just wish I could have found someplace to repair it, and no other trackball mouse has the same feel or layout in the hand. Oh, well!
        lowery9@...
      • RE: Hands-on review: Microsoft Arc Touch mouse

        @rengek Some people get locked-in to muscular habits. If your brain thought about doing something the same for several years, then it is going to be some level of irritating when you have to retrain muscle memory. That being said, to be irritated at a company for adjusting it's product line with the break-neck speed of technology evolution is a losing battle.
        scubashnurpel
  • RE: Hands-on review: Microsoft Arc Touch mouse

    Had the first arc mouse and it was good when it quit working I sent it back and they sent me the new arc, it was good at first but the curve is too sharp and it is not easy to rest your hand on, it needs to be longer and the touch scroll can be frustrating if you touch it wrong it does different things or will not always scroll down for you. needs improvement especially for the price. I am sold on the small usb part of all the new mice out there, but my logitech is much more comfortable to my hand, I guess my hands are just too long I could never use those little laptop mice either.
    Worshipful1
  • RE: Hands-on review: Microsoft Arc Touch mouse

    Had the first arc mouse and it was good when it quit working I sent it back and they sent me the new arc, it was good at first but the curve is too sharp and it is not easy to rest your hand on, it needs to be longer and the touch scroll can be frustrating if you touch it wrong it does different things or will not always scroll down for you. needs improvement especially for the price. I am sold on the small usb part of all the new mice out there, but my logitech is much more comfortable to my hand, I guess my hands are just too long I could never use those little laptop mice either.
    Worshipful1
  • I totally dig the Arc touch...

    I really dig the Arc Touch mouse. Not sure if it's my personal usage needs or what... but it's perfect for what I need. Plus the portable aspect is fantastic. Check it - http://wp.me/p106i6-3RO
    WhiteGlossy