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First Look: Microsoft Arc Mouse

updated 04:50 pm EDT, Thu October 9, 2008

Arc Mouse

Laptop computers must rely on trackpads to save space. While many people are perfectly happy using a trackpad, many more prefer using a mouse for greater control and comfort. Carrying an ordinary desktop mouse can be cumbersome due to its size and cord length, while special mice for laptops are often compressed in size to make them easier to carry. If you prefer to use a mouse with your laptop without making any compromises, consider Microsoft's Arc Mouse.

Unlike most laptop mice, this product is as full size as a typical desktop mouse (4.44 inches long vs. 4.33 inches for Apple's Mighty Mouse). Instead of a cord that can get tangled up or restrict its placement, this device includes a wireless transmitter that plugs into the USB port of your computer. Two AAA batteries (included with the product) can power it up to six months. As soon as the batteries need changing, a red battery indicator lights up in the middle of the mouse so you can't miss seeing it.



The wireless transmitter has a range of approximately 30 feet. When you need to travel, you can unplug this transmitter and slide it into the bottom of the mouse where a special slot holds it in place with a magnet. To further secure this transmitter, a hinge in the middle of this device folds in half, serving the dual purpose of making the item smaller and easier to carry while also covering up the transmitter to insure that it doesn't fall out of its protective slot.



To make carrying this item even easier, Microsoft provides a pouch with two magnetic strips at the opening. After shoving the mouse into its carrying pouch, just press the two sides together and the magnetic strips clamp the pouch opening securely shut.

Like most mice, this one includes a left and right button along with a scroll wheel. In addition, the left side provides an extra thumb button (for right-handed users), which is similar to pressing F9 to display all open windows as thumbnail images on the screen.



Besides its ability to fold itself in half when not in use, the second most impressive feature is its optic BlueTrack technology, which allows for accurate movement across various surfaces such as carpets, granite, wood, or practically any flat surface at all.

If you want a mouse for your laptop, this $59.95 Arc Mouse gives you a full-size mouse that folds in half for easy carrying. Its ergonomic shape, wireless transmitter, and ability to handle any surfaces makes it ideal for use in all kinds of environments. Because the Arc Mouse is bent in a curve, it can feel strange to have your fingers slip underneath the mouse instead of touching its sides. Despite this minor difference in feel, the Arc Mouse is a unique laptop mouse that frequent travelers will likely depend on.




by MacNN Staff

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Comments

  1. Geobunny

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +4

    One thing

    There's one thing which Microsoft does well, and that's mice. This one looks great too. That said, when I saw the first image I thought "fantastic, the back end is telescopic". Sadly, it's not, it just folds in half. Still, it's a good idea.

  1. Guest

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +3

    bluetooth?

    why do all the mice manufacturers insist on using proprietary wireless receivers when many laptops (if not most) have bluetooth built in?

    I'd love to find a bluetooth desktop mouse, but as it stands thats basically the might mouse, and that is not something I want to subject myself to. Laptop mice at least are available in bluetooth.

  1. chadpengar

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    I like small mice

    I like small mice. I have laptop mice on my desktops. Lighter and easier to move.

    I am moving AWAY from BT mice. Their batteries don't last as long and I always get lost BT connections and hangups with them, on my G5 and on my Mac Pro and with all the BT mice I have, not matter the manufacturer.

  1. JeffHarris

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    No Bluetooth?

    Bluetooth is great. Besides, you're not wasting one of two USB ports for those transmitters.

    I've got a nice, small RadTech BT500 Bluetooth mouse that has rechargeable batteries. The batteries can be recharged using a USB cable that also lets you use the mouse while charging. Great idea and it works!

    http://www.radtech.us/Products/BT500.aspx

    The last time I checked, wireless mice use batteries, too.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Re: Bluetooth

    why do all the mice manufacturers insist on using proprietary wireless receivers when many laptops (if not most) have bluetooth built in?

    Well, maybe because people selling wireless mice aren't just marketing them to the few people who've got bluetooth capable computers, like most desktops and many laptops.

    And even if all new computers include bluetooth now, there's a lot of 1 year old computers out there - are they not worthy of support or hardware? Answer as someone trying to sell products, not as someone who's just trying to be 'forward thinking'.

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +2

    Bluetooth

    And if you want a bluetooth mouse, they have bluetooth mice. But it doesn't mean every mouse sold needs to be bluetooth.

  1. UberFu

    Joined: Dec 1969

    -4

    WHY IS THIS ON MACNN?

    W T F ?

    This is a Microsoft product that will never be natively supported on a Mac - Why is this on MacNN?

  1. testudo

    Joined: Dec 1969

    +1

    Re: why is this

    What kind of "native" support does one need from a mouse? Or does the Expose feature of the thumb button come from "non-native" support?

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