Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse £32
3rd Feb 2011 | 15:42
Style over substance?
Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse: Overview
The Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse is yet another innovative addition to the long-line of classic designs that the Microsoft Hardware group has blessed the world with over the years.
The Arc Touch Mouse attempts to take style and function to a new level in the modern mouse world by combining a wireless portable mouse with touch-sensitive features and the BlueTrack sense system.
The result is the Arc Touch. The name partly gives away its key design feature: a flexible rear section that doubles as the main wrist support and also folds flat turning the mouse off and leaving it perfect for carrying.
Beyond its physical design, the Arc Touch mouse uses an Apple Magic Mouse besting touch-sensitive wheel.
With built in haptic feedback this adds a sense of style beyond just its design through unobtrusive technology.
But the real question is it any good to mouse with?
Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse: Verdict
The centrepiece to the Microsoft Arc Mouse is its folding rear, beyond just being a fancy way to turn the mouse on or off, it provides a physical support to the rear of the mouse and offers an ergonomic grip.
Despite a potentially flimsy slim-build it's more than sturdy enough and offers a pleasant wrist rest in use.
Attached to that fancy switch is the main body of the Arc Touch Mouse, which is mostly the twin mouse buttons and that touch-sensitive scroll wheel.
In use it does make for comfortable mousing, though occasionally your fingers might fall short of the buttons and this can almost tip the mouse over. We know this is designed as a portable mouse but it's this type of flaw that means this is no gaming mouse.
It's not going to stay standing in any rigorous deathmatch situations.
The touch-sensitive wheel provides clever haptic-feedback, give it a flick to start scrolling with 'gravity' and the scroll plate actually vibrates in line with the speed of the scroll.
It's clever and works well, though it's questionable if this is actually better or more precise than a physical wheel.
Powered by two AAA batteries, Microsoft claim a six-month battery life.
The wireless transceiver is one of the smallest we've seen and magnetically sticks to the back of the mouse for transit. Finally the tracking is pretty impressive, the best we've seen in a wireless mouse with no sign of lag and it even wakes from rest as quickly.
The action is very smooth and the tracking is excellent. It's certainly an eye catching design and eminently portable.
The wireless ability works excellently and is highly responsive.
Despite its beautiful design the Microsoft Arc Touch isn't perfect, making it lightweight and so more portable has its disadvantages.
It's certainly not going to be embraced by the gaming community, even those looking for something with more style than substance.
It also lacks side navigation buttons, which we've come to rely on.
Plus the price is horrendous, you can pick it up for almost half the original price but even so we've like to see a dedicated Li-ion rechargeable pack at this price.
If you want to be flash this is a mouse you have to have, for others it's something to miss