Apple’s Mighty Mouse can’t seem to catch a break. I’m still amazed at the bad reviews it gets. And almost all the reviews of the new wireless version seem to have the same ‘Too little, too late’ mantra.
This review may be a little different. I have been using a Mighty Mouse exclusively for the past ten months, and I couldn’t be happier. It seems to address nearly every beef I’ve ever had with other mice. These three points are where the Mighty Mouse shines for me most:
1. Size & Weight
I have a problem with large, bulky mice (I don’t have dainty hands, by the way). The way I mouse, I basically use my thumb and ring finger to move, and index and middle for clicks. I have never liked ‘mitting’ my entire mouse. Too many mice that are ‘ergonomically’ designed seem to REQUIRE you to do a full on, sweaty-palmed wrap around. As a lifelong Mac user, I’ve always worked with quick mousing and lots of keyboard shortcuts. I don’t get stuck into the right-click, click, right-click, click mode that Windows traps you in. That is just too slow and constricting for me.
The Mighty Mouse is svelte, lightweight, and easy to glide. It has a low profile and symmetric Tic-Tac like shape. It’s easy to grab, move the pointer, and get back to the keyboard. You don’t need to conform your hand to the shell of the mouse just to move it.
2. Solid Clicks and no extras
Another problem I have with most modern mice is that the buttons are too numerous and too sensitive. When did it become a good idea to duplicate half the keyboard on a mouse? Do mouse designers really think people hate moving back and forth from keyboard to mouse so much that a mouse needs ten buttons? And to make them ‘less fatiguing’ they make them so clicking a button takes very little pressure at all. This just makes them easier to click ACCIDENTALLY. Having five things start happening at once because you accidentally mashed down on seven different mouse buttons is not my idea of productivity (which is why i always disable them).
The Mighty Mouse basically has one good solid button that requires a deliberate click. The shell is touch-sensitive, so a right click is registered by pushing down on the right side. Rarely does my Mighty Mouse not register a right click. The Mighty Mouse has two other ‘buttons’, the ball-click and the squeeze. I have my ball-click expose the desktop (which might be the default, I can’t remember), and the squeeze brings up Dashboard. The squeeze requires the a little contortion to get it to work, but that is how I prefer it, since I don’t want my Dashboard coming up accidentally. And I always have FAR LESS fatigue with my Mighty Mouse than using any other mouse. It seems the more ‘ergonomic’ and button-ridden the mouse is, the more your hand needs to use its muscles to conform to the shape of the mouse and NOT accidentally click buttons.
Apple has also built in a tiny speaker that gives feedback. When using the scroll ball, there is a tiny, almost unnoticeable ‘click’ for each half millimeter or so you turn the ball. It’s so light that you probably wouldn’t notice it unless it went away. Also, when doing a squeeze-click, there is a small ‘click’ when you squeeze in, and another small ‘clack’ when you release. It sounds so natural I had to unplug the mouse and test it to make sure it wasn’t mechanical.
3. My mouse needs a tail
I never wanted a wireless Mighty Mouse to start with. Wireless mice, both traditional RF and Bluetooth, just don’t have the quick response of a wired critter. When I move a mouse across the screen, I want the pointer to stop when my mouse stops, not 4 to 10 pixels after. I get frustrated very quickly with the jittery re-adjustments required when using a wireless mouse. Many people don’t notice the difference, or don’t care. But I do, and it greatly affects how I work. Apple may have remedied this a little with the new Wireless Mighty Mouse’s new laser tracking. But I’ll bet it’s still not as responsive as a wired mouse.
Also, by design, wireless mice need to be heavier to account for the batteries. This added weight affects how well a mouse glides.
The cord on the original Mighty Mouse is short and light-weight. It comes with a cord clip that also fits over the USB plug (exactly like the one that comes with the iPod). When I have my mouse plugged into my PowerBook, I use the clip to form a loop, which effectively shortens the cord and keeps it completely out of my way.
Those are my thoughts on the controversial Mighty Mouse. If you’ve been holding out on buying one because of bad reviews…don’t necessarily take their word for it. Using mice can be a very subjective thing. Go out and try one yourself. You may really like it.