Microsoft's Arc Touch Mouse: review roundup

Arc Touch
By Richi Jennings.

September 2, 2010, 10am EDT.

Microsoft's mighty morphin' Arc Touch Mouse is here. Weird looking thing, isn't it? But is it any good? In IT Blogwatch, bloggers tell us if it lives up to the hype.

Your humble blogwatcher curated these bloggy bits for your entertainment. Not to mention Overheard in the Newsroom...


Emil Protalinski reaches out and touches someone:

Redmond is touting Arc Touch as "the first mouse designed to flatten for portability and pop up for comfort." ... Less than 15 millimeters thick at its widest point, it collapses to turn off and pops up to turn on. ... [It] has a capacitive touch scroll strip: move a finger slowly on the strip for controlled scrolling, or flick a finger for fast scrolling that can be stopped with a simple tap ... and also includes haptic feedback to simulate the bumps of a traditional scroll wheel ... [and] three tap buttons: page up, page down, and a reprogrammable ... middle click area.


The Arc Touch includes Microsoft's usual mouse features such as a magnetic 2.4GHz wireless Nano transceiver ... and BlueTrack technology to let users use the device on virtually any surface.

Darren Allan recalls, totally:

You may remember back at the beginning of last month that ... Microsoft ... put a teaser of a mystery device up on Twitter ... which started speculation that it might be a picture of an MS tablet. ... It turns out that the mystery product was a novel mouse.


The Microsoft Arc Touch ... can be flattened completely so it can be easily stored in your laptop bag or pocket.

Microsoft's Debbie Uttecht is "excited":

Now I can quickly scroll through my inbox and stop on a dime with a quick tap. ... I do this a lot while I’m thinking or on a phone call.


This mouse is truly in a category all its own. ... Perfect for the person on-the-go that doesn’t want to compromise on style. ... Pre-orders start today ... and will be shipped this December.

Jason Chen has actually touched one:

She is real. There are two unique bits ... the ability to bend the mouse up when in use, and the touch strip that replaces a traditional scroll wheel. ... So far it's actually a pretty good mouse for a "compact" or "travel" mouse.


Flick up to scroll fast, or smoothly go up to scroll up slowly. Just like a normal wheel. ... The best part is that there's a little speaker inside the mouse that reproduces the scroll clicking sound! ... Not only functionally useful, it's super cool.

And Devin Coldewey, also:

I liked the original Arc Mouse; does the new version improve on [it], or is this Microsoft innovation destined for the “curiosities” bin? ... When it’s flat, the mouse is off; curl its tail, though, and it springs to life. ... Upside-down, it looks like a grub.


The teflon patches on the bottom of the mouse are distressingly small, and it seems to make the mouse drag a bit. But that could also be my mousepad.


And Finally...

Overheard in the Newsroom

Don't miss out on IT Blogwatch:

Richi Jennings, your humble blogwatcher
  Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and security. A cross-functional IT geek since 1985, you can follow him as @richi on Twitter, pretend to be richij's friend on Facebook, or just use good old email:

You can also read Richi's full profile and disclosure of his industry affiliations.

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