Shipping in Singapore in August: Microsoft Touch Mouse and Explorer Touch Mouse

August 12th, 2011 | by Alfred Siew

For those who tire of a scroll wheel, Apple’s Magic Mouse has always been the standard in touch mice that let you simply slide your finger on the smooth surface to navigate on screen.

Recently, Microsoft came up with the quite amazing Arc Touch Mouse, which offered not just touch sensors but also a smart flexible shape that users cracked open whenever they wanted to use it, but snapped back into a easy-to-store position when not in use.

This month, Microsoft is shipping two more touch mice – the sexy-looking S$99 Touch Mouse and the more budget-friendly S$59 Explorer Touch Mouse.

Let’s talk about the Touch Mouse. It doesn’t have some of the indentations that fit your grip like Logitech’s MX series mice, for example. But the basic shape, as Microsoft points out, does feel pretty natural to grip. It also makes life easier for left-handers whose hands won’t fit sculpted mice shapes made for right handers.

Microsoft’s new Touch Mouse is fully touch-based, which means you can not just scroll up and down your webpages using a simple movement of your fingers, but also control a whole range of actions.

The top portion, though not marked out physically, actually responds like three physical mouse buttons. So, you can set, say, your left mouse finger to tap for the traditional left click, while the centre and right can be programmed for either anything from right click to zoom in/out.

 

Speaking of which, there are a lot more things that you can do with touch. Using your thumb, you can go forward or back on your browser. Slide along with two fingers and you can maximise, minimise or restore your window. Finally, when you put as many as three fingers on the mouse, you can minimise all windows and reveal the desktop – a great help for folks who work with many windows.

I like the Touch Mouse’s design and build, which are as reassuring as the three-year warranty that Microsoft offers. But like all touch mice, you may have to set the sensitivity to a level you are comfortable with.

I used my wife’s iMac to create some Powerpoints recently and was annoyed to no end by the Magic Mouse’s ultra-sensitive surface that kept scrolling through the slides accidentally.

Another thing to note, of course, if that the Touch Mouse works only with Windows 7, at least for the advanced touch functions. So, if you are using Windows Vista or XP, too bad. Still, if you are on Windows 7, I’d recommend the Touch Mouse – it’s a well-built alternative to Apple’s Magic Mouse.

The Explorer Touch Mouse feels a little plasticky, and does not have the all-round touch sensors that the Touch Mouse offers. But to be fair, it is quite a lot cheaper, comes in four colours and also promises battery life no shorter than 18 months.

(WIN a free Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse from Techgoondu – find out more here)

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