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Apple Magic Mouse – Abracadabra or just a Cadaver?

I’ve recently bought an Apple Magic Mouse. To begin with it was frustrating because I was used to a middle mouse button on my macally ecomouse. Installing MagicPrefs sorted that out. It does have some problems though.

Navigation in Safari is excellent, with a double finger swipe to the left to go back a page, and a double finger swipe to the right to go forward. It’s just such a time saver. Unfortunately, my fingers find it much harder to do the right swipe than the left because you tend to push the mouse away from you at the same time as there is no thumb to hold the mouse still while you swipe. The effect of this is that there is no gesture for the OS to interpret so nothing happens.

Then there’s the occasional unresponsiveness with any gesture, requiring multiple repeats to get it to work – this is particularly true of the scrolling action which sometimes moves the page, sometimes not. Similarly, the middle click requires precise positioning to operate effectively.

At work I have a normal mouse with clickable scroll wheel, but it doesn’t do side-to-side or circular scrolling. The fact that I miss those actions when I am at work, but don’t miss anything at home where the Magic Mouse is just a little frustrating at times shows me that I slightly prefer the Magic Mouse over the standard one. It’s amazing how often I push against the middle scroll wheel of my standard mouse!

As far as ergonomics are concerned, the Magic Mouse has a much more positive click than the nervous old Mighty Mouse which I couldn’t stand; there’s no accidental clicks here. For the first few days at least I had very tired finger muscles and my hand ached with the strain of having to physically hold my hand off the body of the mouse so as not to modify or initiate a gesture without meaning to. With a normal mouse of course your hand gets much less tired because it can rest on the body of the mouse.

Overall though, it is a useful and innovative device and I’m glad I bought it. But do I want to replace my work mouse with one as well? Now that’s a very good question…

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