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Hands-On with Microsoft's New Touch Mouse

By - Source: Tom's Guide US | B 31 comments

We checked out Microsoft’s new Touch Mouse, which was just launched this week.

In 2010 there was a lot of talk about Microsoft’s answer to Apple’s Magic Mouse. A Microsoft Research paper registered in March 2010 revealed that they had actually been working on something similar long before the Magic Mouse became available.

Late last year, Microsoft starting shipping a collapsible travel mouse called the Arc Touch mouse. Though it was a touch mouse, it didn’t have multitouch. Still, because it was very similar to one of the concepts Microsoft Research detailed in its paper, most people assumed this was Microsoft’s touch mouse.

This week at CES Microsoft surprised us by announcing a new touch mouse, and this time, they’re giving us seven finger multitouch action. The company said two years of R&D went into making this mouse a reality and that they went through hundreds of prototypes. The final version features BlueTrack technology, which means you can track on most any surface. It’s got lots of little capacitive touch-sensing dots where you’d find the buttons on any other mouse along with a scrolling line down the center. It’s got inertial scrolling and, though there’s no horizontal scroll strip, it also supports sideways scrolling. 

We stopped by the Microsoft booth to check it out and found that we actually liked it more than the Arc Touch Mouse. While we do love the fact that the Arc Touch Mouse flattens out and pops back up into its curved position like a slap bracelet, we liked the the Microsoft Touch Mouse more. It was comfortable and all of the gestures felt pretty intuitive; we especially liked what we’ve nicknamed the ‘exploring’ feature that lets you scroll around on a web page or document in all directions, similar to what touch screen smartphone users are used to doing when web-browsing on their phones.

We were told the Touch Mouse would be going on sale in June or July but the Microsoft Website says May 11, so let’s hope the latter is the case. It will retail for $79.99, which is about $10 more than the Arc Touch Mouse.

Check out the video demo below!

The Microsoft Touch Mouse Demo

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  • 0 Hide
    11796pcs , January 9, 2011 8:11 PM
    So that's what those readme files are for. :) 
  • 1 Hide
    doron , January 9, 2011 8:25 PM
    Wow nice! Gonna get me one of those right awa... Oh, 80 bucks? Pass.
  • -1 Hide
    tipoo , January 9, 2011 8:34 PM
    Really like the design, very understated but different at the same time. At 80 bucks though, I'll pass until a price drop.
  • Display all 31 comments.
  • 1 Hide
    kikireeki , January 9, 2011 9:41 PM
    it looks like a shoe! but cool nevertheless .
  • -3 Hide
    alidan , January 9, 2011 10:20 PM
    i have a razor naga, i got it for web browsing.
    i have next tab, new tab previous tab, refresh, search, page down, page up, close tab, reopen closed tab, increase size, decrease size, normal size, all mapped to the 12 buttons, and i can say, i cant live without them anymore.

    gesture stuff like that just seams retarded to me. give me a real button.
  • -3 Hide
    Anonymous , January 9, 2011 11:35 PM
    this is a joke.. we need to make something with eye movement and get rid of th emouse
  • 2 Hide
    Warsaw , January 10, 2011 12:35 AM
    kikireekiit looks like a shoe! but cool nevertheless .

    That's no shoe! That's DAAAASSSSS BOOOOOOTTTTTTT!!!
  • 0 Hide
    nebun , January 10, 2011 12:49 AM
    i still like my lasermouse 6000
  • -1 Hide
    blondu07 , January 10, 2011 2:44 AM
    o brother !!....width that mouse ur gona end up width finger problem' juliteefgheyttlick
    said .....give me a real buton.......beter to push a buton........after a HR of using that mouse il get my fingers chronic diseases...
  • -1 Hide
    mayankleoboy1 , January 10, 2011 4:03 AM
    $80? thanks, but no thanks
  • 0 Hide
    molo9000 , January 10, 2011 4:25 AM
    Looks like it has a more ergonomic shape than Apple's Magic Mouse, but Microsoft has done the same stupid thing Apple had done for the last 6 years: No physical right click.
    In order to right click, you have to lift your index finger off the mouse's surface.

    360° scrolling is awesome, inertia scrolling is awesome, finger gestures are awesome (I got all those on the touchpad of my MacBook)..... but a mouse with no physical right click is a huge pain.
  • 0 Hide
    apache_lives , January 10, 2011 8:40 AM
    hmmm wonder how this thing will do in intense gaming... i know if i accidentally switched weapons in something mission critical i would probably launch it at the closest wall... although theres no buttons so would it break?? hmmm........
  • 0 Hide
    stingstang , January 10, 2011 9:54 AM
    I would think that accidental button pushing would be a deal breaker. I'd prefer a regular mouse over that because I don't have to keep my fingers hovering over the buttons until I need to press them. It's gotta be a little hard to hold with just the back half of your hand..
  • 0 Hide
    d_kuhn , January 10, 2011 12:09 PM
    I played with the Magic Mouse on my PC (back when you could still find the driver hack to get it working). There were a couple annoying things about it that may or may not be problems for the MS version.

    The biggest was "Scroll Wheel" functionality. I'm used to wheels with detents so you can scroll one line at a time... it was hard to control the amount of scroll with the MM. Not a big deal for browsing the web, but it made the mouse unusable for some gaming (or at least you couldn't use the wheel for weapon select).

    The other thing was how it would send scroll commands when I clicked (presumably because my finger moved some on the mouse when I made the click motion). Pretty annoying.

    These devices look cool... but the quality of the drivers is going to be critical to making them as easy to use as their traditional counterparts.
  • 0 Hide
    rhino13 , January 10, 2011 12:34 PM
    Wired version please!
    Either that or give me a real Magic Mouse driver for Win 7!
  • 0 Hide
    zak_mckraken , January 10, 2011 2:06 PM
    they’re giving us seven finger multitouch action.

    The Touch Mouse. Now available on Omicron Persei VIII !
  • 0 Hide
    jungleboogiemonster , January 10, 2011 2:29 PM
    If this mouse was made by Apple with a $150 price tag people would be standing in line to buy it, but since it's not Apple people are cringing at the $80 price tag.
  • -1 Hide
    blondu07 , January 10, 2011 2:35 PM
    people!! need to change ur mouse's......better invest ur dollars in something else.....
    after all....Microsoft's staff just got board end din't no what to come up width...:) )
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , January 10, 2011 2:47 PM
    Apple already has the same the out for sale for $69.99 CDN. Called the "Magic Mouse" on the Apple website.
  • 0 Hide
    blondu07 , January 10, 2011 3:16 PM
    WTF !!........stop posting comercial's on this site....keep it to ur self or go to face book
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