Mighty Mouse – More Pixar than Terrytoons

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Date: Wednesday, August 10th, 2005, 08:32
Category: Hardware

Apple?s new Mighty Mouse while long overdue, is unique and better in a number of ways than my current favorite, the Logitech MX510. Aesthetically minimalist, it loses the transparent outer shell of the old optical mouse gaining side buttons and a tiny track ball. Functionally it has some unique strengths and quirks. Read more…


Apple?s new Mighty Mouse while long overdue, is unique and better in a number of ways than my current favorite, the Logitech MX510. Aesthetically minimalist, it loses the transparent outer shell of the old optical mouse gaining side buttons and a tiny track ball. Functionally it has some unique strengths and quirks.
The trackball or trackpea, as it has been called, is a tremendous feature and is especially slick when using Apple programs. It seems a bit small, kind of a Dinky Duck, and requires a delicate touch. It takes getting used to and this is usually a sign that it could have been done better. I find the tactile feedback very well done. I think the piezo element is more vibrator than speaker. In a loud environment, it still provides feedback. The side buttons don?t really provide such good feedback, but if you assign a function with an obvious visual change to the screen, like expose or dashboard, this really is not a problem.
The right click works for me, but it may not work for you. I typically rest my middle finger on the right side of the mouse and my index finger on the scroll wheel, so no problem. If you leave your index finger resting on the left side of the mouse, you are unable to invoke a right click or worse, it becomes an inconstant Heckle and Jeckle kind of mouse. This will prove a problem for some people but not for others. I never had a problem getting the scrollpea to register a click, as it must be pressed rather directly in conjunction with creating the mechanical click generated by pushing down on the mouse shell.
To sum up the advantages over my trusty Logitech. The Mighty Mouse is smaller, ambidextrous, scrolls in all directions and is to my eye more esthetically pleasing and I like the short cord. For those who prefer a one button mouse, it can pretty much mimic the original Apple Pro Mouse with the added advantage of a scrollball. Do not underestimate the number of folks who will use it this way.
The disadvantages for me are the smallness of the trackpea, requiring more concentration and dexterity, the lack of direct programming for buttons which may require some Applescripting to assign shortcuts, slightly awkward placement of side buttons and fewer programmable buttons. There are also some noticeable delays and lags resulting from the complexity of this little beasty.
Here is how I use the Mighty Mouse. Right click is control click. I set all the speeds fairly high, as the scrollpea seems especially slow. Clicking on the pea invokes command W and will close an open window. Everything else is set to the default with the side buttons invoking expose. Kudos to Deputy Dawg and Steve Jobs for plugging the leaks on this one and for adding a bit of Pixar pizzaz to this solid Terrytoons character.

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