Review: Microsoft Arc Mouse

Microsoft’s new mobile mouse sure looks good, but does the thing even work? *Spoiler warning* Yes! It works great. *End Spoilers*

Check out the full review on the next page.

When I first saw pictures of this thing, I knew I had to give it a shot. The Arc Mouse has a really great look going; I have the cranberry-colored one but there’s a black one too. As you can see, the Arc Mouse is so called because it makes a little arc, only coming into contact at the front and back. I think this reduces friction in general, and it saves weight as well, but it also increases the pressure on the two points of contact it does have. This means it requires a light touch, but no major modification of my mousing style was required to use it.

The folding “tail” conceals the extremely small receiver, attached by a small magnet. Flipping out the tail alerts the mouse that it’s about to be used, and it switches on. It’s elegant and it works great. It runs on plain old AAAs, two of them, which should last it a good long while. Setting up was a piece of cake on both my Mac and my PC. Like all MS mice now, it uses the Microsoft Mouse software, which as I have mentioned before is functional at best and buggy at worst (I’m dealing with some weird issues that aren’t the Arc Mouse’s fault). Considering the rather fragile nature of the design, it feels relatively solid, although I wouldn’t use it as a hammer (like I would the Sidewinder X6).

Mouse motion is decent, no jiggly cursor or jumping around. It has a laser sensor but not one of the new Bluetrack ones, but that doesn’t hold it back in most situations. Strangely, the sensor is placed slightly right of center, which makes the motion less natural than if it were directly centered or on the left side of the mouse. As always, you get used to it after a while.

It has a button on the side at the very front, but I found it pretty hard to reach unless I modified my grip to accommodate it. Your mileage may vary. The other buttons are nice and easy to click, and the scroll wheel has a great spring-loaded feel to it. The scroll button is easy to hit as well.

I think this is a great little mouse.
It has an eye-catching look that doubles as a practical design for travel, and it feels good to use. The only problem is that it costs about $50, a good deal more than what most mini mice run for. I think it’s worth the price, personally, as it’s my go-to mouse now for grabbing to take with me to the coffee shop or what have you and I have a lot at my disposal.