Hardware

Is Apple's Magic Mouse 2 design brilliant or a dud?

Is Apple's Magic Mouse 2 the perfect Mac accompaniment or a surprising failure from the company that is known for producing so many hits? Erik Eckel examines this question and why it's important.

Apple's Magic Mouse 2 presents an interesting conundrum. The device earns only two-and-a-half stars of five among Apple website reviews. Dig into the ratings and you'll learn the mouse earns 125 five-star ratings and 204 one-star ratings.

The negative reviews are surprising considering Apple's rechargeable wireless mouse works well, mechanically, at least in my experience and those reported by other users outside Apple's website. The aesthetic design essentially matches that of its predecessor, a fact many celebrate, even within negative reviews of the Magic Mouse 2 on Apple's website.

One possible complaint is the Magic Mouse 2's recharging port is located on the device's bottom. But as I typically don't use electronic devices while they're charging, with the exception of my MacBook Air that automatically charges when plugged in, the mouse's charge port location doesn't register as an issue for me. In fact, I find the rechargeable mouse a significant improvement over the previous model that required regularly replacing AA batteries.

A quick check of the Magic Mouse 2's Amazon.com reviews reveals the device fares much better there. Amazon users award the mouse four of five stars, with almost three times as many ratings.

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At $79, the Magic Mouse 2 isn't inexpensive, but you're not just paying for a mouse—the additional cost is justified by the ease with which the device mates to Macs and the fact it extends multitouch operation. Don't forget a Lightning-to-USB cable is packed in the box, too, which means you receive another cable with which to also charge iPhones, iPads, and Apple TV remotes. Certainly, that's convenient and helpful.

Don't underestimate the importance of multitouch gesture support, either. Because the Magic Mouse 2 supports integrated multitouch controls, the device enables elegantly scrolling sideways or horizontally (among other features) right on top the mouse, which is a feature I find critically compelling.

SEE: Top 20 Apple keyboard shortcuts for business users (free PDF) (TechRepublic)

Why is how well a mouse performs even important? Considering that everyone from world-class cooks to musicians regularly insist on using quality tools of the trade such as Misono knives or Steinway pianos, it makes a big difference.

Just as it's often recommended you annually invest as much time planning your 401(k) contributions and retirement as you do your vacation, you should review the quality of your professional tools. Consider how often you use a mouse. If you're one of the tens of millions that directly interact with a computer every day, you spend thousands of hours a year manipulating the device. The ergonomic, productivity, and efficiency gains you achieve using a mouse better matched to your needs proves exponentially more advantageous because you use it so often.

Ultimately, you'll have to decide for yourself which mouse is best for you. Regardless of your Magic Mouse 2 perspective, the fact you're thinking about it is a good sign. Now go review your 401(k) allocations—here's hoping you have a good mouse to assist with the task.

What mouse do you use? If you have tried the Apple Magic Mouse 2, what do you like and/or dislike about it? Share your thoughts in the discussion.

Also see

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Apple's Magic Mouse 2

Image: Sarah Tew/CNET

About Erik Eckel

Erik Eckel owns and operates two technology companies. As a managing partner with Louisville Geek, he works daily as an IT consultant to assist small businesses in overcoming technology challenges and maximizing IT investments. He is also president o...

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