Feb 182001
 

We just installed four new Apple G4s in my store and they all came with these new Apple Pro Mouses. If you’re used to the round mouse that appeared with the iMacs, you’ll be ready to kiss this PC gaming mice. And even if you’re used to a traditional mouse the optical sensor will have you jumping for joy in no time.

Looks

I haven’t been a big fan of cuddle-tech in general or Apple’s design choices of late, but this mouse is beautiful. The black base and clear top (yes, you can see the circuits inside) are sleek and the red glow of the optical sensor gives a definite space-age appearance. If any mouse belongs in a design museum, this is the one.

The only problem I have with the clear plastic is that it looks much grungier after extended use. Traditional white mouses tend to go a little grey when dirty, but they simply look aged. These look filthy and require regular cleaning. (Bear in mind, ours are used by a multitude of people with a vast range of personal cleanliness issues, so they become dirty much quicker then average.)

Functionality

The first thing I noticed about the Apple Pro Mouse was its lack of a button of any sort. In actuality, the entire mouse is essentially the button. The click mechanism is internal, so simply pressing down on the front of the mouse acts as pressing the button.

This does take a little getting used to, but I have found it to be simply wonderful overall. Even the customers who have originally been put-off by this design concept have come to at least accept (if not appreciate) it very quickly.

There is a tension adjustment wheel on the bottom of the mouse to help prevent accidental clicking. Of course, since the ones I use are used by as many as 20 people a day, this is constantly being adjusted differently. Regardless of the setting I have found little difficulty after the first or second click.

Ergonomics

The Apple Pro Mouse is oblong (roughly 4.5″x2.5″) and fits extremely well into most palms.

Since the sides are (essentially) straight it works just as well with the right hand or the left (which all of my left-handed customers have raved about!). Since it’s a USB connection the mouse can quickly and easily be unplugged from one side of the keyboard and plugged into the other. This is a necessity when changing the “handedness” of the user as the cord is only about 2′ long and does not reach across the length of the keyboard well.

The removal of a separate button (see Functionality above) reduces finger stress from high click activities.

Since there’s no track-ball (see Tracking below) it follows the flow of your hand movements with almost no resistance as well.

Tracking

The Apple Pro Mouse is optical, which means that instead of having a little ball in its undercarriage it has a laser that determines the mouse’s movements. If you’ve never used an optical mouse, you need to get one now. The mouse movement is far smoother then a traditional mouse and I find it to be more accurate as well. It can also be used on almost any surface (highly reflective surfaces do cause it difficulty) which means: no more mousepads. I’ve even been known to lean way back from the computer and mouse across on legs when doing extended surfing.

The only drawback (and I’ve found this to be true of every optical mouse I’ve used) is if you’re using the mouse for high-speed game play. Extremely rapid movements can cause the mouse to get “lost” or erratic at times. However, I’ve never seen this become an issue outside of game playing.

Also, despite marketing hype to the contrary, an optical mouse does need to be cleaned on occasion. Of course, an optical mouse is far easier to clean then a traditional one as there is no need to open it up or remove any parts. You simply wipe down the bottom surface in order to keep a clear ‘line of sight’ for the laser.

Summary

The Apple Pro Mouse is the highest achievement in mouse design to date. There is almost no reason not to use this mouse. Of course, if you buy any new Mac you’ll get one along with it, but if you have an older model I highly recommend you purchase one of these. Your hand (and your remaining sanity) will appreciate it.

  2 Responses to “Apple Pro (M8690G/A) Mouse – Sleek & Sophisticated”

  1. We just got one of these with our new iMac DVD+. Oh, it’s SO sweet! It took no time to get used to – even my 5 year old figured it out instantly. The tracking is smooth and the look is very cool.

    Excellent review! 🙂

    Steph

  2. I got a new iMac a couple of months ago and the optical mouse was a great surprise to me as well. I love it. Not only is it smooth but it’s accurate. Thanks for the excellent review.

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