August 29, 2011
- Easy to setup
- Attractive, comfortable design
- Responsive touch surface
- A little costly
- Only Windows 7 supported
- No gesture for zooming
The Microsoft Touch Mouse combines a traditional mouse with multitouch gestures to make navigating and using Windows 7 on a desktop computer just like a notebook with a touchpad. While a little expensive, it is very responsive, comfortable to use and intuitive.
The Microsoft Touch Mouse has an ambidextrous design that measures 4.7 x 2.4-inches. It has a gentle contour and design that fits comfortably and naturally. We did find the mouse a little heavier than most mice, so that is one small downside. The visual design is quite sleek as it has a matte black plastic top with raised dots and X shapes on the front, which is the touch active area. In between the seamless right- and left-click buttons, there is a shallow groove.
The bottom of the mouse has white plastic and a power switch to turn it on and off. There's also a storage space for the mouse's miniature USB wireless receiver when not in use. To power the mouse, two AA batteries are used.
This mouse works only with computers running Microsoft's Windows 7 operating system. To install, just plug in the tiny USB wireless receiver into your computer and Windows will automatically install some drivers and prompt you to install Microsoft's IntelliPoint software, which is required for the multitouch features. It's definitely a quick and easy setup, which will please even the most novice user.
The Microsoft Touch Mouse uses Microsoft's BlueTrack tracking technology, so it will track on a variety of surfaces except glass or reflective surfaces. The mouse has a range of about 10 feet using the 2.4-GHz wireless connection.
Once installed, you can practice the multitouch gestures in the Touch Mouse settings into the mouse module of the Windows Control Panel. While in this mode, blue dots replace the mouse pointer to let you know when performing a touch gesture. With a single finger, you can scroll both horizontally and vertically by just flicking across the touch area. Using a thumb is also possible to do this because the touch active area wraps almost completely around the top surface.
Other gestures include two fingers for maximizing and minimizing windows and three fingers for flipping between active programs. There was no gestures for zooming, like pinching on the Apple iPad or iPhone. This was rather disappointing as mostly all laptop multitouch trackpads support this feature.
We found the gestures to be registered quickly and accurately and definitely on-par with a traditional laptop trackpad. While not a perfect product, it is a neat way to interface with your Windows 7 desktop computer.