Finweek English Edition - - Communication & Technology - BENE­DICT KELLY benk@fin­

FIND­ING A MOUSE both small enough to tote around with your note­book and big enough to be truly use­ful on a reg­u­lar ba­sis is tricky. Most por­ta­ble sys­tems are just too small to be comfortable on a long-term ba­sis and a full-sized mouse is a pain to lug around.

With the Ar­cMouse I think Microsoft may have found the per­fect bal­ance. When you un­pack the mouse the first thing you no­tice is that it more closely re­sem­bles a bridge than a mouse. It al­most looks as if some­one had scooped out the bot­tom side of the mouse, leav­ing only the piece you rest your hand on. That ac­tu­ally works well, as you end up curl­ing your fin­gers un­der the mouse as you use it.

As if that weren’t enough of a de­sign state­ment, the back of the mouse then folds away un­der­neath the front for easy trav­el­ling. You can even take the don­gle you plug into the USB port and at­tach it mag­net­i­cally to the bot­tom of the mouse for easy stowage. It has all the usual ar­ray of but­tons and wheels, so you don’t have to skimp on those to look trendy.

Now to the neg­a­tives: At just more than R600 it’s not the cheapest mouse money can buy. It also has (cour­tesy of some new laser tech­nol­ogy that Microsoft has used) the fastest tracking I’ve yet to see on a mouse. Turn­ing down the speed on my com­puter barely made a dent in the sen­si­tiv­ity of the tracking.

When I took it out the box it glided across my desk as if it were on wheels. How­ever, af­ter a day or so the gloss had worn off the lit­tle pads on the bot­tom and it didn’t glide as smoothly. That’s not a big is­sue but I’d have pre­ferred to have a con­sis­tent ex­pe­ri­ence from day one rather than see­ing a no­tice­able change once I started us­ing it. This is one for the fash­ion con­scious among us. Not for the price con­scious, though.

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