Not so Mighty

In other news, my Apple Mighty Mouse came in the mail today, while I was comatose. I’m starting to think the love affair is over between me and Apple, because I just don’t like it.

Apple’s strengths have always been industrial design and integration — stuff just works, and it all works together. This just feels like it’s missed out on the last 10 years of computer mouse development. It doesn’t feel right to my hand, for one thing; their pill-shaped mouse design may look great in their ad photos, but isn’t so great for ergonomics (unless, I suppose, you’re left-handed).

They’ve finally added the right mouse button functionality, but it’s faked and it feels faked. Because it’s touch-sensitive, I have to take my index finger completely off the mouse for it to register a right mouse click. While knowing that there’s a touch sensor inside does appeal to the inner geek in me, it’s pretty damn impractical and I can’t see how that’s actually better than having an actual, physical second button. There’s no tactile feedback.

The “scroll ball” is their other big selling point, and I’m not impressed. Rubbing a nipple on my mouse just doesn’t feel right. The mouse itself is optical, which should be a requirement, but the scroll ball feels every bit as flimsy and gunk-up-able as the mouse balls of old. And it’s just not as good for actual scrolling — I never need to scroll in “any direction” as the ads claim I do, so I’d rather have something that is more responsive at just scrolling up and down.

And another problem with tactile feedback — the “buttons” on the sides are actually more like squeeze points; they don’t depress. So you still can’t use the left and right buttons to go back and forward through web pages on your browser (Safari, in my case), which is the biggest thing I miss since I switched from Windows. Instead, you squeeze them both at the same time, and it registers as a single input — by default, that brings up Expose, but I turned that off immediately after inadvertently triggering it the third time.

I realize it’s an exaggeration, but I have to say that this mouse sums up every complaint that people have about Apple. It’s overpriced, to start with — for $50 I could’ve gotten a top-of-the-line Microsoft mouse. It’s form over functon — it looks nice, but simply doesn’t feel comfortable. And it’s gratutitous technology over practicality — touch sensors are neat, but again, why not just make a real button?

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