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Is it really that mighty?

August 3, 2005 | Computers

So, this whole post might end up being 100% personal preference, but lets explore the new mouse from Apple, the Mighty Mouse. I have to wonder just what is going on over at Apple and if maybe I’m the only one who sees fault in the basic design of Apple’s current lineup of mice.

I really haven’t enjoyed an Apple mouse since beige was done away as a case color. Ever since I thought that Apple has been messing with something that should be more ergonomic than they’ve chosen to make it.

An oval, to me, is not ergonomic. Consider the shape your hand makes when it is lightly cupped (like it would be when fondling, er, handling a mouse). It is not an oval, is it? Logitech has the right idea in its current lineup of mice – the mouse should be an asymmetrical shape that gently fits into the hand not something that the hand must adjust its shape and natural stance to accommodate.

Now, this issue was not as prominent, and maybe in some way actively reduced, in the old ADB mouse designs. Those mice tapered off at the front and had a bulbous area for the hand to surround at the back. This allowed for a feeling that the mouse fit into the hand.

Not so, at least to me, with the new mice. The constant width, or pill shape, doesn’t feel like my hand fits the mouse. The constant level of the mouse doesn’t feel right either. My hand wants to wrap around something, not straddle it. Straddling is uncomfortable.

So, now that my gripes with the shape are out of the way lets move onto the functionality of it. Not whether or not it is a multi- or single-button mouse but how the basic clicking action works. Pushing the whole mouse is awkward. There is nothing natural or intuitive about this to me at all. The motion of pushing down the entire hood of the mouse is counter to how I’ve been using a mouse for 21 years now. Holy crap, has it been that long? Anyway, that sounds like I’m unwilling to change but its not. It does not feel right and it does not translate into a good functionality for using the mouse in an environment where you have to pick it up and move it around to complete some actions. I have a very, very large mousepad to help deal with this but it inevitably still happens.

Now, I’ll applaud the idea of a two way scroll wheel but I’m going to have to check out the side buttons for myself to really understand them. And until the shape of the Apple mouse changes the Mighty Mouse will be less than mighty to me.

8 Responses

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  • I dunno about you, but I rest my wrist on the table when I operate my mouse, so the shape is largely irrelevant. Isn’t it tiring to have the mouse in your whole hand?

    Tobias Butler, August 3, 2005 5:53 pm | permalink

  • My wrist rests on the desk but my hand also likes to rest on the mouse. I can’t do that with the Apple pill mouse. My Logitech fits very nicely, the design is comfortable. Spending 10+ hours a day on a computer has made me pretty particular about the mice that I’ll use.

    That said, I will give this mouse a shot at the store. I’m very curious about how the touch sensors work.

    Shawn Parker, August 3, 2005 10:04 pm | permalink

  • top ones work like a charm

    sides ones work like a rusty hand crank

    Tobias Butler, August 3, 2005 10:28 pm | permalink

  • he he

    Shawn Parker, August 3, 2005 11:02 pm | permalink

  • Shawn, I am going over to the Apple store on Friday to test this one out. I needed a mouse for my powerbook, and this seems like a good one to go with. Although, the same priced logitech gaming mouse has more buttons and functionalities, I am going to give this a try. It seems like two things caught my attention: Vertical, horizontal and diganol scrolling ability, and the touch sense thing.

    tom, August 3, 2005 11:15 pm | permalink

  • I ended up ordering it online because it was sold out in the store. I’ll probably get my hands on it when I get back home.

    Tom, August 14, 2005 4:33 pm | permalink

  • I’ll be interested to hear how you like it. I should go check it out on Monday since we have a very Mac friendly Chump-USA near where I work.

    Shawn, August 14, 2005 9:37 pm | permalink

  • I like Apple’s mice. I don’t like having the mouse resting in my hands. I’ve noticed from using Microsoft mice on occasion that with the mouse resting in my hand, my fingers go straight and I end up pushing the mouse around with my whole hand and clicking with the first two full sections of my fingers. I don’t have good control that way.

    When I use an Apple mouse, I have to curl my fingers and rest only the fingertips on the surface. While I can move it with my hand and wrist, I can also make use of my fingers for minute movements. To me, this gives a greater feeling of control for finer movements whie still allowing for a comfortable hand position. It must have been all those years of piano and saxophone that trained my fingers to stay on their tips. 😉

    So anyway, I’ve yet to try a Mighty Mouse, but I love my Pro Mouse at home and never had a problem with the iPuck, probably because my fingertips rested right in that little groove in the button. I’ll give a MM a whirl one of these days and it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if I were to come home with one.

    joel, August 24, 2005 3:21 pm | permalink

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