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Why Apple’s Magic Mouse Is a Piece of Crap

[Update: Welcome MacSurfer readers to this little place in the internet I call home. I’m honored that you’ve chosen to visit! One thing I feel compelled to update about this post: User “Gopyvision” points out in the comments, correctly, that at the time I wrote this post, I didn’t understand how the “right-click” function on the mouse works. Essentially, if you have two fingers on the mouse surface, it does not matter where you press-down; the mouse will register it as a left-click, even if you are clicking on the right-most part of the mouse. I did not realize this before, but it definitely helps me to better use the mouse now. I do not, however, find this intuitive at all, and I find myself still longing for the solace of physical buttons….]

I started using my very first iMac about a month ago. There’s a lot to love about the slickness of Apple’s Snow Leopard operating system, not to mention the absolutely gorgeous, obnoxiously large 27″ screen. And while I have to use my PC to record my podcasts and do my work (my office Word template no longer functions on Macs), the iMac will be a good computer companion for quite some time to come.

But there’s one thing that I have to vent about: Apple’s Magic Mouse. I’ve never used anything other than a 2-button mouse until now, but I since the Magic Mouse came with the computer, I’ve been giving it a shot for the past month. Initially, I was a fan. But several weeks of usage later, I’ve concluded that while I love the idea of zooming in instantaneously and advancing through webpages without having to click on “Back” in my browsers, there are a number of places this thing falls short:

Ergonomics – Sure, it looks gorgeous from a photo on a computer screen, but put your hand down on one of these things and you’ll realize instantly that it does not conform to your hand, unlike virtually every other mouse designed by anyone. Moreover, you’ll find that the hand position necessary to do the swipe (i.e. hold down the mouse with your thumb and ring, swipe with middle and index) is incredibly unnatural.

I have personally found that due to the awkward positioning required to do the gestures, this mouse is developing bad habits in my general mouse hand positioning. It is very hard to move the mouse around with your thumb and ring finger pinching it, since the mouse itself has very low clearance (your thumb and ring finger often scrape the mousepad underneath). Thus, after a few weeks of using this thing, I’ve started pivoting my hand around my wrist on occasion, rather than moving the entire mouse. Experts will tell you, this is a terrible thing to do and it will eventually destroy my wrist if left unchecked.

False clicks – Steve Jobs notoriously has a hatred of buttons (note the button-less shirts he wears when he delivers keynotes, or the new iPod shuffles complete lack of any buttons whatsoever). One of the biggest issues with this mouse is the fact that the top one-piece casing actually hides two buttons (or at least, two virtual buttons). Unfortunately, because the piece of plastic is a huge, single piece, you can often have false left-clicks. In other words, I’ll be going to right-click on a link to copy it, or open it a new tab, or whatever, and find that since i’m pressing down on the mouse’s topside, it doesn’t register the right click and instead left-clicks on the actual link, taking me to someplace I never wanted to be. I hate you, Magic Mouse, for your lack of obedience, sophistication, and understanding.

Battery Life – I have been using this thing for the past three weeks and the included batteries crapped out today. Three weeks! So either they included some weak sauce batteries (I already spent $1000+ on the computer, so why shaft me there?) or this mouse eats up batteries faster than a mofo. Either way, I have to track down new or rechargeable batteries for this thing, a timesuck for a device that has already taken so, so much from me.


Conclusion: I’m going to try to sell this thing and pick up a Logitech. But enough about me, what have been your experiences with the Magic Mouse?