We’re taking the Apple Magic Mouse 2 for a spin with a review from a mouse lover (not that kind!). Pointing devices have come a long way since the one- or two-button clunkers of the 1970s and 80s. Remember the trackball craze of the mid-90s? I’m still trying to forget that phase. In comparison, the Magic Mouse 2 is lightyears ahead of the rest. Let’s take a closer look.
Love or Hate Magic Mouse 2
Whether you love it or hate it, many people still rely on a traditional mouse for their day-to-day computer tasks. I happen to be one of those people. While I have gotten accustomed to the trackpad, especially after using laptops as my daily drivers for many years, when I need serious work done — I’ve got to have a bluetooth mouse. And I’m in love with Apple’s Magic Mouse 2.
I don’t want anything extra sticking out of my computer.
Compared to the original Magic Mouse which debuted in 2009, Magic Mouse 2 is virtually identical 6 years later. The original Mouse ran on two AA batteries and its battery life was a topic of great discussion. Those who used their wireless mouse for 9+ hours a day were finding themselves going through batteries like crazy. That gets expensive!
With Magic Mouse 2, Apple has solved the power issues and introduced a built-in battery pack. At first glance, your first thought is: Why is the charging port on the bottom? And that’s a really good question. Some say it’s so Apple can make more money — the mouse won’t last forever. It’s actually so that the mouse can retain its shape. Pick up your Magic Mouse 2 and take a close look at it. There’s absolutely no way you can attach a charging port, to the top or bottom and the mouse still be usable. It’s not that kind of device — and here’s why. It charges to 9 hours of life in 120 seconds. A typical workday for most people in the amount of time it takes to find new AA batteries, or a wired mouse, or use the bathroom… And that’s after you’ve ignored the low battery warnings and let it drain all the way down. In fact, on a full charge (~2 hours) it should last over a month with moderate to heavy usage. Wires are so last year!
Being a second generation model, the Magic Mouse 2 is also lighter than previously, even with an internal battery and re-configured circuits. It feels better in the hand to me than before. As it well should for a whopping $79.00 retail!
Multi-touch controls remain the biggest feature of Magic Mouse 2. There were many rumors prior to its release that it would support Apple’s new Force Touch input like the newer MacBooks and Magic Trackpad. Unfortunately, this was not the case and it has left many up in arms. I have a different opinion on Apple’s decision: We still want a mouse. The multi-touch is great, and while I would love Force Touch in the future, I feel like I’d need two input devices: Magic Mouse 2 and the new Magic Trackpad. I’m not a two input device guy, sans gaming controller.
I feel the lack of Force Touch allows me to continue to enjoy an already great product even more. A mouse is a mouse is a mouse. For some, whether it’s the type of program they use, or how they work more effectively, a mouse is the only option. For my work, I need accuracy that I cannot get on a trackpad with my fingers alone. Basic 3-button USB mice you’d more commonly find on a Windows computer are too boring to me — not when I have all this great multi-touch capabilities built into the Mac OS X operating system. Why not take advantage of them?
For what Magic Mouse 2 lacks in default settings, you can make up for it with an add-on called BetterTouchTool. It’s highly recommended and really lets you take control of your mouse, customizing different touch actions for different applications, middle click-wheel and more! I’m honestly waiting for Apple to buy them out and bring the dev on board for Magic Mouse 3 — Andreas Hegenberg needs to work for Apple! BTT is an amazing tool and I can’t talk enough good things about it. It makes your Magic Mouse really magic.
If you need a mouse, and you are going to use it on an Mac, there’s little reason why you should skip the Magic Mouse 2.
* Photo by raneko.