Microsoft Arc Wireless Mouse

Madana Prathap 2010-01-31
78 Good
Price: Rs 2,400

Full Review

Starve a laser mouse to its skeleton, make it foldable, and you get the Microsoft Arc Wireless Mouse for laptops. This uniquely styled mouse is usable by both left- and right-handed people. A battery status indicator lets you know when you need to replace its two AAA size batteries. Its tiny 2.4GHz wireless micro-transceiver (held in by a magnet underneath the mouse’s folding hinge) plugs in to your PC via USB to provide a claimed operating range of 30 feet but we found it barely usable beyond 12 feet in a normal room with obstructions.

It offers a clickable scroll-button and a fourth customizable button on the left side, which we found to be positioned uncomfortably, but that was perhaps meant to prevent being accidentally clicked. The "ergonomic" design takes some getting used to, but it does feel better than the ‘bonsai’ mice that pass off for a laptop mouse. The mouse folds to 60 percent of its original size for portability. The mouse automatically switches off when it is folded, thus ensuring you cannot drain the batteries (two AAA batteries), which Microsoft claims will last for at least six months.

It is bowed in the shape of an arc and can be quite uncomfortable to get used to, for a person with large palms. Conversely, once you are used to it, it feels much better and normal mice seem very different even after having used normal mice for decades. The design of an arch is particularly useful if you tend to apply pressure on the mouse while playing a PC game. The scroll-wheel moves a bit too easily and the buttons for left click/right click need only a gentle press to register as a click. A tiny battery status indicator is located below the Microsoft Arc's scrollwheel and glows red when the batteries are running low. You can assign different actions to the buttons after you install Intellipoint drivers (downloadable from Microsoft's website or through Windows Update). Using IntelliPoint, you can assign actions such as flipping through a stack of open windows and switch between applications in Windows 7/Vista.

Bottom Line

The Microsoft Arc is not a cheap mouse, but still the design and comfort is impresssive. This is good for frequent travelers who want a better laptop mouse.

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