Microsoft Arc Touch mouse
Like the Apple Magic Mouse, Microsoft has added touch sensitivity to this mouse, along with haptic vibration feedback and a curiously arched construction
- High-accuracy tracking, works on almost any surface
Portable, practical, good at its job and more desirable than a PC peripheral has any right to be, Microsoft's Arc Touch is a superb wireless mouse. Yes, it's expensive - not to mention a little unconventional for some tastes. But we reckon well-heeled businessmen and laptop-toting road warriors could do a lot worse.
Price$ 99.95 (AUD)
Microsoft’s Arc wireless mouse was a big hit in 2008, and a groundbreaking piece of design. It was elegantly curved with an incongruous hinge in the middle, but this allowed it to be both portable and comfortable to use. Less pioneering but as charming as ever, the new Microsoft Arc Touch updates the Arc's flexible design in several ways.
In contrast with the original Arc, which folded for portability, the Microsoft Arc Touch bends gently over to form the distinctive Arc curved shape. The bending mechanism also serves as the on/off switch: when flat (designed to fit neatly in a laptop bag or pocket) the mouse is off, and when bent it's on.
The bending mechanism is constructed from polyacetate and steel, and Microsoft says it will last for 40,000 bends without deteriorating. We’ve not done that many, but it seems pretty solid to us.
The Touch part of the Microsoft Arc Touch name comes from the capacitive touch strip that replaces the Microsoft Arc Touch mouse's conventional scrollwheel. This touch strip offers multi-touch functionality and can be programmed with various functions using Microsoft's IntelliPoint driver software; you can also assign different actions to the buttons.
You can 'flick' for inertial, freewheeling scrolling with momentum, or press and hold for slower, more accurate scrolling.
A nice touch – no pun intended – is the slight feedback you get when flicking. It makes a very soft rattling noise, and even produces a tiny haptic shiver. It’s a surprisingly satisfying effect.
A more obvious benefit – and the reason Microsoft replaced the scrollwheel with a flat touch strip – is that it reduces the depth of the product. When flattened, the Microsoft Arc Touch is only around 14mm thick at its widest point, and 7mm thick for most of its length, making it ideal for ‘pack and go’ customers.
The Microsoft Arc Touch wireless mouse uses BlueTrack laser technology to provide high-accuracy tracking and the ability to work on almost any surface. We’re fans of this technology; only Logitech’s rival DarkField seems more efficient.
Wireless range is up to 10m, and worked flawlessly in tests. A 2.4GHz nano USB wireless receiver snaps magnetically into the back of the Arc Touch, for added convenience on the go.
If we have any issue with the design of the Microsoft Arc Touch mouse, it’s that it’s almost too touchy-feely. The left- and right-click buttons are a shade too soft, and might benefit from a snappier action – double-clicking can actually be a bit tiring. And those who are used to more conventional mice may find the Arc Touch’s shape a bit, well, odd. But we’re struggling to come up with much to complain about.
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PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
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