Over the years, Microsoft has repeatedly taken risks with its mouse designs -- many of which have paid off, according to reviewers. One unusual -- and successful -- product is the Arc Mouse, a lightweight, portable, wireless mouse that folds to just 60 percent of its normal size. Its wireless USB receiver snaps into the bottom when not in use so you can simply toss the mouse in a laptop bag and go. The Arc Mouse works over the 2.4 GHz band, and runs on two AA batteries that last six months in normal use. Reviewers praise its design and performance, but consistently point to the lack of a rechargeable option as a downside.
Some reviewers, including PCMag.com, CNET and NotebookReview.com complain about the compromises the Arc design introduces, such as the fact that the mouse can't be used unless it's unfolded and that the side buttons are tough to use. Notably, some Amazon.com user reviews complain that the Arc Mouse simply isn't durable enough for long-term hard use.
PCMag.com's Brian Neal is taken with the Arc Mouse. The site gives it 4.5 stars out of 5 and an Editors' Choice award for its folding design, the snap-in USB receiver and the fact that it's "virtually weightless." Neal finds a few nits to pick -- notably the lack of a recharging option and that the mouse can't be used while it's folded.
Review: Microsoft Arc Mouse, Brian Neal, Oct. 10, 2008
CNET's Rich Brown praises the Arc Mouse for its unique appearance, folding design, easily transportable wireless receiver and simple setup process. However, Brown says the side buttons are difficult to press, and he gripes that the design means the mouse can't be used while folded.
Review: Microsoft Arc Mouse (Red), Rich Brown, Sept. 30, 2008
NotebookReview.com's review isn't especially detailed, but it contains plenty of useful personal experiences from the reviewer. Overall, reviewer Allison Johnson finds the Arc Mouse to be a good product, saying that it's relatively compact, reliable and attractively designed, even if it's not as streamlined as a Bluetooth wireless mouse.
Review: Microsoft Arc Mouse Review, Allison Johnson, March 27, 2009
Amazon reviewers are slightly less taken with the Arc Mouse than most technology sites, giving the mouse an overall rating of 3.7 stars out of 5 in more than 300 user reviews. Many reviewers praise the Arc Mouse's size, design and laser accuracy. But some say it broke within the first one to three months -- not surprising given the sophisticated hinge, very lightweight plastic and emphasis on portability (meaning an increased tendency to take it out traveling, where it can be damaged).
Review: Microsoft Arc Mouse -- Black, Contributors to Amazon.com