The Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse garners top reviews for its precision and the unusual addition of a touch strip instead of a center wheel, but it's the source for a good amount of debate about its design. It folds flat for storage, which also turns it off, and curls into an arch for using, which also turns it on. Whether that hollow arch is comfortable for long-term mousing, and whether the idea of having the USB receiver attach magnetically to the bottom is a good one are the subject of a lot of review debate.
But in general, reviewers agree that the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse is an innovative, well-designed product perfectly suited for computer users on the go. The BlueTrack technology built into the mouse works well for using it on a variety of surfaces, its light weight and compact shape make it easy to pack, and the center strip works well and offers precise control. That said, those looking to do all their work on a fixed desktop would have better choices, reviewers agree. "I can honestly say I was actually pleasantly surprised and impressed by the MS Arc Touch mouse," Anythony Garland of EverythingUSB.com writes. He recommends it for road warriors, but says, "To be perfectly blunt, this mouse has easily best in class ergonomics for an ultra portable mouse, but compared to a true 'full size' mouse it does fail to compete."
We found credible reviews at CNET, TechCrunch.com, PCMag.com and ZDNet. India's TechTree also reviewed the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse, as did EverythingUSB.com and About.com. More than 300 users weighed in with reviews on Amazon.com.
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CNET's Rich Brown gives the Microsoft Arc Touch 3.5 out of 5 stars. "Microsoft has come up with a unique new product in the Arc Touch Mouse, thanks to its clever, convertible design and its touch-sensitive scroll wheel," he writes. He likes the way it folds flat for travel, as well as the vibration feedback and acceleration features of the touch controls, the way it works on different surfaces and the tiny USB receiver. He thinks the then-$79.99 list price (now cut in half) was too expensive, says the scroll tab is occasionally slow to respond, and misses having back-and-forward buttons and a heavier desktop feel.
Review: Microsoft Arc Touch, Rich Brown, Sept. 1, 2010
TechCrunch.com does a nice overview of the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse, praising the responsiveness of both the touch feature and the mouse's BlueTrack technology, which provides accurate movement on a number of surfaces. Reviewer Devin Coldewey feels that the Arc Touch Mouse sacrifices comfort perhaps a bit more than it needs to, saying that not having anything to grip under its arch takes some getting used to. "If you're not too concerned with ergonomics and just want a compact and unique mouse to always have with you, the Arc Mouse Touch is a solid choice," he writes.
Review: Review: Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse, Devin Coldewey, Sept. 10, 2010
PCMag.com gives the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse 3.5 out of 5 stars, praising its ambidextrous design and vibrating feedback, the way it stores its receiver magnetically on the bottom of the mouse, and the way it tracks well on different surfaces. It has no browser buttons, the review notes, and at the time it was written, the Arc Touch Mouse was still expensive for its class.
Review: Microsoft Arc Touch, Natalie Shoemaker, Dec. 14, 2010
Reviewer Rachel King puts the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse through its paces, concluding that the touch feature works well, the design is comfortable for longer periods, and the tracking feature works nicely on glossy surfaces. "This is just a mouse that does its job," she writes, recommending it especially for travelers. Those doing graphic design or photo editing may find the touch controls limiting, she writes.
Review: Hands-on Review: Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse, Rachel King, April 14, 2011
India's TechTree.com gives the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse 3 out of 5 stars, calling it "a fancy concept but not very practical for everyday use." They like the travel-friendly design, build quality, BlueTrack and ambidextrous design, but complain the buttons are too difficult to click.
Review: Review: Microsoft Arc Touch, Roydon Cerejo, May 2, 2011
Anthony Garland likes the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse's touch sensitive features, compact storage, comfort, BlueTrack and haptic feedback as you use the touch area. He misses back and forward buttons and horizontal scrolling. "I can honestly say I was actually pleasantly surprised and impressed by the MS Arc Touch mouse," Garland writes. He recommends it for road warriors, but says, "To be perfectly blunt, this mouse has easily best in class ergonomics for an ultra portable mouse, but compared to a true ‘full size' mouse it does fail to compete."
Review: Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse Review, Anthony Garland, Jan. 12, 2011
In this undated review, Lisa Johnston of About.com gives the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse 3.5 out of 5 stars, calling it "very cool to look at, not very practical for long-term use." She likes its sleek design, the way it folds flat, and its tracking. The touch scroll is a bit jerky, though, and it's not very comfortable, she writes. (Note: ConsumerSearch is owned by About.com, but the two don't share an editorial affiliation).
Review: Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse Review, Lisa Johnston
More than 400 users give the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse an average of 4 stars out of 5, with about half giving it a perfect score. Users who liked it praised the feel, responsiveness and design of the mouse. Those who did not say the buttons are too hard to press and the arch is uncomfortable in their hands.
Review: Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse (Black), Users of Amazon.com