Apple Mighty Mouse Review

Mighty Mouse PhotoI ordered Apple’s new “Mighty Mouse” (buy | info) on the day it was announced, due both to my “standing policy of ordering everything that Apple produces” and because I’m a well-known mouseaholic. It arrived while I was away at Yankee last week and I’ve been using it for the last four hours.

I love it.

I’ve been a happy user of the standard one-button Apple mouse for many years. I was never a member of the camp that regarded this as a deficiency. But I’ve tried others’ scroll-wheel mice over the years, and could immediately see the advantage of adding a scroll gizmo to a mouse. And as the “right click” (which with a one-button mouse is “hold down the Control key on the keyboard and click”) becomes a more important user interface element, having a right mouse button seemed like it would be a good idea too.

But I didn’t want to buy one of those Microsoft or Logitech mice with hundreds of buttons. I wanted something simple.

And the Mighty Mouse is that.

The old one-button mouse had, well, one button. The Mighty Mouse has the same form-factor and “hand feel,” but it adds:

  • A scroll nub (or whatever you want to call it…). This is a little pencil eraser-sized rubbery thing at the head-end of the mouse. It rotates in two directions — side to side and back and forth. It’s in exactly the right place, and I’ve been surprised by how much I use the “side to side” scrolling (it’s great inside a text editor when editing code, for example). And of course I use the “back and forth” action to scroll through everything — web pages, NetNewsWire, email, Pages, whatever.
  • Both a right button and a middle button. They’re not technically “buttons,” I guess, because they’re not laid out in the usual “piano key” fashion of other mice. To “right click,” you simply click on the right side of the mouse. Same thing with the “middle click.” The Mighty Mouse is a three-button mouse in disguise. And, to my surprise, this all just works (I originally thought there would be a lot of “mis-clicks” because the mouse couldn’t figure out which “side” I was clicking; there aren’t).
  • A squeeze button. On either side of the mouse, flush with the mouse housing, are two little buttony things. Squeezing them generates another sort of click, one that’s set to call the Exposé “make everything on the screen into little thumbnail windows” action in OS X, but that you can set to do other actions too. I’m not sure I’ll use this feature: I find the squeezing isn’t intuitive, and it takes more effort than is comfortable (presumably to remove the possibility of a lot of mis-squeezes).

The nicest thing about the Mighty Mouse is that it took me about 5 minutes to get used to, and then it just felt natural… I’m scrolling, clicking, and even sometimes squeezing like there’s no tomorrow. If you’re a Mac user, get one.