|Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse RVF-00001|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by Nate Swetland|
|Wednesday, 06 October 2010|
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Closer Look: Microsoft Arc Touch
In this section, Benchmark Reviews will take a look at the basic features of the Microsoft Arc Touch. The name implies what the Mouse has to offer. The Arc is from the shape the mouse is in when you are using it. The Touch comes from the Touch-strip used for various gestures. Read on to find out more about these and the other features of the Arc Touch.
The above picture is of the Arc Touch from a front view while it would be in use. You can see the touch-strip in the front, and the green LED above it that indicates the power, and flashes when the battery is getting low. The front strip replaces the traditional click/scroll wheel you find on most every modern mouse. It is a strip of brushed aluminum with a small horizontal groove in the center. By flicking your finger up or down, it mimics the action of scrolling a mouse wheel, and scrolls up or down on your applications. What is nice is that there is a physical and audible feedback accompanied by this. There seems to be a small motor inside the Arc Touch that clicks and vibrates just like a scroll wheel would do. By tapping either top or bottom end, it provides page-up and page-down functionality. Double-clicking on the middle of the strip provides a middle-mouse button for opening new tabs, or double-click-and-holding in the middle allows for middle-mouse button drag-scrolling. It takes a small amount of time to get used to not having something physically moving where a mouse-wheel normally is, but the ability to flick and have it accelerate is pretty nice for long pages and documents. Many of these functions and options can be changed with the Touch Point software.
Here is an image of the Arc Touch from the side. You can really see the Arc shape in this photograph. Notice how there are only two small areas where the Arc Touch will actually come in contact with the surface of your desk, chair, etc. This will allow for easy movement across most all surfaces.
When flattened by bending the tail end of the Arc Touch, the power is turned off. This allows you to conserve battery, and it also allows for easy storage in a laptop bag, backpack, etc. Personally, I like this because you can tell in an instant that the mouse is powered off instead of having to pick it up, and see if the laser is still on underneath (and likely turning it back on in the process.) Another way to tell if the Arc Touch is off is that there no longer is an LED lit up above the touch-strip.