A recent article in TechCrunch takes Apple’s Mighty Mouse to task, and we have to agree that they raise a lot of good points.
Before getting into the aesthetic of the mouse, and the whole form-or-function debate, we have to address the trackball. When the trackball works, it’s great. Scrolling up and down, and side to side has never been so easy. The problem is that after awhile, the trackball starts to stick, rendering it either fully or partially useless and unusable. I’d reckon (as I put on my straw hat) that the trackball on my mighty mouse doesn’t let me scroll downwards at least a few times a week.
The reason for this trackball “stickiness” is that dirt, dust, and who knows what other kind of particles tend to get stuck underneath it. To remedy this, Apple suggests the following:
Use a clean lint-free cloth lightly moistened with water. Wipe the ball and the surrounding area, making sure to rotate the ball itself to ensure complete coverage. If the scrolling feels rough or if the scroll ball isn’t scrolling up, down, or side-to-side, hold the mouse upside-down and roll the ball vigorously while cleaning it to help dislodge any particles that may have collected on the internal hardware.
Sounds great, but the only problem is that it doesn’t work!
I’ve scrubbed that pesky little trackball for god knows how long, yet the “fix” always seems temporary at best. It might work fine again for 3 weeks, but then I’m soon back to square one. Lint-free cloths don’t grow on trees ya know.
Another issue with the Mighty Mouse is its shape. As TechCrunch points out, the mouse itself may look great, but its actual shape doesn’t really fit the contours of one’s hand as seamlessly as some other mice seem to do.
While it looks nice and can work for both left and right-handed users, people don’t have hands shaped like pebbles. There are a lot of natural contours on the insider of the hand, and the Mighty Mouse neglects them for a stylish look.
Another gripe I have with the Mighty Mouse is that the right mouse-click function doesn’t seem to work that well. It often mistakes a left click for a right click and vice versa. Maybe there’s something wrong with my hands, who knows, but I think part of the problem is that the shape of the mouse itself makes it easy to accidentally put pressure on the ‘wrong’ part of the mouse.
Lastly, the side buttons on the Mighty Mouse add a nice level of functionality. I personally use them to activate Expose (not that any of you care), but pressing the the buttons down with sufficient force can sometimes get a bit frustrating. Would it be crazy to give each individual side button its own command, in addition to a command for when you press both buttons down together?
All in all, I do like the Mighty Mouse, but there is undoubtedly plenty of room for improvement. Apple is known for many things, but having great mice isn’t one of them – remember the hockey puck on the original iMac?
One of the gripes Windows users have always had with the Mac is that its mouse doesn’t come with a right mouse button. Apple’s Mighty Mouse, for all of its benefits, unfortunately adds a few more reasons to complain.