updated 05:22 am EST, Sat November 17, 2012
Microsoft builds an ultra-compact mouse for Win 8 tablets
Hitting store shelves just ahead of the Windows 8 launch, the new Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse ($70) has been designed to accompany the raft of new and upcoming Windows 8 touch-based tablets. However, it will also work just as happily with Android tablets as well as Apple's Mac computers pairing over Bluetooth. Electronista has had some hands on time with the Wedge Touch Mouse using it with the Microsoft Surface RT tablet we recently reviewed.
For users on the go, the Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse will prove a tempting option. It is very, very small, making it an ideal fit for users looking for more precise input control with their Windows 8-based tablet PC. The device weighs just 2.08 ounces and measures just 2.39-inches wide and 2.11-inches long. When you first look at it, you find yourself wondering which way it is meant to face and how it is to be used as it is quite a unique looking mouse.
You won't go wrong if you have the Micorsoft name facing towards you, with the pointy side facing away from you. It is best held between your thumb and third finger so that you can easily left and right click with your index and second finger. It is a well-made device and comes in rather elaborate, premium packaging that is much larger than the device itself. It also ships with one Duracell AA battery to get you going out of the box.
We had no trouble setting it up to pair with our Surface RT tablet and found it to be very functional despite its compact size. Although we also paired it to our Mac very easily as well, it is much better suited for use on the go and we wouldn't recommend buyers choose it as their regular desktop mouse. Further, it didn't work well with the inertia scrolling function in Mac OS X either, although it scrolled perfectly well otherwise.
However, when paired with the Surface RT tablet, it worked very well, allowing you to scroll up and down through documents in Desktop mode, as well as left and right in tablet mode using only touch inputs. As we noted in our review of the Surface RT, the standard Touch Cover is not great for typing on for any length of time, nor is its built-in mouse particularly helpful or enjoyable to use. Although Office for Windows RT has been given a touch-input workover, it still benefits greatly from being connected to a mouse.
We found using the Wedge Touch Mouse much easier to navigate around a Word document, for example, than using either touch screen inputs or using the Touch Cover trackpad. Its compact size works well in cubicles in libraries or in cramped office spaces. However, when using it on surfaces that are not completely smooth and flat, it can get caught up and roll upwards, the result of its curved back. On a flat smooth surface, however, it tracks quickly and accurately thanks to its BlueTrack technology.
For users looking for a well-made and ultra-compact mouse for use on the go, which supports Windows 8, the Wedge Touch Mouse is well-suited to its purpose. As a result of its small size and lightweight, it can become slightly uncomfortable to use for extended periods in a typical desktop context. It is, however, a very good companion for users who want the benefits of mouse control with their Windows 8 tablets on the go as it can easily be tossed into a backpack or brief case. An added benefit is that it will go into a low-power sleep mode when not in use, meaning you don't have to worry about turning it off and re-pairing it each time you want to use it.