Apple Magic Mouse wows without wires, wheel

The new Apple Magic Mouse ships with every new iMac, or you can buy it for $69.

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    The Apple Magic Mouse is one big touchpad. Will it beat its buttoned brothers?
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From the "We really shouldn't want that" department.

Ah, mice. As far as the humble mouse goes, there's really not much to get excited about. Sure, you can buy one optimized for gaming, one that fits in even the most minimalist laptop case (um, isn't that called a trackpad?) or even one that claims to have your ergonomic best interests in mind.

But really, let's be honest: most of us use whatever crummy palm pointer came in the box. The $69 Apple Magic Mouse could change that (except for users of Apple's newly revamped iMac, which ships with it included).

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With a sportscar-sleek one-piece touchpad top, the little stunner from Cupertino (would that it were made in Pasadena; think of the jingle potential!) really turns heads. When's the last time a mouse did that?

Boot up a compatible Mac – this guy's for the Leopard-and-newer crowd – and things really start to get interesting. Like Apple's iPhone, iPod Touch, and, more recently laptop trackpads, the top surface is a multi-touch panel. Swipe two fingers up, down, or side to side, and the page onscreen scrolls. Pinch and spread to zoom in and out on photos.

Bluetooth does away with any wires, letting you work up to ten meters away, and Apple claims a pair of AA's will power the Magic Mouse for four months.

What's not to like? Gizmodo editor Brian Lam notes that while the mouse is nifty, he sometimes moved it unintentionally while using the multitouch features – try it on your non-Magic mouse right now.... Kind of an awkward motion, right? Apple no-doubt hopes the "still-moused two-finger swipe," like typing on an iPhone, is an easily learned skill.

Despite that annoyance (and time will tell if it's a minor or major one), Apple's Magic Mouse looks like one of the slickest desktop additions out there.

(Except, of course, for the "Transforming Laser Mouse" – we've already pre-ordered four.)

Find us on Twitter. We're @CSMHorizonsBlog.

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