Newsletter Issue #830: Do We Really Need New Input Devices from Apple?

October 26th, 2015

I’ve long had a love/hate relationship with Apple’s approach to input devices. When Apple introduced small trackballs on the very first PowerBooks, I generally carried a standard mouse with me for comfort. I never took to trackballs, and I spent a year with one of the original Kensington TurboMouse. I tried real hard, after being told by friends that it was the best way to avoid carpel tunnel syndrome. Eventually I returned to a traditional mouse. My wrists remain relatively healthy.

Over the years, I’ve tried various so-called ergonomic mice from Logitech and other companies, but I hit the sweet spot with Apple’s Magic Mouse. The design was clever, putting a tiny trackpad on the surface, so you can make finger gestures. Scrolling and switching back and forth among web pages was seamless, and my wrists took to it real fast. Indeed, whenever I’ve returned to one of those Logitech mice when the Magic Mouse’s batteries ran out, I found the overall feel and movements to be awkward and rough. Apple’s mouse was slick and smooth, but clearly that wasn’t enough for our favorite fruit company.

That takes us to the Magic Mouse 2, introduced last week with Apple’s iMac refresh. At $79, it’s $10 more than the original, but what do you get to justify the higher price tag? A good question.

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