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Review: Mighty Mouse

In a word: Yuck!

I ran into an Apple Mighty Mouse at CompUSA on Tuesday, and I was very not impressed.

The Might Mouse, for those not reading 800 blogs a day, is Apple’s first two-button scroll wheel mouse. See, until now, Apple has always had a one-button mouse, in the interests of simplicity. Since so many Mac users were just going out and buying third-part mice, I guess Apple figured it might as well get a part of that action.

The weird thing is, Apple refused to commit. The Mighty Mouse is designed in every way to look virtually identical to a standard one-button Apple mouse. It has no buttons, the top of the mouse can be pushed down as a button. The Apple logo has been replaced by a scroll ball. So regular Apple mouse users may get fooled at first glance.

The top of the mouse can tell which side you are pressing down on, as to determine the difference between left and right clicks. In addition, pressing down on the scroll ball actually depresses the main mouse button, in such a way that the mouse knows to interpret a third button click. Finally, there are two side buttons.

If you are used to a regular two- or more-button mouse, you are going to hate the Mighty Mouse. Depressing the second button is a strange event, and it feels like you are doing something wrong. Pressing the scroll wheel feels like making a regular click, which is confusing. In fact, the scroll ball is too sensitive, with frequent accidental clicks.

Next up, use your regular mouse for a few seconds. Are you putting any pressure on the bottom of the mouse? Well, the more pressure you put, the harder it is to click the regular buttons. If you put enough pressure, it is downright impossible.

The scroll button is no scroll wheel. It is just a little ball, and that means using the bottom of an extended finger is out; its the pad or nothing. Now, that means that you run out of finger and have to pull back.

All in all, the Mighty Mouse simply doesn’t work like a regular mouse. I found myself getting hand cramps within seconds of using it. If you already have and use religiously a two button mouse, you may hate this one. Do not buy it without extensive test-driving in a store.

On the other hand, if you are used to the regular one-button Apple mouse, buy it. This is a solid replacement for that mouse, and you are probably already used to the strange operations required. My main Apple info guy tells me that it is definitely more for one-button users, who are used to wrist movements over finger movements.

Not that Apple isn’t marketing it for everybody. They should put a disclaimer for two-button users.

I’m kind of glad Apple refused to send me a review unit. I’d just have sold it on eBay after a few days of frustration. I actually cost Apple a sale when my contortions with the mouse inspired someone to walk out of the checkout line and put a Might Mouse back on the shelf.


August 25th, 2005 Posted by | Apple, General | 17 comments

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  1. I bought the Mighty Mouse yesterday, and guess what… I love it!
    You just have to get use to it (whitin a few hours).

    Comment by Dirk | August 25, 2005

  2. What kind of mouse are you used to?

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | August 25, 2005

  3. I have a few words for your review – “You have to be frickin’ kidding me!??!?!??!”. You spend a few minutes with a mouse at a CompUSA and impress upon the world not to buy it? Come on, tell me at least checked to see if the mouse driver was installed and configured in System Preferences. If not, then you never gave the mouse a fair, albeit short, test. A friend of mine bought a Mighty Mouse and I plugged it into my PowerBook. It worked, but I found the scroll ball “jumpy” and the scroll ball “button” didn’t seem to work. I too was quick to judge it not for me. In fact your statement – “the scroll ball is too sensitive, with frequent accidental clicks” leads me to believe the top notch staff at CompUSA didn’t install the software. But after installing the software, in a few minutes I decided I had to have one. I promptly threw my crappy Microsoft two button scroll wheel in the trash. And speaking of cramps, my hand feels so much better using the mighty mouse versus the standard mouse. The standard mouse you have to clench tightly and raise your fingers so high off the surface to use the scroll wheel which is very awkward and not ergonomic. The mighty mouse allows for a very light to and allows you to keep your fingers in a flatter orientation, thus much more ergonomic. If I were standing in line at that CompUSA, I would have told the guy that got out of line not to listen to you and buy the mighty mouse and that he wouldn’t regret it. Please be more responsible in your reporting. You owe it to your readers.

    Comment by Davis Goehsman | August 25, 2005

  4. The Mighty Mouse is perfect for me, it’s exactly what I wanted/expected from Apple. And no I’m not a blind Apple loyalist, I do use other two buttons mice at work, but I love the shape of the one button mouse and love being able to do the main click with 2 or 3 fingers at the same time. MM retains this feature as you can do the main click with 3 fingers, and can only do a right click if you lift your finger from the left part, and I really don’t mind that. So I guess Apple made this mouse for people like me.

    At least the article acknowledge that it’s not for everyone, just like the one button mouse wasn’t for everyone, but I do think that even some current users of multi-button mice will love it too (like me). The title is too harsh though, the “yuck” seems filled with hate, with the goal of spreading the hate toward the MM. (not surprising for a MS blog :) )

    Comment by Marco | August 26, 2005

  5. Okay, so I say anything about Apple, and naturally, if it is negative, I must be wrong.

    Davis, the only reason I didn’t get to spend longer than ten minutes with the Mighty Mouse is because Apple refused to send me a review unit. If further use would have made me fall in love with it, I’ll never know, and that’s their fault.

    Also, when you refer to the “standard mouse”, are you referring to Apple’s standard mouse or the Microsoft mouse?

    The Mighty Mouse appeared to have been installed correctly. This was a Manhattan CompUSA with a full Apple showroom, a kind of mini Apple store.

    I’ve never had any problem with a standard scroll wheel mouse. I had problems with this one. That alone tells me that it does have problems. If you are used to a one-button, or if you hate regular scroll mice, then the Mighty Mouse may very well be for you. But for me and many others, not so much.

    Marco, you like the one button mouse, so of course you like the Mighty Mouse. Apple, as you said, designed it for you. But the vast majority of computer users (i.e. Windows and Unix users, and all the Mac users who got 3rd party mice) are not used to a mouse like this, and would not do well to buy it.

    How is the title too harsh? The title is “Review: Mighty Mouse”.

    The “yuck” is how I felt. I got hand cramps and misclicks. I was both dissapointed and infuriated. I don’t want to spread hate, just inform my readers that they absolutely must test-drive the mouse before buying it.

    I’d like to note I’ve never said that about a mouse before. And that should speak volumes.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | August 26, 2005

  6. Excuse me. You expect Apple to send you a review unit? Why? What possible justification? I looked over your site and I see very little in the way of actual reviews. Maybe one or two per month. Can you publish your letter that you sent to Apple requesting a review unit?

    Did you actually try to sit down to test the mouse? Standing up is not at all a usual position. And if you rarely use a mouse these days because laptops will do that to you, then can you tell me where I might find your reviews of other mice?

    I ran into a pretty uninformed review of a product on Tuesday, and I was very not impressed.

    In a word: Yuck!

    Comment by Jim | August 26, 2005

  7. I wasn’t even going to write since this is partly unimportant to the course of the day and partly because the author probably is not going to alter his rediculous entrenched viewpoint. But this article is COMPLETE FUD! The author repeatedly makes a fool of himself with his “journalism” using inclusive statements like “vast majority” and “you like the one button mouse, so of course you like the Mighty Mouse”.

    It comes across very clearly that you’re mad you couldn’t pilfer Apple for a unit and your bias shows. To spend ten minutes reviewing a product that someone else setup is NOT A REVIEW – it’s a reaction, one lacking any integrity or proper methodology.

    I’m not even writing this as one of the Apple “loyal”. This report is such rediculous crap, I believe -all- intelligent readers will see right through the ramblings of a Microsoft troll. Do the world a favor and end the FUD.

    Comment by Doug | August 26, 2005

  8. Yuck, HeHe and the tone of the piece. Unprofessional and untrustworthy.

    Comment by John | August 26, 2005

  9. I love macs, but there hasn’t been any apple keyboard or mouse I’ve actually liked since the ADB days. The mathais mac keyboard ($100 but WORTH EVERY PENNY) and any old USB scroll wheel mouse (I’m using the iOpti jr because I like the small size) makes an ideal setup. The mightymouse may be something I’d like, but I sure haven’t liked the other “buttonless” mice. I may drink apple koolaid, but I’m choosy about the flavor :)

    Comment by mike | August 26, 2005

  10. alternative views:

    for more reviews Google “mighty mouse reviews”

    and then try one out.

    Comment by tom babcock | August 26, 2005

  11. I just want to add my two cents.
    I love the Mighty Mouse. I’ve been using two button scroll wheel mice for quite a while. The Microsoft Intellimouse I’ve been using is much less comfortable, it contorts your hand into an uncomfortable arch. Although I am not left handed, I work with left handed people a lot and it’s nice to have a mouse that is completely customizeable for left or right handed people. You can even switch what side is used for primary and secondary clicks. The scroll ball is awesome, I find myself hoping to run accross web pages that are too wide so I can play with it. It works great in graphics and video apps as well.

    In my opinion, the reviewer was angry that Apple doesn’t send mice out to every blogger in the world. So he went to CompUSA with the sole intention of hating the mouse. He knew what he wanted to write before he’d even laid hands on the thing. It does take some getting used to, but it’s obvious from the reviewer’s attitude that he had no intention of giving it a fair chance. It just makes him look very childish and spiteful, and doesn’t harm the Mighty Mouse at all.

    Way to go Nate!

    Comment by artoo detoo | August 26, 2005

  12. Wow, so there is a rule that no one is EVER allowed to say anything bad about Apple products! What Mac fan site linked to me to send all you guys here?

    Anyway, I didn’t like the mouse. I hardly believe that I am required to like it. Get over yourselves. I like products I like, and don’t like products I don’t. Its a blog, and that means I provide an opinion. It also means I use words like “yuck” and “hehe” (which isn’t actually a word). You are allowed to do that on a blog.

    I was never angry at Apple for not sending me a review unit. I wish they had, but I deal. I was at CompUSA to buy a USB hub, and when I saw the Mighty Mouse, I was excited to get to try it out. How bitter could I be if I was excited?

    Anyway, I did what I could to test it out. I give my readers my impression of it, and encourage them to try before they buy. If you have a problem with that, act like an intelligent person and write a positive review. Don’t come into my house and trash me simply because I have an opinion different than yours.

    It is childish behavior like this that gives Mac fan sites a bad name.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | August 26, 2005

  13. Seems like you “expect” freebies and then get ticked off when folks don’t send you their stuff F.o.C. Just got mine, I paid for it!, (Silly me!!) I LOVE IT in less than 30 seconds of playing. It did all I expected and more!!! I plugged it into a Sony VIAO and it worked just great.

    You really must have been ticked.


    Note to self “discount all that Nathan blogs, he appears a little to self centered and clearly hyper opinionated!

    Though I am sure despite that he is a Great human being, perhaps he is just poor and thinks that his blog (though I have never read it!, I found this link on Google when looking up what other folks thought of this Super Cool device) gives him some rights not afforded to us mere mortals.

    Though I have to wonder what mouse he normally uses, I suspect it might be steam driven!

    Comment by Adrian | August 26, 2005

  14. Wow, that’s witty.

    Once again, I was not mad about not getting a review unit. I didn’t go out of my way to check it out. I don’t “expect” freebies, although plenty of companies do give me them. I don’t have enough time to let a mouse become the product of some obsession.

    Please stop repeating the same talking points. I get that you are all big Mac fans. Go say positive things and be happy.

    As an aside, why are you searching Google for sites talking about the Mighty Mouse? What makes you think your opinions are so vital for the universe, and mine are not? Either being “hyper opinionated” is something you approve and do, or it is not.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | August 26, 2005

  15. Ah, it took some digging through my referral logs to figure out why I was getting so many “Mac attacks”. Turns out the WebProNews syndication of this article is number one in Google News for “Mighty Mouse”:

    Shame, that Google News.

    Comment by Nathan Weinberg | August 26, 2005

  16. The Mighty mouse takes a bit of getting used to. I suggest plugging in both your old mpuse/trackball and the Mighty Mouse for a while until you get used to it. The Mighty Mouse is best utililized on a Mac running OS X 10.4.x I especially like the little scroll ball and the fact you can program the mouse.

    I have put together a rather extensive web page with many pertinent articles on the Mighty Mouse. Free, no ads, very plain but hopefully very useful.

    Ken Leonard
    Photoshop Online Resource Guide creator and compiler

    start here:

    Comment by Ken Leonard | August 26, 2005

  17. The mighty mouse sucks and so do Mac’s :P

    If you have a problem with that feel free to email me at:


    Comment by matt | August 26, 2005

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