Apple Pro Mouse

by Joe Gillespie — Oct 1, 2000

Chalk and cheese! If you have been subjected to the dreadful round hockey-puck mouse that was introduced with the iMac and supplied with newer desktop models as well, the new Apple Pro Mouse is a breath of fresh ... cheese. It fits the hand much better and the orientation is unambiguous. There is no visible mouse button, the whole, clear, top of the mouse is one big button making RSI in the button finger much less likely. You can click with one or two fingers, or the whole palm of your hand. Two small indents in the sides make it easy to lift the mouse for repositioning on cramped desktops.

Initially, it felt a bit strange but I found that I had adapted to the new mouse in minutes and it is otherwise light, smooth running and works perfectly.

Now, this thing about the Mac and Microsoft philosophies. Macs have always had only one button and PCs two. The Windows right button contextual pop-up menus justify the extra button. I know PC users who couldn’t live without them and some who don’t even know they are there. Considering that contextual menus are more or less essential to some Windows tasks, the right button is just not optional on PCs.

Contextual menus on the Mac are activated by Control--clicking requiring two hands, but they are under-utilised and usually the tasks can be carried out by some other (more obvious) means. Some Mac users would like to see a second button on Mac mice, and there are third-party mice available with two or more buttons which can be programmed however you see fit - including the Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer and the Logitech Wheel Mouse. I can’t see Apple doing that anytime soon.

The Apple Pro Mouse is USB only, so it won’t work with older Macs but, if you have struggled with the round mouse, it is well worth upgrading to and now comes standard with all new iMacs and G4s.

Jumping constantly between my Mac and PC, I find all the Intellimouse’s extra buttons confusing and unnecessary but I have a slight hankering for the ability, on the Mac mouse, to do a left rock and a right rock.

In conclusion, there is no doubt that optical mice win hands down over the old roller-ball variety. They never need cleaning and work on any surface except glass. I could even control the Apple Pro Mouse perfectly when standing up and with it running over my thigh!

Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer
Features red bar95%
Ease of Use yellow bar75%
Value for Money green bar80%
'Must Have' Factor blue bar90%
Manufacturer Microsoft
Price $74.95 - For PCs or Macs.
Summary Big, lots of buttons for people who like lots of buttons.
Apple Pro Mouse
Features red bar50%
Ease of Use yellow bar95%
Value for Money green bar85%
'Must Have' Factor blue bar95%
Manufacturer Apple
Price $59 - For USB Macs only.
Summary No buttons for people who don't like lots of buttons.
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