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Long battery life
The multitouch surface is one of a kind
Inability to use it while charging
Not comfortable in the hands for extended periods of time
Limited functionality on non-Apple computers
The Apple Magic Mouse 2 is a sleek and stylish wireless mouse that boasts a unique multitouch top, but it seems to prioritize design over comfort.
We purchased the Apple Magic Mouse 2 so our expert reviewer could thoroughly test and assess it. Keep reading for our full product review.
Apple’s Magic Mouse 2 is a beautiful, minimal device that works as seamlessly as advertised. That said, it doesn’t take more than a few hours to realize the long-term comfort of your hand is the price you’ll pay for a unique feature set and gorgeous design. Add in the high price tag and the inability to charge the device while you’re using it and its value diminishes greatly for anyone who isn’t a committed Apple user.
Apple knows a thing or two about aesthetically-pleasing design and the Magic Mouse 2 sticks to the standards you’d expect. Its slim profile, curved surface, and overall look is a minimalist’s dream. The top of the mouse features no visible buttons. Instead, it’s a single piece of acrylic that can sense touches and gestures on the surface. Not only does this lend to a number of interesting interactions when in various apps, it also means the mouse can be used the same for left-handed and right-handed people, as the various gestures and clicks can be adjusted accordingly.
As beautiful as the mouse may be, it’s clear the rechargeable lithium-ion battery inside was an afterthought. That’s because it’s impossible to use the mouse while it’s charging. The Lightning port is dead center of the bottom of the mouse, meaning when it’s charging, it just awkwardly lays there on its side completely useless until it’s good to go—not the best look and certainly not convenient.
All of that said, for as beautiful as the mouse may be, and as thorough as Apple tends to be in the design department, it’s clear the rechargeable lithium-ion battery inside was an afterthought.
For all intents and purposes, the Magic Mouse 2 is designed to be used only on macOS devices. Yes, there are a few workarounds to get it functioning on PCs, but they’re not native solutions and still don’t use the full potential of what the Magic Mouse has to offer. With that out of the way, let’s move along to setup.
Out of the box, the mouse is ready to go with little more than a flip of the switch on the bottom of the mouse and a quick click of the top. We noticed that if there wasn’t a mouse currently in use with the macOS computer we were using, macOS would automatically bring up a dialog box to help pair the mouse for use. After a few clicks, it was ready to go. If we did have another mouse paired, setup needed to be done via the Bluetooth options under the System Preferences. Even then, a quick click of the Connect button and it was ready for use.
The multitouch acrylic surface offers a lot of options in terms of customization. Inside the Mouse menu of the System Preferences app, you can choose whether or not you want a secondary click, whether you want the mouse to be right- or left-handed, and even customize what different gestures on the surface control in various apps.
The Magic Mouse 2 features Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity, which makes for quick pairing and lag-free use. Since it doesn’t require any extra receivers or special programs, there’s not much more to add in this department than to say it works as advertised and we didn’t have any issues with connectivity, regardless of whether we were using it with a MacBook Pro or Mac Mini. If we had to find one criticism about the wireless connection, it’s the inability to use the mouse with multiple devices without having to go through the pairing process each time.
The Magic Mouse 2 isn’t meant to be a gaming mouse or productivity mouse. It’s made to just work, which it does handily. The clicks on the mouse provide a nice tactile feel and the multitouch surface seems magical. Swiping between pages, summoning macOS’ various screen viewing modes, and scrolling are all so smooth it feels like you’re directly touching the screen. Scrolling in particular stands out, as the pages simply glide and feature the inertia-style movement that Apple has all but perfected in its iOS devices.
Overall, the Magic Mouse 2 is indeed magical. But its impressive input abilities doesn’t make up for the sacrifice of long-term comfort in our opinion.
Our Magic Mouse 2 unit was charged to 75 percent out of the box and even after more than 50 hours of use, it still had 45 percent charge. The laser on the mouse is rated at 1300 DPI (Dots Per Inch, a measure of sensitivity), which is far from impressive, but it’s more than enough for nearly any non-gaming task you throw its way.
Aside from the horrendous charging situation, comfort is the biggest deterrent of this mouse. Yes, the multitouch makes it easier to navigate around the page or app being used at times, but the slim profile makes it nearly impossible for even the tiniest of hands to have any kind of palm support.
No matter how we tried to position our hands, it always looked like we were clawing the mouse in an attempt to fit our fingers on the mouse while retaining enough control to make precise movements around out desk. The first few hours didn’t seem to bother us, but after extended use, it became clear that the Magic Mouse 2 is anything but ergonomic. It seems like it will inevitably end up causing some sort of hand discomfort in the long term.
At $79.99, Magic Mouse 2 is on the higher end of the mouse market, especially if you consider it’s only able to be used with macOS devices. But if you can overlook the poor ergonomics and inconvenient recharging arrangement in exchange for a mouse that just works with your macOS device, it might just be worth it.
The unique multitouch surface of the Magic Mouse 2 puts it in a category of its own, making it hard to find competitors. For that reason, we’re going to do something a little unconventional and compare it to two other Apple peripherals, the original Apple Mouse and the Apple Magic Trackpad.
From the top, the original Apple Magic Mouse and the Magic Mouse 2 are identical. In fact, aside from the built-in rechargeable battery of the Magic Mouse 2, the two devices are effectively identical, with no difference in how they operate or control a macOS device. The original Apple Magic Mouse can usually be found for cheaper online, so if you don’t mind replacing two AA batteries every now and again (or recharging them, provided you have rechargeable AA batteries), it makes some sense to opt for the first-generation Magic Mouse.
We know the Magic Trackpad 2 isn’t technically a mouse. But the Magic Mouse 2 is effectively a trackpad and mouse merged into a single peripheral, so it only makes sense to add Apple’s dedicated trackpad as a competitor. Unlike the Magic Mouse 2, the Magic Magic Trackpad 2 doesn’t move around your desk. Instead, it sits stationary and works identical to the trackpad found on MacBook Pro computers. At $99, it’s not cheap, but it offers a unique experience that pairs perfectly with a macOS device.
Interesting, but far from perfect.
Overall, the Magic Mouse 2 is indeed magical. But its impressive input abilities doesn’t make up for the sacrifice of long-term comfort in our opinion. Throw in the inability to charge the mouse while it’s in use and you end up with an expensive mouse that’s fun to use, but whose fun quickly fades away when your hand inevitably starts cramping up from the awkward grip.