Tom's Hardware's 2011 Gift Guide: Part 2, Last-Minute Extras

Mouse: Microsoft Touch Mouse

$79.95
www.microsoft.com

If you’ve used Apple’s Magic Mouse, the Touch Mouse from Microsoft may seem like a cloning effort done in black rather than white. The central idea is the same: you have an optical mouse (based on Microsoft’s BlueTrack technology, in this case) with a sloping, buttonless, touch-sensitive top surface. The textured top surface works much like the gesture-enabled touchpad on a laptop...minus the left and right buttons along the bottom, of course. A tiny USB wireless dongle tucks into the mouse’s underside.

In Microsoft’s PC world, gestures are largely a Windows 7 affair, although there’s much to indicate that Windows 8 will be much more reliant on the feature. Microsoft has yet to make any official statements about Touch Mouse support under next year’s OS. For now, though, the Touch Mouse is little more than a door stop unless you take a few seconds to download its drivers from Microsoft.

With the drivers and Windows 7 in play, the Touch Mouse comes alive. With one finger, you can tap on the left or right, just as you would in a conventional left- or right-click (not having your index finger resting on the left while tapping with your right may take some getting used to). You can also drag one fingertip around to perform scrolling and panning. There are no side-mounted thumb buttons. Instead, you can sweep your thumb right for Forward or left for Back.

Two fingers on the pad controls windows rather than apps. A two-finger swipe to the left or right snaps the active window to that side of the screen. Likewise, a two-finger swipe up will maximize a window while swiping down will minimize or restore. Three fingers controls the desktop. Sweeping up opens all windows while down shows the desktop with all apps minimized.

All told, it’s a very slick arrangement. Getting used to scrolling sensitivity can take some adjustment, but otherwise the Touch Mouse is very intuitive and terrific to use. Just don’t confuse it with the Microsoft Explorer Touch Mouse or Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse, which are both very different animals.

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    Top Comments
  • manu 11
    i am loving these articles!
    20
  • JonnyDough
    richboyliangomg more of those same hot girls!!!as usual, the one with the monitor is the best because she resembles mariah carey.blonde one is ok, redhead is too old.


    You must be in your teens. Not all readers here are kids you know...
    16
  • JonnyDough
    For future reference, we adults call them "women", not girls. ;)
    10
  • Other Comments
  • manu 11
    i am loving these articles!
    20
  • joytech22
    The ZBox is the most promising item to me.
    Why? Because I can mount it on the back of the TV in the lounge for the family and stream my media files to it from my home server.

    I can then throw in an external BD drive and boom, fully capable home entertainment system, which is even capable of light gaming.

    Of course.. I'd reserve my gaming for my gaming rig! ;) The Zbox would be for more family oriented games in the lounge.
    3
  • richboyliang
    omg more of those same hot girls!!!

    as usual, the one with the monitor is the best because she resembles mariah carey.

    blonde one is ok, redhead is too old.
    -1
  • richboyliang
    the suggestive poses combined with the suspicious "xXx" on the Thecus network storage box....
    1
  • Judguh
    You can't tell me there's more.... reasonably priced items for the holidays here. :| ... unless you're getting a share of that dough for these ladies :P
    -2
  • a4mula
    Why recommend the u2410 when the u2412M can be had for half the price and has the same exact specs along with LED backlighting. The only loss is going from 100% sRGB to 98% sRGB and that's only important to a tiny fraction of users. The other advantage of the u2412M is that it doesn't suffer from pink tint that has plagued the u2410.
    0
  • pharoahhalfdead
    This was an article about electronics? I must have missed something. That's what I get for skipping all the words. Haha
    0
  • kartu
    Shameless sexism, eh?
    But I enjoy it too...
    7
  • JonnyDough
    richboyliangomg more of those same hot girls!!!as usual, the one with the monitor is the best because she resembles mariah carey.blonde one is ok, redhead is too old.


    You must be in your teens. Not all readers here are kids you know...
    16
  • JonnyDough
    For future reference, we adults call them "women", not girls. ;)
    10
  • SevWarfare
    Didn't read a friggin' word.
    5
  • mcd023
    man I really want that Dell monitor. 110% color gamut!!! (ok, really only 100% due to the signal, but hey, it can do it!).
    -2
  • Teeroy32
    What was this article about, I was only interested in the pictures, what the red heads too old, that poster must be 15 years old, all three of these lovely women are gorgeous, they should be in the "Girls of Geek" calender along with Nixie Pixel
    1
  • ChromeTusk
    Regarding the RC8, my only complaint is how easy it is to lose flash drives.
    Falcon's Icon2 reminds me of Silverstone's Raven series with much need improvements.
    The N5200XXX sound like a great addition (and I like the model's poses too :P)
    -1
  • rubix_1011
    The elves just don't stack up to the original Tom's Holiday elf...what's her name...Sarah? She was far and away the best.
    0
  • Anonymous
    La rubia me volvió loco, 10/10 recommended buy
    -1
  • jsc
    JonnyDoughYou must be in your teens. Not all readers here are kids you know...

    No. Some of us like women.
    6
  • mayankleoboy1
    second picture on Thecus N5200XXX is the best picture.
    saving to my PC....
    -2
  • Reynod
    I want more articles like this one.

    In fact I demand that you do more articles like this one ... please?

    Can you please post a few more pictures of the Supertalent USB drive ... move the drive down a bit and zoom in ... its a bit fuzzy from here.


    If other users agree please rate my post up so the reviewers can guage interest in these products !!!


    :)
    -5
  • RealityClash
    The ginger one scares me...
    5