As I mentioned in the last installment, Microsoft seemingly puts a lot of effort into its packaging, and the Touch Mouse is no exception. This gadget was one of three mice Microsoft sent over for our evaluation, but technically it's not an official Windows 8 mouse -- at least, not yet. Regardless, the packaging itself is of high quality, and speaks volumes about the mouse waiting patiently within.
Still stuck on the packaging, I couldn't help but take another shot of the external view. Unlike other boxes, this one features a lid that you can lift to see the gadget resting peacefully inside. It's almost like a display case of sorts, letting customers gaze upon the gadget's unique design. Do you want to touch it? Yes, you do. The inside of the lid even teases the device's touch-based capabilities.
Now to dig out the mouse and see what it can really do. The red portion of the box is actually taped to a smaller white base, the latter of which serves as the gadget's makeshift bed. The mouse is attached to the platform by embedded clips to keep it from sliding around.
With the mouse detached and the base's lid removed, you can see where Microsoft has stashed away the batteries and wireless USB dongle/stub, seated on black cardboard. Under that, Microsoft has added a USB extender and the documentation, as seen below.
The extender cable is for situations where the dongle's signal may be blocked -- like keeping the PC under a desk -- and the user needs to bring the wireless connection closer to the work area. Notice that rectangular hole on the bottom of the mouse? That's where you can store the actual dongle when on-the-go.
Here's the actual mouse in the palm of my hand, showcasing its Bluetrack laser. The Touch Mouse is a bit bigger than the standard mouse, and feels heavier too... unlike the Sculpt Mouse, seen below.
Out of all three mice supplied by Microsoft, the packaging for this Bluetooth-based Sculpt Touch mouse was the least impressive. Rather than housing it in a sturdy box, it's instead packaged in flimsy cardboard and plastic. Granted it's just packaging, but it's like opening a pack of loosely wrapped socks after tearing into a beautifully wrapped 80-inch HDTV. But to be honest, this was my most favorite mouse out of all three. Go figure.
After cutting through the packing tape along the edges, the contents spilled out revealing the mouse attached to a cardboard seat. Behind this seat was the documentation and the two batteries nestled at the bottom. Again not much to see here, but that doesn't mean the mouse itself is less worthy than the other two. Heck, it even works great when playing Quake Live or other first-person shooters.
And there you go: three mice and one keyboard unboxed. Next up, my actual hands-on impressions of each, so stay tuned.