SANEBUTDIFFERENT

May 1, 2016

Today I went out to buy a new Apple Magic Mouse 2, as the Magic Mouse 1 that came with my 2010 iMac started giving disconnect issues. I suspect it’s got something to do with the battery door being loose, but I can’t be sure. So how does the Magic Mouse 2 compare?

Build quality and function

Apple said they made the MM2 lighter and I can confirm it’s about 50% lighter than the MM1, which makes it much easier to use. The MM1 was a tad straining on the wrist due to the weight, being or feeling heavier than even the larger Razer mices like Naga Epic, because of the weight concentrated in the small size.

With a shallower click depth, the MM2 also felt more responsive than the MM1 as you don’t have to click as hard or long.

Another improvement touted by Apple is the optimized mouse feet. I’m not sure what that actually means but it looks and feels just slightly taller for higher lift off the surface so it doesn’t feel like you’re dragging the mouse around like what I felt the MM1 can be at times.

The sides and bottom of the MM2 is made from a smoother aluminium compared to the rougher brushed aluminium on the MM1, which was prone to scuff marks. I think this new one should be more resistant in that aspect.

No comments on the battery life yet, but I’m quite optimistic about the change to a built-in battery. The battery door was loose on the MM1, with some rattling and potentially the cause of the disconnects (?) when it got jiggled. Dirty battery contacts were another issue. Hopefully the specs on the fast charging hold up because I think it’s brilliant. No comment on the Lightning port being on the bottom, personally I don’t think it’s that much of an issue.

Software

What was extremely impressive about the MM2 was the effortless pairing via Lightning cable. The iMac recognized and paired the mouse instantly. No more waiting around and fiddling with the Bluetooth panes. Thank God!

With the MM2 you also get much faster tracking at the same System Preferences setting although you can probably do that with third-party utilities.

But as the salesperson at nubox pointed out and I verified online, the MM2 is only El Capitan compatible, which means you can’t use it on older Macs or Macs you haven’t updated. Well, Apple could at least have added support for the last one or two versions like Yosemite but Apple being Apple y’know.

One of the reasons I got the Magic Mouse 2 was because of the touch-specific functions built into OSX lately. For example, you can’t scroll Calendar app with a scroll wheel as it’s programmed to trigger on touch devices like the built-in Macbook trackpad or Magic Mouse. I don’t foresee Apple changing course anytime soon, so I went with Magic Mouse instead of Razer or Logitech. Razer Synapse on OSX is awful anyway, and has been for years. Besides that, even with horizontal scroll on the latest Razer Naga, you can’t smooth scroll with a single swipe like on the Magic Mouse.

As for third-party utilities, it seems that some like BetterTouchTool have support for MM2 while Magic Prefs doesn’t seem to. YMMV.

Value

At S$118 for the MM2, bundled with a Lightning cable, compared to no batteries/cable included with the S$98 MM1, it certainly is more expensive to buy but the Lightning cable itself retails for S$28 so essentially you’re only paying S$90 for the MM2 itself which isn’t too bad.

It feels much faster overall than the MM1 and flies now and I’d recommend this wholeheartedly if your MM1 has been giving you wrist or Bluetooth problems. As a new mouse or if your MM1 is still working fine, I’d say that it’s still a good buy. It’s much cheaper than the Magic Trackpad and Magic Keyboard, which makes an upgrade not as painful on your wallet. If you’ve been needing a spare Lightning cable (and sick of the knockoffs that only last 1 iOS version), that’s all the push you need.