Microsoft’s hardware department has a reputation for producing some high quality computer peripherals, and this newest device doesn’t seem to buck the trend. The new Microsoft Explorer Touch Mouse was hinted at in a few (probably accidental) product leaks recently, and today the company made it official.
Although a glance at the name might lead you to think that this new mouse is just aping Apple’s Magic Mouse, which replaces the entire top surface of the accessory with a multitouch surface, the two gadgets are only perfunctorily similar.
The majority of the new mouse is your basic mouse – ambidextrous, amorphous shape, tapering to the front with two physical buttons. Between the two buttons, however, is a customizable capacitive touch strip that replaces what would ordinarily be a scrollwheel.
The scrolling strip will convey traditional vertical and horizontal scrolling gestures that a wheel would normally handle, but it also lets users take advantage of side-to-side swipes. As with the rest of Microsoft’s latest mice, the new addition uses the company’s proprietary BlueTrack technology, which promises better tracking on a variety of surfaces. It’s something that we really enjoyed, having used it in earlier products.
Unlike some of the company’s other products, which are available in any color you want, as long as it’s black, the new Explorer Touch Mouse will come in four colors: Coal Black (seen above), Storm Gray, Sangria Red and Rust Red. You can’t have too many shades of red, that’s for certain. This new mouse is also the first Microsoft mouse that manages an eighteen month battery life. Users looking to pick up one of these can order it in September, with a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $49.99.