The Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse roused a lot of interested when it landed in our office. At first glance, you wouldn't even think that this black and silver wedge was a mouse, and some of the more curious souls in our test lab were surprised to hear our explanations when they asked what it was.
The Wedge Touch Mouse weighs 65 grammes (with battery) and glides smoothly and lightly over surfaces. However, we found that its sliders (feet) were a bit noisy, especially on commonly used surfaces like a desk or table. Interestingly, on more unusual surfaces, like the arm of a sofa or a train seat, this isn't as much of a problem. Plus, the mouse carries on tracking perfectly well on loads of more unusual surfaces. In our numerous tests, the sensor only faltered with very shiny, reflective surfaces.
Note that only Windows 7 and Windows 8 (and Mac OS to a lesser extent) let you use a driver to configure or switch on/off certain functions.
With Windows 7 and Windows 8, you can change the function of the left and right click zones by assigning macros to them (strings of commands).
The mouse can be configured with specific controls for specific software programs too. You can, for example, set the right click to go back to the previous page when you're using a web browser and to keep its original functions when using a word processing program. This goes some way to making up for the fact that there's no real profiles system on offer here.
For quick and easy web browsing, the touch-sensitive surface of the mouse lets you scroll horizontally and vertically. Unlike regular touchpads, here, you only need to use one finger to set the scrolling motion in action. This is definitely a good thing, as it can be awkward to try and scroll with two fingers while keeping hold of this mouse. A quick flick of the finger and you can set the page off scrolling until it hits the bottom—a bit like with a physical scroll wheel set to notch-free mode. The faster the movement, the faster it'll scroll.
One thing we do think would have been useful here is a video demo in the driver showing you all the control gestures. It's not always that easy to understand each gesture from written descriptions alone.
With a polling rate of 90 Hz, this mouse won't be responsive enough for all users. Cursor movement may not be accurate enough for more demanding users like graphic designers. However, the Wedge Touch Mouse will be perfectly fine for web browsing and office computing tasks that don't requite millimetre precision.
A gaming mouse should track movements of
at least three metres per second
It's the same story with speed too. This mouse can track movement at up to 2.12 metres per second, which isn't really fast enough for gamers—particularly FPS (Unreal, Doom, etc.) gamers who need to move in the blink of an eye. Although one button can be set to make a 180° turn in games, that only leaves you with one button to line up shots and fire with—not ideal.
Other types of users won't have a problem with this mouse's tracking speed.
- Compact design
- Nice to handle
- Good horizontal and vertical scrolling systems
- Compatible with Windows 7, 8, RT and Mac OS
- Sensor ensures good tracking
- Suitable for left- and right-handed users
- No thumb buttons
- Noisy feet
- Low polling rate (90 hz)
- Sensor can't track movements fast enough for video games
- No battery level indicator
The Microsoft Wedge Touch Mouse is much nicer to handle than many of the mice designed for laptops. Its touch-sensitive surface and controls are also a real plus for web browsing. However, the Wedge is a bit pricey for a mouse that's not suitable for gaming or for high-precision activities like graphic design