Moving back to the Mac: Of mice and macs

Apr 8, 2008

When buying a Mac, Apple goes out of its way to make the out-of-the-box experience as pleasent as possible. For new users or folks who are a bit squemish about computers, they do an excellent job.

But for those of who are more computer-savvy, being given the monorail tour of the primrose path may not suit us. Apple and other, 3rd party peripheral makers are there to cater to the more sophisticated crowds.

Take the lowly mouse for example. Apple bundles it’s Mighty Mouse with every iMac, Mac Mini, and Mac Pro they make. This mouse will serve you well if you follow the path set before you by the House of Jobs. However, if you are used the left-click, right-click world of the PC, the Mighty Mouse may not seem so mighty. True, it does support right-clicking and it has a (tiny) scroll wheel (pea-sized ball, actually) and for regular use (surfing the web, e-mail, office productivity type stuff) it is quite servicable. It even comes in a bluetooth wireless version which looks exactly the same one I photographed, sans the wire. Stray into the Pro apps, or any Adobe product, or any 3D content creation suite and you begin to hit the envelope with this mouse.

Some users have reported that the Mighty Mouse’s trackball is prone to getting gummed up with skin oils. This can usually be cleared up with a duster.

My sister is a hybrid Mac/PC user. She has an iMac for her everyday stuff and a powerhouse PC workstation for her work (she’s a teleradiologist). For a while there she was swearing on a stack of bibles over the ergonomic benefits of a proper trackball. The unit was very comfortable but suffers from the same problems as the Mighty Mouse regarding its use in graphically intensive applications that require precision pointer control.

The third device I tried is from Razer. Best known for their line of PC gaming peripherals, Razer almost singlehandedly created the concept of the gaming mouse. Using their vast knowledge of high-performance peripheral design, Razer has charged into Mac territory with their Pro|Solutions line of peripherals. The Pro|Click mouse is based on their very popluar Diamondback gaming mouse. Looking very much like a white clad Diamondback, the mouse shares it’s PC version’s strengths (ambidextrous design, ultra-precise control, hi-res laser diode sensor, and extensive software controls) and weakneses (slightly less than optimal ergonomic design for the sake of ambidextrous use). Still, the mouse allows me to flick the cursor across my 30″ screen without having to lift it up and yet affords me the control I need to work in Photoshop, Aperture and Lightwave 3D.

So, if you find that the bundled Mighty Mouse is not enough for you, take a look at the Razer Pro|Click. You won’t be disappointed. The Razer Pro|Click is available at your local Apple Store and online at, and various other online retailers.