Well, thanks to my son losing the wireless dongle to my Microsoft Arc Mouse I had to get a new one. After a while I settled on the Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse.
You might think that I’m crazy to get another mouse with the word TOUCH in it after the fiasco that was the Microsoft Touch Mouse but the Sculpt Touch Mouse ALMOST works as well as a normal mouse even though it has the gimmicky TOUCH word in it.
First and foremost the Sculpt Touch’s THREE mouse buttons are all real physical switches, non of the touch surface nonsense here.
Where’s the 3rd button you say? In a right move the touch strip / mouse wheel area is a giant clickable button. Kudos to the designers who figured out people prefer to work with real buttons.
Now let’s talk about the touch strip
The touch strip is basically just a replacement for the mouse wheel. Understand that making the wheel a touch area not only makes it sound cool technologically, it might actually cost LESS since it’d consist of less moving parts and sensors than an actual wheel.
Not only can you perform the obvious vertical scrolling, you can also scroll horizontally. Swiping to scroll horizontally is actually much better than tilting a wheel to scroll horizontally. But of course, whether horizontal scrolling works or not in a program is hit or miss since there’s no standard for that if I remember.
The touch strip also has one simple effective trick that makes it feel like a real mouse wheel. It RUMBLES. I think the proper term is called haptic feedback. Basically, you know how a physical mouse wheel has notches in it so you can feel that you’ve actually hit one of the increments? The subtle rumbling of the Sculpt Touch attempts to simulate that feeling, and it works quite well I must say! You can adjust the subtlety of the rumble through the use of the downloadable Mouse And Keyboard Center software.
With the simulated bumps of a mouse wheel the Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse should have been a perfect Bluetooth mouse if it wasn’t for a simple, crucial flaw.
Sometimes touch isn’t detected properly.
I’m not sure if it’s a sensitivity issue or it’s just because of the simple reason that sweaty finger tips don’t work well on touch surfaces, but there are times where I’d swipe the strip but there’s no rumble, indicating a failure to detect my touch. Irritating enough to not recommend for use in games since you don’t want to not be able to swap out your guns at the wrong time.
Another thing to note is that other than the touch strip and the fact that it has a Bluetrack sensor, there’s nothing special about this mouse. Only has 3 buttons + wheel and that’s it.
I wouldn’t recommend it without reservation, but I also wouldn’t recommend against it.
Update 3rd April 2013: Just realized that sometimes when you click the mouse wheel it’ll also detect a scroll up signal. Which makes it a little annoying!