Microsoft Wedge Touch mouse review
With our Windows 8 review taking up so much of our time, it seemed only sensible to test Microsoft's newest OS with some of its new hardware. The Wedge Touch mouse is designed to work specifically with Windows 8, although it's a standard Bluetooth affair, so it will also work with tablets, phones and computers that have Bluetooth.
So what does this tiny little bit of kit have to offer over a normal mouse? And perhaps more important a question: is it worth £70?
When we got the Wedge out of its box, we almost fell over in shock. Had someone zapped us with a ray that made us in to giants? It was tiny, far smaller than we expected.
And then of course we had a flashback to that godawful Apple puck mouse that came with the original iMac. Despair settled its inky claws into our brain and suddenly reviewing things didn't seem to be such a good idea.
But a few minutes getting the Wedge up and running, and we were soon falling for its odd charms. For example, the battery cover slides open in an incredibly pleasing way, waiting for you to insert the single AA battery and get pointing.
Once you've turned the mouse on, it comes alive with light. The business end, which holds the motion tracking gubbins, lights up with a strong, bright, blue glow. This is Microsoft's BlueTrack system, which the firm claims will work on pretty much any surface. We've tested it on sofas, wood, leather and a few other places for good measure, it works pretty well.
On the bottom of the device, there's a power button that doubles as a Bluetooth pairing control. On the other side of the sensor, you'll note a battery switch, flip this and the battery cover opens: button-operated magic.
On the back of the mouse, there's a long strip light that glows red and green during pairing. It's very cool, but you won't see it again after the mouse is set up - it's almost a shame.
Touch control for Windows 8
When you use Windows 8, a lack of touch screen becomes a real bind. With the Wedge though, you get touch controls. As there's no scroll wheel, you can simply drag your finger down the middle to achieve the same result. It's brilliant.
Perhaps best of all though, you can also scroll horizontally with the mouse, something that you'll do a lot of in Windows with its funky new interface. This worked really well too, and using Windows 8 we learnt to appreciate it very quickly. In fact, we think it's fair to say that this mouse had at least something to do with our eventual learning to quite like Windows 8 - something that surprised us.
The only major problem we could find with the Wedge was its slight reluctance to allow us to right click. Most of the time it worked, but on our Windows 8 test machine, there were times when it just gave us a normal click action. It's a minor problem, but you'd be surprised how often it caught us out and caused frustration.
Our solution was to click slightly higher up the mouse than we normally would. Once we got used to this, we didn't really have any more problems with it.
We'll be honest, we thought the Wedge would be dreadful. In fact, it was utterly brilliant. It's sensitive enough to make light work of all the pointing you need to do, but it's not too "whizzy" to get anything done.
On the downside, the right click problem caused us some heartache from time to time, and the scrolling can sometimes be a little temperamental. But for the most part, this tiny little rodent does an amazing job - one of the best Microsoft Touch Mouses we've tried.
We don't know if it's honestly worth the £70 it's on sale for, but if you need something tiny and functional, then this is probably the device for you.