Microsoft has announced a new version of its Arc computer mouse. The Microsoft Arc Touch wireless mouse updates the Arc's flexible, portable design in several ways.
Whereas the Arc wireless mouse has a hard, glossy body that folds for portability, the Arc Touch's soft, textured body bends over to form the distinctive Arc curved shape. The bending mechanism also serves as the on/off switch: when flat (designed to fit neatly in a laptop bag or pocket) the mouse is off, and when bent it's on.
The bending mechanism is constructed from polyacetate and steel, and Microsoft says it will last for 40,000 bends without deteriorating.
The Touch part of the name comes from the capacitive touch strip that replaces the Arc mouse's conventional scrollwheel. This touch strip offers multi-touch functionality and can be programmed with various functions using Microsoft's IntelliPoint driver software; you can also assign different actions to the buttons. You can 'flick' for inertial, freewheeling scrolling with momentum, or press and hold for slower, more accurate scrolling.
Microsoft has replaced the scrollwheel with a flat touch strip to reduce the depth of the product, catering for "pack and go" customers. When flattened, the Touch Arc is only around 14mm thick at its widest point, and 7mm thick for most of its length.
The Arc Touch wireless mouse uses BlueTrack laser technology to provide high-accuracy tracking and the ability to work on almost any surface.
Its 2.4GHz nano USB wireless receiver snaps magnetically into the back of the Arc Touch and has a wireless range of up to 10m.
The Microsoft Arc Touch wireless mouse will go onsale in the UK from 27 October for around £69.99.