The Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse is a Bluetooth-enabled computer mouse designed for Windows 8 that retails for around £35, although Microsoft sets the SRP at £49. It's compact, understated in design, and contains a modicum of touchpad control ability. But it lacks the full touchpad controls of the Microsoft Touch Mouse and the petite portability of the Wedge Touch Mouse. It's also not as nicely built or finished as those two mouses.

Fortunately in this case compromise works well, as the Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse is both a good size for portability and permanent use, and a nice balance of price against quality. It's also - in my view - easier to use than the full blown Microsoft Touch Mouse, but there are a few negatives.

For one thing the Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse doesn't come with a Bluetooth dongle. So if your PC or laptop lacks Bluetooth (and many do) this mouse is no use to you. And as we have stated above - as well as being of much more plasticky construction that its two Touch Mouse brethren, the Sculpt Touch Mouse has only a fraction of the touch control qualities of the plain old Touch Mouse.

Sculpt Touch Mouse: Windows 8 and gesture control

No matter. For almost all desktop and laptop users of Windows 8 the Modern UI Start Menu will be only rarely encountered. For most of the time, in our experience, touch gestures are more hindrance than help. The Sculpt Touch Mouse allows you to scroll vertically and horizontally by touch, and has clearly defined left- and right-click areas. When scrolling there is a useful, clicking feedback. You can feel the scrollwheel beneath the touchpad, which gives a great feeling of control. The buttons are programmable via Microsoft's downloadable mouse button utility, although with only the traditional three-button controls we're not sure why you would wish to do this.

Microsoft Sculpt Touch MouseIt's mainly constructed of shiny bluey grey plastic, with a thin grey stripe and a thicker black panel. The lettering and scroll strip are also both black. On the underside between two rubber strip feet is a battery panel. The Sculpt Touch Mouse takes two double AA batteries, which Microsoft is kind enough supply. In the centre of the battery panel can be found the power switch, and Bluetooth switch and light.

Measuring 65x95.5x33mm and weighing just 110g, the Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse is lightweight and small. It's about two thirds the size of the Touch Mouse, or the type of wired mouse you get free with a desktop PC. But it's comfortable to use on all types of surface: or at least it was in my extended use. Battery life is rated for up to nine months.

For more on the changes in Windows 8 and how to use them  visit Windows 8 Advisor. For detailed advice on installing Windows 8, read our article: How to install Windows 8.

Microsoft Mouses

Like the song goes: "The Microsoft mice, three Microsoft mice..."

Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse: Specs

  • Right and left-handed wireless computer mouse
  • 65x95.5x33mm
  • 110g
  • Bluetooth up to 10m
  • Optical
  • 3 buttons
  • Movement Resolution: 1000dpi
  • Performance: 8000fps
  • Programmable buttons, touch-sensitive scroll, Microsoft BlueTrack Technology
  • 2x AAA type
  • Run Time (Up To): 9 months
  • 3 years warranty
  • Right and left-handed wireless computer mouse
  • 65x95.5x33mm
  • 110g
  • Bluetooth up to 10m
  • Optical
  • 3 buttons
  • Movement Resolution: 1000dpi
  • Performance: 8000fps
  • Programmable buttons, touch-sensitive scroll, Microsoft BlueTrack Technology
  • 2x AAA type
  • Run Time (Up To): 9 months
  • 3 years warranty

OUR VERDICT

The Microsoft Sculpt Touch Mouse is a well-priced portable mouse that will happily double up as your regular desktop or laptop mouse. It's well constructed, although not of the highest quality. It works well with Windows 8, although it doesn't have all the touch features of some other Microsoft Windows 8 mouses. Nevertheless, we like the Sculpt Touch Mouse.

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