Targus Wireless Mouse for Mac
Designed to appeal to the Apple aesthetic, the Targus Wireless Mouse for Mac will draw comparisons to Apple's Wireless Mighty Mouse ( Macworld rated 4 out of 5 mice ). And while it's a usable optical mouse for general use, the Targus mouse, like the Mighty Mouse, is a mouse that you'll either love or hate.
The Targus mouse has a clean appearance, save for the Touch Scroll sensor and the line that separates the plastic at the top of the mouse. The Touch Scroll, upon first impression, seems like an innovative feature that uses a sensor instead of a scroll wheel (or a scroll ball like that found in the Mighty Mouse). I found the Touch Scroll a little unsettling at first, wanting the feel of a wheel or ball. But after a day I became comfortable with my finger rubbing against the smooth Touch Scroll surface. After a few days, I was no longer conscious of the lack of tactile feedback. With some practice, I was also able to scroll one or two lines at a time in a text document with the Touch Sensor.
The Touch Sensor allows only for four-direction movement: up, down, left, and right. You can't move diagonally, which will cause Mighty Mouse users to turn away. If you've only used mice with scrollwheels that also offer only four-direction movement, the lack of diagonal movement isn't an issue.
The left and right buttons are actual buttons that have a nice feel when clicked. The Touch Sensor is also a button. Along the left side of the Targus mouse is a toggle-like button that serves as two programmable buttons, one at the very top and another at the very bottom. Right-handed users will use the thumb to easily click these side buttons; left-handers will find the side button location awkward, using either your little finger or ring finger to press it.
All of the buttons can be programmed using the included driver software. Adjustments to tracking are done through the Keyboard & Mouse System Preference. I didn't have problems with the weight and feel of the mouse while moving the cursor, but the tracking didn't feel as smooth as I've experienced with other mice. I sometimes struggled with fine movements while performing edits on a photo, regardless with how the tracking in the System Preferences was set.
The Targus mouse uses a pair of AA batteries. It comes with a 2.4GHz RF transmitter that plugs into your Mac's USB port. Like many mice nowadays that use RF, the transmitter extends about a quarter of an inch from the USB port, so you can leave it plugged into your laptop without the transmitter being obtrusive. You can also store the transmitter inside the mouse.
Macworld's buying advice
Longtime users of Apple products won't mistake the Targus Wireless Mouse for Mac as an Apple product, but it is certainly designed in the spirit of Apple. The Wireless Mouse could be a viable alternative to the Mighty Mouse, if you're willing to learn the nuances of the Touch Scroll.
[Roman Loyola is a Macworld senior editor.]