We just got our hands on Microsoft's new mobile peripheral, the Arc Touch Mouse, and it's so weird we couldn't help but make a first look video. We don't want to give away the surprise, so check out the video for more information on what makes the Arc Touch truly creative.
Like it or not, computers and peripherals are as much a fashion statement as a practical tool. More and more they need a je ne sais quoi to accompany their functionality; an aesthetic to legitimize their existence. (In other words, if they don’t look cool we don’t want them.) Such is the case with Microsoft’s newest keyboard, the Arc, which was introduced at CES.
This is not to say that the Arc is a bad keyboard. The design has a certain Bauhaus flair to it, given how Microsoft envisions it being use. According to the description, the Arc was “inspired by home accessories like flatware and lighting fixtures,” and “[i]ts unique dome keyset comfortably rests on your lap so you can kick back and work on the couch or type away on the kitchen counter.” The Arc, then, is meant for casual use that can only occur when wearing lounging pajamas, and where style is an important consideration. (In contrast to manly gaming, where solidity and menace best define peripheral design and construction.)
The Arc, which is wireless, will be available exclusively at Best Buy, starting February 21, and will set you back $59.95. There is also a companion Arc mouse, that goes for $49.95, and is available from a number of outlets.
That’s the first thing we thought when we saw the new Arc Mouse, which Microsoft claims with “raise the style stakes” in peripheral design. We have to admit, it certainly looks different from any mouse we’ve handled before. The foldable design makes it extremely compact when snapped shut for travel purposes. Yet when expanded, the arch is spacious enough to fill out our manly palms. The Arc felt very comfortable in our hands as we moved it around a table, but was noticably lighter and not as solid as the gaming mice we're accustomed to. A micro transceiver snaps into the bottom of the mouse using a magnet, and only sticks out a single centimeter when plugged into a USB port (it uses the same 2.4GHz wireless tech as Microsoft’s other mice).
And if you’re worried about sturdiness, the Arc’s hinge has been tested to withstand 25lb’s of downward force, though we didn’t exert that much force in our test (we didn’t want to break it!). Surprisingly, it doesn’t use Microsoft’s new BlueTrack sensor, instead opting for a traditional laser tracker (no word on DPI). Look for the Arc to go on sale later this month (launching with black or red options) for $59.95.