Mice for Windows 8: My Experience So Far...

I upgraded my desktop computer to Windows 8. No touch screen, of course, just a basic desktop. Now I'm searching for the best mouse to use with Windows 8. Currently at home I have the Logitech T650 Touchpad, the Logitech T620 Touch Mouse, the Logitech T400 Touch Zone mouse and the Microsoft Touch Mouse. Simply put, none of these are really getting the job done.

Logitech T650 Touchpad

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I ultimately couldn't get used to the Touchpad; it has problems registering a simple click and I've always preferred mice (or even a thinkpad nubbin) to a touchpad, and gestures hasn't changed that for me. Also, I found that the rechargeable battery lasts about a week before it's dead; nowhere near the month claimed by Logitech. Yes, you can turn it off, but why should you have too?

Logitech T620 Touch Mouse

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Logitech's Touch Mouse was awkward to hold because of its low profile and using gestures on it was difficult. You have to lift up your had to do some of them, but then the mouse moves when you touch it trying to do a two or three finger gesture. Between not registering my gestures and being a pain to hold, I spent the least amount of time with this mouse out of all the options I tried as I could tell within two or three minutes that this wasn't the mouse for me. Also, if you are in the market for this particular mouse, watch out as Logitech released a their T600 Touch Mouse back in 2012 which is visually identical to the T620 but apparently isn't optimized for Windows 8. It's still on sale in a lot of locations so if you're looking for a new mouse, be careful not to pick it up.

Logitech T400 Touch Zone Mouse

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Logitech's Touch Zone mouse is a little better as it offers a standard left and right click, along with a touch sensitive area where the scroll wheel would be. The downside it that it doesn't accept as many gestures, although between horizontal and vertical scrolling, double-tapping to zoom in and out, and clicking the front and back of the touch zone to access the start page and cycle through open apps, it gets you most of the way there. The Touch Zone mouse is mostly undone by how uncomfortable it is to hold. I'm used to ergonomic mice, and this thing is kind of like a brick. Put the same technology into an ergonomic mouse and I think you'd have a winner.

Microsoft Touch Mouse

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Microsoft's Touch Mouse also gets close, and I may even keep it, but I'm not completely sold on it. To be fair, I put some older batteries in it at first and the experience was not good, but I'm not sure if that was the issue (I put new batteries in it last night and it seemed to be going smoother but I'll need to test it further and it will need to pass the "wife test" as she really was hating on this one). It would seem to register the gestures, showing the gesture on the screen represented by a blue dot or dots (this can be disabled in the Microsoft software) but it often wouldn't due the action related to the gesture (go to the start screen, switch between apps, open charms). I'm not sure what the issue is. Also, the cursor would jump around the screen and at times, my wife would have issues even clicking an item she was trying to click. Scrolling was also hit or miss. There is a line depressed into the surface of the mouse to indicate the scrolling zone but even being careful to scroll in in that area, it only worked about 50% of the time. Furthermore, there's only one physical button on the device and the mouse only right clicks if you've lifted up the left click finger. Although I tend to do this naturally, I still found it finicky. All this being said, the Microsoft Touch mouse seems to be the most customizable of the options I've tried and some of these gripes may be able to be worked out through tweaking the sensitivities. Also, it is easily the most comfortable to hold of the options I've tried.

Conclusion

I'm still looking for the perfect Windows 8 mouse, but I'm starting to think that I may have to wait for the next generation of "touch enabled" mice to show up. I noticed that Lenovo has released a touchpad similar to the logitech I looked at, but since my complaints were with the form factor itself, I personally didn't see a need to pick it up. Microsoft has several other touch mice that were released during the time frame of Windows 7 (the Sculpt Touch Mouse, the Explorer Touch Mouse, the Arc Touch Mouse and the Wedge Touch Mouse) and it's unclear how or if their drivers have been optimized for Windows 8. Also, not of the form factors looked any more comfortable than the Logitech Touch Zone Mouse, although the Sculpt Touch mouse may be a little more comfortable while offering less functionality. I've been using a Microsoft Natural Wireless Laser Mouse 6000 for several years now and find it to be very comfortable to use. If fact, I'd like to keep using it but I've been unable to figure out how to customize its buttons in the driver to access Windows 8 features (the start screen, charms, etc.).

So has anyone else tried any other options and if so, how did they fare?