Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse Review - gHacks Tech News

Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse Review

I was pretty excited when I read for the first time about Microsoft's Arc Touch mouse. The unique design and touch capabilities brought features to the table that no other Windows mouse offered at the time of writing. Many questions remained unanswered though which I definitely had to find out before I'd consider purchasing the mouse:

  • How comfortable is it to work with the Arc Touch Mouse?
  • Is there a middle-mouse button?
  • Which touch features are available, how are they used?
  • How responsive is the mouse

The Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse has primarily been designed for mobile use which is especially outlined by its design. It is bigger than a standard laptop mouse but smaller than a regular desktop mouse. The mouse ships in flat stage, with two AAA alkaline batteries, a booklet and a wireless transceiver for the USB port of the computer. The mouse uses Microsoft's Bluetrack that ensures maximum compatibility on nearly every surface the mouse is used on.

Setup of the mouse was a breeze. All I had to do was to put the two batteries into the mouse, and the transceiver into a free USB port of the computer. The mouse is activated by bending, which is indicated by a blue light at the bottom. The Microsoft Arc Touch mouse was recognized automatically by the Windows 7 operating system and additional mouse drivers (Microsoft IntelliPoint) were installed. It was ready for use right away afterwards.

The Design

The mouse design is spectacular which can be attributed largely to the unique bending feature and its looks. The bending has a functional use as well, as it turns the mouse on or off. The mouse itself is very compact which is ideal for users who travel a lot. It fits into nearly every pocket or laptop bag without bulging it to much, a problem that regular mice often cause, if they fit at all.

microsoft arc touch mouse

The mouse itself looks unique and interesting on first glance, and it happened more than once that people came over to my table to take a closer look. It features two physical buttons that are used for left-clicking and right-clicking, and a touch strip in between that offers multiple uses, among them middle-clicking that is emulated by two finger taps on the strip. This takes some getting used to time because of the tapping and the fact that it takes two taps to middle-click. The tapping itself however is very comfortable.

A magnetic storage space for the USB transceiver is provided at the bottom of the mouse which is ideal for traveling as it ensures that the mouse and the transceiver are always in the same place, and thus ready for use.

The glossy black of the mouse front is a magnet for fingerprints. Lastly, it is possible to put to much pressure on the mouse to flatten it. It is however unlikely that this happens under normal circumstances as the pressure has to be quite high to achieve that.

The Touch capabilities

The middle strip offers several touch capabilities that need further explaining. Microsoft launches a website after driver installation that explains those features in detail. We already mentioned that it is possible to middle-click by tapping twice on the center of the strip. Pages are scrolled by sliding the finger up and down on the touch strip which feels more natural than using a scroll wheel for the same effect. Flicking the mouse up and down accelerates the scrolling to quickly scroll through documents.

Vibration Feedback is enabled by default which mimics the sound and feel of a traditional scroll wheel. It does act as an indicator as well as touch feedback stops when the finger leaves the touch strip.

microsoft mouse properties

Tapping once at the bottom or the top of the touch strip scrolls a full page up or down on the active page. This takes some getting used to time before the right "spots" are tapped on every time.

The middle-tap action can be changed in the mouse settings, the up and down single tap actions cannot. That's fairly inconsistent and it would be great if Microsoft would update the mouse driver to add that option to the mouse; It would increase the number of possible mouse buttons from three (left, middle and right) to five (top and bottom of the touch strip).

Conclusion

Microsoft's Arc Touch Mouse has been designed for mobile usage, and for that it is an excellent choice, especially for users who want a compact stylish mouse that goes along well with their laptop. Users with big hands will have their troubles working with the mouse effectively due to its compact size.

It is an ideal mouse for uses who have been working with smaller laptop mice before as it is a bit larger than those and offers a far superior functionality. Users who are used to standard desktop mice on the other hand should try it out in a shop or at a friend's house first before they make the decision to buy it.

Giveaway

Microsoft was nice enough to sponsor one Microsoft Arc Touch mouse for a give away here at Ghacks. It is unfortunately only open for users from the United States. If you are from the US and want to win a Microsoft Arc Touch mouse let me know which mouse you are currently using. I will draw a lucky winner in 48 hours after the review has been published. Please add the information that you are from the US to the comment.

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Comments

  1. t.ng said on February 14, 2011 at 12:11 pm
    Reply

    I’m currently using a desktop mouse logitech something ;). It’s a rechargeable one so I like that a lot. But it is too big for traveling sometime.

  2. Bdaniel said on February 14, 2011 at 12:17 pm
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    Hey!
    I would love to win a Touch Mouse. I am here in the US, so hopefully I can win it. Thanks

  3. hal9000 said on February 14, 2011 at 1:26 pm
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    i have a ms arc mouse (non-touch variety) and overall its a very good mouse.
    To compare i also ave the apple mighty mouse and it has to be one of the worst mice i have ever used.
    Massively over sensitive and doesn’t work well because of this this with most programs include apps like chrome.
    bad not-so mighty mouse

  4. Dan said on February 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm
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    I am currently using the HP mouse that came with my laptop – looking for a good upgrade. I am in the US.

  5. Simakuutio said on February 14, 2011 at 1:50 pm
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    I really would love to win this mouse. And no, I’m not from US but I have very very nice friend living in Florida who can receive this mouse. So I think I can try my luck this time :)

  6. Scott said on February 14, 2011 at 2:10 pm
    Reply

    I’m in the US, using a 2-year-old Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000. It’s a decent mouse, small enough to be portable, and I like not having to use a dongle, but it drops the connection every so often. The Arc Touch Mouse looks more comfortable–definitely something I’d love to try. Thanks!

  7. xxdesmus said on February 14, 2011 at 2:25 pm
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    I live in NYC, and I use a Microsoft wheel mouse optical right now (basically the default laser mouse that comes with some new laptops). I would absolutely kill for a mouse upgrade.

  8. Timan said on February 14, 2011 at 2:29 pm
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    I live in Virginia USA, currenly using an Apple Magic Mouse with my Air

  9. Radhika G said on February 14, 2011 at 2:32 pm
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    I’m in the US and using the Touch pad.

  10. K Varun said on February 14, 2011 at 2:34 pm
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    Hi, I use Logitech mouse with my Laptop and I reside in US.

  11. Wade said on February 14, 2011 at 3:06 pm
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    I’ve been using a Logitech Trackman Wheel (thumb trackball) for years for mobile usage because I can rest it anywhere without having to have a mousepad area. It is big and clunky though, and I live in the U.S.

  12. Andrew said on February 14, 2011 at 3:17 pm
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    I’m currently using a Logitech M305 Wireless Mouse and I’m from the US.

  13. Doug said on February 14, 2011 at 3:18 pm
    Reply

    I’m using a Microsoft Optical Desktop keyboard and mouse

  14. Brett said on February 14, 2011 at 3:31 pm
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    I am using a Microsoft wireless laser mouse 5000 and I live in the US.

  15. Benjamin Ortiz said on February 14, 2011 at 3:35 pm
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    I use a Logitech Trackman Wheel Trackball in the US. It’s been a while since I’ve experimented with a new mouse config.

  16. elfowl said on February 14, 2011 at 3:38 pm
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    Looks like a great mouse. I am using a cheap wireless that mostly works. I am in the US.

  17. Warren said on February 14, 2011 at 4:11 pm
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    I’m using the TrackMan Wheel by Logitech, I live in the US

  18. Rodalpho said on February 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm
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    I’m using a rather old logitech mx500. It’s not particularly portable!

    1. Rodalpho said on February 14, 2011 at 4:57 pm
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      … and I am in the USA. Sorry for missing that.

  19. Shane said on February 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm
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    Right now I’m using the built in touchpad on my laptop. This would be nice upgrade. (I’m in the US)

  20. Don said on February 14, 2011 at 4:58 pm
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    I am currentky using a Logitech rechargeable mouse that is too large for travel. I am in the US.

    Thanks for the opportunity to win this mouse.

  21. Alex said on February 14, 2011 at 5:03 pm
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    Am Currently using a Logitech MX Revolution

    Would love to get to test one of these out, thanks for making a giveaway!

    Am from the US

  22. Andrew said on February 14, 2011 at 5:10 pm
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    Thanks for the review. My Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 6000 works wonderfully, but I certainly would like to try out the Arc Touch! I am in school in St. Paul, MN but originally from Iowa.

  23. Randy Williams said on February 14, 2011 at 5:32 pm
    Reply

    I’m currently using the generic Gateway wireless mouse that came with my computer.
    I’m herein the U.S. of A. and would love to win an Arc Touch.
    Thanks!

  24. Flatlands said on February 14, 2011 at 5:43 pm
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    Using the ELAN touch pad, but this mouse would really be a nice addition

  25. chad said on February 14, 2011 at 5:44 pm
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    Beautiful looking mouse would really love to replace my crappy ge wired mouse with this one. It would make my life in the US supreme

  26. Gary said on February 14, 2011 at 6:08 pm
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    Hello I am currently using a Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 6000

    Ive been using this for a couple years but the huge receiver is kind of annoying…

    from the US

  27. Abhishek Vaidya said on February 14, 2011 at 6:20 pm
    Reply

    Logitech M310 Wireless
    Daytona Beach Florida

  28. Bob Smith said on February 14, 2011 at 6:31 pm
    Reply

    I’m currently using Microsoft Wireless Laser 7000.
    I’m herein the U.S. of A. and would love to win an Arc Touch.
    Thanks!

  29. Ross said on February 14, 2011 at 6:36 pm
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    I am in the US (all hail South Jersey) and currently suing a ValueRays heated mouse at my desktop. On my laptop I do not currently use a mouse, but this looks like a fun thing to try.

  30. Barbarosa said on February 14, 2011 at 6:41 pm
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    I’m from the US. I use the Lenovo mouse that came with my system.

  31. Pete said on February 14, 2011 at 6:57 pm
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    In the US. Using several Microsoft Wireless Intellimouse Explorer v2.0 mice and a Microsoft Bluetooth Notebook Mouse 5000. Would love to own an Arc Touch mouse!

  32. Doug said on February 14, 2011 at 7:07 pm
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    I’m in the US and I’m using a stock Dell optical mouse…. it is sad.

  33. Ben said on February 14, 2011 at 7:20 pm
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    I’m using Logitech wireless mini mouse. I’d love one of these though! I live in the US, so pick me :)

  34. VenR said on February 14, 2011 at 7:58 pm
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    Hey!
    I would love to get my hands on a MS-Arc Touch Mouse. I am in the US, so hopefully I can get one. I use a Logitech wireless mouse. Thanks.

  35. Brian said on February 14, 2011 at 8:19 pm
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    Mine is a Logitech and I think it is a v220 or something like that. I have been using it for close to 4 years, so it might be time for an upgrade.

  36. Q said on February 14, 2011 at 8:36 pm
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    I am using the HP M-UAL-96 mouse.

    I am from the US.

  37. Tom Jamieson said on February 14, 2011 at 8:58 pm
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    Yup, I’m in the US! I am currently using a generic DELL corded mouse. Please help! ;)

  38. littletinymonkey said on February 14, 2011 at 8:59 pm
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    I am in the USA. Gosh. I use a mouse all the time and that one looks sexy!

    I am currently using a Intellimouse Optical 1.1a.

  39. Kate said on February 14, 2011 at 9:04 pm
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    I am using a HP optical mouse with a cord. Would love to experience the Arc™ Touch Mouse.

  40. Archana said on February 14, 2011 at 9:12 pm
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    I am in US. Currently i am using Targous blue tooth wireless mouse. I brought this mouse 3 years ago.

  41. Mohit said on February 14, 2011 at 9:19 pm
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    I am currently using Microsoft Comfort Optical Mouse 3000.
    Looking forward to replace this soon.

  42. Gabe said on February 14, 2011 at 10:03 pm
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    I am using the ELAN touchpad on my laptop. I would love to have the touch mouse.
    I am from the Southern U.S.A.

  43. Lance said on February 14, 2011 at 10:11 pm
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    Hi, I am from the US. The mouse I use is a wireless HP mouse that came with the docking port for my laptop. It’s a nice basic mouse. If I am on the go I have a portable mouse that I got with my HP laptop….the only p0roblem is that mouse is too small and I find myself accidently right clicking alot.
    The MS Arc Touch Mouse you are reviewing looks to be amazing, convenient and comfortable.

  44. Derek said on February 14, 2011 at 10:28 pm
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    Looks really neat, would love to give it a try! Currently using a Gigabyte wireless mouse after my last one died.

  45. Phil said on February 14, 2011 at 10:28 pm
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    I would love to win the mouse. I am from the US.

  46. Keith G. said on February 14, 2011 at 10:43 pm
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    (US reader)
    Thanks for the review. I’m intrigued by the Page Up/Page Down functionality of the center touch strip. That is functionality I love about my Logitech MX-1000, which has a rocker surrounding the scroll wheel to implement that. I’m glad to see another mouse pick up on that idea.

  47. desi said on February 14, 2011 at 11:14 pm
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    I am using an Logitech usb mouse that is about six years old. It’s pretty worn so I don’t see any model numbers or anything.

  48. Cory said on February 14, 2011 at 11:26 pm
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    I’m currently using a Logitech M150 as part of a wireless set here at work. At home though I’m using an ancient Microsoft Intellimouse Optical and an upgrade would be well put to use.

  49. Rajesh said on February 14, 2011 at 11:46 pm
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    Thanks for this giveaway. I am US resident.
    I am using HP wired keyboard from last 5 years.

  50. Jon said on February 15, 2011 at 12:14 am
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    Hi! I’m currently using a failing Logitech Nano mouse. Has issues double-clicking. I live in the US.

  51. Anonymous said on February 15, 2011 at 12:44 am
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    I am frm US. I use Microsoft Comfort Optical Mouse 3000.

    1. Samir said on February 15, 2011 at 12:46 am
      Reply

      I don’t know why it is saying Anonymous .. So commenting again

  52. Ernesto Lopez said on February 15, 2011 at 1:14 am
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    The mouse that I have been using currently is a black IBM mouse. I am totally in the U.S.A. (CA)
    Thanks. Many of them.

  53. Lyssa said on February 15, 2011 at 1:17 am
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    I’m in the US – I use the default touchpad.

  54. Ballita said on February 15, 2011 at 1:40 am
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    I am using Logitech Wireless Mouse M305. Yes, I am from US.

  55. Ramasamy said on February 15, 2011 at 2:00 am
    Reply

    I am using Logitech V220 Cordless Optical Mouse.
    I m frm US.

  56. Pallavi said on February 15, 2011 at 2:32 am
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    I have HP wireless mouse. I am using it from quite long, hmm almost 4 years..
    I am from USA.

  57. Ken said on February 15, 2011 at 3:03 am
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    Logitech MX Revolution. I’m in the US.

  58. kvanger said on February 15, 2011 at 3:28 am
    Reply

    I’m in the US and I currently use a standard HP laser mouse… :) would love a wireless one!

  59. Byron said on February 15, 2011 at 3:38 am
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    I’m here in the US using a logitech notebook mouse on my laptop. I’ve always wanted to win an Arc Touch mouse.

  60. Najumddin said on February 15, 2011 at 4:21 am
    Reply

    I am currently using Logitech Wireless Mouse M305 Red color.
    I am in USA

  61. Michael said on February 15, 2011 at 4:24 am
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    Hi from California I am using a Microsoft wireless mouse. Love the look and specs on new mouse. Hope to win. Thanks

  62. Lakshimpathy said on February 15, 2011 at 4:41 am
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    I am currently using Microsoft Explorer Mini Mouse. I would love to try this out.
    I am from USA

  63. Chrs said on February 15, 2011 at 4:58 am
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    Hello and thank you for another great article and review. Amazing design for a mouse. I’m currently using a 2 -3 yr old Logitech mini…that’s not so mini nor does it work too well. When traveling I use the touchpad because of the hassle of the the “portable” mouse’s portability issues. Live in Missouri, USA.

  64. Deepak said on February 15, 2011 at 4:58 am
    Reply

    I don’t have mouse. I have laptop so use touchpad. but i would like to use this arc touch mouse.
    Thanks for this giveaway..
    I’m in U.S.

  65. Craig said on February 15, 2011 at 5:06 am
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    I would love to win. I’m in the US (Colorado)

  66. Steve said on February 15, 2011 at 6:10 am
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    I’m rocking a Dell default mouse. It’s awfully regular.

  67. fred said on February 15, 2011 at 6:55 am
    Reply

    using a logitech g9

  68. Geek said on February 15, 2011 at 8:01 am
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    I’ve got the Logitech V220; nothing fancy, but it gets the job done. The Arc Touch, on the other hand, is a mouse with style and a level of portability one could get used to.

  69. Eric said on February 15, 2011 at 8:56 am
    Reply

    Logitech diNovo media, for bluetooth. M-RBA97. I just replaced the battery (rechargeable, not oem replaceable), but I could use one for the media center, I should have shortly.

  70. Dotan Cohen said on February 15, 2011 at 9:43 am
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    I can’t win the mouse as I’m not in the US, but I’d like to point out that as much as I love Microsoft hardware (I’m typing on a MS ergonomic 4000 keyboard right now) their ignorance of the rest of the world is absurd. The reason that everyone is abandoning MS is that MS has abandoned them: I’m even using Ubuntu now, and lots of people are ditching Windows for Ubuntu as MS provides less and less localised support in their operating system and other software such as IE and MS Office.

    Pretty much, if you are not in the US then Microsoft does not want to deal with you. That’s fine: Ubuntu has been welcoming us with open arms.

  71. SniderVX said on February 15, 2011 at 10:12 am
    Reply

    I’m using an aged Logitech G5 mouse… (WIRED!)

  72. teben said on February 15, 2011 at 11:53 am
    Reply

    logitech m1000

  73. Nitya said on February 15, 2011 at 4:34 pm
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    I am using HP wired mouse from last 5 years. I will love to win and try this out. I am from usa.

  74. Austin said on February 15, 2011 at 5:59 pm
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    I don’t have a mouse :( Built in touchpad ftl

  75. Adam said on February 15, 2011 at 6:41 pm
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    I’m currently using a Logitech vxNano portable mouse. This would be a perfect upgrade! I’m in the US– This would be awesome!

  76. Prinal said on February 15, 2011 at 7:24 pm
    Reply

    Currently I am using Dell Black Deluxe USB Optical Mouse. I’m from U.S.

  77. Pratyush said on February 15, 2011 at 7:52 pm
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    Awesome Giveaway. I could replace my existing HP wireless 3 button mouse. I am in U.S.

  78. Insiya said on February 15, 2011 at 10:13 pm
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    I am using HP wired mouse which came with my computer. Its 6 years old. I’m from US.

  79. Zan said on February 15, 2011 at 11:24 pm
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    This looks phenomenal. Right now, I’m using the Logitech M305.

  80. Zan said on February 15, 2011 at 11:25 pm
    Reply

    This looks phenomenal. Right now, I’m using the Logitech M305. I am from the U.S.

    (This is a copy of above comment with clarification that I am from U.S.)

  81. gnham said on February 15, 2011 at 11:32 pm
    Reply

    I’m using a Microsoft Wireless Laser Mouse 6000, but it’s gotten damaged in transportation. I live in the USA and would love an Arc Touch!

  82. Sireesha said on February 16, 2011 at 1:14 am
    Reply

    I m currently using Targus wireless rechargeable optical Mouse. I am using it from last 5 month. I am in US.

  83. Chirag said on February 16, 2011 at 4:01 am
    Reply

    I am in US and using 3 years old IBM wired mouse.

  84. Christopher V said on February 16, 2011 at 4:37 am
    Reply

    Logitech MX1100

  85. Vijay said on February 16, 2011 at 5:32 am
    Reply

    I am using HP wired keyboard from last couple of years. I m from USA.

  86. bitguru said on February 16, 2011 at 6:04 am
    Reply

    I am from the US. Virginia, in fact.
    I would love to win a Microsoft Arc Touch mouse. I was once fond of the Logitech RX1500 I was using, but it has been misbehaving lately.

  87. anash said on February 16, 2011 at 2:35 pm
    Reply

    this is awesome and would make good use of this. Count me down for it!
    anashct [at] yahoo [dot] com

  88. Hemant said on February 16, 2011 at 6:40 pm
    Reply

    This awesome mouse would replace my another microsoft optical mouse 3000.
    Just to clarify I am from US.

  89. Simit said on February 17, 2011 at 12:51 am
    Reply

    I’m in the US and want to win one.

  90. George said on February 17, 2011 at 4:54 am
    Reply

    I am in the USA and using a Rocketfish Nano Laptop Optical Mouse. Would love to have the stylish Arc. Thanks.

  91. doug gilbert said on February 17, 2011 at 6:17 am
    Reply

    I’m using the Logitech M395 Wireless Mouse

  92. abhishek said on February 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm
    Reply

    I want a microsoft mouse.
    plz i want it jaldi….

  93. Anonymous said on May 30, 2011 at 3:35 am
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    I am not very computer minded but my husband is and I would love to be able to give him one of these for ‘Father’s Day’. He takes his lap top when we travel on vacation and this looks perfect for taking along! (Maybe it would help him be able to finish all his computer work faster so we’d have more time to vacation!) PLEASE enter me for the contest!
    When will the drawing be? (guess, I shoulda asked that first!)

  94. Samir Kabir said on February 17, 2012 at 12:52 am
    Reply

    I am currently using the Logitech M305 and would love to use this mouse. It looks very intuitive and sleek. Please include me in the giveaway !!!

  95. Stan said on July 9, 2016 at 6:59 am
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    I am in the USA – in California – and am currently using a Logitech Model Number:M-UAE96, that I think is about 10 years old. I’d really appreciate a new Microsoft’s Arc. I’ve seen them on line, but did not realize that it flattens, I thought the curve was permanent.

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