PROS / The Touch works well on most surfaces, even glass and marble.
CONS / It has lackluster legacy support for older Windows systems.
VERDICT / The Microsoft Arc Touch is an excellent wireless mouse with strong scrolling performance that’s comfortable with all grip types.
When you line up multiple Bluetooth mice next to each other, the Microsoft Arc Touch is one of the few that stands out because of its unique design. Because of its build, it is a highly portable and versatile wireless mouse.
In our surface accuracy tests, the wireless mouse scored a 90 percent on laminate and wood, which are the two most common desktop surfaces. It scored an average 85 percent on denim, carpet and – impressively – glass. Because of its reflective properties, glass tends to be an unusable surface for many mice, so the Arc’s respectable performance here is impressive. The only surface it scored below average on was marble, at 80 percent. Either way, you can expect it to work on most surfaces you encounter without many problems.
As with most mice, the Arc Touch has a left- and right-click function. Beyond that, it uses a touch-sensitive surface for gestures that allow you to scroll, zoom and swipe. All of these are common gestures in the Windows 8 interface, but they also tie into one of the mouse’s bigger flaws – it has poor legacy support, as it’s incompatible with operating systems older than Windows 8. Still, the responsiveness of the Arc’s scrolling functions is impressive. The mouse lacks premium features like four-way scrolling, but the scroll bar has a tactile vibration that simulates the physical response of an actual scroll wheel.
During our testing, we were fans of the Arc’s distinctive form factor. The mouse’s structure is like a small TV remote, and it turns on when you bend the rear portion. When flat, it's one of the thinnest Bluetooth mice available, making it an easy fit in a pocket or computer bag. The Arc’s build quality is steady, if slightly plain – the lightly rubberized silver rear portion of the mouse is paired with a similarly colored plastic front – but the mouse is comfortable to use. The arc shape is ideal for a palm grip, but it's also suitable for the claw and fingertip grips.
The Arc Touch’s bold design might seem like a gimmick, but the unit’s strong performance justifies its rank among the best Bluetooth mice. With excellent scrolling abilities and a comfortable form factor, the Arc Touch is a strong option for business users and those who need a portable Bluetooth mouse.