Microsoft's Touchstrip Arc Touch Mouse Feels Like the FutureS

Le Arc Touch Mouse, she is real. There are two unique bits to this thing: The ability to bend the mouse up when in use, and the touch strip that replaces a traditional scroll wheel. It costs $70.

I've only gotten to play around with it for a day, but so far it's actually a pretty good mouse for a "compact" or "travel" mouse. It's similar to the original Arc Mouse in that it's curved and small and is meant for travelers who must have a mouse, no matter where they are. It has a small magnetic area on the back so you can attach your USB dongle.

Microsoft's Touchstrip Arc Touch Mouse Feels Like the FutureS

When you want to pack up and go home, just bend the end of the mouse up so it flattens out. While you're down there, avoid looking straight into the blue light.

The touch strip

The most interesting bit is the touch strip, which is completely touch sensitive, and mimics a scroll wheel quite well. Flick up to scroll fast, or smoothly go up to scroll up slowly. Just like a normal wheel, after you flick, you can put your finger down on the strip again to stop the scrolling. Oh, and the best part is that there's a little speaker inside the mouse that reproduces the scroll clicking sound! It's not only functionally useful, it's super cool.

Microsoft's Touchstrip Arc Touch Mouse Feels Like the FutureS

You can also program the buttons—there are three areas—to act as buttons, say, for middle clicking, or page up, or navigating back, or activating the Windows 7 flip. Basically, use it as a customizable button.

The left and right mouse buttons are pretty standard, even if they're kind of tough to depress unless you click near the tip.

So far, the Arc Touch Mouse shows promise as both a travel mouse and a mouse you'd use every day, because of the cool touch functions. We'll see if that holds true. The mouse ships in early December.