Mad Catz Eclipse Touchmouse Review



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The Eclipse Touchmouse looks like a wireless mouse straight out of the future. This wireless Bluetooth mouse sports a three button operation (middleclick being the third button), a touch sensitive scroll sensor with support for vertical and horizontal scrolling, and excellent precision with 1600dpi laser technology. It’s unique and elegant design will make you wish you had a nicer desk for it to sit on. Aside from it’s futuristic design, Eclipse Touchmouse differentiates itself through it’s touchscroll sensor. Touchscroll is a small fingerprint-sized touchpad. It functions similarly to a regular scroll wheel, but features a horizontal scroll and browser gestures that allow the user to easily launch their browser homepage, refresh, and navigate back and forward.

Set-Up:
In the package you’ll find the Eclipse Touchmouse, a quick start guide, one “AA” battery, and a mini CD with drivers. What you won’t find in the box is a Bluetooth adapter or a CD that won’t break your slot loading disc drive.If you have ever set up a Bluetooth device then the Touchmouse setup will be relatively easy. If you have never set up a Bluetooth device then you may have to do a bit of research on how to turn your Bluetooth radio on and pair a device. Eclipse did not package this mouse with a Bluetooth adapter, so make sure you have Bluetooth on your computer or laptop before trying to set it up. Worst comes to worst you can buy an adapter for almost $4.

Pop the AA battery into your mouse and On/Off/Pair button on the underside of the mouse. The LED will blink red and green, this means it is ready to be paired. On your Mac or PC find your Bluetooth Connection Screen/Wizard and pair a new device. When prompted to choose a passcode opt to continue without a passcode. If all goes accordingly that should be the whole process. The drivers are not required to get Touchmouse to work. I had this working fine on both my Mac and PC, but on both I had to turn down the mouse sensitivity because it was super sensitive when first set up.

Design:
The Eclipse Touchmouse has a very sophisticated look to it. It has large black brushed-aluminum buttons and black rubberized borders. It bears resemblance to a cell phone. It doesn’t have a very ergonomical shape, but I personally found it to be pretty comfortable and have enjoyed using it during my 40 hour work week. Moving the mouse around on a hard surface (rather than mouse pad) has been exceptional. The Touchmouse design creates very little friction between the mouse and the surface. This means it moves very easily, and allows for a more precise mouse movement. This was one of the reasons we were not fans of Apple’s Magic Mouse — it does not move around nicely. Touchmouse uses one AA battery, and it is very easy to replace it. Just turn chrome battery cap half a turn until it pops out, replace the battery, and put pop the battery cap back in.



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Performance:
Once the sensitivity was turned down, Eclipse Touchmouse performed amazingly. Its responsiveness and accuracy combined with its ability to smoothly glide along any surface makes it an absolutely amazing mouse. The touchscroll sensor, placed in between the right and left click buttons, was just okay. The sensor takes some getting used to. Even when you’re comfortable using it, it’s still a bit finicky. With most scroll wheels it is easy to tell how many notches you have scrolled up or down. With Eclipse Touchmouse it is a bit trickier. The button also functions as a middle click (as do most scroll wheels). Middle click is ideal for browsing. Middle click on links to open them up in new tabs, or middle click tabs to easily close them. There are browsing gestures that are enabled on Touchmouse by pressing the middleclick button and moving the mouse either up, down, right, or left. These gestures are very handy and I found myself constantly using the right and left gestures to navigate back and forward on the web. The up gesture will launch the browser homepage, and the down gesture will refresh the page. Unfortunately, these gestures are not customizable with the current drivers. The gestures also do not provide much functionality outside of your browser. These gestures worked on both Mac and Windows without the drivers. The only features the drivers add are the ability to adjust the touchscroll sensitivity and the ability to use the horizontal scroll. The horizontal scroll did not work exceptionally well because of the short width of the touchscroll sensor. The Touchmouse documentation boasts a long battery life. I’ve been using my mouse for two weeks, roughly 70-80 hours total and it still seems to be going strong.



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Conclusion:
The Eclipse Touchmouse, which is built by Mad Catz, is an exceptionally stylish looking mouse which is very accurate and easy to use. Some people may not find that it is ergonomic, although I had no problems and my hands are rather large. The touchscroll seemed like it would be way better; it made me prefer using a regular scroll wheel. The browser gestures using the touchscroll button were really a treat while browsing. If you buy this mouse throw away your mouse pad (unless you’re using a glass desk). The precision of Touchmouse on almost any surface was perfect. It glides around so easily that it will make you hate mouse pads. It works just fine on mousepads, but unless you’re using a glass surface, there is really no need. It is compatible with both Windows and Mac and requires you have a bluetooth adapter. Touchmouse can be purchased for $59.99 or $42 at Amazon, which may be expensive for a mouse, but not too expensive for a mouse with such style.

Good: Browser gestures worked great, accuracy, design
Bad: Touchscroll not all it was hyped up to be, gestures aren’t customizable, not ergonomically designed

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