Windows 8 got off to a rough start, mostly because of Microsoft’s misguided attempt to move all Windows users to touch-and-swipe.
Fortunately, new devices help us live comfortably in both old and new Windows. Plus: New products that keep your data safe and your mobile devices running.
Classic mouse meets Windows 8 touch gestures
It’s a safe bet that the majority of Windows 8 users have not migrated to — nor become comfortable with — touch-enabled 8 computers. Sure, that fancy new notebook has a massive touchscreen, but it’s likely you’re mostly navigating with the standard touchpad or an external mouse. There are significant ergonomic issues with using a touchscreen, but aside from that, most of us have spent too many years mousing around with XP and Win7. That said, there are times when Win8’s touch gestures make working with Windows just a bit faster: scrolling through webpages, for example.
Bowing to the obvious, both Logitech and Microsoft offer hybrid touch-enabled mice. In theory, you get the best of both worlds. I reviewed Logitech’s Ultrathin Touch Mouse T630 in the Dec. 12, 2013, Best Hardware column. And though I could appreciate Logitech’s approach to gesture-based navigation, the device still lacked the familiar buttons and scroll wheel of a typical mouse.
That’s not the case with Logitech’s new Wireless Mouse M560 (U.S. $40; more info); it’s obviously designed for Win8 users who prefer the shape and function of a traditional pointing device.
Available in black or silver, the nicely sized M560 (Figure 1) is, according to Logitech, configurable for both lefties and righties. But with thumb buttons on only the left side, this mouse still favors righties. To reduce hand fatigue, it has sculpted sides lined with soft rubber grips. Along with the standard left-click/right-click buttons and center scroll wheel, the M560 includes a small Windows 8 button, located just behind the scroll wheel.
The Win8 button gives quick click-and-slide access to the Charms bar and the App Bar. It’s a handy addition; a standard mouse annoyingly requires you to hover the cursor in the corner until the Charms bar opens.