Windows 8’s signature feature, touchscreen navigation, is a poor choice for most traditional PC applications.
But new devices nicely blend the familiarity of the classic mouse with the speed of Win8’s new touch-and-swipe commands.
A touchscreen display makes sense on tablets, phones, and similar mobile devices, but it’s a pain — literally, for some users — to use on the desktop. Unfortunately, using a classic mouse with Windows 8’s Metro/Modern user interface is almost equally unpleasant. Win8’s tile-based interface is truly optimized for touch-and-swipe gestures.
Acknowledging that fact, Microsoft, Logitech, and most other mouse manufacturers are now offering hybrid pointing devices: essentially mice with built-in touchpads. Whatever your feelings about touch-and-swipe, these new pointing devices let you live more comfortably within Windows 8’s two computing environments.
Logitech’s stylish, portable, touchmouse
Specifically designed for Ultrabooks and other light laptops that have a traditional screen, the Logitech Ultrathin Touch Mouse T630 (more info) is both portable and adaptable. Equipped with Bluetooth communications and rechargeable battery, the T630 has a smooth top for gesture navigation. But it also retains the traditional point-and-click, drag-and-drop movements I’m accustomed to.
Using the T630 takes a bit of adjustment — especially if you’re used to a full-sized mouse. Its relatively small size — three by two inches — limits control gestures to just your fingertips. It took a couple of hours of use before I became comfortable with the T630, but eventually performing typical Metro navigation gestures felt quite natural.
Logitech equipped the T630 with two Bluetooth channels, allowing it to connect to two separate systems. To switch channels, you simply flip the toggle switch on the mouse’s underside. That’s also where you find the Bluetooth pairing button. Pairing was immediate, and in most cases the T630 automatically reconnected on system startup. When it didn’t, pushing the pairing button quickly got me up and running again.