Apple Magic Mouse and Keyboard 2 – A Complete Review
It’s been one year and one month since I first purchased the Apple Magic Mouse 2 and the complementary keyboard, and while I did write a preliminary review shortly after the purchase, I decided to update it with my key experiences around long-term usage for both and how they compare to the original Apple Magic Mouse (which I have owned since it’s introduction)
The concept of a wireless keyboard and mouse has always been held back quite a bit by the fact that you have to keep replacing the batteries, or in my case, taking out your old ones and recharging them. Even with Apple, this has always been more than a bit of a hassle. The primary reason I purchased the Apple Magic Mouse 2 and the Apple Magic Keyboard 2 was quite simply the build in rechargeable battery.
Was it a waste? Before I was spending approximately $45 every two years on green rechargeable batteries. I had to take them out every 14-21 days and recharge them. This process took about 3 minutes of my time each way, but could result in a lot of hassle if I forgot to take the batteries out to recharge before my mouse died while I was at work.
The Apple Magic Mouse 2 battery lasts for an average of 6 weeks, while the keyboard battery lasts an average of 2-3 months (I’ve charged it 5 times in a year and I fall into the ‘heavy use’ category of 8-12 hours per day depending on the day).
Even more importantly, the Apple Magic Mouse 2 charges enough to use it for over an hour in a matter of minutes. While the fact that the charger is only available on the bottom, I can plug it in, walk away to get a cup of coffee, and come back to a usable mouse. If Apple were to update the charging port to the front of the mouse, that one little issue would be gone.
Over a year of use:
Keyboard: Charged 5 times
Mouse: Charged 8 times
Score: I am incredibly happy with the sheer amount of time, frustration, and charging batteries the Apple Magic Mouse 2 and Keyboard have saved me. I also haven’t spent a dime on rechargeable batteries, and my collection of those have left my desk and have found their way into remote controls in my house instead.
Pro Tip: The keyboard and mouse automatically go into sleep mode which conserved the battery. Waking them up only takes a second, but you might see a very short lag in response time when you leave your computer alone for an hour and then come back.
We’ve already established that the battery life is great, but how is the Apple Magic Mouse 2 Bluetooth? Or they keyboard for that matter? I’ve owned both corded and cordless versions of Apple peripherals and I have to say that this hasn’t been disappointing at all.
Unlike the original Magic keyboard and mouse, the Magic 2 set disconnect much less frequently (Literally only twice that I can recall). That’s a big change up from the original wireless keyboard and mouse set, which disconnected from my computer on a regular basis, and typically took about twice as long to connect.
These will attempt to pair with your computer automatically, even rousing it from sleep when you turn them on. The connectivity is very strong and works well around other Bluetooth devices (I have 5 in my office). It also suffers less from interference than the old models, which is another huge plus.
While I haven’t tried typing with them outside of the room (which would be silly), you can roll your office chair to another desk and keep typing from there via a split screen with no problems at all. The mouse will also continue to connect to your computer even when you take it downstairs to use with another computer (This is a pro or a con depending on what you’re trying to do with it).
Score: The Apple Magic Mouse 2 and Apple Magic Keyboard 2 have much better Bluetooth than their predecessors and perform extremely well.
Note: If you’re having issues connecting, you might actually want to check your computer. I’ve seen connection issues with 2012 and older Apple devices, which technically use an older Bluetooth format.
With any mouse, you could probably easily come up with thousands of complaints on the movement for the mouse. This holds true with the Apple Magic Mouse 2. I personally haven’t had any problems, despite the fact that I use it on a bare desk. I’ve also used it on glass (there were some tracking issues). Overall, the foot design helps it to glide much more smoothly across most surfaces, while the laser tracking actually works with most non-reflective surfaces.
I did, however, notice that it does adjust to the surface you are using, and that means it will have some trouble at first with any new surface. However, if you use it for a few minutes, it will adjust to almost anything (not glass).
Things I’ve used this mouse on:
Mouse pad – Performance A+
Wooden Desk – Performance A+
Wood Table with Paint Finish – Performance A
Glossy Ikea Shelf Surface – Performance B
Glass – Performance C
In short, if you’re using your mouse on anything that isn’t a smooth glossy surface, it will perform well.
Special Note: This mouse hates cat hair. If there is hair, dust, or any other type of fine debris clogging the laser tracker, you will have issues. This debris also tends to seek out the little hole in the bottom of the mouse, so if you’re having issues, try cleaning your desk and maybe your office and cleaning out the bottom.
The Apple Magic Keyboard 2 offer a lot of functionality, but it’s not really an upgrade or a real improvement on actual functionality. The Apple Magic Mouse 2 adds additional features including pinch to zoom, swipe, and a variety of other tools that you can use to quickly trade off between devices, screens, and windows. The mouse is optimized for users with two screens, but the pinch to zoom and swiping functionality are incredibly useful.
However, I found that I did have to heavily train myself to actually use these functions, instead of treating the mouse like a standard mouse. I mostly clicked and scrolled (which is easier with the touch sensitive smooth mouse instead of a wheel), without really swiping at all. However, once I adjusted to the functionality, it allowed me to more quickly navigate between pages, skip using the back button at all, and effortlessly scroll through multiple page documents.
Overall, that’s quiet an improvement from the Magic Mouse 2.
Apple’s Magic peripherals are clearly designed for design rather than purely for functionality, which means that they look nice on a desktop. You won’t be looking at clutter, moving wires and cables around, or constantly juggling batteries. However, if you are accustomed to a different mouse and keyboard design, it may take you some time to adjust. The Apple Magic Keyboard doesn’t include the number pad, is smaller, and might not be right for you if you have very large fingers.
It’s also not ergonomic, meaning that there is no built in support for your hand. However, the Apple Magic Mouse 2 can be configured for left or right hand use, fits neatly into the palm of your hand for most users, and is reasonably light. One issue? I have noticed that a lot of people simply rest their hand on the mouse and try to slide their hand back and forth. THis technique doesn’t really work with the Apple Magic Mouse.
The keyboard is slim, functional, lightweight, and sturdy enough to stand up to heavy use. It’s not reccomended, but the two times I spilled coffee on it also didn’t really do any harm. Both have also been dropped multiple times (because I have cats who knock things off of desktops … also I’m a klutz) and survived literally without even a scratch.
What’s the verdict? If you’re thinking about getting an Apple Magic Mouse 2 and Keyboard, you probably won’t regret it. You shouldn’t make the investment if you’re using an older computer, because as we noted, you will have connectivity issues. However, you will love it for just about everything else.