Microsoft Arc Touch Bluetooth mouse review

Microsoft’s feather-light Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse is not your average pointing device.

The Microsoft Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse is stylish, ultra-light, and functional.
The Microsoft Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse is stylish, ultra-light, and functional.
The Microsoft Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse is stylish, ultra-light, and functional.


  • Ultra-thin, light, and compact
  • About half an inch thick when powered off
  • Easy to pair and use
  • Customizable buttons and scroll strip
  • Three-year warranty


  • Not quite as comfortable as most standard mice
  • Tapping scroll strip behavior finicky
  • No horizontal scrolling

While there are plenty of innovative wireless pointing devices available, few are as light, compact, interesting, and mobile as Microsoft’s Arch Touch Bluetooth Mouse. It’s designed primarily as an accessory for the company’s Surface Book PCs (it’s the same light-gray color), but since it’s a standard pointing device, it also works with most laptops or tablets running a recent version of Windows (and some MacBooks) that support Bluetooth. The Arc Touch mouse is, when turned off, ultra-thin, making it easy to slip in to your pocket or some other tight spot.

The Arc Touch mouse is unique in design. Even so, just about any other small wireless “travel” pointing device, such as Logitech’s M535 Bluetooth Mouse ($39.99) or Microsoft’s own Microsoft Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500 ($29.99), is a direct competitor. You can pick up the Arc Touch mouse for about $40, which is a bit high for a small mouse like this, especially considering that you can buy the EasyGlide Wireless 3-button Travel Mouse, and several others, for as little as $20. That said, you’ll have trouble finding a mobile mouse as easy to carry around with you than the slim and petite Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse, and like most Microsoft peripherals, it’s well-built, durable, and somewhat elegant.

Slim in use, even slimmer when stowed

At 0.6 inches high (when turned off) by 2.3 inches across by 5.1 inches long (also when turned off) and weighing only 2.3 ounces, the Arc Touch mouse, while not in operation, is much shorter in height, but longer than most other mice—until you turn it on, that is. You power it up by curling, or arcing (hence the word arc in the name), the tail end of the device downward, thereby shortening its length and increasing its height. But arcing the mouse isn’t merely a unique way of turning the device on. When arced, it fits the curvature of your palm and fingers, similar to any standard small travel mouse.

William Harrel

The arc increases the height to just over two inches and shortens the length by about an inch or so, which brings its dimensions more in line with competing products. Logitech’s M535 Bluetooth Mouse, for instance, measures 2.4 inches high and just under 4 inches long; although, at 2.9 ounces, it outweighs the Arc Touch mouse by more than half an ounce.

Up front, where the controls are located, the Arc Touch mouse is encased in hard gray plastic, and the back end, the part that arcs, is coated with a slightly darker gray rubber-like material. The controls consist of left and right buttons separated by a plastic strip that acts like a depressible scroll wheel, and, as with most mice, you can change the behavior of the buttons and wheel, as well as alter the scroll speed, pointer, and so on, from an app you can download from Windows Store. While the mouse itself will pair with MacOS 10.10 or higher, alas, there is no such app for Macs. It will not work with any Android device.

Arc and away

As mentioned, you bend the Arc Touch mouse to turn it on. A small blue status LED on the underside indicates when its running and ready to pair.

The Arc Touch mouse is light, small, and when turned off, ultra-thin.

You pair it as you would most Bluetooth pointing devices, by pressing and holding a small button (also on the underside) for a few seconds to make it discoverable. It paired with both our Windows tablet and MacBook immediately, without any fuss.

Many competing mice, including the Logitech M535 Bluetooth Mouse, come with (often proprietary) Bluetooth dongles that enable use on machines without Bluetooth built-in. With the Arc Touch mouse, your computing device must already have Bluetooth available. The advantage is that if your mobile device has Bluetooth, you won’t have to use a valuable USB port. If, on the other hand, your laptop, tablet, or smartphone doesn’t support Bluetooth, you won’t be able to pair the mouse.

On the go

While we found the Arc Touch mouse comfortable enough, it’s not quite the same as holding a standard mouse with finger contours on each side and a raised scroll wheel. In other words, it takes a little getting used to. It was easier to move around, and to press and hold buttons, when we used it on a bare desktop, rather than a soft mouse pad. That’s because due to the arc, the Arc Touch mouse touches ground in only two spots. When holding a button down, the pressure dug into the mouse pad, making mouse movement a bit difficult.

As mentioned, you can reconfigure the buttons and other behavior from the downloadable app. The app gives you extensive control over the center “touch strip” used for scrolling. You can assign a behavior for when you tap it, such as “Browser back” or “Start menu,” as well as turn on audible and vibrating feedback when scrolling. Using the tap function was difficult to master. Despite its odd appearance and unorthodox configuration, though, after spending a little time with it, we found the Arc Touch mouse comfortable and efficient to use.

For the long haul

The Arc Touch mouse is powered by two (included) AAA batteries housed in a compartment on the underside of the non-arcing portion of the device. Microsoft says that with regular use you should get about six months from a set of batteries. To turn the mouse on, it must be fully arced, making it difficult to accidently activate in your backpack or pocket.

Warranty information

Microsoft offers a three-year limited warranty that provides for replacement of the Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse if it fails under normal use.

Our Take

Microsoft’s Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse is light, compact, and stylish, and when powered down (un-arced), it can slip neatly into your pocket. It’s reasonably comfortable to use for so small of a device, and the company’s three-year warranty allows you to buy it with peace of mind.

Is there a better alternative?

Most travel mice, including Logitech’s M535 Bluetooth Mouse or Microsoft’s Wireless Mobile Mouse 3500, are small and light, but few are as light and compact as the Arc Touch mouse, especially in its flat, or turned off, position. While the Arc doesn’t have many rivals in terms of size, Logitech’s MX Anywhere 2 is competitive in terms of features, and remains our go-to recommendation.

How long will it last?

The Arc Touch Mouse feels a lot more durable than it looks. It would take some real effort to break it, and the flex (arc) on/off mechanism seem sturdy enough. And if it stops working in the first three years, Microsoft will replace it. Three years of use is a good value from a $40 peripheral.

Should you buy it?

Only if you’re a traveler. If you don’t like using a touch pad or poking a tablet screen with your finger, and you need something light and easy to carry around, the Arc Touch Bluetooth Mouse should serve you well. It’s easy to pair, to use, and you don’t have to take up a valuable USB port.

However, should you prefer a standard palm-shaped mouse with a more tactile scroll wheel, there are plenty to choose from. The Arc is meant for people who need to lighten their load, and works well there, but it’s not the best choice for general use.


Logitech’s G MX518 gaming mouse pairs classic looks with all-new tech

Logitech is relaunching one of its most popular classic gaming mice, the MX518. Now called the G MX518, it sports upgraded internals that give it a 16,000 DPI optical sensor and new and improved memory.

How to sync and troubleshoot your PS4's DualShock 4 controllers

Sony's Bluetooth-enabled DualShock 4 controllers for PlayStation 4 are some of the best on the market, but connection issues aren't unheard of. Here's how to sync them to your console.

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.

How do the revised Xbox One and PlayStation 4 consoles stack up?

Microsoft's new Xbox One S and Sony's PlayStation 4 "Slim" have bucked the generational gaming console trend. But which of these stopgap systems is worth spending your paycheck on?

These are the coolest games you can play on your Google Chrome browser right now

Not only is Google Chrome a fantastic web browser, it's also a versatile gaming platform that you can access from just about anywhere. Here are a few of our favorite titles for the platform.

Amazon takes $200 off Apple’s latest 13-inch MacBook Air with retina display

Amazon is taking $200 off Apple's latest MacBook Air. This MacBook Air has 13-inch retina display, a built-in FaceTime HD camera, and that classic lightweight wedge shape the Air is loved and known for.
Product Review

Razer just made our favorite gaming laptop even more powerful than before

The Razer Blade, our favorite gaming laptop, is now more powerful than ever before. That’s thanks to the new Nvidia RTX graphics cards inside. Do they help Razer retain its edge over the competition?

Samsung drops a solid $100 discount on the Chromebook Pro

If you're in the market for a new laptop, but can't afford to drop $1,000 on one of the best models out there, Chromebooks are an excellent option. Right now, Samsung is offering $100 off the Samsung Chromebook Pro.

Lost your router? Here's how to find its IP address to help track it down

Changing the login information for your router isn't always easy, that's why so many have that little card on the back. But in order to use it, you need to know where to go. Here's how to find the IP address of your router.

Between Intel and AMD, these are the best gaming CPUs at every price

What are the best processors for gaming you can buy? You don't need to spend a fortune to get an amazing gaming CPU and now that AMD is competitive again, there are more choices than ever.

Our favorite Chrome themes add some much-needed pizzazz to your boring browser

Sometimes you just want Chrome to show a little personality and ditch the grayscale for something a little more lively. Lucky for you, we've sorted through the Chrome Web Store to find best Chrome themes available.

Here's our guide to how to charge your laptop using a USB-C cable

Charging via USB-C is a great way to power up your laptop. It only takes one cable and you can use the same one for data as well as power -- perfect for new devices with limited port options.

Get the best of both worlds by sharing your data on MacOS and Windows

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple MacOS may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn't mean they've completely disappeared. Here's how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.

Is Ice Lake coming soon? Here's what we know about Intel's future chip design

Intel's Ice Lake may end up launching before the architecture it was supposed to replace. With hints of more announcements about the chip design in the very near future, here's everything you need to know about Ice Lake.