Owning multiple Apple devices can be a seamless experience, but some Apple devices aren’t worth the purchase when compared side by side with competing products. Here are a few you should stay away from.
Apple Magic Mouse
The Magic Mouse is a unique piece of tech. Unlike other mice that come with multiple buttons and scroll wheels, the Apple Mouse has a flat glass-like multi-touch surface. This lets you swipe, scroll, and perform some of the gestures you’re used to using on a trackpad. But while these may have some utility, it seems Apple didn’t consider ergonomics for long-term users.
Because of the unique shape that Apple used for the Magic Mouse, it’s not as comfortable as many rival products. Most mice are designed to let your palms rest on the device for more comfortable long-term use. But due to the Apple Mouse’s flat design, some users complain that their hands cramp up when using the mouse for long periods.
Another problem is that the glass-like surface of the Apple Mouse makes it vulnerable to scratches. So you’ve got to be careful when using it, or you’ll have a fair number of scratches on the surface over time.
The Magic Mouse is not the best choice for gaming, mainly due to latency issues. If you play a lot of shooters and other games that require fast reflexes, you’ll probably want to stay away from the Magic Mouse. You’ll notice a delay between your clicks and the actions in the game. The sensor is not ideal for making rapid movements. You also can’t simultaneously click on the left and right buttons which some game controls require.
The second-generation Magic Mouse is seen by many as one of Apple’s worst design decisions. The device brought a much-needed update to the first model of the Magic Mouse with an internal rechargeable battery. Unfortunately, Apple decided to put the charging port directly under the mouse. To charge it you’ll need to flip it over and plug in a Lightning cable, which means you can’t use your mouse while it charges. On the plus side, the Magic Mouse can last for close to a month on a full charge, depending on usage.
Finally, the cost of the Magic Mouse is a bit steep when compared to competitors that excel where the Apple Mouse is lacking. You’ll pay $79 for the white model and $99 for the black Magic Mouse, but you can pay a lot less for some of the best mice on the market. These alternatives are perfect for all-around use, including gaming, and don’t require you to drop your mouse while it’s charging.
Siri is more responsive with a faster chip inside, but not necessarily more accurate. – Tyler Hayes / Review Geek
The HomePod is Apple’s smart speaker that includes Siri and Apple Music integration. Sadly, the HomePod has had a rocky past with the first model discontinued due to what many presume was a lack of sales. Apple focused on the cheaper HomePod mini before bringing the larger HomePod back in 2023. Despite this, the HomePod may still not be the best expense to take on.
In the spirit of exclusivity, the HomePod only pairs with your iPhone and other devices via AirPlay. For a time, you couldn’t even play Spotify on the HomePod and even now it’s only with a workaround. There’s also no audio jack as you would find in other speakers of the same size. While this may not be an issue if you already own an iPhone, it renders the device useless to anyone who wants to use the HomePod with a non-Apple device.
Interestingly, some users complained that the first HomePod would leave marks on wooden surfaces after some time. If you test it out. you’ll notice the same is true about the second generation HomePod though the white stain is lighter.
The final dealbreaker for the HomePod has nothing to do with the hardware but is a software issue. Apple’s built-in voice assistant, Siri, has had a hard time keeping up with competitors. It often mishears words and is limited in what it can do. Since voice assistance is a crucial function of a home assistant, the state of Siri is worth considering if you want to get a HomePod.
Apple Watch Ultra
The Apple Watch Ultra is Apple’s top-of-the-line wearable, starting at $799. Though it’s designed to withstand extreme weather conditions and dive deeper into the ocean than any other Apple Watch, you don’t need to go too far to see why the Apple Watch Ultra may not be the best choice for the average user.
Since the best Apple Watch models share the same basic features, it can be hard to recommend the Apple Watch Ultra for everyday use. Unless you’re a hiker, explorer, diver or into extreme sports, you’ll probably not take advantage of the features that make the Ultra so unique.
Even if you decide to use it for day-to-day use, the size and weight of the Apple Watch Ultra also come into question. The Apple Watch Ultra weighs 30% more than the Series 9 and is 14.4mm thick, 44mm wide, and 49mm tall, making it considerably larger than the cheaper model.
Apple Studio Display
The Apple Studio Display has an interesting place on this list because many consumers are unaware of its existence as a standalone monitor, distinct from the pricier Pro Display XDR. Priced at $1,599, the Studio Display makes this list because it’s difficult to justify this purchase when compared to what else you can get for your money.
The Studio Display may deliver, performance-wise. It boasts a 5K resolution with 33% more pixels than a 4K display, 600 nits brightness, and Apple mainstays like TrueTone. If price is not a problem, the Studio Display could make a great monitor for your Mac. Yet, the pricing strategy for most raises questions. While the base model includes a basic stand, if you want an adjustable stand it’ll cost you an additional $400.
The webcam on the Studio Display is also disappointing, considering the premium price tag. Although the webcam is powered by an A13 bionic chip, many customers have complained about the poor image quality. The refresh rate also caps out at 60Hz, half that found on the latest MacBook Pro and significantly less some of our favorite monitors on the market that cost a fraction of the price.
Apple has a unique and divisive way of doing things. Not all of its products have mass appeal, but many of them stand out against the competition even if they do include an “Apple tax” of sorts. Just remember to do your homework before you make a big purchase, especially if you’re thinking of buying a mouse with a charging port n the bottom.