Monday, September 18, 2006
LOGITECH DOES IT AGAIN
NOW THIS IS A MOUSE
Anthony Dhanendran, Personal Computer World 29 Aug 2006
Logitech's Revolution MX is an attempt at seachange in mouse design. The idea is to make a clean break from the past and design a mouse that, once you've tried it, you won't want to do without.
This laser mouse uses a non-visible laser to track movement rather than red light from an LED. That means it's more accurate, as well as being able to operate on more surfaces than a standard optical mouse.
It's also wireless, operating on RF and using a small USB transmitter.
There's a separate dock for recharging the mouse's internal, non-removable battery.
The big difference is in the wheels. The most obvious addition is a horizontally mounted scroll wheel on the left-hand side of the mouse.
This doesn't scroll sideways (the top-mounted wheel already does that), but it's configured to switch applications. It can be changed to perform a zoom function instead.
The top wheel, in addition to scrolling in four directions, can be set to click or not. Some people prefer a clicking scroll wheel, allowing document movement one line at a time, while others want a smooth scroll.
Cleverly, this mouse does both, even at the same time. The software can be set to detect the speed of scroll, so for a slow scroll it clicks while if you give it a spin, the wheel unlocks and scrolls smoothly. This also comes in useful for games, when scrolling through weapons choices.
There is also a small button set just back from the top wheel. Clicking this while a word or phrase is highlighted will bring up a search box for that phrase using Yahoo or Google.
It's clever, but we found it hard to use and even a little annoying, so it's fortunate it can also be switched to another function.
The best thing about the Revolution MX, however, is its design. The mouse's body fits snugly in the hand and it's hard to go back to an old-fashioned oval mouse after using one of these.
It might look a little odd, with a couple of apparently random protrusions, but these are designed to feel just right in your hand, and they do.
One qualm is the mouse's battery life. While many optical mice will last around a month in general use from a pair of AA batteries, the MX Revolution requires a recharge every five days or so.
It's not a particularly big problem or an onerous task, you can just leave it on the dock every night, for example, but it is an annoyance especially if it has run out and you don't have anything to fall back on.
The price tag is higher than most optical mice, but for something that's going to sit in the user's hand so much and, in the case of the MX Revolution, fits so well, £80 isn't that expensive.
One final problem for 10 per cent of the population is that Logitech has told us there won't be a left-handed version of the Revolution MX.