Monday, November 1, 2004

The Logitech MX 1000 Laser mouse proves that optical is obsolete

PRODUCT REVIEW

By James Booth

Optical is obsolete. At least according to Logitech it is. That's the tagline for their new MX 1000 Laser cordless mouse.

Laser? That's right boys and girls. The Logitech MX 1000 is the first laser-powered mouse. Rather than the traditional red glow of the typical optical mouse, the MX 1000's optical tracker emits no visible light.


"Optical is obsolete. I'll say it again. Optical is obsolete."

Not only is the red glow gone, so is the creeping-mouse syndrome and erratic behavior from using a mousing surface that's too reflective. The Logitech MX 1000 Laser mouse, displayed prominently in Figure A, is 20 times more accurate than a standard LED optical mouse. At least that's what Logitech tells us.

FIGURE A

The Logitech MX 1000 Laser cordless mouse. (click for larger image)

One more thing that's missing is the cord. The MX 1000, as stated above, is a cordless mouse. It's not IR (infrared), which this author has shied away from; instead it's RF (radio frequency). What this means is, if you really wanted to, you could mouse your computer from across the room without having to make sure you're lined up with the base station. 'Course, if you've got a really big room, your mileage may vary.

Overview

So what is the Logitech MX 1000 Laser cordless mouse? Well, it's a cordless mouse, with a laser. In essence, it's the next generation in mice.

Logitech says it has a Class 1 laser for optical tracking, which really doesn't mean squat to me. The laser is in the infrared spectrum, so it's not visible to the naked eye, and there's no little telltale red dot, like with laser pointers and the SWAT team's laser gun sights.

It also means that you won't be able to perform laser eye surgery on yourself, or your significant other. But that doesn't mean you should try staring into the emitter either. You would, in all likelihood, damage your eye.

It has an extremely ergonomic architecture. In addition to the normal two buttons and scroll wheel, which is pretty much standard on all mice nowadays, there is a thumb button and thumb rocker switch, as well as a rocker switch wrapped around the scroll wheel.

As Monty Python said, "Now for something completely different." In addition to the wheel scrolling up and down, and acting as a middle button, it also rocks from side to side.

So what's with all these buttons? Well, the rocker button on the thumb is designed as a Forward and Back button for Internet navigation. The other thumb button, is for application switching. Figure B shows the thumb buttons on the MX 1000.