Monday, November 1, 2004

The Logitech MX 1000 Laser mouse proves that optical is obsolete

FIGURE B

The MX 1000 Laser from Logitech has both a rocker switch and button that's thumb accessible. (click for larger image)

The rocker around the scroll wheel is for rapid scrolling in settings where you would normally use the scroll wheel. The rapid scrolling rocker allows you to set the scroll wheel for a lower line advance, but still rapidly navigate through a document.

Here's the big one though. The side to side motion of the scroll wheel is for side to side scrolling in documents or Web pages that are too large for the width of your display. In Figure C, you can see all of the buttons located around the scroll wheel.

FIGURE C

The MX 1000 features a rapid scrolling rocker, and a scroll wheel that also rocks side to side. (click for larger image)

Regarding the base station, that's your RF receiver for the wireless function of the mouse. The base station is what plugs into the electrical socket and your computer, creating the link between the mouse and your system.

Powering all of this is an internal Lithium ion rechargeable battery. A four-stage LED on the mouse keeps you informed of the charge level, and to recharge, you just place the mouse in the base station, like in Figure D.

FIGURE D

The base station for the MX 1000 recharges the unit and acts the RF receiver for cordless operation. (click for larger image)

Impressions

Optical is obsolete.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 Optical is obsolete.

When I got my first optical mouse, a Logitech MouseMan Dual Optical (which is no longer available), I thought it was the ultimate in mousing technology. Gone was that stupid, temperamental, sticky, rubber, tracking ball. I thought nothing could top the Dual Optical. I was wrong.

The problem with LED optical mice is that the surface you mouse on can't be too reflective; otherwise the LED can't detect enough irregularities to register movement. The laser doesn't have that problem because it's twenty times more accurate than an LED.

This has actually been a problem lately with my MouseMan Dual Optical. I use a white Formica mousing surface and the Dual Optical has been creeping of late. The Laser solved that problem.


"The rapid-scroll rocker is the bee's knees."

I've tried using the MX 1000 on smooth Formica, the glass in a framed picture, granite patterned contact paper, lacquered wood, a mirror, a CD, and the monitor itself. Of all these surfaces, the mirror and the CD were the only two that were too reflective for the laser to track. And who mouses on a mirror or a CD anyway?

Now, on to those buttons.

Like all Logitech mice, all of the buttons on the MX 1000 Laser are user programmable. For example, rather than use the thumb button for application switching, I have it programmed to activate the CTRL key. And I have the wheel button programmed as a double-click.

The rapid-scroll rocker is the bee's knees. Along with the side scrolling of the wheel, and the Forward and Back rocker on the thumb, navigation of your computer has reached levels of ease that only complete voice control could top. The scrolling speed on both the rapid scrolling and side scrolling is programmable too.