Logitech Builds a Better Mouse

By Peter Coffee  |  Posted 2004-09-06 Print this article Print

Logitech's MX1000 Laser Cordless Mouse tracks with ease.

The arms race—or, should I say, the fingers race—continues. For all who have struggled to free their pointing devices from the surly bonds of wires or the confining ghetto of the "mousing surface," the laser tracking technology introduced this month by Logitech International is more than mere hype.

I found several surfaces on an eWEEK Labs desktop that could not be used by a conventional, red-LED optical mouse but where Logitechs $79.95 MX1000 Laser Cordless Mouse tracked with ease.

I took it for granted that Logitechs suggested surfaces, such as photo paper, would demonstrate the difference. I also found, though, that some of my desk pad materials and writing papers frustrated an LED tracker but worked perfectly with the laser.

The tracking laser, presumably infrared, doesnt put out the ruby-red sci-fi glow thats become a design element in the modern office. But even 007 might read the manual—or at least run the setup software (for Windows and Macintosh systems) to make use of the MX1000s array of customizable controls.

Having a single thumb button to perform (for example) a double-click action is habituating if not actually addictive.

Ergonomic improvements in the MX1000 include improved scrolling buttons in a rocking collar that surrounds the fingertip scroll wheel. The MX1000s scroll wheel also has a left/right motion for purposes such as sideways scrolling of large documents.

A built-in lithium-ion battery in the MX1000 is an improvement over the AA nickel-metal hydride cells required in its predecessor, the MX700; the charge level of that built-in power source is shown by a three-segment LED display on the mouse.

Check out eWEEK.coms Desktop & Notebook Center at http://desktop.eweek.com for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.
Peter Coffee is Director of Platform Research at salesforce.com, where he serves as a liaison with the developer community to define the opportunity and clarify developers' technical requirements on the company's evolving Apex Platform. Peter previously spent 18 years with eWEEK (formerly PC Week), the national news magazine of enterprise technology practice, where he reviewed software development tools and methods and wrote regular columns on emerging technologies and professional community issues.Before he began writing full-time in 1989, Peter spent eleven years in technical and management positions at Exxon and The Aerospace Corporation, including management of the latter company's first desktop computing planning team and applied research in applications of artificial intelligence techniques. He holds an engineering degree from MIT and an MBA from Pepperdine University, he has held teaching appointments in computer science, business analytics and information systems management at Pepperdine, UCLA, and Chapman College.

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