Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Logitech MX610 Laser Mouse review

The Logitech MX610 is the… well we could call it the “Big Brother” of the MX700 although the numbers a slightly smaller. Basically it is a new version of the very good MX700 (I had one before I got the MX610).

So out of the package you get the mouse, USB wireless receiver dongle and manuals etc. First looks of the MX610 are good. There is cool factor there and it looks rather stylish. The ergonomics are great too. I have rather big hands so I need big mice. The MX610 doesn’t look too big but it fits perfectly in my palm, much like my old MX700 and it uses AA batteries so my rechargeable batteries I got wont go to waste. Unfortunately the design is more favorable for the right hander than it is for a left hander. The mouse has 12 buttons; the usual left click and right click buttons, back and forward buttons, 3 volume control buttons, left and right scroll buttons, the middle button and of course the new dedicated Mail and Chat buttons. If you use the software, 10 of the buttons can be changed to perform a different function. The Mail and Chat buttons cannot be changed from its preset functions.

So that’s the first looks of the mouse.

Now more about its features,

First of are the dedicated Mail and Chat buttons, how cool is that!! Buttons that you press to check your mail and chat to your buddies!! Such innovation from Logitech… Right more on that later.

Next the USB wireless receiver dongle. Well it’s small and doesn’t take up space on your desk, so it is laptop friendly too. Ok it uses the new 2.4 GHz frequency which helps to avoid interference between the receiver and the mouse. I haven’t really noticed the difference, but it sounds cool!!

Ok... Time to plug it in and use it…

Firstly plugging in the USB receiver. I had some trouble with this but I guess it isn’t a big deal. When I got the mouse I only had space in the front USB ports so I thought it would work there but NO.. it didn’t work. So I rearranged a few things and stuck it in the back. Then when it came to getting the Reciever to recognize the mouse I had to perform some sort of funny clicking ritual and finally got it to work.

The movement is smooth and easy. The cursor doesn’t jump like with the MX1000. (Luc has that mouse) All the buttons work even without the software installed. The Mail and Chat button don’t blink but open up Outlook and Messenger when pressed. Finally time to install the software, Logitech Setpoint.

Some say that first looks always make a good impression but then never judge a book by its cover. Well Setpoint certainly did impress me with its looks but on the inside it is just a dumb blond. The interface was really neat and quite intuitive but the functions are rather touchy. For example, I changed the mute button to open my browser using the Function Key assignment. It worked the first few times but then after I restart my computer it doesn’t work again. So I have to remove the Function Key assignment and then reassign it again. Another problem is the Mail and Chat buttons. The idea of having these buttons on a mouse is really cool and fantastic but only if it work properly. Somehow on my mouse the chat button doesn’t blink when some one sends me a message and the mail button only blinks if I have MS Outlook or Outlook Express running. What happens if you use Mozilla’s Email client, Thunderbird, well too bad because Setpoint only works with Outlook and Outlook Express. If you use GMail or Hotmail or Yahoo Mail or any other online Email client you could have Outlook access your inbox for you but that would take quite a bit of configuring to achieve. Anyway Setpoint looks great and don’t get me wrong I’d love to use it once they give it a bit more configurative ability and iron out the creases but for now I’ll stick to not using it.

Another thing about the MX610 that really impresses me is the fact that is switches off automatically when you shut down your PC. It really is very useful. Even when you leave your PC on to download something you can always switch the mouse off manually. The battery life is also extremely good. My rechargeable batteries can last for a week under constant usage without being charged. Compared to my old MX700 that’s double the usage time.

Overall the Logitech MX610 is a GREAT mouse and worth the money.... Too bad the supplied software is rather disappointing though. If you’re thinking of getting a MX610 make sure you don’t mind using crappy software for a while.



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