I've never been one to want or need all of the newest techno gear on the market. I'm still using a Sony monitor that takes up as much room as a Ford Escort on my desk. As for a mouse, I've been using the Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical for years. It's never let me down or caused me any trouble. But that darn cord kept getting in my way. There didn't seem to be any place to arrange that cord where it didn't eventually get caught on something or drag one of my beers off of a coaster. Not to mention the dust bunnies that little gray cord would pick up over the course of a few weeks. I finally decided it just wasn't sanitary.
I realize that it's not always true that the most expensive thing on the market is the best, but you've got to admit that a Lexus is a better car than a Camry and an Infiniti is more comfortable than an Accord. Is the difference worth $20,000? Not to me, it's not. But the difference between a $40 cordless mouse and an $80 one is something I can chew on and decide to splurge. And I'm glad I did.
This new Logitech MX1000 laser mouse seems to be worth the extra expense. I've only had it for one day, so it's still got to pass the longevity test, and I fear the biggest issue in that department might be the internal rechargeable lithium-ion battery. Folks who have one tell me that it lasts for around 3 weeks (see both first and fourth updates below) before a recharge is needed, but my larger concern is how long it'll last before the charges don't take. The sales literature says "NEVER." I'm guessing it'll be closer to "a couple of years." Remind me that this writeup is here in a couple of years and I'll let you know.
The mouse comes with a base station which plugs into your computer with a USB plug (converter for PCs included) and sits on your desk awaiting your new toy when it runs out of juice. If you have problems with the mouse moving erratically, you might make sure that your base station is in a reasonable proximity to your mouse and not near other electronic gear. I put my old IntelliMouse in there to avoid dust from getting on the contacts and because it looks like some sort of modern art, but also to make sure it's handy when this one dies in an emergency nukathon. Apparently replacing AA batteries was the more common form of recharging cordless mice in the past. As I said, we'll have to see how this lithium-ion technology holds up over time. (Again, see fourth update below.)
I can't tell a whole lot of difference in the way the laser works as opposed to the optical MS mouse. Agilent Technologies says that the short-wavelength laser makes the mouse around 20 times more sensitive to surface details. I guess if you were one of those folks who couldn't get your optical mouse to work because you were trying to use it on your girlfriend's backside as she bent over your desk, this might be of benefit to you. It doesn't help me out any. As I said, I just wanted to get rid of the dustbunny-collecting cord. For the specs, those who know what these numbers mean say that 800 dpi resolution and 5.8 megapixels per second is the set rating. When I read that, I had to stop, reread those numbers, and tell my wife, "I'm getting a headache." One thing I did notice was that I no longer had to look at that little red light coming out of my mouse and wonder, "What the hell IS that?"
I do like the buttons on this mouse better than the ones on the IntelliMouse. The scroll wheel doesn't feel all that different, but guess what it can do? This is very cool: Especially if you ever go to someone's homenode here and they've posted an image or put up some huge unspaced text that makes you have to scroll to the right of the screen to find out how much you can harm them by downvoting everything they ever wrote. The scroll wheel can not only scroll up and down, but it also scrolls right to left. Yep. You heard me. It's got a rocking feature that allows you to scroll sideways. I bet if someone back in 1999 had told you that one day you'd have been able to do this, you'd have stood right up out of your chair and said, "Who gives a fuck?"
Aside from the double-duty scroll wheel, there are seven assignable buttons. Two are above and below the scroll wheel, the normal "left click/right click" buttons are on either side of the scroll wheel (of course), but they are actually built in as part of the housing so that you don't realize they're there until you press on them. The other three are on the left side (apparently this mouse only comes in a right-handed version) above an inset thumb rest that is designed, I suppose, the help delay the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome.
Another feature that is not mentioned in the sales material is the fact that this sumbitch weighs in at almost half a pound. That'll make it a great paperweight when or if this "lifetime" battery will no longer recharge.
After having had the mouse for a few weeks, I give you this update.
The only real problem I've had is with the scroll buttons. No matter which button I assign to scroll up and down, the feature gets stuck every so often. In other words, instead of just scrolling down one page, it will scroll as many times as possible, rapidly, until it gets to the end of the page. When this happens, you have to hit another button to stop the engaged scroll so that you can return "up" the page. My solution was to just assign "page up" and "page down" to the buttons as opposed to the scroll feature. This works fine for me and doesn't get stuck, but I think you'd agree that this would be annoying if the scroll feature was very important to you.
As for the battery lasting "three weeks" prior to recharging, that's quite optimistic in my experience. The first week, the battery only lasted one week before needing recharging. It charges fairly quickly (between 3 to 4 hours when completely dead). I then started turning the mouse "off" at night. (There is a little on/off button on the bottom of the mouse.) Doing this, the battery lasted almost two weeks prior to needing a recharge. Thus, my recommendation would be to turn the mouse "off" at night and for any extended AFK time.
Second update, after around four (4) months:
The housing on the top of the mouse developed an annoying quirk on the right side, controlling the right click. I am not sure exactly what came loose, but when I would press for a right click, it would sound as if it was engaged but required a harder press to actually perform the function. Was this something I could just "learn to live with"? Obviously, you don't know me very well if you said, "Hell, yeah. That's just a minor issue." No, sir. No little noise is a "minor issue" for Mr. Monk. Back it went to CompUSA where they gave me a brand new unit without any hassle. Let's see how this one holds up.
I will add that I went back to using my old Microsoft IntelliMouse Optical for a day while the new one was charging up. I realized I'd never be able to go back to a corded mouse again. So I suppose Logitech has done their job. They have me right where they want me.
Third update. May, 2005:
The mouse seems to be working fine. No complaints. rootbeer277 tells me he bought the mouse and wanted me to add that it does NOT come with Mac OS X software. You need to download it from their website, or the mouse won't so much as click. Other than that, he says that the horizontal scroll is rediculously slow, but overall he's happy with it so far.
Fourth update. February, 2007:
As I suspected, this is about as long as the battery in the mouse remained potent. Now I am having to charge it every 7 to 8 days. I guess when that figure gets down to 3 or 4 days, it will be time to go buy the newest model. I had such high hopes, too. I'm fairly sure that one day soon the folks who do this sort of thing for a living are going to get serious about new battery technologies.
Fifth update. June, 2007:
Well, today the mouse died. It seems to have a lifespan of more than two but less than three years, assuming daily use. All the charger lights were lit, but no movement in the cursor was achieved. All the troubleshooting tips were employed, to no avail. The good news? I called Logitech and they sent me a new mouse. The better news? They sent me the Logitech MX Revolution. It appears to have a couple of new features with a similar look and feel to the old one. So the cycle begins again. But you've got to admire a company that will go to these lengths to satisfy a customer. I mean, the old one had to be out of any sort of warranty.