Razor sharp tracking with a laser-based optical sensor... (September 7th, 2007)
Product Manufacturer: Logitech
Price: $99 US
- Very comfortable to hold and use. Tracking is extremely accurate. Excellent tactile qualities.
- Driver needs some kinks worked out. Wheel construction could be more solid. Available only in black.
When I first gazed upon the lavishly designed box, I had a feeling I was in for a treat. The name said it all: MX Revolution. I was eager to see if this was an accurate descriptor for this supposed marvel of modern mousing technology, or if it was all just hype. As a veteran user of Logitech's high-end wireless mice (I've owned both an MX 700 and MX 1000), I had very high expectations for this latest incarnation.
New designOne of the first things I noticed upon opening the box was the lack of rechargeable batteries. I inspected the mouse and saw that the battery is completely integrated into the chassis, unable to be changed. This was not a concern, as battery performance has never suffered over the time I've used wireless Logitech mice.
The connection method has also changed slightly. Logitech opted for a USB gum-stick dongle, instead of a connector on the transmitter/receiver as in the past. . This allows for less cable clutter, in addition to a wider freedom of placement, because only the power cable comes out the back of the cradle charger.
Designed for ComfortThis is hands-down the most natural mouse I have ever used. When you place your hand down on the top, your fingers naturally caress the curves that Logitech has crafted. There is a pleasing texture provided by a smooth rubber grip on the right side, and a stippled rubber thumb-rest on the right. The mouse glides across any surface, with near-frictionless ease.
Once you learn how to operate the mouse, which I estimate takes about an hour for it to feel natural, you only have to move your thumb a couple of millimeters to switch from the side scroll wheel, to the forward and backward buttons. It is mildly awkward button to press the search button on top of the mouse. However, since it would y get in the way to have Spotlight appear every time you handled the mouse incorrectly, it is nice to have the button slightly out of the way.
Features You WantTwo features set this mouse apart from most others. One is the razor sharp tracking that the upgraded laser-based optical sensor provides. I couldn't fool it to save my life. I don't have the newest of desks, so the worn wooden texture consistently tripped up my MX 700, and confused my MX 1000. The MX Revolution is snappy and responsive, in both games and the Mac OS X Finder.
The other highly touted item is the machined alloy scroll wheel. Weighing in at 14 grams, you instantly have a completely new level of scrolling available to you. Either through directly switching the function by clicking the scroll wheel, manual designation, or simply spinning the wheel faster and faster, you feel a little gear retract inside the Revolution. What this does is it engages the wheel in a free-spin mode, where the sheer momentum of the spinning wheel scrolls through your documents for you. I initially thought this might be a little random and uncontrollable, but after a few minutes of scrolling, it becomes so innate that you wonder why nobody thought of it sooner.
Minor Problems FoundThe MX Revolution is not without its downsides. I hope this is only a one of a kind defect, but the scroll wheel seems to wobble a bit to the left and right. The wheel can be clicked left or right for document scrolling, but it has a little bit too much play before that point. It seems that for how much time and effort was invested into the scroll wheel, it shouldn't behave in that manner.
The driver support seems a little buggy also, especially when using multiple user accounts on your computer. This problem has been around for a while, as I have experienced it with my other two Logitech mice. The first issue is that the side scroll wheel does not want to take "Keystroke" as a setting when trying to bind functions to the mouse. I like to use the OS zooming feature, so I tried to bind the wheel to zoom in and out. No matter what troubleshooting tactics I tried, it always had a Click function bound to it, even though that isn't an option for that button, according to the driver. This produced the same result with any keystroke I tried to use. Using multiple accounts on my computer lead to further problems, such as key bindings not working and then randomly working again, the driver not recognizing the mouse in one account even though another account could see it fine; a whole bunch of quirky things that Mac users don't expect from their fine machines.
Highly RecommendedAll in all the MX Revolution is a good solution for any precision mouse user, whether you are a graphic designer or a gamer. The hardware is unquestionably sexy and high tech. The driver needs a few bugs worked out. Taking the good with the bad, I feel the mouse makes my day in front of my iMac all the better.
Editorial note: Please be advised this product was reviewed on a desktop Macintosh and laptop running Mac OS X 10.4.4. One user has written me that they experienced a myriad of problems with the MX Revolution on a laptop with a later version of Mac OS X. His call to Logitech support revealed that the software for this mouse (Logitech Control Center 2.2.2) has lots of critical problems with OS X 10.4.10. They told the user that there would be a new, 3.0 version of LCC in about a month that should take care of these problems and would be Leopard compatible. This call was made a couple of weeks ago. So, please check that you receive a new version of the software before loading it on a MacBook or MacBook Pro. I've demoted its star rating as a result. Thank you. ilene
Edited by Ilene Hoffman, Reviews Editor