When I bought my MacBook Pro back in December I was excited that it had built-in Bluetooth, something that I gave up with my previous notebook. It was great being able to sync my PDA/Phone and use a wireless mouse without cables or dongles. The Logitech MX900 has for several years been my favourite mouse because of its excellent shape, multitude of buttons, rechargeable batteries (with charging dock) and Bluetooth. No other mouse had impressed me since, or made me want to replace it. I figured it would be no problem to pair it up with my Mac and get going, but it wasn?t quite so easy. I found it to be slightly jumpy using the internal Bluetooth adapter, and gaming with it was out of the question. Also the battery life is pretty poor if it doesn?t see its charger for more than a few days. I have a Microsoft Wireless Notebook Optical 4000 which I have used previously, but the first time I tried to game with it I was about ready to throw it. Was there a better wireless notebook mouse out there to fit my needs?
So when I went searching for a new mouse for my Mac I had several things in mind:
- Needed to be compact, but not as small as typical notebook mice.
- Be good for gaming
- Have good battery life
- Small receiver
- Good Mac Compatibility
- Priced below $100 (about US$80, all prices in AUD unless specified)
I am a big fan of Logitech peripherals because of the MX510 Gaming and MX900 Bluetooth mice that I have owned, and two Logitech keyboards, so I went looking on their site, and came up with either the V450 ($89.95) or the VX Revolution ($129.95). I dropped the V450 almost immediately because it lacked forward/back buttons, and it didn?t have the nice ergonomic shape that I love about my current MX mice. The VX looks fantastic, as it had a great shape, plenty of buttons, was laser, excellent battery life, and small receiver that slots into it when not in use. Perfect?but $30 more than I wanted to spend.
I went to a local electronics store and had a feel of the display model, and it fit perfectly in the hand, and looked great. It does have some aesthetic competition sitting next to a gorgeous MacBook Pro 😉
So I went to my trusty friend eBay to see how much I could save. I found a company selling them that I had previously bought 4 refurbished Logitech Desktops from (Keyboard+Mouse combos) for excellent prices that were just like new. They had the VX for just $79.90!! It was a refurb, which meant it was out of box and only included the mouse and the receiver, but hey, I was saving $50!! I clicked the buy now and it arrived a few days later. I was really looking forward to it as my MX900 was driving me nuts!!
When bought new, the VX Revolution comes in a nice green box showing off the mouse and receiver.
But its what?s inside the box that counts!!
The VX has 10 buttons, including two click, Zoom In/Out, Forward/Back, Search, Left/Right and Scroll wheel buttons.
On the bottom of the mouse is the Laser eye (which doesn?t light up like a regular optical mouse), power button, receiver eject button, battery cover, and a switch called Microgear (more on this later).
At the back of the mouse is a spring loaded flap that folds back to house the tiny USB RF receiver. When inserted, the mouse is powered off, which is great for saving the AA battery.
The USB Receiver is tiny, and will fit into any USB port without covering up adjacent ports.
On the top of the mouse there is a hidden battery meter, which will automatically show the remaining battery when the receiver is removed. This meter can also be activated by pushing the power button on the bottom of the mouse.
The sides of the VX are some kind of rubber, and are tapered to fit a (right-handed) persons hand beautifully, which provides excellent grip and makes for a very comfortable mouse.
The one thing that I haven?t yet talked about is something that I didn?t realise would be so good until I first used it, and it is what Logitech calls the Microgear Precision Scroll Wheel. Normally on mice the scroll wheel has a rachety, clicky sort of feeling. The switch on the bottom of the mouse lets you choose between that or a new mode called Free-Spin. If I had known how good this scroll wheel was before I bought it I would never have considered any other mice!! With a simple flick of the wheel, pages scroll effortlessly by, and when you get when you want to be simple stop the wheel spinning with your finger. No more dragging the wheel along with your RSI-ridden index finger! This feature cannot be truly appreciated until you try it. And I don?t mean in a store, to really try it it need to be hooked up to a computer and surfing the web, or viewing a long document.
But there are times when the Free-Spin feature would not be good at all, like in games. Some games utilise the scroll wheel for weapons selection. With Free-Spin active, you could spin through your weapons 2 or 3 times before stopping it. Logitech thought of this by developing its Microgear technology, which allows you to turn the scroll wheel into one like on every other mouse. Way to go Logitech!!
This ability to swap between them makes the VX and excellent choice for people who want a mouse for both gaming and regular word documents and websites. The performance of the Laser in the VX is top notch, and I cannot get it to lag at all when either gaming in Call of Duty 2 or Counter Strike, or for regular computer use. Its compact (but not overly compact) size makes it excellent for taking on the road for gaming, and doesn?t tire the hand like regular notebook mice do. I have recently used this mouse for two heavy LAN gaming sessions (about 12hrs each, with few breaks of course) and my hand has never felt cramped, the movement has been silky smooth, and even better the battery bar still shows 66% full! Not only that, but the smooth, precise movement helped me pick off a few extra soldiers 😉
The size of the VX Revolution is somewhere between that of a notebook mouse (like my MS Notebook 4000) and a desktop mouse (like my MX900). I have found it perfect for extensive use, and it could easily be used on a day-to-day basis like I do as my primary (and only) mouse for my MacBook Pro (my main computer).
A mouse?s performance can often be related to the performance and functionality of the software installed on the PC/Mac it is used with. I use this mouse primarily on my Mac, and was pleased to find that the Mac is officially supported by the VX Revolution. Since I didn?t receive any discs with my VX, I went to the Logitech website to download the latest software. This is probably a good idea anyway since the CDs from Logitech are normally out of date when you get them. The familiar SetPoint is available for PC. Below is my experience with the Mac version.
A new icon is installed into your System Preferences, separate from the Mouse/Keyboard settings.
When you click the icon, your connected mouse is displayed. If you briefly pause over the image of the mouse, a message will be displayed showing the current battery level and estimated life remaining. Pretty cool!
Click on the mouse then clicking configure will display the button assignment screen, showing the 10 assignable buttons. I?d say you will need to leave the top two at their defaults ? I assigned the Search button to perform the ?middle button? function found on a lot of other mice. Great for tabbed browsing in Firefox!!
As I am sure is obvious by now, I LOVE the Logitech VX Revolution. Its is the most comfortable mouse I have ever used, and has all the attributes that I was looking for (although the RRP was a bit higher). People will say isn?t that a lot of money to spend on a mouse? I don?t think so. I bought my MX900 3 years ago for $130 and I have never regretted it. It has never failed me, is comfortable, and has excellent performance.
So what about the VX? Is it worth $80? Absolutely!! Is it worths its RRP of $129.95? I would still have to say yes. Considering the time spent using the mouse, it is important to have one that is very comfortable to use, and the VX fits the bill very well. Whether your in the office crutching spreadsheets, a student sifting through pages of documents and websites working on essays, or a gamer who wants a great mouse for use with either a laptop or desktop, the VX will not disappoint.
The Logitech VX Revolution is available directly from various brick-and-mortar and online retailers.
What I Like: Free-Spin scroll wheel, feels great in hand, excellent battery life, good size, small receiver that is stored in the mouse, excellent Mac compatibility
What Needs Improvement: Is a little pricey, but for the features and quality its well worth it!