Logitech LX5 Cordless Optical Mouse
A comfortable ambidextrous wireless mouse with at least one significant flaw in a harder-to-use-than-it-should-be middle mouse button.
Things I Learned From Dropping My Mouse Onto a Hard SurfaceNever drop your mouse onto a hard surface. You can quote me.
I had been the satisfied owner of the Logitech Cordless Desktop for Notebooks but I recently dropped the mouse onto a hard surface from desk height. Mouse still seemed to work but then I noticed that I was having a hard time selecting things and that I was double-clicking items instead of single-clicking them. So, a new mouse was needed.
I didn't really want to go to the expense of replacing my whole keyboard and mouse wireless setup. What I wanted was a mouse that would use the same, very handy, receiver as the Cordless Desktop for Notebooks.
Brilliantly, Argos sell the LX5 mouse for £19.95 and I just happened to have £20-worth of Argos vouchers. That feels free. I even got my five pence change!
I worked on the presumption that since this wasn't a Logitech Bluetooth product that it should work with the same receiver as my previous setup. And, after being a bit thick, it did! I didn't even need the supplied setup disc as Logitech have long since made their software support all their keyboard and mouse products. I simply pressed the Connect button on the wireless receiver and the SetPoint software now listed my mouse as the LX5.
DesignThe LX5 is a medium-sized mouse with a design that features sides that are more sculptured than they appear in the Logitech promotional photos. It is also symmetrical. This means that the mouse is comfortable for use by left-handed and right-handed people.
Because it is a wireless mouse it is battery powered (2AA Duracell's are supplied, most impressive) and this makes the mouse much heavier than a wired equivalent. However, it is lighter than Logitech's rechargeable mice.
SetPoint UsabilityThe LX5 works directly in Windows XP without requiring any additional drivers or software installed. SetPoint is the software that controls customisation of Logitech keyboard and mouse products and is a highly recommended install. It is a vast improvement on Logitech's previous software and does everything you want it to.
It keeps itself up-to-date by checking Logitech every so often (I think it is every month or so). It tells you if the batteries in your cordless devices are getting low on juice. Most importantly, it allows you to customise what happens when you use your device. With the LX5 this means that the five functions can be mapped to do just about anything on your computer and that you can set acceleration and pointer speed values. You can also set up a game mode that automatically disables a couple of bits of business when you play games, presumably for greater accuracy or something. The game mode is a feature I've never had cause to use.
attractive, clear and easy-to-useThe SetPoint software is attractive, clear and easy-to-use. You select your category of device along the top (for example, My Keyboard or My Mouse) and then a page of setup or information down the left. Any attached devices appear in a drop-down list allowing you to independently configure multiple mice on the same PC. There are relevant and accurate graphics depicting which mouse and keyboard you have attached and everything is clearly labeled. It's a nice piece of software.
Mouse UsabilityThe mouse glides well and feels comfortable. The two main mouse buttons are in just the right place as is the mouse wheel. The mouse wheel has a nice feel to it with just the right weight. I haven't yet accidentally flicked the mouse wheel left and right but have used these (largely useless) functions deliberately and found them agreeably weighted also.
The main fault with the LX5 now comes to bear. The middle mouse button (ie, clicking the mouse wheel in) is oddly awkward.
middle mouse button is oddly awkwardYou need much more pressure to activate the middle mouse button than either the left or right mouse buttons. The feel of the button is entirely different and it almost feels like you have to push it in a different direction to the left and right mouse buttons. Those two buttons have a nice clean click to them. The middle mouse button has a loud cler-unk. In fact, when I first tried to use the middle mouse button I thought that it wasn't there. I needed to push the wheel in much harder; harder than is intuitive.
I wanted my middle mouse button to behave like, well, a middle mouse buttonThe LX5 feature five customisable functions: left mouse button, middle mouse button, right mouse button, left mouse wheel and right mouse wheel. Of these, the middle mouse button is, by default, bizarrely mapped to a 'zoom' function. This zoom function didn't seem to do anything other than change my mouse pointer to a little magnifying glass. I didn't investigate further as I wanted my middle mouse button to behave like, well, a middle mouse button.
The SetPoint software comes into play here but the middle mouse button setting is tucked away under a drop-down under Other. Never mind, a job you only have to do once. I don't mind that but it is a bit weird.
pinging off into the sunsetAnother complaint is the battery cover which requires a leap-of-faith as you push the compartment lock with all your might and hope it doesn't just go pinging off into the sunset. Still, Logitech claim an eight month battery life so you won't be needing access to it all that often. The batteries in the Cordless Desktop for Notebooks mouse lasted a couple of months or so; that was even though I consistently remembered to turn the mouse off whenever I wasn't using it for a period of time.