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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Replacing a fantastic mouse... With another fantastic mouse

Well, today is my birthday and my wonderful wife has once again selected a perfect gift to celebrate the occasion, a new Logitech® V550 cordless laser mouse. I had been in the market for a new mouse to replace my previous Logitech® cordless mouse. I can't fault Logitech® when it comes to building mice and trackballs. I have used several of their products in the last 15 years and once again, I have confirmation as to why they are the leader in this industry. Three years ago, when I replaced my original Apple Mighty Mouse with a Logitech V400 Cordless laser mouse, I wrote a short review for it here. Since then, I have given this mouse to my wife and it still works very well to this day.

The V550 is part of Logitech®'s new line of cordless laser mice, with the new Hyperspeed scroll wheel. In essence, the new scroll wheel is weighted and supported by low friction points, allowing a smooth, continuous motion in use. With a nice tactile feedback, this new wheel is what sold me initially to the new series of devices out this year. It is a three button mouse, but the third button is small, and right in the center of the mouse, just below the scroll wheel, as seen on the image below (courtesy of Logitech®):

The mouse is on the smaller side, designed for notebook users specifically, especially when taking into account the newly redesigned USB Nano Receiver included with the design:

The receiver is so small that the USB adapter portion is almost three times as long! This allows the receiver to stay connected to a notebook without concern about accidental breakage when putting the laptop into a bag. Logitech® has also conveniently provided an internal storage space for the receiver, to allow for convenient travel. Storing the receiver inside the mouse toggles an off switch, preventing unnecessary power drain when not in use.

Speaking of power, Logitech® claims an ultra-long 18 months of expected battery life! The dual AA batteries add a small amount of weight to the device, but should provide at least twice the expected lifespan. On close examination of the underside of the mouse, it is easy to see that Logitech® has considered power management with this device:

A power button is thoughtfully provided, allowing the user to turn off the device when not in use. You may have noticed the metallic bracket in the center of mouse, with a recessed button. This is part of Logitech®'s Clip-and-Go Dock feature. Using a provided metal adhesive-backed attachment pin, it is possible for a user to attach the mouse to a laptop cover for convenient carrying:

A simple removal tool is provided, as well as a second attachment pin, in a convenient little tin.

Logitech includes the following in the retail package:

o Logitech® V550 Nano Cordless Laser Mouse for Notebooks
o 2.4 GHz Plug-and-Forget Nano-receiver
o 2 Clip-and-Go docks
o 1 Clip-and-Go storage box
o 1 Clip-and-Go dock-removal tool
o Desktop USB extension stand
o 2 AA batteries
o 2 cleaning wipes
o Quick-start guide
o 3-year limited hardware warranty

Logitech® no longer includes CDs in their packaging, but drivers are easily available online from their website. The new Control Center (for both Windows and Apple platforms) allows the user to customize the actions of each button on the mouse, in a simple and easy to use fashion. I use this mouse on a netbook (an Asus 1000HA) running Ubuntu, and although the Control Center is not available under Linux, the mouse still functions very well. It is not possible to configure the buttons in the same way as possible under Windows or OS X, but features like acceleration and scroll speed can be set easily.

So far, I am completely impressed with this mouse, and I have to thank my wife again for this thoughtful gift!

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