By Chris Scott Barr
Last week Logitech announced two of their latest mice, equipped with Darkfield Technology. If you’ll recall, this feature allows mice to track on any smooth surface, regardless of whether or not it is reflective. While some people might not see the benefit in using a mouse on a reflective surface, those who want to use a mouse on their glass desk, or even something with a mirrored finish will be pleased. I’ve actually been testing out the Anywhere MX mouse for about a week now, and I thought I’d share my thoughts.
The Logitech Anywhere MX packs a lot of features into one tiny package. Obviously the Darkfield Technology is a big selling point, as you never know where you’ll be using your laptop next. The mouse also utilizes the new Unifying receiver, which is small enough to stay plugged into your laptop all the time (and not risk getting broken off like larger ones) and allows you to use a compatible keyboard without needing a separate receiver. Hyper-fast scrolling, extra buttons and 2.4GHz wireless round out the feature list.
The mouse itself is rather small, as any good travel mouse should be. The shape is comfortable enough for extended use, even for someone with large hands such as myself. You’ve got two thumb buttons for forward/backward which are a must-have feature for someone who spends as much time on the web as I do. There’s also another button below the scroll wheel for switching between programs, if you’re into that sort of thing. The on/off switch underneath is actually a sliding cover for the laser, which seems convenient enough. Lastly, I love the the tiny Unifying receiver, as I haven’t bothered to unplug it from my MacBook since I got it.
If you’re using your laptop enough to need a mouse, then you’re going to want something comfortable. It’s this logic that has kept me from replacing the desktop mouse that I always carry in my laptop bag. The Anywhere MX is one of the first laptop mice I’ve found to be comfortable enough to use for more than an hour or so at a time. It is still small, so I wouldn’t replace my regular mouse at my desktop with it. That’s what the Performance MX is for (which we’ll get to another day).
As a regular mouse, the Anywhere MX performs about as well as any other. The only thing that really stands out is the Hyper-fast scrolling. I really thought the use of the word “hyper” was more marketing hype than anything else, however, that’s really not the case. If I flick the scroll wheel with my finger, it can spin for a good 6 or 7 seconds. If you really want to fly through a huge document, you can flick it harder and get more like 17 seconds of spin (my personal best is 17.5 seconds). To give you a better idea, I can scroll through about 35 pages in OpenOffice Writer with one flick, whereas on my old mouse I can’t even get past the first page.
This awesome scroll wheel does have one small drawback. Since it is “hyper-fast” it is also easily triggered. You’ll need to keep your fingers away from it when mousing, lest you find yourself halfway down the page you were reading. It was a fairly rare occurrence, but still worth mentioning.
I actually used to own a glass desk, which my optical mouse did not work on, which is why I’m pretty excited about Darkfield. Knowing a friend with the same desk, I packed up my MacBook and the Anywhere MX and promptly headed there for testing. The desk is made from rather thick tempered glass (not the frosted stuff, just clear), and the mouse had no trouble whatsoever tracking on it. Being the geeks that we are, we proceeded to find other reflective surfaces to test it on. A drinking glass, a 2mm-thick piece of acrylic (Plexiglass to some of you), my iPhone and even the screen of my MacBook all worked flawlessly with the mouse. The only thing that we found that didn’t work was a CD, which we honestly didn’t expect to work in the first place.
The Logitech Anywhere MX is a solid travel mouse. It’s comfortable, the Unifying receiver is small enough that you don’t have to worry about removing it and the Darkfield technology works like a charm. My only complaint is that the scroll wheel could potentially get annoying if one were to bump it very often, though it only happened a couple of times to me. The Logitech Anywhere MX can be found for $79, which is a tad pricey for a notebook mouse, but well worth it in my mind.
[ Logitech ]