We like the smooth-spinning mouse wheel on Microsoft’s Intellimouse Explorer 4 for application work and web browsing, but its detentless design leaves much to be desired when playing games where you use the mouse wheel to select your weapons. Until now, you couldn’t have it both ways. Logitech’s MX Revolution sports a wheel that will spin for the better part of a minute, but when you’re ready to jump into a game, just press down on the middle button and the mouse wheel shifts to a standard clicky mode.
It’s not magic; there’s a force-feedback motor connected to the wheel. With the included software, you can set the mouse wheel’s mode to shift on an application-by-application basis or by using one of the nine buttons on the mouse, or you can keep it locked in either mode. It sounds like a goofy feature, but it’s super-handy to be able to flick your middle finger once and scroll all the way to the bottom of a long Word document.
We’re not generally big fans of cordless mice. They often don’t perform well, and lack the sensitivity we require for gaming, Photoshop work, or just day-to-day mousing tasks. While we experienced a slight startup lag with the MX Revolution in our office-testing environment, it wasn’t present when we tested away from all the radio interference at our work site. In either case, once the mouse was moving, we didn’t have any problems.
The physical shape of the MX Revolution is comfortable even for extended sessions. For the most part, the button placement is excellent. The two side-mounted buttons are perfectly placed, and we love the zoom toggle switch hidden in the thumb well. Like the wheel, you can configure it on an app-by-app basis to use either its application-switching mode or the zoom mode. (In games, it works like a typical scroll wheel, perfect for switching weapons.) The only questionable button is the Search button, which automatically searches the Internet for any words you have highlighted. It works well, but it’s not a feature we see a major need for.
We got around five days of use from a single charge of the rechargeable batteries, and the laser sensor is precise enough for the pickiest person. We’d love to see buttons dedicated to on-the-fly sensitivity switching, instead of the largely useless search button.
Month Reviewed: November 2006 + ITCHY: Newfangled scroll wheel kicks serious ass. Uber-comfortable design. - SCRATCHY: Search button is goofy. Slight lag on startup Verdict: 9 kickass=yes URL:www.logitech.com