Multi-featured mouse passes glass test

Multi-featured mouse passes glass test

Logitech’s devices always look the part and the M950 Performance wireless laser mouse is no exception, but it’s the multitude of useful features that provide a deeper level of value.

Some of its features you would expect to find in other high-end mice – such as the ability to zoom and to scroll quickly through long documents, ergonomic and comfortable use, customisable buttons and responsiveness on different surfaces. But Logitech considers the extra details too.

There’s effective placement of the buttons for usability, an invisible beam when you look at the underside, a three-stage battery status indicator and a dedicated button to switch between scrolling modes.

The design is sleek and elongated, with a sculpted, textured rubber thumb inset surrounded by silver metal insets. The forward, back and zoom buttons are intelligently positioned just above where your thumb rests, while the scroll mode switch logically sits below the scroll/tilt wheel.

The M950’s Darkfield tracking aims to emulate what Microsoft has done with its Blue Track technology – allow the device to work on various surfaces.

As Logitech explains it, mice sensors typically have difficulty finding imperfections, or reference points, in smooth or transparent surfaces to detect where the user has moved the mouse. It says the Darkfield illumination technique only allows rays of light to enter the lens from an angle, rather than directly to the centre of the lens, so the resulting image has a dark background with bright objects on it.

Logitech mice with Darkfield Laser Tracking use two lasers to detect tiny details of the tracking surface, which the sensor then interprets to track the movement of these bright dots, it says.

Having previously used an ageing, wired mouse, the MX950 proved to be impressively responsive.

It worked well on glass and other smooth surfaces, including a glass board supplied by Logitech for the purpose of the review.

Another useful feature is the charging system – it consists of two cables which allow users to re-charge the mouse via micro USB or mains power. A USB extension cable is also supplied and the cables come with a soft, zippable carry case.

Catering for the multitude of USB-powered peripherals often found on desks nowadays, Logitech offers a small “unifying” wireless receiver for connection of up to six compatible devices.

Logitech lists five mice and a keyboard compatible locally with the receiver, however users can download its Unifying software to add other devices. The software is compatible with XP, Vista, Windows 7 and Mac OS X.

The dual scrolling mode and accompanying button to switch between them is also a standout feature. It means you can scroll at standard speed, or freewheel through lengthy documents, pages of photo thumbnails, or webpages.

If you choose to use the proprietary SetPoint software, you can use it to customise the thumb buttons, adjust cursor and scroll speed or opt for pointer trails. Gamers can also use the software for game mode settings. It even goes as far as to detect battery levels, although the LEDs on the device will do this too.

Retailing locally for $199, this isn’t a basic mouse, rather another premium offering from the vendor.

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