by Jamie Fletcher on November 3, 2010 in Peripherals
Wireless mice offer a plethora of benefits to their users, but the most common complaint about them is the lack of battery-life, or the need to change the batteries at all. Logitech aims to make things a bit easier on people with its Marathon Mouse M705… a mouse that uses two AA batteries and lasts an entire three years. Yes, three years.
The battery life is probably the real key selling point with this mouse, as reflected by the name – Marathon. 3 years does seem exaggerated, a time which would be very difficult to accurately test. However, after a few days testing, using it for close to 30 hours total and only depleting the battery counter by 3 days, it makes for a convincing case.
The mouse is powered by two AA batteries (supplied) and starts the counter off at 1095 days (divided by 365 equals 3 years). The eagle-eyed among you may notice something strange (for a typical electrical device) about the battery arrangement.
Both batteries point in the same direction and are thus in a parallel configuration. What does this mean exactly? The mouse runs on a low voltage of 1.5 volts (the standard for a AA battery) and uses the second battery to increase life. This does mean (and I have tested), the mouse will work fine with a single battery installed. So should the batteries fail at some point, and you don’t have two spare, a single will suffice.
You can reduce the weight of the mouse as well by installing a single battery should you find it too heavy (this will cut the life of the mouse in half). Additionally, the Unified receiver can be placed inside the battery compartment, as shown with the small ‘Logitech’ block just below the batteries.
There is no battery indicator on the mouse, but it’s hardly required with up to 3 years of life, the software provides this information though. There is a small LED on the top that lights up briefly when it’s woken from sleep, but turns off after about 30 seconds, presumably to save power.
Another quirk of the mouse that some will have spotted is an off-center laser sensor, situated to the far left. For the most part, this will have no affect on its ability to track, but those with limited desk space may take fault. For me, I didn’t notice any difference in tracking compared to a centered sensor.
The pads are of healthy proportions, providing ample low friction surface area for easy gliding. I’d still recommend a decent mouse mat since it can still feel sticky on a plastic or wooden desktops. Tracking also suffers on highly reflective and/or transparent surfaces.
The Marathon Mouse is by far the longest-lasting wireless mouse on the market. HyperScroll, 8 programmable buttons with application specific functions, the M705 is a very productive mouse. The 1000DPI sensor and lack of DPI adjustment could be a bit of a limitation for gaming, but for the most part I would not consider this a gaming mouse.
The smaller than usual profile does make it more portable, yet it remains quite tall, so not ideal for laptop carry cases. People with small hands should find the mouse very comfortable, but for those with larger hands such as myself, your palm will be dragging along the surface of the mat, which after many hours does put strain on the wrist, so additional support is required.
If you are in the market for a wireless productivity mouse, then I would recommend the M705. Gaming and portability, not so much. The price of $40-$50 does make it quite steep for a RF-based wireless mouse, yet all the others will not have the same kind of battery life. The software really does expand the mouse’s abilities and is very easy to understand, if a little overwhelming with all the available options. Very functional and no annoying textured backgrounds, garish colors and animated sliding windows with the words ‘extreme’ in front of every sentence.
This mouse won’t be for everyone, large hands may find it uncomfortable after extended use and the HyperScroll can lead to accidental scrolling from rapid movement if the lock is not engaged. Overall though, a good wireless productivity mouse with a very long battery life.
I am looking forward to reviewing some more Logitech gear in the near future.
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