If you are going to purchase a top end mouse, chances are that it will have a laser. These mice are no doubt growing fast in popularity, and we are going to take a look at one of Logitechs best, the MX 610. Not only does it have a laser, but it can even notify you of e-mail or IM’s!
The MX 610 is a new breed of mouse in that it not only processes user input, but also has the capacity to prompt the user about events. On the back of the MX 610 you’ll find two small clear buttons; One labeled with an envelope icon and the other with a dialogue bubble icon. These buttons are made of an opaque rubber material and each light up when the events that they correspond to occurs. The button labeled with the envelope lights up whenever you receive an email via Outlook or Outlook Express. When you depress it, you’ll be taken to the Inbox to open the new email (in theory).
The button labeled with text bubble icon lights up whenever you receive an I.M. from either Yahoo Instant Messenger or MSN Instant Messenger. When you depress that button you’ll be taken to the currently active I.M. window. Now, the reason I say the email button does it’s thing in theory is because I personally happen to use O.E. to not only receive pop mail, but also my Hotmail. Doing this gives you 2 sets of mail folders, the second set corresponds to your Hotmail account. For some reason, no matter where the emails come from, the button always opens the top email in my Hotmail inbox. This seems to me the software could use some work.
The MX 610 comes in your average display box with an arc cutout in the center to allow you to see the actual product rather than an image of what you’re buying. Inside the box under the clamshell is the software with a sales brochure. In the clamshell hidden by the cardboard are the batteries and the USB to PS2 converter. What’s sort of funny is the fact that the converter is actually larger than the receiver which is the little black piece that looks more like a USB Thumbdrive!
The 610 is not only a laser mouse but it also operates on 2.4Ghz operating frequency for it’s wireless communication with the receiver. This allows for greater range with the same amount of output which is nice since Logitech incorporated a volume rocker and mute button onto the mouse. For use with a HTPC, you can just drag the mouse with you to your couch and have a poor man’s remote control for watching media.
I personally lay in bed and watch DVD’s and put the mouse on my nightstand so that I’m still in charge without having to get out of bed… let the laziness commence!
The SetPoint software allows you to map all of your buttons functions, from the tiltable scroll wheel to the volume control to the email and I.M. buttons. You can use them for anything from straight-forward uses to controlling media player, launching apps or just about anything you can think of. Very nice usability here. The second tab brings up mouse movement properties such as acceleration, pointer speed and scrolling details. Unlike it’s bigger brothers there is no option to change the resolution.
The third tab lets you monitor your batteries. The MX 610 allows for longer battery life than the older MX 700 and claims battery life of up to 3 months depending upon usage and get this… the color of your mousing surface! It seems that unlike the older optical mice, the laser generation can track reliably on light colored surfaces and not only that, but it will sense the higher reflectivity afforded by the lighter surface and lower the output of the laser thereby lowering the power draw.