Whether you're actually left-handed or you just mouse with your left to ease the pain of a repetitive stress injury, finding a comfortable mouse can be a challenge. Most ergonomically curved mice are designed for right-handed users, forcing lefty mousers to make do with somewhat shapeless agnostic mice, such as the Microsoft Wireless Optical Mouse 2000. But Logitech designed its MX610 left-handed laser cordless mouse specifically for comfort and usability on the left side of the keyboard. In addition to its orientation, the left-handed MX610 includes all the useful navigation shortcuts and thumb controls you'd expect from a premium ergonomic mouse. While many users may balk at its $60 price tag, we think the Logitech MX610 left-handed laser mouse is worth the cost, given its rich feature set and southpaw-specific design.
With a black-and-silver color scheme that fits in with most modern computers, the MX610 left-handed laser mouse is shaped so that your hand rests in an upright, neutral position for better ergonomics. Two volume buttons, a mute button, and the e-mail and IM buttons are lined up on top of the mouse, along the right edge; two programmable buttons are placed further down on the side for easy thumb access. The rubbery scrollwheel moves smoothly, providing tactile clicks but no noise. The wheel also tilts left and right, letting you scroll horizontally. There's a small on/off button on the bottom, and the mouse shuts off automatically when the computer shuts down or sleeps. A battery-indicator light on top of the mouse lets you know when you're running low on power.
Setting up the MX610 left-handed laser mouse was straightforward: we popped two AA batteries (included in the box) into the mouse, then plugged its tiny receiver into a USB port, and it started working right away. We appreciate that the mouse's right button, where a left-hander's pointer finger naturally rests, is preprogrammed as the primary button, eliminating any need to switch the mouse settings within the Windows Control Panel. This is also handy if you share your computer with a right-hander, whose mouse will continue to function normally even if it's plugged in at the same time as the left-handed MX610.
To take advantage of advanced features and customization options, you'll need Logitech's included SetPoint software, which installs cleanly and is easy to navigate. Inside the program you can map specific actions to each of the mouse's buttons, and you can customize the actions for each software program you use. The two buttons for e-mail and chat can be programmed to light up when you receive new messages; SetPoint also lets you select your preferred IM and e-mail clients (though we were unable to pair the mouse with Trillian), the length of time the notification lights stay on, and whether to ignore certain IM senders.
The left-handed MX610 feels far more comfortable than the hockey-puck-style mice that come bundled with most computers. Though it fit our (female) hand perfectly, we suspect those with larger hands might find the mouse uncomfortable. As with most Logitech mice, clicking the MX610's main mouse buttons demands a bit more pressure than we are accustomed to, which can sometimes lead to finger fatigue. Nevertheless, during our use the MX610 responded flawlessly to all our clicks and movements, and we didn't experience any tracking errors. The lights promptly alerted us to incoming instant messages and e-mail.
Logitech backs the MX610 left-handed laser mouse with a lengthy five-year limited warranty that includes replacement or refund if the products are defective. The company's support Web site offers user forums, a knowledge base, and an e-mail form to contact the company.