Logitech MediaPlay Cordless Mouse
Logitech's MediaPlay Cordless Mouse breaks new ground by giving you fingertip control over the most basic functions of your computer's audio/video player. In addition, it extends the mouse into a promising new role: remote control. Along with the usual pair of buttons and a scrollwheel, the mouse comes with the an array of media control buttons, including a player launch button, volume controls, play/pause, and skip forward and back buttons.
What's more, the MediaPlay Cordless Mouse comes with a USB minireceiver that allows the mouse to operate from as far away as 10 feet. To make the reception that much better, you can also park the receiver in the included small desktop stand, allowing you to skip through a playlist or crank up the sound from across the room.
Logitech sculpted the mouse into a shape that makes it feel like a remote when you're holding it away from a desk surface. The bottom of the mouse is also sealed, an innovation in optical mice that still allows the sensor to read the scrolling surface with precision but blocks out errant hairs and other debris that could get inside and gum up the works.
We tested the MediaPlay Cordless Mouse with Windows Media Player, RealPlayer, and Musicmatch, using stored MP3 files and a music CD. We also tried it with Real Network's Rhapsody music service. In all applications, the MediaPlay Cordless Mouse worked as advertised. We were able to skip through playlists, control the volume, pause and play while using all three players and the service. The package includes Logitech's MediaLife software, a-inspired media management suite that, while not quite as feature rich as the bona fide original, still provides you with a handy way to organize and play your media files.
While we did like using the MediaPlay Cordless Mouse as both a mouse and a remote, it has limitations. Remember, it's a mouse first and a remote control second, offering only the most basic of functions. And even some of those can be iffy. For example, fast-forward worked only sometimes. But even this mouse's drawbacks are more blessing than curse, because Logitech kept it simple and didn't try to spoil a good idea by taking it too far.
Overall, the MediaPlay Cordless Mouse is a good idea. The mouse serves as a better, more natural form factor for multimedia controls than a keyboard, for years the home of dedicated keys for all kinds of oft-used applications and functions, with varying degrees of success. Logitech's MediaPlay Cordless Mouse simply feels right.