The Logitech MX 1100 is the first high-end mouse revamp from Logitech in two years. It boasts some added features over the MX Revolution, Logitech's last flagship cordless mouse, but it has also lost a big feature since it's not rechargeable. Despite that loss, digital media artists, gamers, and even power users will love the breadth of control allowed by the MX 1100's wide range of buttons. And with practically no learning curve, only the $80 price tag may give you pause. Given the amount of thought put into this mouse, and how much easier it makes certain tasks, we think it's worth it.
Perhaps the most genius new feature in the MX 1100 is the one that's least noticeable. On the left side thumb rest, Logitech has actually embedded another button underneath the rubberized coating. You can't see it, but pushing it feels completely natural. Its default setting is the Document Flip feature, Logitech's own lightweight task manager, but as with every other button on the mouse, you can configure it via Logitech's SetPoint software. You still get two thumb-side front-and-back buttons, which are fine, but we also still with Logitech would make them a bit thicker.
Also new to Logitech's nongaming mice is a rocker switch for changing the sensitivity of the MX 1100's laser sensor. This can be an important feature for anyone who wants to toggle between different speeds for their cursor, including digital artists working on zoomed in images. You may also want to set it very high for the scrolling speed to scale properly across a large resolution display. You can set the sensitivity to a low of 400dpi, and all the way up to 1,600dpi. That resolution is not quite as high as some of the 2,000dpi gaming mice out there, but it's also likely fine for all but the most demanding shooter fan.
Other features of the MX 1100 involve mostly design tweaks from the MX Revolution. The free-spinning scroll wheel, our favorite feature by far, remains intact, but with a slightly different mechanism. By free-spinning scrolling, we mean that rather than the stepped, incremental scrolling common to most other mice, both the MX 1100 and the MX Revolution let you set the scroll wheel to spin freely. That means that with one swipe you can whip your screen all the way to the bottom. This feature is amazingly useful for navigating long Web pages and documents, particularly spreadsheets. The difference in this new model is that instead of pressing down on the wheel to engage the free-spin mode, you now push a small button in front of it. We found this method more reliable; with the MX Revolution, it sometimes took a couple of presses on the wheel to switch modes.
The last noticeable improvement is a subtle change in the sculpt of the MX 1100. The right edge sticks out from the side a bit more than the MX Revolution, which provides a more prominent resting place for your little finger. It's a small touch, but we found that it added a bit more comfort over long work sessions.
We'd certainly understand if the MX 1100's lack of rechargeability turns you off. We don't really miss the charging station adding to your desk clutter, and a quick look at the power indicator in the SetPoint software says that our batteries currently have 229 days of charge remaining. That feels like a reasonable life span, but it's also not the most environmentally friendly solution. You could, of course, use independently rechargeable batteries, and the cost of the mouse, already $80, would certainly go up with recharging built-in. We do wish that the MX 1100 was rechargeable, but that feature's absence isn't a deal killer for us.
Otherwise, our thoughts on the MX 1100 are the same as the MX Revolution, and even the MX 1000 from 2004. Logitech is far-and-away the design leader in PC input devices, and products like this one are the direct evidence. $80 is a lot to pay for mouse, no question, but for anyone that puts long hours in front of computer screen, the improvements the MX 1100 brings to navigation are well worth the price.