Logitech asks $70 for the Touch Mouse M600, a touch sensitive input device in the style of Apple's Magic Mouse and Microsoft's simply named Touch Mouse. That price will come down once the M600 hits wider distribution, but it's still in the same range as its competition. As much as I like the Touch Mouse M600's looks and its attempt to replicate smartphone-style touch input, it lacks the library of specialized gestures you get with the other touch mice. I don't necessarily miss those gestures, but with fewer features should come a lower price. That price discrepancy and the fact that touch input is basically a novelty here prevents me from recommending the M600 with any great enthusiasm.
"Scroll and swipe where you like," says the M600's product page. This, essentially, is the chief innovation brought about by Logitech's touch input efforts. Rather than face the burden of a mechanical scroll wheel or thumb-side back-and-forth buttons, Logitech's new, Windows 7-only mouse frees you to scroll down a Web page, or navigate back and forth, all by simply dragging your finger in the appropriate direction across the M600's shiny plastic surface.
There's nothing inherently wrong with using touch-based input for those navigational features, but it also doesn't add anything you can't get from a more affordable, mechanical mouse.
Typically touch mice have greater ambitions. Apple's Magic Mouse and its exceedingly uncomfortable shape supports the same language of swipe-based gestures Apple has built into its recent MacBook trackpads. As well, Microsoft's Touch Mouse has a more-or-less intuitive hierarchical input system, wherein you can navigate in and between different applications based on the number of fingers you use.
I'm not necessarily asking for Logitech to create a new mousing lexicon. Traditional mice work well enough that few users would bother to overcome an overly steep learning curve just for touch input. But if Logitech is going to boast "smooth-as-smartphone scrolling," what about adding some smartphone-style multitouch recognition? Can I get some pinch-to-zoom?
Logitech does offer what it calls FlowScroll software for download with the M600. Essentially a series of plug-ins for Internet Explorer, Chrome, and Firefox, FlowScroll smoothes out up-and-down scrolling to mimic the seamlessness you get with a smartphone or a tablet. The effect is marginally noticeable, but I had no complaints about the scrolling smoothness before I installed the add-on.
I concede Logitech might be banking on the simple, modern-feeling appeal of touch and a sleek mouse design to draw you into the M600. If you'll be lured in on such grounds, you can at least take comfort in the fact that this mouse is easy to set up and has some convenient features common to many Logitech input devices.
The Unified receiver is perhaps the most useful feature. The included USB microreceiver is designed to work with up to six other devices in Logitech's Unified product family. Right now that family includes mice, keyboards, a wireless touch pad, and the Cube portable mouse/presenting device, so you might have a hard time maxing out the six-device limit. Note the Logitech Wireless Mouse M510, a mechanical mouse in the Unified family that offers essentially the same navigational features as the M600, only with fixed buttons and a $39 price tag.
Logitech also deserves credit for its intuitive SetPoint configuration software. Here you can set cursor and scrolling sensitivity, swap the left- and right-click functions, and adjust other settings. It offers all of the customization you want without hitting you with an overly daunting interface. SetPoint is also available with every other Logitech input device.
The Logitech Touch Mouse M600 doesn't do anything particularly wrong, but it also doesn't do quite enough to justify its $69 price tag. It has a certain novelty factor, and it's nice to look at, two things which may induce you to make a purchase. I wouldn't blame you if it did, but I do wish Logitech had pushed harder to make the touch input matter.