Logitech MX Revolution: Hot new wheels

Logitech's deluxe new £80 mouse has been pimped with a BMW's worth of features -- cool for sure, but is any of it useful? We got behind the scroll wheel for a test drive

Nick Hide Managing copy editor
Nick manages CNET's advice copy desk from Springfield, Virginia. He's worked at CNET since 2005.
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Nick Hide
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The lovely chaps at Logitech recently sent us their new MX Revolution cordless laser mouse and we've been getting to grips with it. It's a sleek black son of a gun, with two wheels and its own charging dock -- extravagant for a mouse, dontcha think?

Well, no, actually. It might look like the sort of car a Premiership footballer would drive, but its new features are innovative and helpful. The most striking is the scroll wheel in the thumb position. This is a rubber-gripped toggle that works similar to Windows' Alt+Tab -- if you touch the toggle it opens a small window displaying all the applications and windows you have open, you can flip between documents by moving the toggle. To select a particular application you simply press in the toggle, or click the mouse button.

The other scroll wheel (between the two mouse buttons) also has some nifty new tech. It can work as a standard click-to-click scroll wheel, shifting down your Web page a little at a time. But if you depress it, it changes to the exciting free-spin mode. In this mode, you can simply spin it and it will whizz up or down your document; it will stop when you put your index finger down on it. Simple, but brilliant. The only problem we've found is that free-spin mode works at a different speed for Web pages than it does for Word or Excel documents, so it could take a bit of getting used to before you master this great feature.

The mouse also has an instant-search button, where if you highlight some text and press the button, Google or Yahoo will gives you search results for that text. Fabulous -- although it always opens a new window, which might increase desktop clutter.

The charging dock is simple and reasonably stylish. It charged the mouse from dead in about two hours and it's still on full charge after three days of use. The MX connects to your PC with a standard black USB dongle the size of a small memory stick.

All the buttons and scroll speeds are configurable with Logitech's simple (if rather intrusive -- bloody icons all over the place) SetPoint program. This lets you assign keystrokes, such as Ctrl+C, to certain buttons, which is very handy if you often copy and paste in your work.

The Logitech MX Revolution is available now for a frankly ludicrous £79.99 -- it's an excellent mouse, but you'll need deep pockets to justify that. It also has a little brother, the less fancy Logitech VX Revolution cordless laser mouse for laptops (£60). -NH

Update: full reviews of the Logitech MX Revolution and Logitech VX Revolution are now live.