It's hard to be innovative with products that we use everyday.
For example, how can you innovate your monitor, keyboard, or mouse? We have come to expect things to work a particular way, and then accept it. Good or bad. Can anyone say 'Windows XP'? True innovation comes when you take a product that already works, and then make it work better. Fix what is wrong with it. That's what Steve Jobs & Apple do. Usually. They make a mean machine & OS, but they make a mouse that is from the dark ages. Logitech to the rescue. We all know the name Logitech & are familiar with their peripherals. However, this time around, they have made the best mouse ever. It's appropriately named - The MX Revolution - World's Most Advanced Mouse. This mouse truly is revolutionary.
The Wheel Re-invented
How can you make a mouse better? You fix what's wrong with it. Take the scroll wheel for example. You scroll and scroll and scroll and scroll.. just to get to the end of an extremely long document, web page, spreadsheet, etc. This is time consuming and it can potentially be detrimental to your health. With muscle fatigue so prevalent for people that sit all day at a desk with mouse in hand, it can be harmful, especially if your wrists aren't positioned properly.
Logitech has ostensibly made this problem easier to deal with by creating the 'MicroGear Precision Scroll Wheel'. This machined alloy wheel has two modes that enable it to be like the scroll wheel you are familiar with (click-to-click feedback), and a new 'free-spin' mode. In 'free-spin' mode, you simply flick the wheel with your finger and it will continue to spin & scroll for 7-10 seconds, or until you stop it. They call it 'Hyper-Fast Scrolling'. It's a simple, but incredible solution that consumers will definitely clamor for. You can simply press the wheel to switch between the particular mode you want to use. Additionally, via software, you can configure the perfect mode for each application. I have iPhoto setup to go directly into 'free-spin' mode so I can quickly maneuver through my 5,000 photo library or 10,000 songs inside iTunes. If I switch over to Photoshop, for example, the wheel switches to the tactile feedback mode, which provides me with more precision moving around my document.
The software does not limit the use. You can use both modes in any application, by switching modes on the fly. To do so, you just press down on the scroll wheel to toggle the switch. You get audible feedback of the mouse switching gears. Some applications are aware of how fast you spin the wheel and automatically switch between modes. Indeed, this is very cool.
The MX Revolution features 7 buttons. Four on the top (including scroll wheel), and three on the left side. Via the Logitech Control Center, you can configure each of these buttons for any action you desire. You can use the presets or create your own. You can even make the buttons do nothing at all.
On the top of the mouse is a metal button that is predefined to use Logitech's One-Touch Search. You click this button and it will launch your favorite search engine or Spotlight. This is extremely useful, because you can highlight a word, press the button, and off it goes searching for you answer.
The side buttons are pre-configured as 'Dopcument Quick-Flip'. Essentially Command-Tab, but activated with a button. Once it's on screen, you can move this wheel as well, but it's not a free-scroll. It will move through your currently running apps. Once again, via software, you can configure this to anything you would like.
Above the side wheel are two small buttons that go along the edge of the mouse. They are extremely unobtrusive and extemely useful. I have mine configured to switch tracks in iTunes.
If you are a gamer or artist, this mouse provides precision that no other optical mouse currently matches.. I was very impressed with the 848 nano-meter performance laser. It works reliably with or without a mouse pad, even on the most reflective surfaces. It performed very well with games and pixel intense apps, like Photoshop.
Connection & Battery Life
The MX Revolution uses 2.4Ghz technology for operation, so no line of site is needed. Connecting is a breeze, you simply plug in the USB dongle and turn the mouse on.
No need to add batteries, since the MX Revolution contains a rechargeable Li-ion battery. On the exterior of the mouse is a 4 position illuminating led status indicator of your battery life. It is hard to measure the battery life. I can say that I charged the mouse on overnight on Sunday, and I didn't need another recharge until the following Sunday.
During this time, I didn't put it on it's docking station or turn the mouse off. I am a heavy duty mouse user, and the mouse never died. In fact, I only charged it because I wasn't receiving any battery status on the mouse, so I figured I had better charge it before the inevitable.
If you want the full features of the button configuration, you will need to install the Logitech Control Center. My version didn't come with a Mac OS X version, even though it does say it is supported on the box. A quick visit to Logitech's website enabled me to painlessly download the software. i usually do this anyway, just to make sure I am getting the latest version of software. It's a quick and easy install that creates an item under System Preferences.
Design & Comfort
This mouse is absolutely beautiful. It's design is near perfect. It's sleek features and oh so perfect placement of the thumb wrest make this mouse a joy to use. Not only is it beautiful with it's black & metallic finish, but it also is incredibly comfortable.
I suffer from the repetitive motion syndrome... and have been using an ergonomic vertical mouse for the last few years. While it helped tremendously, I have found that I can stand longer sessions at the Mac without fatiguing my right hand, since I have been using the MX Revolution. Your mileage may vary.
This mouse has it all -- if you are a right handed person. Unfortunately, there is no version currently for lefties. This leaves out quite a bit of the population. Hopefully this will be addressed in a future version.
Speaking of the design, you should check out this document from Logitech. It gives you a little background about how much detail really went into it.
One of my favorite parts of the design is the way they have the battery status indicator disappear when the mouse is still. This mouse is so aesthetically pleasing, it makes me wonder if they can top it.
Microsoft Mouse... C-Ya!
Microsoft Mouse users are a die hard breed, and most of them would never consider switching to another mouse. Some would sooner switch to a Mac.. if they could bring their mouse with them.
While the Microsoft Mouse is well designed... it comes nowhere close to this beauty. I have let a few people sit down and try this mouse on for size, and they absolutely love it. When asked if they would switch -- an unequivocal yes was the answer.
Logitech really has revolutionized the mouse. You can really tell how much thought and planning went into it. It's a perfect fit for an Apple user. Apple users like the best, and the MX Revolution IS THE BEST mouse ever. Period.