Logitech VX Revolution 'freewheeling' cordless mouse
The laptop mouse for the connoisseur?
Review If you're an avid laptop user, you'll know how clumsy most notebook touchpads and thumbsticks are and that you really can't go wrong with a good mouse. Enter the VX Revolution, Logitech's latest laptop-friendly input device. But this time there's more on off than just a fancy new design: specifically, the mouse maker's new MicroGear high-precision, low-resistance scrollwheel...
So far the biggest improvement anyone's made to a mouse's scrollwheel was to allow it to scroll sideways by rocking it left or right. You can still do this with the MicroGear scrollwheel, but the big thing here is that you can switch it from the normal, "geared" mode - which is the way all other scrollwheels work - to a truly free-wheeling style. With a flick of the finger, the scrollwheel spins freely for up to seven seconds depending on how hard you spin it. The result is much faster page scrolls. To switch modes you have to slide a switch at the bottom of the mouse and this can be a little bit tricky if you don't a suitable prong to hand.
The selling point of all this, according to Logitech, is what it'll do for spreadsheet users. Now, I have to admit I don't spend my days with my nose inches away from zillion-cell Excel worksheets, but I have to say that I did find it very useful in long Word files and websites. Flick the wheel and in seconds you've smoothly shot off to the end of the document. I can see gamers liking it too, if only for jokey 'whizz through the weapons' moments.
The scrollwheel itself is made from metal and has a rubber strip wrapped around its middle for improved grip. The mouse itself has a very ergonomic design and although it's small, it's comfortable to hold in the hand. Both sides are rubberised and the thumb grip has been given a textured surface for extra grip. There's even a small ledge on the other side to rest your fingers on.
There are two thumb-controlled buttons for skipping back and forward between pages in your web browser. On top of the mouse, ready for right-hand index finger control, is a new zoom button that allows you to move in and out of pictures. It works, but I found it uncomfortable to use - it forces you to bend your finger too far to the left. I'd rather use the thumb-facing keys, and thankfully you change all of buttons' default behaviours with Logitech's software. The Windows version is bundled - Mac users have to download their copy.
Finally, there's the search button, located just behind the scrollwheel. This will launch your default online search service or your operating system's search utility, but you can set the functionality to something else if you don't find this useful.