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  Mouse round-up: Logitech, Microsoft and Razer mice compared

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Read our latest take: 2010 Mouse Round-up: 12 Options, Every Budget Covered

We have said it from day one in our reviews, buying guides, and even on the news when possible, spending a considerable amount of money in a good keyboard and mouse is not a waste of your hard earned cash. After all, those are the devices you will be interacting with 90% of time. Be it because of ergonomic reasons or plain comfort, if you are serious about computing, we certainly encourage you to invest in such high-end input devices rather than in the latest quad-GPU graphics board.

That is the reason today we are taking a look at six mice ranging from $20 to a bit over $50. The contenders today are from Logitech: the MX1000 and MX518, from Razer: the Viper and Diamondback, and from Microsoft: the Wireless Intellimouse Explorer, and the Optical Mouse by S+ARCK. 

 

Logitech MX1000

Logitechís flagship mouse was the first we tested. Boasting a laser sensor, the MX1000 gives 20 times the tracking power of a regular optical mouse according to Logitech; not surprisingly itís the most expensive of the pack but undoubtedly is the one that differentiates the most as well.

Although regular optical mice have improved over the past few years, the laser equipped MX1000 excelled when testing it on a variety of surfaces.  We randomly grabbed items such as sheets of paper, folders, glass, and even a t-shirt, and the mouse was still able to function. The mouse comes with a battery meter on the side that displays how much battery life is left, a handy feature that we would expect to see more often in newer mice. As with optical mice, if you donít make use of it for several seconds, the battery indicator turns off and the mouse goes into power saving mode.

The shape of the mouse may seem a bit odd at first, but it is easy to get used to.  On the left side of the mouse, there is an indentation that makes a perfect location to place the thumb.


Although Microsoft was the first to jump into the side-to-side scrolling bandwagon, it didnít take long for Logitech to catch up; this is another of the features in the MX1000. Once the mouse is configured properly using Logitech's SetPoint software, the side-to-side scrolling is a wonderful feature especially when web browsing or in other applications such as Photoshop, or even in games once you get used to, you could make good use of it for scrolling through inventory, among a number of different other uses. Although the mouse does work without installing any drivers, Logitech includes their own SetPoint software which allows user customization of the 8 buttons available.

  

I tested playing good old Quake III, Return to Castle Wolfenstein: Enemy Territory, Doom III, and Diablo II, and found the mouse to perform well at all times however at the same time one may say it wasnít anything too spectacular or different than other of the mice reviewed here. This last remark especially goes for the laser technology which has been used to market the mouse as a high-end device. Although laser has somewhat proven to be better than existing optical mice, that doesnít necessarily mean a whole world of difference in tracking or mouse response.

Nevertheless, Logitech expects to grab hardcore gamersí attention with the MX1000 and from what we have seen, they havenít done bad at all. People more sensitive to high prices will want to know the MX1000 can now be bought for slightly more than $50 which is way better than the introductory price of ~$80.

Pros:

  •  Unbelievable ability to track movement on many surfaces

  •  Ergonomic

  •  Best overall mouse

  •  First laser mouse

  •  Li-Ion battery

Cons:

  •  Most expensive mouse reviewed

Images courtesy of Newegg.



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