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Logitech VX Nano Cordless Laser Mouse

January 11th, 2009 No comments
Review Info
Home Page Click Here
Price $44.99 (BJ’s)
Needs 2 AAA batteries
Construction 10
Usability 9
Worthiness 9

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Logitech VX Nano (4)

Introduction

For a portable mouse, I used to use Targus, but I was Christmas shopping in December ’08 at an Office Depot when I spied the Logitech VX Nano Cordless Laser Mouse.  It was cute, compact, came with its own case, and worked wirelessly.  I considered it a Christmas present to myself and poped it in the basket.  I tell you that I had no idea how much I’d like it until I used it a few days later.

Construction

The mouse feels solidly constructed and has a good weight for a portable mouse.  I say portable mouse in that this mouse is small enough to fit into briefcase or backback with your other tech kit.  Any larger and the VX Nano would be a full sized mouse.  Any smaller, and it would be what I’d call a mini-mouse, which is one of those mice you usually have to hold between your thumb and ring finger to move effectively on a surface – about the size of an iPod shuffle.

Construction covers not only how solidly something is built, but its design as well, and here the Nano is a step above.  Someone put some thought into the design of this nice piece of tech.  First, the mouse is symmetric and can be used left or right handed comfortably, which is nice for our south-paw friends.  The only exception is the two buttons where a righty’s forefinger would be.  Southpaws will have to use their middle finger for those.

Then there’s the bluetooth receiver, which slots nicely into the bottom of the mouse after opening a panel. Under that panel is where you put two AAA batteries, a slot for the receiver, and a little red button.  Get this – you put the receiver in the slot and the mouse automatically turns off.  You press the button and the receiver pops up for easy withdrawal, and the mouse turns on.  That right there is brilliant as far as I’m concerned.  There’s also a power button on the bottom of the mouse – not under the panel, to turn the mouse off when you don’t want to disconnect the receiver from the computer.

To protect this cute little addition to your tech kit repertoire, Logitech includes a nice little black zippered sleeve made from some kind of airy neoprene netting that feels scrunchy between your fingers and provides more than just the your normal “throw it in a bag” protection.

Usability

It fits in a medium sized paw like mine.  If your hand is on the larger side, you may need a full sized mouse for your portable, but for the rest of us, the Nano is just fine.  The real story on usability here is the mouse wheel.  The bad news is that it does not and cannot function as a third “middle-click” button.  For that, there is a button just below the wheel closer to your palm which will act as such.  Instead, when you click on the wheel, it changes function physically.  Initially, it works as any mouse wheel – as it scrolls up or down, you feel the soft clicking as it moves from one position to the next, each position a certain number of lines the target application will move.  If you click on the wheel, it changes to its other mode, which is click-free scrolling.  This means that you can spin the wheel like the wheel of a bike.  The spin is almost frictionless, so one good spin with your finger can result is a half a minute or more of spinning action.

If you have one of those mile long web pages or word/acrobat documents (or in my case a ridiculously long Java class) that you have to repetitively hit the mouse wheel to scroll though – this new frictionless spin can have you flying through them in no time.  At first I thought that it was a waste of the wheel functionality, but after whipping through a few web sites and ExtJS source files (35,000+ lines of Javascript. Yea!), I found myself missing the ability on my desktop MX5000 wireless mouse.   It really does make moving through large documents easier, though it does take a little time to get used to.

To finish up, there’s the two aforementioned buttons which can be assigned functionality through Logitech’s Setpoint softare or, in Setpoint’s absence, through your OS.  The button just below the wheel can also be mucked with so.

Conclusion

I like it.  I like it a lot more than most of the tech I have.  The Nano is compact, well built, has a nice protective pouch, works wirelessly, doesn’t cramp my hand like most travel mice, and has that neat fly-wheel feature.  The price is a little high, but for the premium price, you get something that will last a while, does it’s job well, and as happened to me at work last Friday, gets your coworkers attention with exclanations of “Cool – what is that?”.  That last point is worth a lot to geeks.  The well-builtedness (sp?  real word?) should appeal to you financially frugal users out there that want something actually worth the money you pay.  This is one of those things.