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Manufacturer: Logitech
Min OS X: Any Version    Requires: USB Port

Logitech MX700
February 19, 2003 | Andy Largent

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In the five short months since Logitech announced the MX-series mice, the MX700 easily became one of the most awarded wireless optical mice on the market. Featuring a doubly sensitive 800 DPI optical eye, eight programmable buttons, and a self-recharging station built-in to its receiver, it's not hard to imagine why the MX700 is so highly regarded. We decided it's worth the time to give the mouse a rundown from a Mac gamer's perspective as well, though. Does the MX700 hold up to all the hype under OS X? Let's find out.

First Impressions
Though I've been a fan of wireless mice for years now, not all of them are created equal. Not being wired directly to the computer can often cause latency. Add in optical to the equation, and you're begging for trouble. While they don't have a ball to clean, there are often problems like slow responsiveness, skips during tracking, or lag immediately after waking from sleep.

Out of the box, the MX700's shape was instantly more comfortable than my old favorite, the Logitech Cordless Mouseman Wheel. The MX700 isn't as tall, but seems to fill my hand even better. Obviously, from looking at the shape of the mouse, it's for righties only, so those left-handed folk will need to look elsewhere. The black and buffed metal look of the mouse is very slick, as well as the matching receiver station. Setup just involved connecting the receiver to an open USB port and plugging in the power supply. Remember, the receiver is also the recharging station and Logitech notes the mouse needs less than two hours to fully charge the included batteries.

Apart from the look and feel of the mouse, how well it tracks is easily the most important thing to me. If I have to physically pick up the mouse and move it before it reaches across my screen, the tracking isn't fast enough. The first time I used the MX700, I found I didn't have to set the tracking to its fastest level. The cursor can travel from the left edge of my first monitor to the far right edge of my second monitor without the mouse moving halfway across the mousepad. Just as important, it does this smoothly and accurately, without the hiccups or skips associated with many optical mice.

Buttons Everywhere
The two main buttons are made of one solid piece of plastic which attaches at the bottom, seemingly taking a cue from Apple's Pro Mouse. This allows the buttons to be triggered from anywhere up to the midpoint of the mouse, making it a nice fit for a wide variety of hands and finger lengths. The buffed metal of the two main buttons feels very smooth to the touch, and the responsiveness of these is just right. The scroll wheel is great too. It gives nice feedback on how far you're scrolling, without being too sticky to move.

Admittedly, the rest of the buttons took some getting used to. I'd give it a week or two of intensive use before you try and pass judgment on them, especially if you're moving up from a one-, two-, or even three-button mouse. Immediately above and below the scroll wheel are two very small buttons used to page up and down. While it takes some time for the muscle memory to kick in, once you learn you don't have to use the scroll wheel on a long web page or Word document, you'll never want to be without them.

The same goes for the application switch button placed even deeper between the two main buttons. By default, this maps to OS X's Alt-tab combination, moving you between open applications. I'd say I don't use this as often as the other two, but that's likely because I'm not in the habit of Alt-tabbing anyway, and the position of the button takes a good bend of the index finger.

Not to leave your thumb without anything to do, Logitech has kindly provided two more buttons on the left side of the mouse. These have been moved above the thumb's resting position, presumably to avoid accidental clicking. Mapped to the forward and backward keys in your browser, they too can quickly become indispensable for those who do a lot of web surfing. It's fascinating to realize how inconvenienced you were by always having to track all the way back up to the forward and backward buttons. The biggest problem comes when I have to go to work and find I don't have these buttons. That's when I realized how much I used them (and how much I need to convince my boss I need one there too).


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