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

Logitech MX300
July 23, 2003 | Jean-Luc Dinsdale

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At first glance, the Logitech MX300 optical mouse looks very similar to their low-cost Optical Wheel Mouse. What sets the MX300 apart from its older sibling is the MX Optical Engine, Logitechís new optical scanning technology featured in the highly-rated, and much more expensive, MX500 and wireless MX700 mice.

Donít judge a book by its cover.
At first glance, the MX300 looks almost identical to Logitechís previous low-cost offerings. Its size, shape, and small footprint are identical to its older and cheaper cousin, the Optical Wheel Mouse. Weighing in at six ounces, itís only twenty percent heavier than the previous model, and shares its ambidextrous design.

Upon closer inspection, a few differences become noticeable. The mouseís shiny silver exterior has been broken up with a smooth, black swoop, upon which sits the traditional large mouse buttons, and a sturdy, clicky scroll wheel. Wedged in the middle of the mouse, right beneath the buttons, is a third, tiny black button, whose default function in the Logitech driver utility is to switch applications. The new buttonís positioning isnít ideal, however. While itís far enough out of the way to not be pressed accidentally, it requires a distinct bending of the wrist to access, and may encourage carpal tunnel. The new buttonís location is also situated far enough out of the way that users cannot press it without lifting their fingers up and away from the mouseís other buttons and scroll wheel, something I would be loathe to do in the middle of an intense multi-player session of any first person shooter.

Using the mouse over a period of four weeks, I never got the hang of using the button for application switching, and eventually resorted back to Mac OS Xís command-tab key combination. Although the additional button can be re-programmed to perform other tasks through the Logitech Control Center System preference pane, its location and small size make it awkward to use repetitively.

The end result of the new redesigned look makes for a very sleek and ultra-modern mouse that compliments the brushed titanium and aluminum look of Appleís latest computers. The mouseís relatively small footprint Ė a major advantage over Logitechís other bulky MX Engine-equipped mice Ė works well for Mac users who donít have the luxury of a large desktop space or work area. The small size of the mouse also feels more ergonomic, fitting comfortably in most peopleís hands without forcing the user to stretch or extend their fingers to access all the mouseís functions. Finally, the MX300ís shape is friendly and just as comfortable to both right- and left-handers, a quality that isnít shared by Logitechís more expensive, MX500 and MX700 mice.


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