The workspace requires very professional, easy to use computer hardware. That’s one reason why Macs have slowly taken over the workplace (simple to use, easy to maintain, good for small businesses). Actual computer peripherals are a bit more troubling because the choices – like the problems plaguing most work environments – are endless.
I spent the past few months looking at a number of Logitech’s hardware items made specifically for the office space. The primary peripheral is the Logitech Performance Mouse MX, a full-size wireless mouse that tracks on any surface, uses Logitech’s proprietary Unifying wireless connection, and a number of additional features. And it’s one of the overall best mice I’ve ever tested.
The Performance Mouse MX is as fully featured as most gaming mice: it comes complete with four programmable thumb buttons, a frictionless scroll wheel, multiple speed settings, and Logitech’s Darkfield laser tracking. Don’t fret if this sounds like too much for you in everyday use; none of the features get in the way of traditional mouse use. They only complement it.
The combined eight buttons are all programmable through Logitech’s simple Mouse & Keyboard software. Logitech’s frictionless scroll wheel is a mouse feature I can no longer live without. It removes the click function of most scroll wheels which allows users to just keep scrolling with a single flick. The built-in software for web browsers for physics-based scrolling appears nice (much like Apple’s OS X has built into the operating system), but on Windows-based machines it feels unnatural and too smooth. Physics-based motion needs to be on the OS level.
Adjusting the dots per inch setting is beyond what most consumers will ever require, but for gamers and professionals with larger displays its practically a requirement that too many mouse makers overlook. Darkfield may seem like overkill, especially for a mouse that’s not intended to leave the workspace, but the technology is sound and provides excellent tracking on almost any surface, including glass and even mirrors.
Comfort is key on the Performance MX for right-handed users (there is no left-handed model). This is one of the most comfortable mice I have ever tested, with ample space for all of your fingers and a large space for the thumb to rest if not in use. However, unlike previous flagship mice from Logitech this Performance MX does not come with a base charge stand, which is instead replaced by a simple MicroUSB cable like your typical smartphone. It’s good that Logitech has adopted the same charging cable, but a base dock would provide a cleaner approach to the office space.
I highly questioned the use of Logitech’s Unifying tech, which requires an included USB dongle and can connect up to six Unifying devices to a single computer. Bluetooth has all but taken over, and many of Logitech’s own devices don’t utilize Unifying, including my favorite K810 and K811 keyboards. There are two major benefits to using Unifying: there is no Bluetooth interference (a major problem in busy work environments, where dozens or hundreds of Bluetooth devices may be active in a relatively small area), and it doesn’t require Bluetooth whatsoever. For readers familiar with my work, you know I hate Bluetooth.
One notable problem with the Performance MX: the middle mouse button is not press-perfect. It’s too easy to press the button but not get a click or a response. For some reason, it has to be pressed in exactly the right way for it to properly activate the button.
Battery life is exceptional, with 2-3 weeks of use for 8-12 hours a day per charge (5 days a week). I have used the Performance MX in my office for work (and even occasionally for gaming; the software includes a gaming mode for faster polling rates, which is excessive but nice for the occasional gamer) and aside from the middle mouse button enjoy it immensely.
My favorite mouse is still the Logitech G700 (we’ll have a review of the update, the G700s, in the near future), but that’s a gaming mouse for the home space. The Performance Mouse MX is a high-quality workhorse of a mouse. It’s responsive, comfortable, holds an incredible charge, and is excellent for any use. At $100, it’s also a pretty good deal, though I’d rather spend a little more for a charging dock.
Excellent design, weight, feel, and tracking. Software & programmability couldn't be better. Unifying tech removes interference in populated offices. Great battery life.
Middle mouse button difficult to press. No charging dock, not even an optional one.
Spawned in the horrendous heat of a Los Angeles winter, James was born with an incessant need to press buttons. Whether it was the car radio, doorbells on Halloween or lights, James pushed, pressed and prodded every button. No elevator was left unscathed, no building intercom was left un-rung, and no person he’s known has been left un-annoyed.