The MX1000 comes with a USB / PS2 converter plug. This can be used so that the mouse has basic functionality if you want to plug it into any computer quickly. If you want all the functionality of the new buttons and features, such as battery level indicator, you need to plug it into a USB port. What's worse, is that our PC (and the SetPoint software) didn't even register the mouse until we moved it from the PS2 port into a USB port. The USB cord attached the receiver is adequately lenghty, making it easy to setup the receiver on the desktop (or another, more sensical location) if you have your rig on the floor.
We tried to use the mouse in the PS2 port with no driver install, and it worked fine. Obviously the special button functions and side-to-side scrollers didn't work, but that is because we haven't loaded the drivers from the included CD's. One point of the install process was very unnerving to us. It was when the option screen came up, letting us choose which programs to install. One of the options were Windows Media Player 9, and its checkbox could not be unchecked. Being happy with WMP 8, this reviewer absolutely refused to install WMP 9. Also, to make matters worse, the following screen after having to be forced to click 'Next >' to continue installation, the software tells me that Real Player would also be installed. Well, this reviewer was smart (and desperate) to not have these two things be installed along with the necessary drivers for the mouse, so after the SetPoint software had completed its install, we pressed the EJECT button on the CD-ROM drive when the installer software was saying it was still installing WMP 9. Yes, it was excessive, but it was a dirty solution to a dirty problem. So, in the end, we had SetPoint installed cleanly and our trusty WMP 8 still worked, and best of all, no RealPlayer was installed either.
Lying down, angle shot
Logitech's new SetPoint software is a far cry from its previous peripherals config software called MouseWare. It is a program that is launched at startup and sits in the system tray. It even comes with some handy tours and driver versions information found prominently in its main view below. The good part about SetPoint is that it can handle multiple Logitech devices. If you had a Logitech mouse, keyboard, steering wheel, game pad and possibly even a web-cam, each device will have its own tab, accessible at the top of the dialogue window.
Going into the 'My Mouse' tab, we can see the exact product we are configuring. Highlighting the specific buttons in Step #2 also activates the graphic image highlights on the mouse image itself, making it clear which button we are defining the actions for. As for Step #3, we like the Keystroke Assignment option, for when we have an action that is often used in Photoshop, we can assign it to a certain button. For example, Ctrl-shift-N can be assigned for when we need to create new layers in a Photoshop document.
Furthermore, we have the obligatory cursor settings and scrolling sensitivity options. Though we don't see the option to calibrate or to adjust double-click detection speed. Also, there is a battery level display that shows quite accurately how much juice are in the MX1000's cell. These are shown on different screens, accessible by the left-hand-side vertical tabs.
SetPoint main screen
Button configuration screen
Battery life left
Mouse movements and cursor settings
All those buttons!
The MX1000 comes with a whopping 8 buttons. They are:
LEFT & RIGHT mouse buttons
Side-to-side rocker LEFT
Side-to-side rocker RIGHT
With the SetPoint software, each of the buttons can be re-assigned to serve a different need, and the process is quite simple. By default, the Application-switch button (placed on the left side, above the thumb rest) allows you to easily switch between open applications. When pressed, a dialogue popup is shown, with a vertical list and icon of all the items you have open. This feature takes away the need to Alt-Tab to cycle through your applications.
Side-to-side scrolling wheel
We never knew how useful this feature of the scrolling wheel would be, until we got our hands on the MX1000, and enabled all the features on it via the SetPoing software and included drivers. The sideways scrolling is quite handy in a lot of situations, and now we're using it more and more. This is valuable because we don't have to hunt for the horizontal scrollbars, saving time and increasing productivity. These are some examples of how it is the most help:
» When fully zoomed in on a photoshop document, and you can re-adjust
» When looking at an overly large spreadsheet - you can slide the view left and right
» When viewing an HTML source in Firefox and it doesn't wrap, sliding left to right is smooth
I wonder when game developers can integrate this side-to-side action into their games. It can be used to scroll through inventory, peek around corners in FPS's and maybe glance in either direction, as if looking for oncoming traffic (and bad guys). We already have games in which the scroll bar has been integrated to zoom and also select weapons, and us gamers are thankful for that, but it will be grand if this new feature will be used in-game as well.