Bluetooth is starting to take off, now that more and more notebook computers are coming out with built-in Bluetooth capabilities. Bluetooth does make a lot of sense in a mobile computing environment where you really do want to reduce all the 'cable clutter' that comes from USB connected peripherals. You can start to think about Bluetooth as a 'wireless USB' capability.
With over three million Bluetooth devices being shipped each week, computing peripheral vendors such as Logitech are starting to respond with products that are compatible with the Bluetooth wireless environment. The Logitech MX900 mouse is one such product. The Mobile Tech News product lab recently picked up an MX900 mouse for evaluation, and here are our impressions.
The MX900 is modelled after the earlier and highly acclaimed MX700 cordless mouse. It's hard to not fall in love with the feel of the MX900 mouse. The contoured shape seems to fit the hand like a glove. There is enough weight to give it a solid feel while not being too heavy to rule out portable use.
The MX900 comes packaged with a charger base that doubles as a USB-Bluetooth hub for use with computers with no Bluetooth built-in capability, an AC adapter, a software CD, and two AA Ni-MH batteries.
Our testing was done on a Sony Vaio S170 running Windows XP with Service Pack 2. In this configuration, the native Bluetooth driver stack correctly identified the MX900 and immediately provided basic mouse services. The extra features of the MX900 such as assignable button functionality are, however, not available through the native Bluetooth stack. In order to take advantage of all features, it is necessary to install the Logitech "SetPoint" software package. Unfortunately, the SetPoint installation refused to recognize the native built-in Bluetooth radio, but insisted that we use the external USB-Bluetooth Hub. Hopefully, Logitech will be fixing this in the future. After all, who wants to lug around a bulky external Bluetooth Hub when you already have one built into your notebook! Remember that the idea of Bluetooth is to eliminate cable clutter.
At least for the time being, our solution will be to leave the Hub behind and just pack a couple extra AA batteries in our notebook case before we head out on our next road trip.
- Great ergonomics
- Attractive styling
- Nice solid feel and good handling
- Not well suited for left handed people
- Incomplete software integration for notebooks with built-in Bluetooth