Technology Tuesday: Logitech Cube Mouse Review

I spend A LOT of time both on my laptop and giving presentations. Seems like I’ve been searching forever for a decent travel mouse that can double as wireless presenter when need be. While I have found decent alternatives for each, I haven’t, until now, found a device that ably does both jobs. And frankly, the Logitech Cube Mouse is so enjoyable to use, and performs so well, that I’ve taken to using it as my primary mouse at my desk.

 

The Logitech Cube Mouse is a sleek, well designed wireless mouse that completely re-imagines what a mouse should look like and also doubles as a wireless presenter. If you have the need to quickly jump between a mouse and a presenter or simply need a small form factor mouse for easy travel, this device could be for you.  And you may enjoy it so much that it earns a spot on your desk even when you are not travelling.

Wireless Mouse? What’s the big deal? Sure, there’s tons of wireless pointing devices out there ranging in size from large gaming style devices all the way down to tiny little ovals, not much bigger than an egg. Yet, the smaller ones typically dispense with features and become a simple mouse while the larger ones are difficult to travel with and not portable at all. The Logitech Cube Mouse will fit unobtrusively in your shirt pocket and offers a slew of great features in a stunning design and form factor.

Why is it called Cube? Brilliant question. I guess because the packaging box is a square? Other than that, it is certainly not a cube. It’s a rectangle not much bigger than those big pink erasers that we used to use in elementary school which fits perfectly in the palm of your hand.  Nevertheless, it is a far cry from the design of most mice that have proliferated since the very first mouse that graced the first Apple. Frankly, it’s a design that is enough to turn a head or two when in a conference room or working at the local coffee shop.

How does it work? Plug in the tiny dongle  into an available USB port, power the Cube on and start using it as a regular mouse. The dongle is so small and unobtrusive that I leave it permanently plugged into one of my ports. Of course this is no different than most other wireless mice. The difference is that you can easily scroll by swiping your fingers along the top (just like Apple’s Magic Mouse). And, in a real dose of awesome, you can pick it up off the surface you are using and it instantly becomes a presenter. To flip through slides, you can can simply hit the button. Need to back up? Turn the Cube over and now clicks move backwards. Sweet and simple.

How’s the performance? There’s a handful of things that are imperative for a good wireless mouse. First off is dependability and battery life. This is a durable, well-made device that should last indefinitely. Battery life is very good too. While the Cube Mouse should give a couple week’s of heavy use, it’s nowhere near that of a desktop mouse that runs off of AA batteries which seemingly last for a year or so. Conveniently though, the Cube Mouse is recharged via a micro-usb port. A low battery life indicator helps prevent presentation embarrassment when the batteries die.

Another important criteria is how well the mouse actually tracks across different surfaces. I find that the Cube Mouse works on practically every surface that I’ve tried it on, tracking smoothly and without skips. Likewise, with scrolling, I absolutely demand glass-like, silky scrolling that I’ve become accustomed to on my Galaxy SII smartphone. Fortunately, the scrolling by sliding your finger across the surface is as fluid as can be imagined.

Why you may not like the Cube Mouse: I can see how many people will likely not enjoy using this as a mouse because it is so small. If you demand a really large mouse that fills the entire palm of your hand and like resting your hand on your mouse while you work, then this is definitely not for you. However, I’ve always gravitated to smaller devices and like that form factor.  Also, the size of the dongle is minuscule.  Again, to me that is positive as I use the same computer on both my desk with a dock and for travelling. So the dongle stays permanently in one of my four available USB ports. If you constantly need to switch between computers and pack for traveling and presentations, the risk of losing the dongle is something to consider.

Three more things to know about the Logitech Cube Mouse: 

  1. Retail cost is about $70 and can be purchased directly from Logitech, Amazon or most other electronic retailers. A little steep for a mouse, but remember, you are getting a slick presenter as well. I was able to expense as a business cost fortunately as despite shopping around, I was not able to find any discounts or deals on this.
  2. If you have other wireless devices from Logitech, like a keyboard, that run on the Unifying Compatible receivers, you will not need to take up another USB port as they can handle up to six separate devices.
  3. The Cube Mouse comes with a USB charging cord and a cool travel pouch.

Bottom Line The Cube Mouse is stylish, well-made and a conversation starter that performs well as both a desktop wireless mouse and a presenter with good battery life and great features. Beware though, that it is extremely small and that may be a turn-off for you.

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Hidden Track Technology Tuesday

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