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    Logitech Mouseman Wheel Optical Review


    The Mouseman Wheel Optical is Logitech’s answer to Microsoft’s Intellimouse Optical series. As a long time user of the Intellimouse Explorer, it caught my attention when I heard Logitech had finally made some competition to Microsoft’s optical nice. So what’s the rundown of this big blue rodent?


    The mouse comes with the usual two finger buttons, scroll wheel, which doubles as a third button, and an additional thumb button. The lack of a mouse ball means that no time needs to be spent cleaning the ball and moving bits inside. Occasionally the pads accumulate a bit of dirt, but a simple swipe with the finger solves that problem. It also provides much greater accuracy than your average ball mouse, scanning the surface at a blazing 1500 times per second, which gives pinpoint accuracy with anything from gaming to graphics design.

    Additionally, as both Logitech and Microsoft both like to advertise, the fact that it uses an optical sensor means that it can be used pretty much anywhere, except on transparent glass or a mirror, for obvious reasons. But for serious gamers I would recommend the use of a proper mouse pad, especially the Everglide or Ratpadz for even greater control and smoother movement.


    Well the packaging comes with a flashing red light to advertise the fact that it’s optical; which I was surprised to find was connected to 2 Duracell AA batteries… it’s going to be flashing for a while… The Mouseman Wheel Optical also comes with a fluoro blue light on the back of the mouse - you’ll be the star attraction at every LAN (maybe). (Credit to for pic.)


    The mouse is designed with a fairly large, sleek and contoured shape that your right hand can snugly grip onto (sorry lefties). The left hand side is around 1.5 inches high just before the left click button, sloping downwards to around an inch height on the right. The mouse curves inwards at the sides, using some sort of material with better grip, which leads to better movement control. The overall shape is definitely more comfortable to use and puts less strain on your hand over extended use than normal mice.


    The “MouseWare” software is included in the box, and allows you to tweak various aspects of the mouse. One part allows the buttons on the mouse to be mapped to anything from unique functions such as Logitech’s “WebWheel” to any special keyboard button (F1-F12. Alt, shift etc). The WebWheel is a function unique to Logitech which, when activated will allow you to perform various browser operations such as back, reload, access bookmarks, as well as access various predefined sites for a search engine, shopping, etc. One thing I dislike is that it will activate when the button is pressed even if your browser isn’t open, which can be irritating. The cursor speed, double click speed, mouse orientation and more can also be personalized.


    The mouse is fairly long (around 6 inches from head to tail), and you may find yourself hitting the base of your hand where it is resting on the pad when pulling the mouse downwards. This problem doesn’t affect me greatly since I have the cursor speed turned up significantly and can move the cursor around the screen with minimal mouse movement.


    Not only is pretty much the biggest mouse I’ve seen, it’s the heaviest. More weight=more friction=less ease of movement. However since it doesn’t use a ball it probably ends up with less restriction than a normal ball mouse anyway.


    Unfortunately the scroll (wheel works, button doesn't) and thumb buttons don’t seem to work with the games I’ve tried (CS and Q3A). If a button is mapped to auto scroll or WebWheel and click the button in the game, it either Alt-tabs out of the game or causes a flickering image of the wheel/scroll/cursor to appear on the screen I’ll need to Alt tab out and get back in to get rid of. Even mapping the buttons to a key such as F1 didn’t work. I suspect this is a game specific issue, as the latest series of Logitech mice are relative new, and the Microsoft Optical thumb buttons had the same problems when they first came out.
    This aside, no other non-optical mouse can hold a stick compared to the Mouseman Wheel in terms of precision and control.


    If you are into gaming (mainly FPS) or find the constant “skipping” and need to clean the mouse ball and insides of a normal mouse irritating, then an optical mouse is definitely for you. Even if you are just a regular user the features provided by the mouse, from the 4 buttons + scroll (with the ability to map these buttons to various features) to the durability provided by not having moving parts can make this a convenient and lasting companion.
    In comparison with the Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer I would choose this mouse mainly due to the shape and design of the mouse. I find it overall easier to grip and to control, and as a bonus for my hand size the width of the mouse is just right (I find the MS Intellimouse Exp a little bit too wide)

    Related links:
  • Logitech
  • Mouseman Wheel Direct Link
  • Everglide
  • Ratpadz
  • Everglide Review
  • Ratpadz Review
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    Zalman: ZM-DS4F Headphones

    An affordable, ultra-portable headphone set.

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