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A Dynamic Productivity Duo

Advisors spend a lot on their machines, but they sometimes ignore productivity-boosting peripherals.

Joel P. Bruckenstein, 11/12/2009

Logitech Performance Mouse MX
I've long been convinced that computer peripherals do not get the respect they deserve within the advisor community. Many of our colleagues will spend a great deal of time identifying the best computer for a job, and they are generally willing to pay up a bit for convenience and quality, but they don't spend much time or money on peripherals. The computer mouse is a case in point. This small piece of equipment is heavily used by most advisors, and quality counts a great deal. A good mouse can be more comfortable to use, more accurate, and more efficient, yet I often see advisors with expensive computers using cheap, junky mice.

If you are one of the many advisors suffering from quality mouse deprivation, I'd strongly recommend that you check out the latest in mouse technology: the new Logitech Performance Mouse MX. This premium mouse matches others for comfort and usability, but there are distinct features that set the Logitech Performance Mouse MX apart from the crowd. First, this mouse can track virtually anywhere; on lacquered surfaces or even glass, making it a great laptop companion. Second, the "leave in" Logitech miniature receiver. Third, there's the flexible recharging system. Let's discuss each in turn.

The Logitech Performance Mouse MX is one of only two mice currently on the market (the other is the Logitech Anywhere Mouse MX) using Logitech's new Darkfield laser technology. Typical optical and laser mice use surface irregularities to track mouse speed and direction. That's why typical mice can't perform well on polished or glass surfaces; they can't identify irregularities on glass and lacquer. This is a particular problem for laptop users. According to a Logitech survey, 40 percent of respondents have a glass table. Of those, 47% say they use their computer on the glass table at least once a week. In addition, road warriors often work in coffee shops and hotels that sport glass or lacquer surfaces.

Darkfield technology is derived from the principles of dark field microscopy, which is used in laboratories to detect difficult-to-see particles. It allows the mouse to identify tiny particles of dust, scratches and other small imperfections. It then uses those imperfections to track mouse speed and direction. So, while Darkfield technology will not work on a perfectly clean and smooth surface, those types of surfaces are extremely rare outside of a controlled environment. In the rare instance that the mouse does have trouble tracking, simply touching the surface of the table with your hand will usually leave enough residual matter to make tracking possible.

The Logitech Unifying receiver is truly tiny. Plug it into a standard USB port, and you won't even know it is there. It protrudes about ΒΌ inch from my laptop, so I can leave it plugged in all the time. The Unifying receiver can support up to six devices, so if you switch out one mouse for another, or if you feel like occasionally using a full keyboard, this receiver can support them.

This cordless mouse offers flexible recharging options. You can plug a micro-USB cable into the mouse and recharge it as you use it if necessary. You can recharge using your computer's standard USB port, or you can plug the mouse into a wall outlet. Cables (and carrying case) are included.

As for standard comfort and features, they are all here. The sculpted shape fits comfortably in your right hand. Four programmable thumb buttons allow you to scroll through open windows or web pages, zoom in and out, or whatever else you want them to do. The scroll wheel on top makes navigating large documents and spreadsheets a breeze.

The only minor issue I had with the mouse was attaching the charging cable the first time. I had to position it at a slight angle, and the first time it was a tight fit. After the initial charge, all was well.

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