Tactical Advice

Reinventing the Wheel

Logitech's VX Nano cordless mouse makes a nice notebook companion.
This story appears in the December 2009 issue of BizTech Magazine.

Logitech promotes its VX Nano Cordless Laser Mouse “for business,” and with its ultra-tiny USB receiver, lightweight form factor and frictionless scroll wheel, not only is it convenient but it might also help improve productivity.

End-User Advantages

The VX Nano is light — slightly bigger than the average notebook mouse but not so big that it’s inconvenient when travelling. Most cordless mice of this size require two AA batteries and need a lot of exertion to get them moving, which isn’t ideal for comfortable long-term use. The VX Nano stands out because it uses two AAA batteries, which enable it to glide effortlessly across the desktop.

We’ve all suffered the frustration of using a mouse that works poorly on a particular surface. And that is the chief reason for choosing laser mice over the cheaper optical options. They work better on a variety of flat surfaces.

In the case of the Nano, Logitech’s MicroGear Precision Scroll Wheel provides extra flexibility. The wheel can be set to operate on a ratchet like a standard mouse or to spin freely at high speed, providing a natural and quick way to navigate. Because users often browse for information based on visual clues when a search doesn’t turn up results, the ability to leave the wheel spinning at high speed and then stop it instantly makes it easy to scroll through long documents. You can switch between the two modes of operation by pressing down on the wheel.

Why It Works for IT

The VX Nano can be connected to Microsoft Windows XP, Vista or 7 without additional software, but to program all the buttons, Logitech’s SetPoint software is required. SetPoint runs in 32- and 64-bit versions of Windows and works without administrative privileges. The mouse is also compatible with Mac OS X 10.4 and above.

The Plug-and-Forget USB receiver is so small that it doesn’t protrude and can be left connected even when on the move, so it’s unlikely to ever be lost or damaged.

Disadvantages

Potential users should try out this mouse because it may be too small for some. Also, the back and forward navigation buttons on the top left are a little awkward and inconspicuous enough that you’ll likely forget about them.

Russell Smith is an independent consultant based in the United Kingdom who specializes in Microsoft systems management.
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