MX Revolution: makes me wanna scroll

The thing that I remember most about my father’s old AM/FM tuner is that it had a nice, heavily-weighted tuning knob. And it wasn’t just heavy, either: that thing was mounted on smooth-gliding ball bearings. Give it a good spin, and it would go clear across the dial from one end to the other.

Tempest had that, too. There’s something about a nice, smooth, weighted knob that makes you want to give it a spin. It’s hard to find a good knob these days. Hell, it’s usually hard to find a knob at all – you’re much more likely to get a “rocker” or a “jog dial” – that silly little imitation roller that so desperately wants to be a useful interface, but just can’t seem to make it all the way around.

Thankfully, mice have had 360-degree scroll wheels for years now (most mice, anyway), with rolling action ranging from Microsoft’s smooth, almost squishy feel to Logitech’s hard-edged ratchety-ness. None of them had much presence, though; they mostly just tried to stay out of the way and let you get the job done.

Not this new Logitech MX Revolution mouse: this thing’s got a Roller. A true, reasonably heavy, honest to goodness spin-it-for-the-fun-of-it roller. And I just can’t stop spinning it.

This is what web browsing was designed for. It gives the page a weighted feel, with content easing into place after a soft spin of the wheel, or flying by in a blur to the end of the page after giving it a really good flick.

You’ll need to explore the sensitivity and acceleration settings. On OSX I found my favorite setting to be at the very bottom of the adjustment range, with the acceleration one notch up from there. This leaves the wheel all but useless if you switch it to notch-scroll mode, but there’s little reason to go back to that mode unless you’re a spreadsheet junky whose life depends on single-line-scroll accuracy.

The rest of the mouse is, well, pretty average. It’s not as pleasing to hold as my G7 gaming mouse. Most of its surface is made of a fairly slick plastic (rather than the metallic finished top and rough textured sides of the G series), so your hand will sweat more, and the shape is a bit of a throwback to Logitechs older, heavily curved styles with the deeply carved thumb rest inset into the side. This makes it less of a finger mouse; to use the thumb scroller (sadly just a jog wheel, although it looks like a second roller) you will have to choke up on the grip quite a bit, and depending on how you rest your hand on your mouse pad, you may find the lower left edge of the mouse running into the base of your thumb. It really depends on how you’re accustomed to holding your mouse, and for that reason, despite how enamored I am of the mouse overall, I recommend giving one a try before you buy.

The wheel also has tilt capabilities (not as easy to use as on the G series but that’s not surprising given the elaborate wheel mechanism that must tilt with it), and also serves as a third click button (easier to press than the G series, but still not as clickable as Microsoft’s scroll-wheels). The forward and back buttons are hard chiseled and small. They get the job done, but I found their sharp edges to be more form than function.

The mouse is rechargeable, and I can get generally about 2 days of heavy use out of it before it demands a recharge. Most users will probably find it lasts longer than that. The recharging cradle is small and stylish, and usually fully charges the mouse within an hour or so.

It includes its own small wireless adaptor that fits into a USB port. Reception seems fine (mine is plugged into the back of my computer, which is under my glass and metal desk). I haven’t had any issues with tracking or interference. It’s a laser mouse, and I can’t tell much of a difference between it and my G7 set on medium. It’s not quite as confidence-inspiring, but it’s not something that seems like it will be a problem.

The software (I tested it under OSX) is capable if a bit buggy; one problem I found was that the application-specific profiles you create can get stuck on one app, thinking you’re still playing WoW, for instance, long after you’ve quit the game. Logging out is the only way I’ve found to get profile-switching active again. I don’t imagine the Windows version would have this problem (Logitech is currently in the “on” state of their on again, off again Apple relationship, but they’re still clearly a bit rusty on the OSX coding front).

It’s not a perfect mouse. I don’t like the shape or feel quite as much as my G7. But due to the scroll wheel, this is easily my favorite mouse ever.

Just keep spinning, just keep spinning…

I agree with you - it’s my favourite too.
It takes more getting used too and more customization to get it to work at its optimal in every application (I usually never change settings, but made many individual with this mouse). I still use the G5 at home on my gaming machine, but I prefer the feel and look of the Revolution.
It nice to touch, fits my hand perfectly and the thumb rest is just the right size.