In the world of computer peripherals, the Logitech name is one of the most recognizable and respected. Go to any computer store and you’d probably find something made by Logitech – headphones, speakers, keyboards and/or mice. Never willing to let their product line linger, Logitech recently announced their new VX Nano laser mouse. Billed as an ultra-portable mouse with a surprisingly small USB receiver, the VX Nano is marketed mainly toward laptop users. Read our review of the VX Nano to find out about its features and performance.
Features and Design
The Logitech VX Nano laser mouse is smaller than your average mouse. It is specifically marketed toward laptop users, but equally useful for younger computer users, people who have small hands or those who want a slightly compact wireless mouse for their desktop systems. The VX Nano is stylish with its black and dark grey housing. It has tastefully rubberized accents, sleek contours and feels good in the hand.
The VX Nano gets its name from the tiny – or rather “nano” – USB receiver that plugs into your computer. The receiver is roughly 1/10 the size of normal receivers. It’s so small, in fact, that it’s relatively easy to lose if one isn’t careful. If you do happen to lose the receiver, Logitech will have replacement receivers available on their spare arts website for $10 USD.
With most wireless mice (except Bluetooth mice), the receiver needs to be in a location where it’ll have direct or near-direct line of sight with the mouse. Sometimes those receivers are bulky and they clutter up your desktop.
The VX Nano uses a 2.4GHz wireless signal, so the receiver can send its signal through the surface of a desk, across a room, etc. When testing this 2.4GHz signal, I was able to use the mouse through a solid wood table, with the mouse on a nearby table and even upwards of 18 feet away. I doubt there’s much reason to use a mouse 18 feet away from one’s desk, but it’s certainly possible.
Light years ahead of roller ball mice, and much more sensitive and accurate than early generation optical mice, the Logitech VX Nano uses a 848 nanometer laser to track and control mouse movements. This results in faster response rates, more accurate navigation on all types of surfaces, ultra-tight controls for games, Photoshopping and more.
The VX Nano has an On/Off button on the bottom surface of the mouse. This helps prevent battery drain from unintentional laser activity when transporting the mouse in a briefcase or backpack. The VX Nano uses two AAA batteries which reportedly last up to 6 months or more.
In the Box
Included with the VX Nano mouse are: two AAA batteries, USB receiver, USB receiver extension cable (roughly 5 feet long), Windows software, user guide and a handy synthetic cloth-like travel pouch.
Image Courtesy of Logitech
Setup and Use
The VX Nano mouse doesn’t require much setup. Once removed from the packaging, there are only two things you need to do – install the batteries (included) and plug the tiny USB receiver into an available USB port on your computer. If your operating system is recent enough (Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, XP, Vista, etc. or Mac OS X 10.3.x and higher), the VX Nano mouse will automatically be recognized and will begin to function as a basic mouse. If you want to take advantage of the advanced features of the mouse – the 5 programmable buttons, for example – Logitech includes specific software to control these functions. If you’re using a Mac, you’ll have to download the Logitech Control Center software (currently version 2.2.2) from the Logitech website. This forced download is a bit of an inconvenience.
Setting up the Windows and Mac software is very easy. Pop the CD into your computer (or download the software from Logitech.com) and follow the simple instructions. Full installation takes less than 1 minute.
Once the software is installed, run the software to configure the custom buttons on the mouse. For example, when I configured my mouse, I set the top “One Touch Search” button to open Google.com when pressed. Not too shabby!
All the other buttons, including left and right click, can be customized. Most computers will run with two or more mice, so a mouse like the VX Nano could be configured to control a whole host of custom functions, while another mouse – perhaps a second VX Nano – controls normal mousing functions. As a test, I set up the VX Nano right and left click buttons to control my LCD screen brightness. Instead of normal mouse clicking, now the VX Nano controls my screen. There are lots of ways to play around with the VX Nano using the Logitech software.
As far as comfort is concerned, the VX Nano is pretty light, but not in a cheap way. It feels substantial and solid in one’s hand, and the plastic housing and accents are properly smooth and grippy where they need to be. The mouse is a bit smaller than the average desktop or wired mouse, and certainly a lot smaller than some pro-level gaming mice.
The scroll wheel is very smooth. Logitech abandonded the clickity-notchity feel of earlier scroll wheels, making the VX Nano scroll wheel feel silky smooth when scrolling back and forth. On occasion, the left-to-right action of the scroll wheel looked jerky and shaky on the screen. For Photoshop, video editing and horizontal web scrolling, this would prove very annoying. It was the only tangible flaw found when testing the VX Nano mouse.
The VX Nano laser mouse is a great little mouse for all kinds of uses. It’s excellent for laptop users who want a wireless mouse but don’t want a bulky USB receiver. It works equally well with any desktop computer. With the 2.4GHz wireless technology used, the mouse and receiver do not need to be in direct line of sight – the mouse can be on a desk and the receiver could be under the desk, behind books, etc. This helps simplify your work space.
The VX Nano may also appeal to technical users, thanks to the 848 nanometer laser’s accuracy. Casual gamers may like it for basic use, but it really can’t be classified as a full-fledged gaming mouse.
While the basic left-click, right-click and scrolling functions of the VX Nano are no different than any other mouse, the laser, 2.4GHz signal and super tiny receiver make it an attractive option, even at $70 USD.
• Super small receiver
• Amazing wireless range
• Portable with carry pouch
• Extended battery life
• Receiver easy to lose
• Horizontal scroll-wheel action is sloppy