Logitech MX Air Mouse Hands On (Verdict: Why?)

logitech_front.jpgThe Logitech MX Air Rechargeable Cordless Mouse ships today, and we've been testing it, taking it into the home theater and onto the desktop. You can move it around in 3D space, gesturing your way to screen navigation. But it's frustrating at times, and it takes a while to get the hang of it. Be sure you can return it, because some people will intensely dislike this mouse. Jump for our assessment of its pluses and minuses. Good: Coolest-looking mouse we've ever seen. Nice charging stand. 2.4GHz wireless transmits a lot farther than conventional wireless mice (or even through walls), about like Bluetooth. Nice dynamic scrolling feature, where it lets you sling a scroll into hyper-auto mode, which feels a bit like the iPhone's "kinetic scrolling." The trick to using its 3D capabilities: When you pick it up, don't hold it like a mouse, but like a remote control. And it works fairly well, letting you move around in space and mouse around the screen with relative ease. Cool "Freespace" motion sensing gestures in selected media apps: slight flick to the left or right for volume, circle in the air for next/previous track.

Bad: The 3D interface takes some getting used to, we're still trying to figure out the crucial question: Why? Works OK as a desktop mouse, but if you pick it up the slightest bit, it thinks you want 3D mode and doesn't work in flat mode for a few seconds. It would be nice to be able to turn off the 3D mode altogether. We also don't care for the lack of a physical scroll wheel. Instead it's got a touchpad-like area for scrolling that makes an annoying ticking sound that you can't turn off. Expensive at $149.99.

Summing up, $150 is a lot to plunk down for a mouse that's beautiful but feels just plain weird. It behaves oddly on the desktop, and any cheap Bluetooth mouse would be a whole lot easier to use in the home theater. Pass.

If you're still interested, Amazon's the only place it's available thus far. [Amazon]

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