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Rupert Goodwins' Diary

Wednesday 25/8/04The Web has a short-term memory problem - it doesn't forget easily enough. That's what Logitech must be thinking: it has a big surprise for us all planned for 1 September, but someone didn't quite spot the embargo and published a preview anyway.

Wednesday 25/8/04
The Web has a short-term memory problem - it doesn't forget easily enough. That's what Logitech must be thinking: it has a big surprise for us all planned for 1 September, but someone didn't quite spot the embargo and published a preview anyway. That got yanked in short order, but not short enough: Google cache to the rescue!

Our secret treat-to-be is the MX1000, which sounds like a secret gadget that gets stolen by evil geniuses in schlock Hollywood sci-fi thrillers. Only if Dr Evil has a thing for sharks with frickin' laser beams in their heads, he'll probably want to steal the MX1000 - it's a mouse with a frickin' laser beam. Not in its head -- it's where its ball should be -- but it is a mouse. With a laser. I thought I'd repeat that bit.

Laser beams have many useful roles to play in IT. They read and write CDs and DVDs, send thundering signals down fibres, get built into video projector remote controls and keep the support staff happy in smoke-filled pubs. So far, they've escaped mouse work.

The laser's job in the MX1000 is to scan for movement, much as the little red light does in lesser, more incoherent, optical mice. Because it's a laser, you see, the mouse can work on many surfaces where its non-laser brethren fail. Too shiny? Too smooth? Too clean? The laser is your friend.

Ah yes, you say, but what's wrong with a mouse mat? Repeat after me: Mouse. Laser. Laser. Mouse. If you're still mumbling "mouse mat", then the MX1000 is not for you.

OK, so it's a mouse that needs so much power it has a high-density lithium ion rechargeable battery aided by an illuminated four-level battery meter. That's ok, it's a mouse with a laser. You expect these minor inconveniences when you're at the cutting edge of murine advancement. It's got a super-fast RF link - "as fast as USB" says Logitech, which is a relief. I do so hate the way my ordinary RF cordless mouse has to struggle with its slowpoke old link. Why, the other day it took three hours to go from the Start button to the IE icon. And it has a 'deep-sculpted thumb support' for 'incredible comfort'. Nice.

But these are mere courtesy details. It's a mouse. With a laser. Zowie!