Spring is sprung, the grass is riz. A new season, a new set of products. Logitech is set to release three new mice this season, with one to cater for every taste: the Air Mouse for media centre enthusiasts, the G9 for gamers, and now the ultra-portable VX Nano.
The VX Nano is a travel mouse, so it's quite compact and lightweight. It features most of the buttons associated with modern mice including a scroll wheel for vertical and horizontal scrolling, Forward and Back Buttons and a dedicated Search button.
It's an ambidextrous mouse -- unlike the VX Revolution -- and fits comfortably in either hand. The scalloped edges feature the same rubberised material found on the VX and the desktop MX Revolution models.
One of the best features of the VX Nano is the size of the receiver - it's tiny. No longer do you need to rely on the costly combination of a Bluetooth mouse and receiver/dongle. Just plug this little receiver in, and it juts out a miniscule 8mm. For added convenience the mouse comes with a long desktop adaptor, which you plug into your PC and leave on your desk. We thought this may mean that the mouse doesn't have much of a range, but we needn't have worried -- we were able to use the mouse easily at up to five metres from the receiver. This could also make it handy for users who want to switch between their laptop and a media centre PC -- which is traditionally a long way from the couch.
Like the VX Revolution, the Nano features the MicroGear Scroll Wheel which is switchable between a near-frictionless scroll -- for navigating large documents -- or notched scroll for more precise control. However, to switch between modes you need to click the wheel itself, which means you also lose a middle button. Middle buttons become increasingly handy in tabbed browsers like Firefox, where you can middle-click a link and open it in a new tab for perusal later. Using the Logitech SetPoint software, though, you can assign the "One Touch Search" button below the scroll wheel to act as a middle button, if you prefer.
For maximum portability, the Nano includes a slim carry case and a dock for the Nano receiver -- but this isn't as elegant as the VX Revolution's as you need to remove the battery cover to access it.
The Nano includes a high-sensitivity laser, which we found to be quite effective on most surfaces -- except for glass, of course. It is certainly more efficient at tracking than the Logitech V270 Bluetooth Notebook mouse, which we use in the office and is easily stymied by a white table.
It's comfortable to use under most conditions, though the sensor is mounted off-centre, which means it's difficult to use on your knee. The device is also configurable to your taste though the simple but powerful Setpoint drivers. The software even tells you how many days of charge are left on your mouse -- about 170+ with the alkaline batteries included in the package.
There is only one problem with the VX Nano -- its price. The Nano isn't quite as cool as the VX -- which is still our favourite portable mouse -- and with recent price drops it is available for less than AU$100. At a $30 premium, it's difficult to recommend paying extra for VX Nano.
With a whole month till the mouse is available, this pricing could yet be revised, as the VX Nano rightly costs less in the US than its larger counterpart. Still, it's very portable, and the cordless sensor is set-and-forget... but we'd wait t see if the pricing rights itself.