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Input Devices Hardware

$70 Cordless Notebook Mouse with No Scroll Wheel 372

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the interesting-new-design-concepts dept.
superfloungmous writes "CoolTechZone.com has reviewed Logitech's latest V500 Cordless Notebook Mouse that uses 2.4GHz wireless technology to transmit signal and has a scroll panel instead of a scroll wheel. The concept behind a scroll wheel is you simply move your finger in up, down, left and right directions to use the function. The mouse has a whopping $70.00 price tag as well. Could this be the end of scroll wheels? Here's a quote from the review, "One of the unique things about the V500 is its scroll panel, and this is the very first mouse to actually use this concept. Throughout our testing, we are nothing but impressed with Logitech's new idea. It worked perfectly, and it's actually better than a scroll wheel in many instances. It looks like the era of scroll wheels is short-lived if Logitech applies the same design to its desktop equivalent products."
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$70 Cordless Notebook Mouse with No Scroll Wheel

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  • 2.4 GHz (Score:5, Funny)

    by bigtallmofo (695287) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @11:56AM (#12824020)
    "Hmm.. That's weird. Every time I move my mouse, I get disconnected from my 802.11g network."

    • Here! [logitech.com]
    • Re:2.4 GHz (Score:3, Funny)

      by cybersaga (451046)
      "Hmm.. That's weird. Every time I move my mouse while talking on the phone, the person on the other end sounds like Satan."
    • ... and every time I talk on my cordless phone, my mouse cursor flips out.
    • Re:2.4 GHz (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Jeff DeMaagd (2015) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:50PM (#12824558) Homepage Journal
      The thing that bugs me is that it isn't Bluetooth. Bluetooth is 2.4GHz too, but it seems to coexist fine with WiFi, and will work with many more recievers than just the one in the package. I keep a Bluetooth mouse with my laptop, in part because my laptop has an integrated bluetooth reciever.

      A proprietary USB dongle just means something more to break off, more potential wear on the USB ports and such.
      • Re:2.4 GHz (Score:4, Interesting)

        by sammy baby (14909) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @01:07PM (#12824721) Journal
        I was thinking exactly the same thing. I just snagged a new laptop with built-in Bluetooth, and it's shocking exactly how few bluetooth travel mice there are out there.

        If you're going to include a dongle in the packaging anyway, why not make it a bluetooth one? The mouse I eventually bought came bundled with one, and I just tossed it. (Okay, actually, I just put it aside.)

        I could see the need for a 2.4Ghz transmitter if this were a presentation remote or something similar, but come on, people. Most of us don't sit fifty feet from our laptops.

    • actually, my all-time-favorite computer problem for sheer rediculousness was JUST like that.

      my original 8088, when formatted and a fresh default installation of win3.11, would put my 2400 baud modem and my serial mouse on the same IRQ. or so i was able to deduce after a LOT of work, because the user-experience was that the modem wouldn't work unless the mouse was actively in motion. luckily enough, my external modem had lights on it that made that relationship apparant ^^
      • Re:2.4 GHz (Score:5, Funny)

        by pixelpusher220 (529617) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @01:08PM (#12824734)
        Something sorta up this alley...

        Back in the day when I was working on a DOS based, flat file database app; one of the new guys discovered that if you moved the mouse, searchs, updates, maintenance processing, ran faster.

        The logical reason was that the interupt checking to see if the user had hit the space bar to cancel, was firing and not waiting that extra milisecond because the mouse was saying 'nope nothing happening here' quicker than just timing out the interupt. So you just balance the mouse on the SHIFT key and boom, faster processing of long reports!

        The Customer Support people in house were like "We are NOT telling that to customers!"


    • Re:2.4 GHz (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mr Bill (21249) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @01:18PM (#12824813)

      Although I know you were going for humour here, I just want to dispell any concerns people might have that take your comments seriously.

      I have this mouse, and my Wireless-G router is about a foot and a half away from my mouse, and I have not had any conflicts. It would be silly if Logitech didn't take that into consideration.

      As for the quality of this mouse, I have had it for about 5 months now, and it is amazing. I've only replaced the batteries once, and I use it for at least 8 hours a day, and I rarely turn it off. They got the size right as well for a laptop mouse. Not too big, and not impossible to use like those micro mice.

      This one is definately worth the high price tag...

  • small nit to pick (Score:5, Insightful)

    by justforaday (560408) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @11:57AM (#12824026)
    One of the unique things about the V500 is its scroll panel, and this is the very first mouse to actually use this concept.

    Kensington's been making a mouse with a touch panel in place of a scroll wheel for well over 2 years now. Admittedly it only does the up/down thing (no side to side action). Either way, 70 bucks is still way too much for a mouse of any kind as far as I'm concerned...
    • by theantipop (803016)
      My theory has always been that you spend the most time interacting with you monitor, keyboard and mouse so why not get an exceptional product that meets all your needs in those area? What good is a $600 video card if you can't see the image or interact with them in a meaningful way?
    • by dustbin (765846) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:25PM (#12824326)
      In addition to Kensington's product that came out in '02, there was at least a prototype displayed at CES a few years before that by Fujitsu. Never saw it for sale in the states, but it looked like production plastics, so it was probably available in Japan.

      The interesting point about the Logitech design is their best ergonomic feature isn't being noticed - it isn't even called out by Logitech. The very small sensor they're using lets them push the sensor way up to the front of the mouse. It's long been known that the mice "feel" more responsive the closer you get the sensor to a point midway between the fingertips that are guiding the mouse. Most sensors have been too big to fit up there, so they're positioned farther back, where they don't move as far as the fingertips do.

      Real ergonomics is too subtle for marketing, I guess. Maybe it's because the "ball forward" concept was originally used to promote the Microsoft Dove Bar mouse http://www.ideo.com/portfolio/re.asp?x=12328 [ideo.com] and the standard Apple ergonomic mouse of the ~90s.
  • So "whooping" goes not only for supercomputer processing power description but also to wheeless mouse prices! :)

    • by Enigma_Man (756516)
      I think the word you're looking for is "whopping", unless you have whooping cough, or are getting your ass whooped.

      -Jesse
    • by kfg (145172)
      Christ Almighty on a shingle. The fans in my PC are loud enough already without having my cpu going around and whooping all the time.

      Are water cooled cpu gags going to be the next hot mod?

      KFG
  • I read just the first line of the title and thought 'Wow! $70 for a cordless notebook! That's cheap.' But I guess that's not quite so cheap for just the mouse.
  • by binarstu (720435) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @11:59AM (#12824048)
    This sounds remarkably like the interface that Apple has devised to allow scrolling through menus, volume control, etc. on their iPod line of products. This isn't surprising, because the interface works extremely well and is very intuitive.
    • The iPod wheel is linear like a scroll wheel, even though its layed out in a circle - this sounds more like the touchpads that have been on most laptops for the last ten years, but dropped onto the top of a mouse.. pretty good idea actually, I hate using a mouse without a scroll wheel, and the side to side control would be a nice addition. got to get that price down though!
      • I disagree - I've used horizontal scrolling on my PowerBook, and it's horrible. Always screwing things up when you try to scroll, even going back and forwards in the browser history ... might be different on a smaller pad, but I'm not sold on it.
        • by slthytove (771782) <james...m...allen@@@gmail...com> on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @01:32PM (#12824946) Homepage
          I assume your browser history problems occur when you are using Firefox, as I had the same problem when I got my new Powerbook. Thinking something was fishy, I investigated a little bit, and it turns out that the behavior is due to (IMHO) a poor choice for default horizontal scrolling behavior in Firefox.

          If you want to change Firefox to actually scroll side-to-side, open up Firefox and enter the URL "about:config"

          Enter a filter of "mousewheel" so you're only seeing settings relating to the mousewheel.

          Set mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.action to 0 (the default value is 2, I believe). You may also want to try adjusting the values of mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.numlines and mousewheel.withnokey.numlines to get a more comfortable feel for how screens scroll in Firefox (and make sure to set the .sysnumlines values for each of those to "false," otherwise your changes won't have any effect).

          After I got those settings fixed, I found scrolling with the Trackpad in Firefox to be quite handy, though for some reason it still seems touchier than Safari. Oh well - I guess not enough of Firefox's developers are Powerbook users, and I lack the initiative to make a positive change.
          • Here's what worked for me with Powerbook trackpad + Firefox:

            1. go to about:config
            2. set mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.action = 0
            3. set mousewheel.withnokey.sysnumlines = false
            4. set mousewheel.horizscroll.withnokey.numlines = 1
      • by DarkSarin (651985) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:30PM (#12824362) Homepage Journal
        People like to complain about the price, but remember, kids, that the $70 is from logitech. Newegg has it for $49 (out of stock) and other places have it for as little as $29 (after rebate).

        Shop around--you'll get it at a reasonable price. NEVER buy directly from the manufacturer--you pay more, and they make a higher percentage profit off your purchase!
    • What?

      How are these two interfaces similar at all? I don't see how they're remarkably like each other. One's a panel with four directions, one is a wheel with two directions and four buttons. What the hell is remarkably alike?
  • by shailesh17 (113955) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:00PM (#12824052) Homepage
    A similar scroll pad exists on the synaptics touchpad that comes on compaq's presario R3000 laptops - but just does the up/down movements. It works nice but I still prefer the wheel on standard mice cause it provides better control over speed.
  • by falcon5768 (629591) <Falcon5768@@@comcast...net> on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:00PM (#12824054) Journal
    ummm unless I am mistaken there is already a mouse with a scroll pad.

    http://www.macmall.com/macmall/shop/detail~dpno~46 3024.asp [macmall.com]

    been out for at least a year now too.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:00PM (#12824055)
    But with a 2D touchpad?
    http://www.kensington.com/html/4769.html [kensington.com]
  • Now if only (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Enigma_Man (756516) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:00PM (#12824057) Homepage
    They'd put a small scrollwheel within the touchpad on the mouse, then I could scroll around inside of large forms in a window that I'm scrolling around with.

    -Jesse
  • by RealProgrammer (723725) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:00PM (#12824058) Homepage Journal
    I like touchpads, but a lot of people don't. Some people like the Thinkpad nipple, but I don't (there's only one in the middle, and I can't get used to that :-).

    I think it would be harder to keep from making mousing mistakes with a scroll pad than a wheel, which requires more effort to engage.

    But still, people who like touchpads will probably like the scroll pad. People who make mistakes with touch pads probably will not like the scroll pad, either.
    • I bought a Panasonic toughbook W2 and I've absolutely fallen in love with the touchpad.

      It differs from your average touchpad in that it's a circle and you can scroll by rotating your finger around the outer edge (think of an ipod volume control mechanism). Since it's a circle you can scroll endlessly without having to lift and reseat your finger like you would have to with other touchpads or with a mouse wheel.

      I wouldn't use it for gaming by for scrolling through documents, webpages, etc its fantastic.
    • I've used a few Thinkpads at my previous job, and I didn't like using the nipple as the mouse. But if you were a fan of the nipple for scrolling, I'd suggest an IBM ScrollPoint II mouse. It makes scrolling easy, as all you have to do is lean the little joystick down or upward, left or right. Made viewing web pages real nice to have an analog control for the scrollbar using only a finger. It's too bad it wasn't more widely supported in games. Many I played didn't even recognize it, and most that did recogniz
    • I thought what you are calling the "nipple" was actually known as the ClitMouse. (??)
  • Miserable editing (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nganju (821034) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:00PM (#12824062)
    The concept behind a scroll wheel is you simply move your finger in up, down, left and right directions to use the function.

    I think you mean scroll panel, not scroll wheel. Does anyone even read these before posting them?

    • I don't think that was the original intent. The new technology being introduced in this article is the scroll panel; that's what he's trying to explain. Why would the poster want to explain what a scroll wheel is? If that was his original intent, then that's even dumber than the original typo.

  • Tactile feedback (Score:5, Insightful)

    by guyfromindia (812078) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:00PM (#12824063) Homepage
    One think I like about scroll wheels is the tactile feedback.. (bumps when you roll the wheel)
    It gives me a perspective on how much I am scrolling.
    without it, I am not sure it will be a good experience..
    • Re:Tactile feedback (Score:5, Informative)

      by md81544 (619625) * on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:12PM (#12824193) Homepage
      I bought a microsoft cordless mouse last year - and the scroll wheel has no "bumps"! I agree with you - it's an odd sensation not having them there. But you do get used to it. It's annoying though when you're playing Counterstrike and you use the scrollwheel to select weapons - you have to be careful not to overshoot the one you wanted.
      • Re:Tactile feedback (Score:3, Interesting)

        by SatanicPuppy (611928)
        I don't know how many people use this function, but it's pretty common these days on MS boxes. If you click the scroll-wheel button, it changes your cursor to a little up/down (and right left on some applications) cursor link that lets you scroll by moving your mouse up and down. Think I saw it first on office, years ago.

        The thing is, I HATE it. There is a fine line between scrolling a little faster and SCREAMING down to the bottom of the page. It's seriously annoying.

        So, my question is, how does this tou
  • what's with the submissions that get accepted?
    "Could this be the end of scroll wheels?"

    do they always have to ask these kind of questions? "is/could this be the end of [insert product/feature]?"

    and am i the only one who prefers the feeling of the wheel? (in a non-sexual context, of course)
    • by duguk (589689)
      Could this be the end of rethorical doomsday predictions in /. articles? :D

      Ok, ok, I'm sorry.

      D
    • If they stoped, just imagine... this could be the end of people asking for the end of people saying this is the end of something!

      And this is just the beginning.
  • No middle click! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by thule (9041) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:09PM (#12824152) Homepage
    Since there is no way to press down on that panel, that means there is no middle click for us X users out there. That middle click turns into the command for left scroll.

    Other than that, the mouse is pretty nice. No moving parts except for the right/left buttons. When the mouse is in off mode, the right/left buttons dis-engage.
    • Since there is no way to press down on that panel, that means there is no middle click for us X users out there

      Why not? Does the scroll wheel itself detect when it is depressed? No, the depression is detected by sensors built into the assembly holding the scroll wheel, not by the wheel itself. There would be no difference in putting in sensors to detect the depression of the entire panel assembly... not that you need to since the panel software, much like touchpads, is easily capable of discerning the d
  • I have one (Score:5, Interesting)

    by radish (98371) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:11PM (#12824184) Homepage
    The "wheel" works pretty well, it's certainly nice to scroll up and down with, no complaints there. I also like the other design aspects of the mouse - like the tiny transmitter which fits inside the mouse for safe keeping. What I really don't like (being a Firefox user) is the lack of a middle button (which of course a wheel usually doubles as). It's very irritating to lose my middle-click open new tab function. If I had realised you couldn't use the touch pad as a button, I wouldn't have bought it.
    • Mice are already cause a lot of RSI pain, and the scroll wheel makes it significantly worse. It sounds like this pad should help a lot. Instead of curling your finger repeatedly, you can just slide it around. Brilliant.

      But I *require* a middle mouse button. Here's hoping they release a $40, corded, middle-buttoned version very soon.
    • You can ctrl-left click a link for the same effect. Not as handy, but it's an option...
    • Re:I have one (Score:3, Insightful)

      by glesga_kiss (596639)
      It's very irritating to lose my middle-click open new tab function. If I had realised you couldn't use the touch pad as a button, I wouldn't have bought it.

      Pester the maker for a driver update, there is no hardware reason why it won't work, provided they have just thrown a laptop touchpad in there (which accept clicks nicely).

  • While I know some people aren't as enthusiastic, I really like the Thinkpad trackpoint. Since most newer models come with both trackpoint and touchpad, the software lets you configure the trackpoint for pointer movement and the touchpad for scrolling. It's glorious...for long web pages, I don't even have to move my hand...just my thumb. My hands can stay on the keyboard.
  • On the Logitech Site (Score:2, Informative)

    by lapsan (88119)
    Here is a link to the Logitech page about this mouse:

    http://www.logitech.com/index.cfm/products/details /US/EN,CRID=2146,CONTENTID=9508 [logitech.com]

    It doesn't even look like a touchscreen 'scroll' panel as much as a flat button with up, down, left, right capabilities.

    They've got a flash online demo of sorts to check out to see how it works. Doesn't even look as "fancy" as the Kensington touchpad mouse people have mentioned.
  • I'm having trouble making an informed buying decision here. Perhaps the collective /. wisdom could assist?

    On the one hand, this mouse's $70 price tag (quite reasonable for a quality mouse, I think) is 'whopping'. On the other hand, 90-odd teraflops worth of supercomputer is 'whopping'. I really only have room for one whopping piece of consumer electronics in my home, and I'm torn between the two. Perhaps we could petition the manufacturer to have the mouse's designation changed? Or could we instead ex
  • A scroll wheel is really cheap, it's just like the roll sensors, only turned upwards. Maybe 50 cents added cost. A scroll panel is a much more comlex device, with a capacitive or resistive transducer, x-y driving and sensing electronics, and a/d converters. Several $ I'd guess. By the time these costs go up the manufactiring and distribution and retail paths, we're up to many $ difference. It's hard to see paying that much more for a solution to a non-problem.
  • I bought one of these because of its extemely compact usb receiver. My older laptop's USB plug is recessed in the case so that most other wireless receivers would require an extension cable.

    This one's small enough that it plugs right in. I'm half-tempted to try and see if I can fit it inside the laptop's case. (BTW, why don't laptop makers include wireless mouse capability? OK, so Bluetooth might count, if there are any good Bluetooth mice...)

    Unfortunately, the mouse suffers from a lack of tactile feedbac
  • I had never heard of these guys before the other day when Slashdot had another article from them. It looks like their new advertising campaign is going great. Does anybody know what it costs to get Slashdot to start pointing to your own web site as "articles"? I don't personally have a business that would benefit, but I do have a friend who may be interested in doing the same thing that these guys at CoolTechZone.com have obviously done.
  • FPS gamers are used to the scrolling function for switching between weapons. I doubt the scrollpad will be very useful for this function.
  • 1. Does it work with Linux?

    By that I mean can you adjust the sensitivity of the touch pad? I'm sure it will "work" but can you adjust it??

    I was using a "natural" type keyboard that had a serial Synaptic touchpad built in. Under M$ I could set a LOT of options on the touchpad, like turning off taps and setting the sensitivity. Under Linux, no adjustments were possible at all. I absolutely despised tap to click and the ultra sensitivity. It was so freaking annoying that I quit using it totally.

    I just
  • I love the bump ( queue cheesy 70s pr0n music ).

    Seriously, I love the bump of the mouse wheel. Now, if they make a touch panel that has a similar shape, I'm sold.
    • I also think a regular wheel mouse bears a striking similarity to a vulva. Funnily enough, I only realized it when a female geek pointed it out to me (the fact, not it). Especially this one [microsoft.com] (hover over the color choices to see the actual shape).
  • by fsck! (98098) <jacob,elder&gmail,com> on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:31PM (#12824374) Homepage
    Why are Logitech and friends not using Bluetooth? It seems the most logical choice--broad compatibility, better utilization of that narrow and crowded frequency range, plus they can at a lower price because so many laptops and desktops already ship with Bluetooth support.
    • MX900 (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Brian Stretch (5304) *
      Logitech's MX900 [newegg.com] mouse uses Bluetooth, but yeah, why they don't use it more often is beyond me too. Must be a cost issue of some sort. FWIW, I use a Microsoft Bluetooth mouse with my notebook. Logitech's mouse is supposed to be a bit nicer. Shame HP only provides Bluetooth radios with their Configure-To-Order notebooks and not with the gazillions they sell at retail. I always encourage people to add the Bluetooth option when helping them buy notebooks.
  • I have only a few complaints:

    1. No middle-click, no third button
    2. No ergonomic feel to the mouse. I don't want my mouse to feel like a travel "soap dish" when I'm using it all day long.
    3. 2 AAA batteries? Have we really de-evolved back into the mid-90's again?
    4. Eats a USB port, when my laptop has onboard 802.11x and Bluetooth

    Nope, this one will definately not be going into my travel bag. I'll stick with my Logitech MX1000 [logitech.com] even though 2/3 of the buttons are useless under Linux.

    • If your laptop has bluetooth, why not use MX900? That's what I use with my laptop (which has bluetooth onboard) and it works so awesome without having to plug anything into any ports of the laptop. Osho
  • You're replacing your trackpad with a mouse, with a TRACKPAD on it!

    Next stop, a tiny mouse that you maneuver around on the trackpad of the mouse....
  • The big problem I have with touch sensors is that they react to the slightest touch. When I use a laptop, the mouse pointer always jumps around because I brush the pad with the heel of my palm, or my thumb. I imagine I would suffer from similar problems with this mouse wheel substitute. Occasionally I find myself lightly tapping on my scroll wheel (from habit, or in time to music, or whatever).

    Also, I prefer a little tactile feedback to my input - the light thud as the keys on my keyboard reach the en
  • One of the things (actually the main thing) I like about using a Bluetooth mouse with my Powerbook is I don't have to have some dongle/receiver sticking out of the side of my Powerbook. If this Logitech mouse were useable without a receiver on notebooks with built-in 802.11b/g, that would make this a much more desirable product - but Logitech's support info says the mouse and receiver are pre-paired at the factory, which implies that you MUST use the receiver.
  • IBM has something called the Scrollpoint mouse [costcentral.com], which also gives you 4-way scrolling. There are several other mice with 4-way scrolling as well (tiltable scroll wheel, etc.). Those came out around the same time as the scroll wheel.

    Before that, there were several three button mice with the middle button rebound to scrolling in software (you still get that function today in Windows if you like). I think that's actually perhaps the nicest way of doing scrolling.
  • No because people use what they like and people like using a mouse with a wheel, especially for gaming... Of course since a recent article said that the PC Gaming industry is finished because of consoles I guess that gaming mice are gonna die too. I for one will not go to a scroll panel because as others have said I like the feel of the wheel.
  • I won a Kensington mouse with a scroll panel a year or so back, and gave it away. The lack of feedback is really annoying.

    There's a couple of better alternatives that I've never seen. One is the IBM trackpoint... the button between G and H on thinkpads. It's a small, reliable, and well understood 2d controller that would fit on a mouse really easily. IBM even put a trackpoint on a mouse... they called it a scrollpoint. Unfortunately they only made it into an up/down scroller. *doh*

    The other alternative th
  • by StarCharter (768335) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:48PM (#12824539)
    What I need is a $70 cordless notebook.
  • by Minstrel Boy (787690) <kevin_stevens@hotmail.com> on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @12:50PM (#12824553)
    I don't understand why the majority of wireless mice/keyboards out there use RF rather than BlueTooth. It's a reasonable standard, it's been out there for awhile, lots of notebooks come with built-in BlueTooth - I expected to see all the newer wireless mice start to use it over the past couple of years. Is it licensing fees? Power consumption? Implementation problems?

    KeS

    • Heh :) Only the AC comes close to a correct and comprehensive answer :)

      Bluetooth is overkill and way too expensive for a mouse. It's also too complex. Why use a tech which is more difficult to integrate than RF when you only need up/down/left/right/buttonclick info to be sent; why use a tech which eats a lot more power than 'just' RF; why use a tech which is more expensive than RF, as bluetooth means having to buy a chip and integrate it wilst RF only needs a transmitter/reciever antenna hooked up to some
  • Until it will reliably and easily send a double-click on a single tap without false positives, I won't be a convert. Using my middle mouse button for the double-click has been my most favorite setting ever since five minutes after I got my first pre-scroll wheel 3-button mouse many years ago. I will not give this productivity enhancement up easily.
  • First were keys. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SharpFang (651121) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @01:00PM (#12824657) Homepage Journal
    First of all were keys. Separate. One press, one effect.
    Then keys on top of keys. Shift plus a key... And keys on top of keys of keys. Double bucky :)
    Then, paddles. One manipulator - one rotary wheel, plus a key. Two of them, separate. Plus one key on each.
    Then came standard joystick, essentially four keys connected into one. Plus one separate (fire).
    Then came mouse. Two paddles connected into one. Plus two keys on top.
    About the same time came analog joystick. Two paddles connected into one, but with ability to return to original position by itself. Sometimes better than mouse, sometimes not. Of course, keys on top.
    Then some aberrations like trackball (mouse on its back) or driving wheel with pedals (2 paddles mounted in specific positions), mousepad without mouse (touch tablet), mousepad without mouse on top of keys (touch pad) micro-joystick on top of keys (trackpoint), etc - marginal use. And all with lots of keys on them.
    Then they added another paddle on top of the mouse. Wheel mouse.
    Analog joystick evolved. Two more joysticks were added in paralell (PS gamepad).
    Sometime along yet another paddle was added to top of mouse. (a4tech etc 2-wheel mice).
    Some more aberrations. Paddle on top of keys (keyboards with scrollwheels), Joystick on top of joystick (multiple levels of freedom), triple paddles (steering wheels with throttle), touch tablets on top of screens (touch screens), etc.
    Now we learn Logitech put a joystick on top of a mouse.

    Still waiting for mouse on top of a mouse (trackball instead of wheel), mouse on top of a joystick (trackball again, seemed like xbox2 would have it but not), and whatever comes next, following the pattern.

    Remember: keys and paddles.

    And of course screens on top of screens (windows).
  • Iffy ergonomics.... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Half-pint HAL (718102) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @01:09PM (#12824740)
    As someone with a personal and professional interest in ergonomics, I'm not too happy about this.

    First up, scroll wheels are a Bad Thing to start off with as they encourage unnatural movements of the middle finger while holding the rest of the fingers static.

    Secondly, things like zero-travel buttons and trackpads all too often prove far too sensitive -- any small twitch is interpreted as a meaningful movement. The result is that the user tenses up to avoid making any inadvertant movements.

    As all computer-people should know: tension is the root cause of many an RSI.

    HAL

    • by toddestan (632714)
      First up, scroll wheels are a Bad Thing to start off with as they encourage unnatural movements of the middle finger while holding the rest of the fingers static.

      I don't know about you, but I always use my index finger to scroll the scroll wheel on my mouse. Never really gave it any thought, it just seems natural to me. The only thing the middle finger is used for is right clicks.
  • Left unsaid... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Embedded Geek (532893) on Wednesday June 15, 2005 @01:10PM (#12824746) Homepage
    the era of scroll wheels is short-lived if Logitech applies the same design to its desktop equivalent products...

    ...and they drop the price by an order of magnitude.

    It will be interesting to see if they can get the manufacturing costs down to $1-3 to adapt into a mouse. A quick check [google.com] shows most touchpad mouse alternatives bottoming at about $30. How much of that is on the retail end (market demand & cost of stocking less popular goods) and the manufacturing end (dedicated USB stuff, case - stuff that goes away when integrated into a mouse) is anyone's guess.

    An engineering challenge, to bring the concept of a touchpad onto a mouse for a low cost, but with the right price pressures (especially from competition) I wouldn't mind dropping an extra buck or three on this. Not too much more than that, though.

  • Get them from my friend Bryan x71071 at PC Connection for $29.99 after $20 rebate. In stock and ships today!

    Looks cool, I'll probably try one. Though I would like it more if it had bluetooth.... :/

    -m

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