Saturday, January 15, 2011

Logitech MX700 and G7 longterm

I'm a big Logitech fan. Most of my peripherals over the last 10 to 15 years have been Logitech products. Especially mice, but I've also had a selection of game pads and joysticks as well. I feel compelled to point out that this is in spite of Logitech customer support. If you are at all confused by things like drivers and installations, sometimes getting the most out of these products could evade you.

I have two long term updates, my MX700, which must be at least 5 years old, and my G7 which is less than a year. Both of these are wireless mice, and they share the same "look and feel". In fact the G7 has the same number of buttons as the MX700, in almost he same
configuration. Two of the tiny buttons aft of the mouse wheel are used for sensitivity adjustment on the G7. These may be reprogrammed, but at the loss of this functionality.

First though, long term on the MX700. My 700 was a great upgrade from my Logitech Mouseman Wheel. The Mouseman Wheel was the very first optical mouse I bought, it had a thumb button and was awesome in its time. It, unfortunately, began to have a reporting flutter which caused the pointer to drift. I bought the MX to replace it. Wireless, 8 buttons and optical, with a recharging base.

The MX700was later replaced with an MX510, which is virtually identical to the MX700, having the same buttons, but being corded. I bought the corded mouse to keep specifically with my laptop, as the base and bits for the 700 meant a whole bunch of extra space in my bag. My MX700 later suffered a "glue immersion" incident at the hands of my eldest son. It survived, but the right button has never quite been the same.

As you can see from this close up, I used this guy quite a bit. That white spot is not a flash flair. It's where I wore the finish off the button. I'm fairly sure there used to be icons on the mini buttons in front of and behind the wheel.

I finally stopped using this mouse when I migrated off of Windows XP. It turns out there is no support for the mouse under Logitech's new mouse software, Setpoint. Logitech never made a 64 bit version of the old MouseWare, so if you were running a 64 bit os you could only get very basic mouse functionality. In other words, most of the buttons didn't work anymore. This combined with the fact that the Ni-MH batteries were refusing to charge ment this guy was going to get retired.

And now for the good news. The batteries are fairly easily replaced with any Ni-MH batteries at 1500 to 1900 mA. You might even experiment with plain old alkaline batteries, but I'm not sure what the long term effect of running over power batteries would be on this unit. I have to assume it would not be good for it. However, many of the current rechargeable batteries come in at 1800 mA, which is perfect. I would NOT recommend trying to charge them using the Logitech charger! Again I don't know what this will do, as I'm not an experimental kind of guy when it comes to this kind of thing, but the words "fire" and "no liability" come to mind.

And now for the very best news. It turns out that the driver issue under set point is only in regards to the charger-receiver. If you can lay hands on an alternate Logitech receiver you get full functionality back. The V220, a really tiny mouse meant for laptops, has the right fob for the job. As a point this apparently applies only to "older" v220 mice, which have the big receiver, not the newer tiny receiver. There's actually a whole list of compatible receivers, but the trick is to look for one that's Fast rf. Once you connect the MX700 to the new receiver Set Point figures out what it is and then you get your buttons back. The FastRF receiver can be bought from Logitech directly for about $10. To sum up, it's old, and heavy, but I may just press this mouse back into service.

Because in all honesty my G7 is a piece of junk. That is the first time I've ever said anything like that about a product from Logitech. I'm not sure "I'm dissapointed" really covers it. First off, the batteries really haven't held up. It has two, which is good, because under heavy usage, say at a marathon LAN party, I'll probably need to swap it out. But secondly, and more importantly, the wireless connection has become increasingly flaky. The mouse will periodically lose it's connection to the computer. Annoying if you're working. Lethal if you're gaming.

I'm now on the lookout for a new mouse, as I can't guarantee the MX700 will hold up - it has to be at least five years old, ans going back to a corded mouse is just clunky. I admit my MX510 still works great, but that cord gets in the way. Might be time to start looking at Razor products. It's been an almost 20 year relationship, but corporations change.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hey JP.. glad to see you are still kickin and congrats on the game you guys developed....D&D started off the exact same way LOL! Still busy with the ranch here as well as the restaurant and a couple of teenage kids! Life is definitely not dull..... never a spare moment! There is always some problem to solve! Give my best to Kie Marcus the humble (its been a lonnnnggg while!) aka Dave B! James!