So, what do I want out of my next laptop and what must it include?
Logitech MX Air
- Air mode, intuitive and easy to use, bright orange backlight, reprogrammable functions, good range, included charging dock
It doesn't come cheap but the MX Air certainly performs well and is ideal for a media centre PC. It also works excellent as a regular desktop mouse.
Price$ 229.95 (AUD)
Operating similar to the Nintendo Wii's remote, Logitech's MX Air is a wireless mouse that can also be lifted off the desk and controlled through the air. With an array of media buttons, the MX Air is ideal for a media centre PC, but its excellent sensitivity means it can be used effectively in the air for any number of applications.
Logitech calls their technology "freespace motion control". The MX Air is surprisingly easy to use -- simply lift the mouse off the desk and the unit shifts into air tracking mode. Conveniently, there is no sensor bar required, and the mouse cursor enlarging when the mouse is in air mode is a nice touch. You don't even need to keep the mouse level or pointed at the screen for it to operate effectively.
We were pleasantly surprised by the MX Air's sensitivity. Operation is intuitive and responsive, and the mouse deals with hand shake quite well. We were easily able to select small icons on our display, such as the minimise button on open windows.
With an array of media buttons, the MX Air is ideal for a media centre PC. Volume can be conveniently adjusted by holding the volume button and gesturing with the mouse from side to side. The MX Air can also play, pause, skip and repeat music or video tracks, scroll through documents and select a specific cursor position in a word document. Logitech plans to include more gestures via a later firmware upgrade.
In terms of design, the MX Air is certainly a flashy device, with a gloss black plastic and chrome finish. It's not the best for fingerprints though -- so much so that Logitech conveniently includes a cleaning cloth to keep it looking good. The buttons are easy to press and the orange backlight that activates when in air mode looks superb. The touch-sensitive scroll pad is convenient and much more effective than the regular scroll wheel found on most mice.
Installation is a simple process and the included SetPoint software allows you to reprogram a number of functions. The MX Air operates via an RF receiver that plugs into a USB port and Logitech claims a 30ft range. Conveniently, the MX Air operates via a Lithium Ion battery and the included charging dock is handy. With regular office use, we found the MX Air lasts almost a week before requiring a recharge.
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