‘Twas the night before Christmas when all through the house not a creature was stirring’, except a new wireless mouse. The new Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 was designed specifically for Windows 8 in order to give you the best of both worlds — a traditional mouse with precision control combined with a new dedicated touch zone for simplified scrolling and quick access to the new Windows 8 Start screen.
One of the single biggest criticisms about Windows 8 that we’ve heard from laptop users is that using the touchpad is much more difficult because Windows 8 often misinterprets quick finger movements as “gestures” and opens one of the various Windows 8 apps rather than simply moving the cursor. Thankfully, this problem can be resolved simply by using an external mouse, and the Logitech T400 combines a basic mouse and simplified gesture controls. What makes this mouse even better is that it helps make a potentially frustrating Windows 8 experience much easier and it’s affordable enough for just about any holiday budget thanks to the low price of just $49.99 (about $40 at most retail stores).
The key difference between the Logitech T400 and a regular wireless mouse is the new glass touch zone strip located between the left and right mouse buttons. This area is essentially a narrow touchpad that replaces the scroll wheel found on most mice. The touch zone strip gives you fluid control over both vertical and horizontal scrolling, “back” or “forward” control in web browsers, and the ability to quickly access the Windows 8 Start Screen with a single click by pressing on the upper half of the touch zone.
For those traditional mouse users who might be worried, the touch zone on the T400 still works as a middle mouse button if you click down on the bottom half of the touch zone instead of the top half. Also, this mouse works in much the same way with Windows 7 except pressing the top of the touch zone obviously won’t open the Windows 8 Start Screen (you get the Windows 7 start menu pop up window instead).
The rest of this mouse is pretty standard for Logitech: The T400 is wrapped in a textured rubber strip to provide users with a more comfortable grip. It also comes with the miniature Logitech Unifying receiver which can be stored between the batteries inside the mouse or left plugged into your laptop at all times since it’s so small. The Unifying receiver allows you to connect up to six Logitech devices with one receiver … in case you want to add an external keyboard later.
Last, but certainly not least, Logitech promises the T400 will deliver 18 months of battery life (with an LED battery indicator on the bottom of the mouse) so you shouldn’t need to change batteries too often. Granted, the T400 hasn’t been around long enough for us to confirm the 18-month battery life claim in our lab, but the two AA batteries still registered a full charge after about a month of regular use.
However, after everything has been said, we’re talking about a wireless mouse here … it’s a simple gift but it’s also one that new Windows 8 users will likely appreciate well into the new year.
Be sure to check out our full 12 Tech Days of Christmas list for new suggestions and picks by TechnologyGuide editors through Christmas Eve on Dec. 24th! Spend some time with our 2012 Holiday Buyers Guide as well, for high-tech gift suggestions from across our product news and review sites.