by Jerry Jackson
The Logitech VX Nano is the newest compact cordless notebook mouse to make a big impact on the notebook scene. While the contoured shape and hyper-fast scroll wheel on this laser mouse are quite impressive, the real news is "the world’s smallest USB receiver" included with the VX Nano.
Before we take a closer look at what the Logitech VX Nano has to offer, below are the key features and specs for this cordless laser mouse:
- PC (Windows XP or Vista) and MAC compatible
- Cordless/storable USB 2.4 GHz receiver
- Left and Right hand usage
- MicroGear precision scroll wheel
- One-touch search button
- Forward/Back Internet buttons
- Laser technology
- Estimated 6-month battery life
- Low battery life warning
- 3-year warranty
- Price: $69.99
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Design and Features
Although the VX Nano is certainly a compact mouse, Logitech managed to keep the size and shape comfortable enough for everyday use. While some notebook travel mice are physically smaller than the Nano, none of the smaller mice I’ve used are as comfortable under my hand.
Both the contoured side panels on the Nano have rubber inserts which make the mouse even more comfortable. The MicroGear alloy scroll wheel allows for hyper-fast page scrolling and a pair of forward and back buttons make navigating websites as easy as possible. Beneath the scroll wheel is a one-touch search button for rapid Google searches.
Logitech includes a software CD so that you can adjust some settings on the VX Nano, but the mouse is designed to be plug-and-play so you don’t need to install the software to use the mouse.
Given the compact size of the Nano the standard AA batteries have been replaced with two AAA batteries. While this does have an impact on battery life, Logitech estimates the battery life to be up to six months with average use.
While the VX Nano mouse is certainly impressive in its own right, the real story is the Nano receiver. Calling this receiver small doesn’t do it justice. The tab on a can of soda is larger than this thing! When you first remove the Nano receiver from the packaging it hardly looks like a USB receiver at all. As pictured below, the receiver just looks like a USB plug with a tiny piece of black plastic on the end.
That said, don’t let the size fool you. I was able to control my Windows desktop using the VX Nano from across the room … so the reception range is still impressive.
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Of course, the VX Nano also comes with a black carrying case similar to the cases that are now a common sight with other Logitech accessories.
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Everyday notebook computing with the Nano was simple and less complicated than with other mice I’ve used. Rather than having to plug in the receiver every time I wanted to use the mouse I just left the receiver plugged into my notebook’s USB port. Leaving the receiver in the USB port isn’t an issue since the Nano receiver sticks out less than a quarter of an inch from the USB port.
I cannot overstate how impressive the receiver is. You never need to remove the receiver! Just leave it plugged into the notebook and remember to bring the mouse with you when you travel.
As with many cordless mice designed for notebook users, the Nano turns itself off automatically when the receiver is inserted into the storage bay. If you store the receiver in the bay rather than in your notebook all you have to do is press the small orange eject button next to the receiver to remove it.
The battery compartment and storage for the receiver. (view large image)
One minor annoyance I ran into while using the Nano was the removable battery cover. Almost every time I removed the battery cover to insert or eject the Nano receiver I ended up dropping the cover plate on the floor. This problem could be easily solved by attaching the cover plate to the bottom of the mouse with a hinge. Granted, if you just leave the receiver in your notebook’s USB port all the time you don’t have to worry about removing the battery cover … you just have to remember to turn off the mouse with the on/off button when you’re not using it.
An image with the receiver inside the storage bay. (view large image)
Another minor issue I ran into while using the VX Nano for some fast-paced gaming is the sensitivity of the laser. While optical mice typically feature a sensitivity between 800dpi and 1600dpi, one of the benefits of laser mice is rapid, precision movement thanks to a sensitivity somewhere between 1600dpi and 2000dpi. Logitech doesn’t mention the sensitivity of the Nano anywhere in their press materials, but after some research I discovered the sensitivity is set to 800dpi. This lower sensitivity/resolution is likely a compromise to maximize battery life, but it is unfortunate that Logitech didn’t give users the option to select the sensitivity they want.
That said, 800dpi is more than enough resolution for everyday computing and the VX Nano isn’t being marketed as a high-performance gaming mouse. The Nano is designed to be the most convenient mouse for notebook users. In that regard, the Nano exceeds expectations.
The Logitech VX Nano packs impressive performance and convenience into a tiny mouse. Although there are smaller mouse designs on the market, none of the smaller mice are as comfortable to use … and none offer such a convenient USB receiver.
Size does matter for notebook users. Now we finally have a cordless mouse and receiver combo that isn’t a hassle to use. As of this writing, I think it’s safe to say that the Logitech VX Nano is the best mouse currently available for notebook users.
- "The world’s smallest USB receiver"
- Excellent scroll wheel
- Comfortable shape and rubber grips
- Auto-off feature when receiver is stored in mouse
- Wow! that receiver is small
- Did I mention the receiver is tiny?
- Only 800dpi
- Battery cover should be hinged to prevent loss
- A little expensive (no pun intended)