The Logitech LX8 has been an excellent mouse for me – in fact, it is so good that I bought myself a second one for use at work. However, after using some of Logitech's higher-end mice for a few days at a time, I realized I needed more. The solution to my digital rodent needs manifested itself as a refurbished Logitech MX1100 I found on eBay for $30.
I've been using my "new" Logitech MX1100 mouse for several weeks now, and I must say I enjoy it very much, despite a few quirks. It's the best mouse I have owned so far.
The MX1100 is one of Logitech's higher-end mice. It features a right-handed ergonomically-shaped body, dual-mode scroll wheel with "Hyper-Fast Scrolling", Back and Forward buttons, a DPI selector, and a hidden button in the thumb rest. The mouse is wireless, although it is not compatible with Bluetooth or the Logitech Unifying receiver, and is not rechargeable.
I generally consider myself left-handed, but I've grown up using a computer mouse in my right hand. Thus, the "right-handed" design of the MX1100 makes me feel right at home. Although I've yet to appreciate all of the ergonomic features but it feels significantly more "natural" in my hand than my venerable LX8 did. The mouse has a good amount of weight to it, which makes it feel like a well-built quality product; my LX8 feels cheap by comparison even though ironically I paid more for the first LX8 than I did for the MX1100.
The main reason I upgraded my mouse was because of the "Hyper-Fast Scrolling" feature – which allows the mouse wheel to spin freely for up to 6 seconds, allowing me to quickly scroll all the way through a document with hundreds of pages. The wheel features two modes – the free-spinning mode and the "MicroGear" racheting mode which feels more like a traditional mouse. Modes can be switched instantly by pressing a mechanical button immediately beneath the wheel. The wheel is a high-resolution version, which allows for a silky smooth pixel-precise scrolling experience similar to that on a Mac. In all, I'd rate the wheel a solid 9 out of 10.
Realistically, the smooth scrolling (which must be enabled in the control panel) works great in Chrome and Word (the two applications I use it in most), but it reverts back to "low resolution" mode when using Windows Explorer and Notepad, among others. It also has the annoying tendency to move a few pixels' worth of scrolling when released, simply due to its light weight, and this is quite noticeable in Chrome when I take my finger off the wheel. Hyper-Fast Scrolling has proven to be extremely useful when scrolling through long programs consisting of many lines of code, despite Visual Studio not supporting high-resolution smooth scrolling.
I also wish there would be a third "smooth scrolling" mode of the wheel – no MicroGear, but with smooth resistance – as it would allow for silky-smooth pixel-precise scrolling without the wheel being overly sensitive.
As with my LX8, the wireless range of the MX1100 is not particularly amazing, though it is slightly better. I can actually use the mouse from my bed 10 feet away, though this still does not even come close to the 30+ range I can achieve with a $15 USB Bluetooth dongle and a generic $16 Bluetooth mouse which I use for my laptop.
Tracking and DPI Selector
Despite touting the same 848nm "Performance Laser" as my LX8, the MX1100 is able to effortlessly track on my glossy desktop (there is a layer of acrylic over the wood veneer) unlike the LX8. This is quite convenient since I can remove the mouse from the keyboard tray and place it on top of the desk if need be. However, the mouse does not track on glass, as is expected from a standard laser design.
This mouse features 7 DPI settings, ranging from 400 to 1600 DPI; two of these can be mapped to the DPI switch on the mouse itself. I set these to the extremes and use the 1600 DPI setting on a regular basis; I switch to the 400 DPI setting to slow down the mouse cursor drastically for more precision when working with graphics. This has proven to be an extremely useful feature as well.
The MX1100 has a total of 8 clickable buttons, all of which can be at least partially programmed via the Logitech SetPoint software. There is a "stealth" button built into the thumb rest on the left of the mouse, which was not very obvious initially, but it is in a very useful location once you realize it's there.
Use without SetPoint
Using this mouse without SetPoint is possible, but most of the buttons cannot be used. Obviously, standard clicking and scrolling functions work, as do the browser Back/Forward buttons, but that's it. Additionally, high-resolution "smooth" scrolling does not function. Despite my overall dislike of SetPoint, I recommend having it installed for this mouse, as it does in fact add useful features.
Smooth scrolling has a nasty habit of turning off every few hours. All it takes to enable is to open SetPoint and click OK, but this can prove to be quite an annoyance. An even worse quirk happens when SetPoint occasionally fails to detect the mouse at all, and resolving this issue involves unplugging the USB receiver, plugging it into another port for about a minute, and then plugging it back into the original port (which happens to be mounted on my Logitech G110 keyboard).
For a list price of $80, the MX 1100 offers a good deal of features despite being a few years old. Would I buy one for $80? Probably not, but for $30 refurbished on eBay, it is one of the best mice money can buy.n
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