MX Revolution Mouse

I have recently picked up the Logitech MX Revolution Mouse. I know, it has been around for a while now, but there were two reasons why I didn’t consider it before:

  • I couldn’t get my mind around laying down $100 on a mouse
  • I couldn’t see that I had a need for all the options that it provided.

It is probably fair to say that it has been one of the best devices that I have used and on a day to day basis it is hard to imagine not using it!

MX.png

Initial Impressions

Out of the box it looked and felt great – a real ‘hand in glove’ feeling. I would not be exaggerating if I said that it was by far the most comfortable mouse that I had used in over 20 years of computing. As this was my first optical mouse I was amazed at how quickly and lightly it moved around. A quick check back to the Mighty Mouse reinforced how heavy and sluggish the poor old MM felt!

SteerMouse.png

As I wanted to use the MX with the Mac I had already researched the options and had got my hands on SteerMouse an excellent application that makes configuring the MX really easy, and enhances the user experience immeasurably. It costs $20 so takes the total cost associated with the MX up to $120, but I would still say that it is worth it, and that isn’t something I thought I would ever say about that much money on a mouse!

The MX in Use

On the basis that a ‘typical’ day for me involves 10 – 12 hours in front of the Mac, primarily writing, but also using Photoshop a lot, surfing the web, editing documents and a bit of light weight coding from time to time, the single largest benefit has been the comfort. Gone are the days of cramping in the fingers, or a sore palm from a poorly fitting mouse.

The second benefit has been the amount of useful functions that I have been able to program into the mouse thanks to SteerMouse. If you look at the picture above this is how I have my mouse configured:

  • The side scroll wheel is programmed to copy (forward) paste (back) and cut (press in)
  • The forward and back arrows are programmed to hide and quit applications respectively
  • Pushing down on the scroll wheel opens up Dashboard
  • The button on the top opens up Spotlight

Add to that the super fast (and smooth) scrolling and the side to side scrolling from the central scroll wheel and I have to say that this saves me an unbelievable amount of time each day, and it was remarkable how quickly I became used to having these features – I was like a fish out of water when I had to use the Mighty Mouse on Sands iMac. So much so that I got her a MX as well!

The rechargeable docking station is really the icing on the cake as far as I am concerned, both in terms of design and functionality.

Any down side?

One known error. It is likely, well actually inevitable, that the MX will lose its settings when the Mac reawakens. This is easily cured by removing and then reinserting the small and neat USB stick, with no loss of settings. Not perfect then, but hardly a major issue and in no way does this detract from the enjoyment and benefit of using what has to be one of the best accessories I have ever got my hands on – literally in this case!

39 thoughts on “MX Revolution Mouse

  1. John

    Chris – after upgrading to Leopard I haven’t used my MX Revolution (or the VX Nano which I can also highly recommend for travel) as I did not want to reinstall the Logitech drivers…but I agree that these are the best mice I have ever used.

    Can you give me some insight as to why you chose Steermouse over USB Overdrive?

    Cheers!

  2. Chris Marshall Post author

    Mine is working fine with Leopard.

    Steermouse was recomended to be so I gave it a go and it works fine. Very ocassionally it says the license has expired but that just requires a trip to System Prefernces to restart it.

    Do you use USB Overdrive then?

  3. John

    No, neither. Been busy recently with work and a new baby son, but having a quiet day at last to catch up with Leopard-ising my workflow!

    I have been going back and forth between reviews and comments of USB Overdrive and Steermouse for a while.

    The USB Overdrive developer is promising an update soon with a prefpane and new features, but hasn’t really updated the software in two years…

    Have you seen this for useful button-mapping info? http://www.leihu.com/journal/archive/id_413.html

  4. Chris Marshall Post author

    I read that when I was recommended the MX. I certainly agree with him, and have been really pleased with it. I have it running on a couple of Macs both with Leopard and it is great – as I said just needs restarting maybe once every month.

  5. John

    OK, USB Overdrive apparently will not detect the One-Touch search button on top and Steermouse works better with the scroll (free or click) switching. So that sorts it then…Steermouse looks like the one for the MX Revolution.

  6. John

    Seems to be working OK. Being able to switch between free scrolling and the ratchet again is nice.

    Now I hope it works just as well with my VX Nano, because it can only support one set of settings at a time…

  7. John

    Just to add that performance is much better than the Logitech software, button response is instant. Thanks for your help Chris.

    How have you got your scroll wheel set up?

  8. Chris Marshall Post author

    You are welcome.

    I have mine set up to scroll smoothly, and after that I really hate the ratchet feel on anything else I use!

    BTW it is the first clue that SteerMouse has shut down and needs restarting, it reverts to ratchet mode.

  9. John

    I wrote to the prefs for manual switching in the terminal.

    The free scrolling seems too fast for accurate use…good for long docs though.

    To restart Steermouse you just unplug the receiver, or needs an actual system restart?

  10. Chris Marshall Post author

    Just unplug the receiver, so I tend to do that every morning out of habit.

    The only other thing I get from time to time is a message saying my license has run out and if that happens I just go into System Prefernces and start it up again and all is ok – retains the options.

  11. John

    OK there goes $22 (I refuse to use PayPal and gladly paid the extra $2 to use Esellerate instead).

    Nice to have someone to bounce this stuff off, I live in a bit of a tech vacuum here (nobody else really gets excited by mouse drivers, how unusual…).

  12. Mac Sokulski

    I’ve installed the latest logitech drivers on my mac pro running leopard, and so far I have no problems at all. Steermouse is a very good program, but free is free and logitech drivers seem to be working fine. I’ll be installing them on my macbook pro and see what happens.

  13. John

    After having doggedly used the Logitech drivers on Tiger for years despite the naysaying, I have to say Steermouse was well worth $22. The mouse is smooth, response is instant (I used to get a little lag with the OEM drivers) and the settings are equally as customisable. The one thing I do miss is the little popup telling me the mouse is connected, but that’s totally cosmetic and Hardware Growler will do the same thing for free. Logitech’s secret squirrel scroll settings seems to have been smoother, but with a little tinkering I am sure I can approximate them.

    Also, there were a few translucent multilingual screens of PowerBook death I suspect were Logitech’s fault…

    BTW, the VX Nano seems to work just as well with the same settings as for the Revolution despite not having the side scroll wheel (which is set to control volume so no real hardship).

  14. John

    Definitely! Serendipity at work. 😉

    I’ll stay with Steermouse for the moment anyway.

  15. greg hickman

    Chris, I also use the MX Revolution and I love it and had now problem spending $100…I mean, if you’re a blogger or even just a computer dork (like me) you hand is probably on that mouse pretty often, so whats $100 allocated over the use you’ll get out of it…most likely fractions of a penny.

    When I was using the developers edition of leopard i had the same issue. Always having to unplug and plug in the USB adapter so that my machine would remember the mouse was connected. After installing the official release I have had no problem to date. Even when my computer wakes up from sleep the settings are fine. Possibly try reinstalling your OS if it bothers you that much.

    good luck!

  16. Chris Marshall Post author

    To be honest I sort of installed Leopard, used it for a few days, and then came over to Dubai so I couldn’t really tell if it has ‘fixed’ the problem or not 🙂

    I will keep an eye on it when I get back though. Thanks for the heads up.

  17. Wayne LeFevre

    I’ve been using the Logitech drivers for my S530 set. It’s still on…actually I’m not sure which version, but I know it’s a few versions behind the latest one. Every time Logitech upgrades their software there are a bunch of people on MacUpdate and the like that says that the new drivers broke their system. I’m really kind of scared! (Also, I didn’t realize that they used APE!)

  18. John

    It should be noted for the most part that the Logitech drivers worked OK for me.

    And they have taken APE out of the install in the latest version as someone obviously, finally, realised that it was unnecessary…

    The latest commenter on VT says they finally work as intended, so YMMV.

    I haven’t had any disconnection issues yet…

  19. jeremy

    What about us lefties? It looks like a right handed mouse to me 🙁

  20. John

    Yes, sorry, lefties are out of luck with this one – one of the reasons it is so good is the extreme moulded shape.

    From a review:

    “One final problem for 10 per cent of the population is that Logitech has told us there won’t be a left-handed version of the Revolution MX.”

  21. Chris Marshall Post author

    Was in Dubai during this so it sort of slipped my mind 🙂

    Are you saying that the Logitech drivers now work fine with Leopard and I don’t need Steer Mouse?

  22. Wayne LeFevre

    I don’t think that Logitech will ever get their drivers sorted, much else work fine! Other than that, the only problem I’ve had with them so far is that the LCC will appear in the dock to do an upgrade check, (I’m guessing,) then just sit there. I’ll have to manually shut it down. Can’t have everything, I guess!

  23. John

    [quote comment=”31047″]Was in Dubai during this so it sort of slipped my mind 🙂

    Are you saying that the Logitech drivers now work fine with Leopard and I don’t need Steer Mouse?[/quote]

    I wouldn’t know, I bought SteerMouse and haven’t tried the new drivers yet. But comments at VersionTracker suggest all is still not well…

    http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/14421

  24. Mac Sokulski

    I have the latest drivers installed on my MacPro and Macbook Pro, and so far so good. It works fine here, except for the the little thing that Wayne mentioned. I think that is a minor issue though.

  25. Chris Marshall Post author

    I have been really happy with Steer Mouse until yesterday. Now whenever my Mac goes to sleep or screen save kicks in I have to take the USB dongle out and put it back in to get SM to work 🙁

    Is fine on the iMac so am thinking maybe a fault?

  26. Chris Marshall Post author

    Scrub that last comment. It is happening pretty much all the time – lasted about 10 mouse clicks last couple of times.

    And is moving really sluggish. More snail than mouse at the moment.

  27. Chris Marshall Post author

    Hmmm – maybe Steer Mouse is ok, it is just dropping the smooth scrolling option. This was a ‘fix’ that required an adjustment to the terminal (I think) but the information is no longer on the site.

    Mac do you have it as I know I sent it to you when I first found it?

  28. John

    Smooth here, no dropouts and swapping back and forth between a Revolution in the office and a Nano at home…

  29. Kees de Koster

    To restart Steermouse, if there is a problem, I use a software solution instead of pulling out the receiver.

    Did make a Applescript and saved it as a Application named “Steermouse Restart” in Utilities.

    Content:
    do shell script “killall SteerMouse\\ Manager”
    do shell script “open -a Steermouse\\ Manager”

    So with Commaand+Space “Steermouse Restart” I can restart the driver.

  30. eric s

    just wondering if this was solved….i.e. if it’s now possible to use a mx revolution with steermouse without having to pull the dongle or run the applescript at each wake-up….?

  31. John

    [quote comment=””]just wondering if this was solved….i.e. if it’s now possible to use a mx revolution with steermouse without having to pull the dongle or run the applescript at each wake-up….?[/quote]

    I use the MX Revolution and VX Nano every day without any problems at all…no issues on wake at all. Solid.

  32. eric s

    Thanks, John. I just ordered an LX8….not much talk about this new model, but it’s $20 this week, with rebates, at Amazon. So i grabbed it and will report back!

  33. Chris Marshall Post author

    I must be unlucky. I still have to remove and insert the USB dongle on start up on both the Mac Pro and the iMac. I also get a TRial Period has ended message on Steer Mouse from time to time (generally after a start up) which is weird as I have a paid for license!

    Wonder what I am doing ‘wrong’?

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