The least expensive mouse with a MicroGear wheel but not the best. (August 22nd, 2008)
Product Manufacturer: Logitech
- Excellent wheel and nano receiver.
- Clip is steady and works well.
- Very long battery life.
- Relatively attractive.
- Not as comfortable or full-featured as the VX despite $10 difference.
- Slightly disconcerting simultaneous button presses.
- Using the clip is an all-or-nothing affair with complicated removal.
Until now, some of Logitech's better mousing features, particularly its extra-small Nano Receiver and its free-spinning metal scroll wheel, have been limited to high-end devices; outside of the MX 620, none of its previous devices have come with either for less than $70. The V550 Nano aims to solve that problem by bringing both features to a $60 notebook mouse and adds a unique notebook-mountable clip at the same time. It succeeds in lowering the cost, but does that come at the expense of design?
design and feel
The V550 Nano stands out among Logitech's recent mice precisely because it's very conventional: instead of the extremely ergonomic grips of the VX Nano or even the V470, the new mouse has a simple, flat surface on both the front and sides. It's not as exciting, though it may well be ideal for users with unusually-sized hands. Logitech also deserves some credit for an attractive silver design in a sea of generic or in some cases ugly devices that have trim simply to be different.
That said, the shape is a definite step back from the VX Nano. The grip is decidedly less natural and is comfortable enough for most average use, but does put more strain on the wrist; it wouldn't be recommended for users who have to use the mouse for several hours at a time. In fairness, this isn't the target audience -- the V550 is only likely to be pulled out periodically -- but it's a sharp contrast to the eminently comfortable VX.
Thankfully, the MicroGear wheel from the VX and earlier mice hasn't changed and is definitely the highlight of the device. In normal mode, it has a very clear, fine-grained motion that makes it easy to scroll line-by-line, but a press down flips it to a loosely spinning wheel that can flip through dozens of pages quickly. It's not always useful, but the quality of the wheel and the choice of accuracy are advantages that other mice still don't have.
The single-piece top shell affects the two main mouse buttons, however. While only likely to creep up in games, pressing both buttons at the same time occasionally creates a slightly jarring movement inside the V550 that may throw off some users. It's not enough to deter one from using the mouse, but it's not likely to instill confidence.