Logitech T620 touch mouse
The Pocket-lint quest for the perfect mouse continues. Believe it or not, looking for a pointing device that works well is something that occupies a lot of our time. Why is this, particularly? Well, to give you an idea, on the desktop we still use a wired Microsoft mouse from about 10 years ago.
The problem with wireless mice is that they're often a bit too heavy and there are still times when they just don't work properly. At least, that's been our experience with them. Nowadays though, there's more and more technology involved in a mouse, and so the decision about what to buy is even harder.
So can the Logitech T620 persuade us away from a life with wires, or is it just another mouse for us to cast aside in a blind rage when it does something stupid, or gets us killed in a monster gaming session?
From a visual perspective, there's not really much that can beat the Logitech T620. It's small, reasonably light and very sleek. It's made of a shiny material that feels really nice in your hand and the pattern makes it look enormously cool too. We honestly do think it's the nicest looking mouse we've ever seen.
On the bottom, there's a cover for the battery compartment along with an on/off switch and, of course, the sensor that tracks the movement of the mouse on almost any surface. If you flip open the battery compartment, there's space for two AA batteries and a little slot which holds the dongle needed to make the mouse work with your computer.
Although this is a touch mouse, there is a physical "click" as well. We prefer this to the virtual buttons which work well, but can be a little more ambiguous than we would like. Call us old-fashioned, but we love a good click on our mouse.
The Logitech is powered by two AA batteries. We like this, because it means that there's no need to recharge the mouse with some silly dock or similar. Logitech says you can use your own rechargeable batteries. We'd urge you to look at this, because rechargeable batteries are much better than they used to be, last longer than standard batteries and are better for the environment.
The T620 has another trick up its sleeve though, and it's a good trick. If you don't want to use two batteries, you don't have to. You can stick with one, which will reduce the time before you need to charge/replace from six months, to three. Hardly a big deal, and it makes the mouse a lot lighter and easy to push around the desk. We're impressed by how clever this system is, and think it's a good reason to consider this mouse - as silly as that might sound. Flexibility like this impresses us, and it gives you the choice about how you use the mouse.
One of the big frustrations we have with most mice is that they are either Bluetooth or have a silly proprietary dongle that works with only one device.
Bluetooth is often fine on laptops, as they have very up-to-date hardware, but when you have a desktop PC, you either need to use a separate dongle or, if your motherboard supports Bluetooth, you might be able to get it to work with a mouse, but often it won't. We're told this is because the Bluetooth chipsets in PC motherboards are often ancient first-generation systems that support hardly any of the modern features.
Dongles too can be a problem if they have support for only one device. We see this with Microsoft hardware, we've got several different wireless keyboards and mice, and they all need different dongles to work. This is stupid. Happily, Logitech is smarter than this, and includes its unified dongle, which can support up to eight different devices. This is a massive leap forward, encourages you to buy more Logitech peripherals and means you don't have to give up so many USB sockets. Another win for Logitech, and the dongle is tiny too and can be stored within the mouse so it doesn't get lost.
Like so many, Logitech has become a little obsessed with the march toward touch control. We don't mind touch, but it has to add something worthwhile to be worth it. The idea here is that with touch, you get better control over Windows 8 - and 7, to some extent.
In fact, we found the touch to be a little annoying. First, we miss the scroll wheel. Now, on this mouse we accept that a scroll wheel is impractical because it has such a low profile. But the touch surface can be troublesome for a couple of reasons. The first is that we often found ourselves performing gestures by accident, which meant that we might lose work when we went back - by swiping a finger across the top of the mouse - when we didn't mean to. It might sound silly, but sometimes you play around with your finger on the mouse absent-mindedly, and that can cause its own problems.
We also had a problem getting some of the gestures to work. For example, middle click, which we use all the time, is achieved by double tapping two thirds of the way down the touch surface. We could not get this to work properly no matter how hard we tried.
In Windows 8 there are some handy features however, such as accessing the charms menu by swiping in from the right of the mouse. This makes sense, as it's the same as the touchscreen interface. In all honestly though, we think touch is better on a touchscreen or trackpad. If you want touch, we'd say go for Logitech's own pad.
There's also a task switching shortcut, where you need to double tap the middle of the mouse. This works fine and is actually a nice addition to Windows as it uses a different visual style from the built-in switcher. On our laptop, it was a bit too graphically intensive to work properly, but it's still a handy feature, especially if you have a quick computer.
Touch issues aside, the Logitech T620 is a nice piece of hardware. At £60, it's hardly cheap, and that might be a problem for some. With that said, take a look around and you'll be able to find it for a bit less - Amazon, for example, has it for £45.
We love the flexibility of using one battery or two, and we think the unified dongle is a brilliant idea. The mouse looks great, feels great and generally works really well.
Touch works, for the most part, just fine. We disabled some bits because of frustrations with accidental activation, but the scrolling of web pages and documents works well and that's the biggest need for us.