Windows 8 has taken a lot of criticism since its release, even with bragging rights that it had sold 60 million Windows 8 licenses actual usage figures seem to disagree.
But with more and more touch devices being released, could they be W8’s savior and cause sales to jump? We spent some time with the Logitech t400 zone touch mouse –
specially made for Windows 8.
My initial encounter with W8 was quite unpleasant, dull and confusing as I found everything a clutter and mess as opposed to what I am used to on the Windows 7, Vista and the likes. Only a few weeks after the OS was officially launched did I realise why there was a need for Microsoft to create W8 and only yesterday did I realise the power W8 accessories such as the t400 have to the system.
The t400, priced at around R450 at leading South African online stores and available in Black, Red and Blue, aims to offer best of both worlds by taking the standard left and right click buttons that we’re used to and supplementing them with a glass touch zone area.
While the tag-line might be ‘Touch Mouse’, believe it or not, the left and right buttons are actually clickable, which makes the t400 totally practical in everyday office or home use. When the t400 arrived for review, there was no need for me to read the instructional booklet. I simply plugged-in the 2.4GHz Unifying Receiver and it was back to reality.
The t400 comes with a free download of Logitech’s SetPoint software utility, which makes it easy do adjust certain aspects of the touch zone such as the ability to fine-tune pointer speed and a handful of options to customise the touch zone.
Luckily, the t400 can be used on both Windows 7 and 8 respectively so there’s no need to upgrade to W8 to enjoy its functionality. Using the buttons built-in to the finger sensitive strip, the touch zone can be used as a short cuts to: bring up the Windows 8 Start screen, switching applications, zooming in and out and of course, the middle click.
Its no secret that Windows 8’s built-in apps tend to favour ultra-wide layouts, t400 makes it easy to scroll in four directions. While its vertical scrolling may not be as precise as a good quality scroll wheel, the t400’s is quick and smooth.
As the norm, there are a few restrictions, too. The t400 is unable to make full use of Windows 8’s various built-in gestures – with no multi-touch features.
The t400, according to our calculations, measured in at 60mm x 105mm x 30mm and weigh just under 110g (including batteries in pic) which makes it ideal for those on the go. However, we’ve found the mouse to be a tad too svelte for our liking – although it isn’t quite small enough to pass as a highly-portable laptop accessory neither does it offer the comfortable arch of a larger desktop mouse.
The surface of the mouse feels smooth and comfortable around the palm, which creates a dramatic affect during the transition period. The symmetrical design suits either left or right hand whilst the rubber trim surrounding the sides of the device gives that excellent grip.
Bundled with the t400 comes a 2.4GHz Logitech Unifying Receiver, the receiver makes all the wireless connectivity possible. And if you do plan on traveling with the mouse, you’ll find a receiver storage slot built into the battery compartment. Included with the t400, you’ll find a pair of double-A batteries which are said to provide ’18-month battery life’. Explains why it isn’t rechargeable. Keep a set of batteries just in-case. Flip the mouse upside down and you’ll find a basic on/off switch along with a 1,000 DPI optical sensor to provide optical tracking.
The idea of replacing the traditional, two click button mouse seemed rather far-fetched on paper, but after playing with the t400, it is a success. I must say, using rather short swipes to navigate through the W8 interface feels all natural and right.
For ±R450, this is a mouse that just works although it has its limitations. The t400’s design is extremely attractive and the rubber grip is just the perfect touch. Users with small hands will appreciate Logitech’s courtesy with the t400, while some of us long for something bigger.
• Comfortable rubber grip.
• The (very) tiny Unifying Receiver
• Touch feature (scrolling)
• Windows 8 compatibility
• Miniature size
• Slack at scrolling horisontally
*refer to pricecheck.co.za for pricing
Picture credit: Papi Mabele