Today's CH selection from Popular Science's recent Best of What's New 2006 is Logitech's MX Revolution. After hearing the buzz about this multi-functional new device, CH decided to test it out for ourselves. With a rechargable lithium-ion battery and a wireless USB connection, the MX Revolution has the basics of what you'd expect from a hi-tech mouse. But the real draw are the programmable buttons (dowloadable software's required) and engineering innovations.
Over two years in development, the main feature is a central scroll wheel, which switches between "hyper-fast" and slow speeds with a downward click. But toggling between speeds with the MX Revolution is something you probably won't have to do for yourself that often. Using "SmartShift" technology, the mouse actually detects the software you're using on the computer and switches to the appropriate speed. When you scroll quickly, the wheel disengages so as not to spin out of control and, if you leave it spinning, it stops with a simple touch. Moving side to side as well, the wheel's also great for navigating horizontally around programs like Photoshop.
While all the buttons can be customized to perform a variety of functions, they're all designed to work intuitively to enable easy desktop navigation. A second thumb-controlled wheel, located on the side, enables easy flipping between applications with a toggle motion and a central click. For searching, a dedicated button directly below the main wheel can be customized to use the program of your choice, which is especially handy for Microsoft programs that don't have built-in Google searches. And two other programmable side buttons are useful for making modified keystrokes into one-click operations.
For $99, there are more inexpensive options out there, but none that provide so many ways to navigate so fluidly. Pick one up from Logitech.