Logitech MX5500 RevolutionApr 21st, 2008 | By Jared
Logitech MX5500 Revolution
: 04/21/08 – 11:56:58 PM
: Input Devices
Page 1 : Index
Logitech is a company well known for their quality computer and electronics peripherals. With offerings for both gamers and casual users alike, there is something for everyone.
I could argue that your choice of keyboard and mouse is one of the most important you will make for your computer. It is your primary spot for input and such you are always in contact with it while using your PC. I'm not sure about anyone else, but when I find a mouse and keyboard that are comfortable to me, it's difficult to replace. Logitech's Cordless Desktop MX5000 Laser was reviewed here at Overclockers Online a long two years ago. Today I have the next in the MX5000 line, the Cordless Desktop MX 5500 Revolution. Launched at CES earlier this year, the MX 5500 Revolution mates Logitech's superb MX Revolution mouse with an equally stylish and innovative keyboard.
Page 2 : Package
The package is immediately identifiable as a Logitech product with the familiar green.
The front of the box features a large photo of the keyboard and mouse combo. The product name and marketing phrase along with a few key features round out the information here.
On the top of the box is again the product name and marketing phrase with a closer shot of the keyboard highlighting the LCD screen. The bottom lists the warranty, system requirements and the list of contents inside the box.
Listed on the back of the box is a more detailed break out of some key features of the MX Revolution and keyboard.
Opening up the box we are greeted with a solid black box. Inside sitting in a plastic shell is the entire MX 5500 Revolution set.
Page 3 : Features and Specifications
A cruise over to Logitech's website brings us to the product page. Features focus on precision and ease of use.
Precision meets convenience.
* MX Revolution Cordless Laser Mouse: Experience extreme accuracy and flawless tracking on nearly any surface.
* Revolutionary scroll wheel: Lets you speed through long documents.
* Precise, click-to-click scrolling: Switch from rapid scrolling to click-to-click for navigating lists, slides, and images.
* Rapid charging stand: Eliminates the need to change batteries.
Instant access and control.
* Dynamic keyboard display: An integrated LCD makes it easy to play music, use your calculator, receive incoming message notifications, and check the time and date.
Easy, reliable connections and extended range.
* Bluetooth® wireless technology: Enables dependable, cordless connectivity from up to 30 feet.
* Logitech SecureConnect technology: Helps ensure a hassle-free setup, right out of the box.
* Sculpted mouse: Fits your hand for ultimate comfort and control.
* Comfortable keyboard: Offers a more natural typing experience.
* Soft, coated palm rest: Comfortably supports your hands.
Much as with Logitech's other keyboard and mouse combos, requirements are very minimal.
o PC with Windows® XP, Windows Vista®
o 1 available USB port
o CD-ROM drive
And finally is a list of the package contents.
o Logitech® Bluetooth® MX Revolution Laser Mouse
o USB Bluetooth® mini-receiver (can be used as Bluetooth® hub)
o 4 AA alkaline batteries
o CD with software, comfort guidelines, and help center
o Quick-Start guide
o Full product support
Now it's time to open the box up and have a look.
Page 4 : The Accessories and Mouse
First I'll begin with the accessories.
Accessories include the charging base for the mouse, USB Bluetooth receiver, 4 AA batteries for the keyboard and installation CD.
The Bluetooth mini receiver connects via USB and is about the size of your thumb (or more specifically, my thumb). This USB Bluetooth receiver can also double as a Bluetooth hub.
The MX Revolution has really taken a different approach in style than Logitech's previous mice. Nothing has changed with the MX Revolution since its release aside from the move to Bluetooth for the MX5500 combo. The front is tapered and contains the main mouse buttons along with Logitech's revolutionary MicroGear Precision Scroll wheel. Located behind the scroll wheel is a quick search button that allows you to highlight text and then hit the button to automatically search the internet.
As you probably know, the MX Revolution is not made for lefties, so only right hand users should apply. On the left side of the mouse is forward and back buttons along with another wheel at your thumb for quick flipping through programs, much like Alt + Tab. This is also where the battery indicator is located, which only shows when the mouse is first in use and then it turns off. The inside of the thumb area is a rubber coating for grip.
The right side of the mouse contains no buttons, but is contoured slightly to fit to your pinky and ring finger.
On the bottom are the contact points for charging the internal Li-Ion battery. There are four good size mouse feet, a connect button and an on/off switch.
Page 5 : The Keyboard
Now let's take a look at the MX5500 keyboard.
Our first look at the MX5500 keyboard, you can see that it is pretty much the basic layout of most keyboards. The LCD screen dominates the top and the palm rest is a comfortable rubber like material. There are various function keys spread around and we will go over most of them next. Looking at the back you can see the battery compartment on the bottom, a small connect button and feet to raise the keyboard along the top edge.
Starting on the left hand side, are the media controls along with a button for the Flip 3D feature in Vista and zoom controls. On the lower right are buttons to launch Windows Media Center, your My Pictures folder and a button for Vista Gadgets.
All of the Function keys along the top also double as quick launch buttons for eight different functions. While all of these keys are defaulted to mostly Microsoft applications, you will see later that they can all be customized with Logitech's SetPoint software.
The LCD is at the top with arrow keys below it to flip to the different displays. The LCD has options to display time/date, media (shows artist name, song title, and progress), temperature, ABCD favorites key assignments, a key counter, and e-mail inbox. The button on the right side that says 'LCD' is used to alternate between a black or white background. One thing to point out, there is no NumLock key, so in effect the NumLock is always on. This is no issue to me as I haven't used the 10 keypad for anything other than numbers in I don't know how long. Also along the top right is a power button and one of my favorite features, the calculator button. When you press this button, it turns the LCD into a calculator in conjunction with the number pad.
Page 6 : Installation
Installation is a snap and is just a matter of putting the batteries into the keyboard, turning the MX Revolution switch to on and plugging in the USB Bluetooth receiver and you're good to go. But if you really want to unlock and use the full features included, you need to install Logitech's SetPoint software. Installation of the software amounts to hitting next a bunch of times and then you are all set.
SetPoint automatically detects the connected keyboard and mouse. First I'm going to focus on the different options for the keyboard and then take a look at the mouse options.
Each hot key and function key can be customized or can be left at its default settings. They can be programmed to do a number of things from opening a web page or program to performing a keystroke combination, such as enabling NumLock.
Both the MX5500 keyboard and the MX Revolution have a battery tab that shows the remaining charge left in the batteries. This meter is a little more important for the keyboard since it uses disposable batteries as opposed to the Li-Ion battery in the MX Revolution. With the meter showing 194 days on one set, battery life should be quite good with the keyboard.
Every button on the mouse aside from the left and right click can be customized. You can either choose one of the default tasks, or select other and choose from a long list of other tasks.
For gamers there is a tab to control mouse settings while playing games, a very important feature as some of the default key settings will not work in games. And finally the final tab I want to cover is for customizing the settings for the MicroGear scroll wheel. Here you can control pretty much every aspect of the scroll wheel. There are options for both the vertical scroll and the horizontal scroll speeds and acceleration.
Page 7 : Testing
Let's get this out of the way first, if you like a loud clickity click while typing, you won't like the MX5500 keyboard. If you like quiet typing with a nice soft feel, this is a keyboard for you and it's one of the things I like the most about it. The key layout is pretty standard so learning new key locations is not a problem. The wrist rest is very comfortable though it does seem to show smudge marks from your hands very easily. The built in LCD is a neat feature though I would have liked for it to be customizable with what can be displayed. The LCD screen also is not really backlit though it is quite viewable as long as there is some ambient light. However, if you are working in a dark room the LCD screen is pretty much useless. Also its important to note that the LCD is raised a bit, which this height combined with the adjustable feet, this is an issue with my slide out keyboard tray. With the feet extended the keyboard will not fit with the tray slid shut.
Now moving on to the MX Revolution, at first it took a bit to get used to the different shape of the MX Revolution in comparison to my old trusty Logitech MX700, but it didn't take long. For general browsing and use it was easy from the get go, but gaming can require a bit of trial and error with some things. For starters when I first started using it, I would find myself accidentally bumping the thumb wheel and finding myself suddenly staring at the open document selector. Playing some games such as Crysis that require you to use the middle mouse button (pushing down on the scroll wheel) did not work out of the box but required a trip into the SetPoint software. Tracking is extremely precise and not once during my use have I experienced a wandering mouse pointer. The MicroGear scroll wheel has become a godsend for large PDF and Word documents and I find myself frustrated when I have to go back to a standard scroll wheel at work. Battery life for the MX Revolution is exceptional with close to 2 weeks of use on one charge. With the built in Li-Ion battery and charging dock you should never have any issues with battery life.
The default settings may not work for everyone, which is where the SetPoint software steps in to make it incredibly easy to remap the various function keys on the keyboard. I have used other keyboard programs and none have been easier to use than Logitech's SetPoint software. SetPoint also makes it incredibly easy to customize the mouse functions to exactly what you need.
Lastly one of the major changes from previous keyboard and mouse sets in the MX line is the move to Bluetooth. I have heard complaints of lag from Bluetooth devices, but I have found no such lag in the MX5500 set. The only instance that I have found any sort of lag is moving the mouse after it has been sitting for a while, and even that is very minor and was never experienced in games. I have had the USB dongle plugged into the back of my PC and have walked to the other side of my room (approximately 20 feet) and still had perfect response. Logitech seems to have really worked out any kinks with Bluetooth functionality in this set.
Page 8 : Conclusion
Choosing a good keyboard and mouse is one of the most difficult choices I ever make and in so being I rarely switch my input devices. Using the MX5500 Revolution has made me quickly forget my old trusty mouse and keyboard. The keyboard is comfortable, responsive and customizable. The MX Revolution mouse is comfortable and precise and like the keyboard very customizable. The added bonus of Bluetooth wireless connectivity eliminates cables and has not showed flaky connectivity of Bluetooth units in the past.
While the set has loads of positives, it does have a few minor annoyances, as I wouldn't really call them negatives. The height of the LCD can cause problems with keyboard trays if you prefer your keyboard raised. I also kind of wish you could customize what displays on the LCD, such as displaying CPU temperatures. Also some games may require a little bit of tweaking in SetPoint in order to get the additional buttons to work on the MX Revolution.
Still with just these few minor negatives it's hard not to recommend this keyboard and mouse set to anyone. Whether you are looking for straight out of the box functionality or you like to tweak, the Logitech MX5500 Revolution is sure to make you happy.
- Good response and range
- Rechargeable mouse
- Long battery life
- Customizable functions
- I wish the LCD was more customizable
- Some tweaking required for some games
Overclockers Online would like to thank Logitech for supplying the MX5500 for review.