Review: Logitech MX1000 Laser Cordless Mouse

A product review by Bobulous.

What is the MX1000?

The Logitech MX1000 Laser Cordless Mouse is a mouse that uses an infrared laser to detect movement. Logitech claim their MX Laser system is twenty times more sensitive to surface detail than optical mice which use an LED.

The mouse is cordless, using a recharging cradle to top-up the lithium-ion battery that is built into it. Logitech make no claims about battery stamina.

Several buttons not found on standard mice are found on the MX1000: thumb controls for forward, backward and application change; buttons around the mousewheel that perform fast-forward and fast-backward; a mousewheel with button action and tilt-action.

The manufacturer's part number is 931175-0120.

Installing the MX1000

Installing the mouse itself is as simple as plugging the USB cable into an empty slot. The SetPoint software that comes with the mouse is simple to install, following the provided instructions.

Using the MX1000

First off, I'll say that I found Logitech's SetPoint software utterly useless. The SetPoint software activates the extra features of the mouse, which mostly just means it gives all the extra buttons a function. To get the latest version of SetPoint from Logitech's site is a 35MB download. Thirty-five megabytes? For a utility that just intercepts mouse-clicks? That is an obscenely bulky chunk of software for such a tiny purpose. You can download the entire first episode of Doom in a 2.3MB file, and Doom does a Hell of a lot more than just monitor mouse movements. What on Earth is the SetPoint software doing to take up thirty-five megabytes?

photo: The shiny-black Logitech MX1000 Laser.

This might be acceptable if the SetPoint software was actually worth having installed. With the SetPoint control panel, you can set actions for each of the extra buttons that adorn the mouse. The default settings seem sensible enough at first. The forward and back thumb-buttons work in the web browser, which is often handy. The Cruise Control buttons above and below the mousewheel act to jump up and down a page-or-so at a time. The application switcher button brings up a Logitech-coded equivalent to the dialog that Windows will show you if you hit alt-tab.

The problems quickly become apparent. Each of the extra-button functions has to be loaded into memory when you first hit the relevant button. This means that a delay of about a second before the button has any effect. The application switcher function seems especially slow. Most mind-bogglingly of all, the mousewheel-click no longer acts as a middle-button click. Instead, Logitech's SetPoint replaces it with a useless zoom function. Which would be fine if there were any way to change it back to a middle-button click. But there is, to the best of my knowledge, no way of setting the mousewheel-click as a middle-button [see Update below]. Which makes using games like Brothers In Arms and software like Blender much more difficult to use. What made Logitech settle on this option, I can't imagine.

Uninstalling SetPoint means that you lose the clunky extra features, but it does give you the expected action when you click down on the mousewheel, and the forward and backward thumb-buttons still have an effect in a Windows web browser. So I don't use the SetPoint software. The main functions of the mouse don't seem to suffer at all without it.

On to the main functions of the mouse. The MX1000 is certainly sensitive and responsive. Before this, I was using a Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer optical mouse. Sudden movements would cause the Intellimouse to lose track of the motion, and the cursor would end up at the bottom-right of the screen each time, completely thrown. The MX1000 does not suffer the same problem. Even deliberately unreasonable speed and acceleration on a fUnc sUrface 1030 mousepad are unable to confuse the mouse pointer. The same holds for use on a shiny wood-veneer tabletop. The sensitivity of the laser is deserving of Logitech's boasting.

photo: The side of the MX1000 sports three thumb-buttons.

In first-person shooter games, such as the intense Counter-Strike Source, the extra sensitivity is very welcome. Snap movements with the Intellimouse would cause me to be suddenly looking at the floor, and my opponent would take advantage by casually peppering my confused avatar with hot metal. The MX1000 allows the snappiest of reactions to go unpunished, so on-edge players will very much appreciate the laser technology.

The mouse is equally responsive. In the past, I had heard that cordless mice suffered from radio-lag and power-up lag, so that pointer movement would always be just behind hardware movement, and using the mouse from a standing start would cause a delay of milliseconds as the mouse woke from sleep. All of which was reportedly unbearable in action games. The MX1000 goes into sleep mode when it's not been used for several seconds, but it still responds immediately when it is then moved. If it is not used for longer than a brief period, it seems to go into a deeper sleep which does take a fraction of time to recover from. But the fraction is small, and you're very unlikely to see it enter deep sleep in the middle of an action game. Unless you are really very bad at that game.

Another reservation I had previously about cordless mice was the need for recharging. But, looking at my calendar, I realise that I've been using the MX1000 for thirty-one days, and I've only recharged the mouse two or three times. And I'm fairly sure it's only been two times. So a full charge lasts at least ten days of regular (but not heavy) use. Small LEDs on the side of the mouse light up when the mouse is being moved, and they show the state of the battery charge. But most of the time, you don't need to worry about the battery at all.

Evaluating the MX1000

This is another case of: good hardware, shame about the crap software. How much of the mouse utility software's unresponsiveness can be blamed on Windows XP, I don't know. But I am fairly sure that a lot of people would rather have the function of their mousewheel-click [see Update below] and not have a set of unresponsive, mostly-worthless extra functions instead. The SetPoint software really is a let-down.

The mouse hardware, however, is excellent. None of the problems I'd expected from a cordless mouse were encountered, and the battery life is easily sufficient to avoid annoyance. The laser eye is a big improvement over the LED optical sensor I'd been using previously, and its sensitivity and responsiveness are almost certainly as good as you could want.

This mouse ought to please anyone who needs serious performance in action games, but it's also an excellent mouse for typical desktop use.

Alternative to the MX1000

After using the hefty MX1000 for nearly three years, I've switched to the lighter Logitech G9. It's my recommended high-precision mouse for anyone who doesn't need their mouse to be cordless.


A visitor to this page called Patrick decided to contact me about an error I've made in this review. He points out that there is an option in the SetPoint software for re-enabling the middle-button click with the mousewheel. How I missed it is beyond me, because I did look for it more than once. In Patrick's own words:

Change the "zoom" button to "other", then click select function and set it to "middle button." No instead of it being the useless zoom function, it is a standard middle button.

This does allow you to use the middle-button click, so that the mouse again becomes useful in applications such as Blender even with the SetPoint software running.

Michael from Vancouver contacted me to let me know that what I previously claimed on this page was untrue. He points out that if you want to tell SetPoint to allow games to detect the extra mouse buttons, you should set them as "Generic Buttons" in SetPoint. Then games like Doom 3 will detect two of the thumb-buttons as mouse button 4 and mouse button 5.