I so admire Logitech’s R&D and the products that come from their labs.  They have consistently produced winning keyboards and mice, a wide range of speakers for computer and other applications, and their Harmony division produces the best all-in-one remote controls known to man.  So, what’s new?

This time out, in this back-to-school timeframe I am pleased to recommend their new V450 Nano wireless laser mouse. Of course, it is ideal for students with their MacBooks or Windows notebook computers as well as just about anyone looking to buy a gaming mouse.

I’m using a V450 Nano right now, though not with a notebook.  It’s familiar, comfortable and there is nothing in the negative column that I can discern.  Rather, there is much to praise.

As comfortable as we consumers have become to having a notebook computer and, on some, especially so with Apple’s singularly outstanding notebooks, using their trackpads, it’s often a more pleasant and productive experience to use a mouse when sitting at a desk and operating in non-mobile mode.

Logitech’s $50 V450 Nano feels great and comes in several colors (see the photo above).  The soft rubber grips lend a sense of security to the operation. As with their previously reviewed VX Nano, the new V450 comes with the same almost-disappearing receiver that is so small and unobtrusive that it can be left in place in its computer USB slot without fear of it being snapped off and not only damaging the dongle but most assuredly damaging the computer itself.  No worries! Just plug in the receiver and forget it.  And in the event the user wants to remove the receiver, it won’t run the risk of disappearing because there is its own neat receptacle under the lid of the mouse.

Nice and neat.  What a package! Logitech even makes the removal of the receiver from its inside-the-mouse bay an intelligent exercise. Remove the receiver and the mouse powers on automatically.  It knows that you’ve removed the receiver because it’s time to use the mouse, so you’ll need it powered on right?  In other circumstances, there is also a power button on the mouse’s underside.  Try to power it on with the receiver still in place inside and it won’t let you. Isn’t that smart!

Another almost set-it-and-forget-it feature is its battery life.  A pair of AA alkalines powers the V450 for up to 12 months! No kidding.  Last year’s VX Nano gets six months out of a pair of smaller, lesser capacity AAA cells, so it makes perfect sense that users will get a year out of a pair of more powerful AA batteries.  And, of course, the product comes with a pair of Duracells to get you going immediately. If the user turns it off between uses, battery life may well exceed one year, but why bother?  If leaving it alone provides a year of service on one set of batteries, well, then, just use the darn thing and really forget about it.

Smartly, they have done away with including software.  Well, duh!  If it’s being used on a computer, then it is reasonable to assume that the user has Internet access. A bright yellow sticker over the plastic bag containing the not-needed instruction manual advises the user to download the latest software at www.logitech.com/downloads.  Just click through to find the correct product, find the computer operating system and download away.  It could not be easier.

Once downloaded and installed, as I just did, the software allows almost infinite customization.  Choose what it is the right and left buttons do, if different from the norm, the action of the scroll wheel and its own left and right movement capabilities, the tracking speed and so on.  Quite the no-brainer, really.  On my Mac, inserting the USB receiver with the mouse powered on brings up an opaque on-screen message from the Logitech Control Center that the V450 Nano Wireless Laser Mouse for Notebooks is active, along with a picture to show me the product to which this message refers.  How could Logitech make it any clearer to the user what is happening?  This is just great.

If all the above was not good enough, Logitech backs the product with a very generous three-year warranty.  Are they nuts?  I think this is quite a statement of confidence in their product and I applaud Logitech for their generosity.

Let’s add it all up.  Great mouse design.  Check.  Perfect size USB receiver.  Check.  Easy setup.  Check.  Terrific performance.  Check.  Outstanding warranty.  Check.  Very good price.  Check.  Works with Macs and Windows PCs.  Check.  Now, buy it!  Check.

Learn more at www.logitech.com or call 646-454-3200.  Buy it at Best Buy, Office Depot, Office Max, Staples, Amazon.com and at Logitech.com.

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