With all this GPU power we have these days, you'd think we'd all have smooth scrolling, where you can actually read the text as it glides up the page. Turns out we all can, with the right mouse and the right software. Sure wish I upgraded to a better mouse wheel years ago!
Then again, it appears Logitech didn't actually get the SetPoint software working well with Windows 8/8.1 until recently.
Read onward for the long mouse tale about wireless mice, including all the details about how I arrived at my choice, along with some very smooth scrolling tips.
4.9" length x 2.8" width x 1.7" height, 4.5 oz with battery, released Dec 2006.
I've had this Bluetooth Microsoft Mouse for over 7 years. I liked the dongle-free, ergonomic design well enough. We had a good long run together. But lately, some behaviors have really gotten on my nerves, such as the annoying jumpiness whenever somebody is cooking with the microwave downstairs, or when my nearby smartphone started pumping data over WiFi. Those little things began to wear on me, especially now that I'm finally working full time at home, in the IT profession. So it was time for me to standardize on a new mouse.
I'm a pretty big guy, with hands that stay clear of all tiny travel mice. I do a lot of browsing, and need fine mouse control for careful screenshots or diagrams. Last year, I tried the Microsoft Touch Mouse, but it was just a bit too narrow for my hand, and didn't really have physical mouse buttons for precise work. Earlier this month, I picked this task up again and investigated my options. The hunt was on! Five mice and two weeks later, and I'm happy to say that I've now found the mouse for me. It definitely helped to stop by my local Staples and Office Depot, to have the chance for some hands-on time, helping me quickly eliminate a lot of options that looked decent online, but felt terrible in my actual hand.
This article is exactly the article I wish had been able to find, 2 weeks ago, oh what trouble it would have saved! Then again, I find wrong decisions make me that much more confident in my final selection, and I learn stuff along the way.
I started with a look at modern touch Microsoft mouse, hoping it might be close to big enough for larger hands.
5.1" length x 2.3" width x 0.6" height, 3.1 oz with battery, released September 2012.
Great packaging and unboxing experience, with easy install onto my Windows 8.1 laptop. But darnit, when using a mouse pad, there is way too much side-to-side motion when pressing the mouse buttons down, making precision impossible, since the cursor moves several pixels with every click. For my hands, also just too narrow. After a couple days with it, I also began to realize how much I miss the spin of an actual wheel. All that said:
- if you're using a Microsoft Surface or an ultrabook
- have an average hand size
- don't use mouse pads
- want Bluetooth to avoid any dongles
then the Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse Surface Edition could be a decent choice for you, but I'd recommend trying it first. Clever fold-flat for travel design (which also turns the mouse off). But not suitable for me. No other Microsoft mice of a decent size caught my eye. Time to give Logitech a try.
4.1" length by 2.4" width by 1.2" height, released September 2012.
The first T400 I received came without the little USB dongle, that Logitech calls the Unifying receiver. Back into the box, online place I bought it from no longer trusted. The replacement from another source came with defective left mouse button. You'd depress the buttom, drag a window, then slightly let up on pressure and Windows would think I fully released the button, even though no click had occurred yet. Oh well, was a bit too small for my hands anyway, and the touch strip just wasn't sensitive or accurate enough for scrolling through web pages on Chrome. Returning them both. Time to move on. Looking at the Logitech site listing all current mice:
the 3 final candidates pretty much jumped out at me:
Compare Logitech Marathon Mouse M705 / Performance Mouse MX / Wireless Mouse M560
Here's how my experiences with each of the 3 worked out. Don't worry, there's a happy ending to this mouse tale!
5.1" length by 3.9" width by 1.9" height, 5.2 oz, released August 2009.
Check it out in my local Office Depot, and just felt too large and heavy, like I was shoving a disc around. Didn't even bring this one home with me. At least now I know what I'm looking for. A Logitech with a free (no detent or click) wheel, that fits my hand nicely, for all day comfort. So the quest continues.
4.3" length by 2.6" width by 1.7" height, 3.7 oz, released September 2013.
Picked this one up at Staples, and used it for a week. Pretty happy with the scrolling action of the wheel, with a nick flick bringing you from the top of a web site to the bottom, stopping on a dime anywhere in between. Nice! Most recent mouse design in this list, and it shows, with a modern look, and refined button and mouse wheel tilt actions. But alas, it wasn't meant to be, a week with this mouse convinced me that the area where my fingers grip the mouse was simply a bit too narrow for my hands. But for anybody else, it makes an excellent choice.
4.3" length x 2.6" width by 1.6" height, 4.8 oz, released June 2010.
Found it! Nearly perfect for me. Very pleased. Doesn't feel tiny. Wheel works well, with all the fairly quiet buttons readily accessible, except for the thumb button near the buttom edge that's just a little bit out of the way. But rarely needed. PC Magazine declared the M705 Editor's Choice. Low battery indicator LED, and expected 3 year alkaline battery life. Hence the name "Marathon." Also turns out that all Logitech mice that use the Unifying receiver enables use all the way across a room, exhibiting none of the Bluetooth range issues I used to sometimes run into when more than 2 feet away. This could be handy for presentating. Now that I've chosen the right fit for my hands, time to move onto getting the software just right.
- Plug the little Unifying receiver into the most convenient USB port on your computer, and leave it there
- Put batteries into mouse, and turn it on (if it isn't already)
It will probably simply begin to work just fine, immediately. But if you want the smooth scrolling, continue to
- Optionally download and install this “SetPoint” software for Windows 7 or Windows 8 from here:
- Optionally, if you want a smooth scrolling experience in your browsers, say yes to the prompts (for IE and Firefox add-on, and Chrome extension).
Worth noting that smooth scrolling works in Microsoft Word 2013 and Outlook 2013 and Adobe Acrobat, greatly easing the ability to comfortably read long documents and emails, from non-touch enabled devices. As far as Excel, that uses the standard Mouse Settings dialogue (Win+W, type 'Mouse', select 'Mouse' from the selections). This will bring up the dialogue seen below, with wheel motions moving increments of one cell-at-a-time.
1) Change your M705 button mappings with Logitech SetPoint
So I set about reprogramming the default button mappings in SetPoint, to exactly the way I want them (seen below). If you have multiple Logitech products, you may wind up with a generic mouse picture instead of your actual mouse. There's a fix listed here.
Pretty cool that it even shows estimated days left of battery life!
(shows 1095 days left when new, mine now shows 1090)
For my taste, they're mapped like this:
- tilting mouse wheel left goes back to the previous web page
- tilting mouse wheel right goes forward to next web page
- side buttons do the same
- under the thumb button resets zoom to 100%
minor ding, not the best tactile response, making finding this button with your thumb a little more difficult than it should be
Why do I need a zoom reset button? For users who like the here was a software problem with all the Logitech mice, and I was determined to solve it. Turns out that once you have Logitech SetPoint 6.65.62 installed, the Chrome Smooth scrolling is awesome, with this Logitech Smooth Scrolling extension (that it adds automatically). More about the setting in SetPoint here. If you press the little button near the wheel that changes modes from Hyper-fast scroll (spins until you stop it) over to the detent mode (wheel moves in discreet increments, and stops instantly when you remove your finger), everything works normally. All is good. Well, almost all. There are occasional minor vertical scrollings of a few pixels here and there, even when not touching the mouse wheel, due to vibrations of the mouse wheel when I type quickly nearby. Minor drawback.
But going forward, I won't do away with my quiet, fast, Hyper-Fast Scrolling. All Logitech mice capable of "free-wheeling" are listed here (notice the absence of the otherwise-well-liked M510).
2) There's a Chrome Zoom Bug, but there's also a temporary workaround
found June 22 2014, with current version of Logitech Smooth Scrolling and Chrome Version 35
As soon as I turned Hyper-Fast Scroll on, and I get accidental zoom changes in Chrome. Even when my hand is nowhere near the mouse. Seems to happen when touching the Ctrl key on the keyboard, or shortly afterward. Perhaps Ctrl+Right Arrow, to jump a word at a time in WordPress Editor, or Ctrl+End, to jump to the end of web page. Suddenly, Chrome seems to think I've hit Ctrl+mouse wheel (zoom). Only I didn't. Others reporting this here and here. Very annoying.
Was it time to give up and return everything? Of course not. I like a challenge. Time to give the AutoHotkey fix a try. It works, even on Windows 8.1. No reboot necessary. Chrome no longer spazzes out with zooming. Ctrl+ and Ctrl- still changes zoom, and Ctrl+0 still resets it to 100%. Excellent!
3) Mouse movement could wake computer, wasting power
There's a chance that you're computer wakes up. If you also find that moving your new mouse doesn't seem to wake your computer, yet, inexpicably, you find your PC running when it'd normally have gone to sleep. Here's how to determine if your new mouse was the culprit.
Open a command prompt (Windows 8/8.1, type Win+x, select 'Command Prompt (Admin)'), then type
If you see something about a USB controller, the one that your Logitech Unifying receiver is attached to, as the culprit for your most recent wake up, such as the example seen below
then let's get on with the fix. I know it's strange that you're not changing the settings on your USB controller itself, but for me, it was really 3 other devices I needed to adjust. To resolve this:
In Device Manager (Windows 8, Win+x, Device Manager), under 'Mice and other pointing devices' find 'Logitech HID-compliant Unifying Mouse' then right-click and choose 'Properties'
On the 'Power Management' tab, turn off 'Allow this device to wake the computer' then click OK
Repeat this process 2 more times for the 2nd and 3rd devices listed below:
Here's the list of all 3 devices that need to be kept from waking your system up, same for Windows 7 as for Windows 8/8.1 (seen pictured at right)
- Logitech HID-compliant Unifying Mouse
- HID Keyboard Device
- HID-compliant mouse
That's it! My Logitech Marathon mouse works great in my windowed or full screen VMs as well, but without the super smooth scrolling (reverting to traditional 1 or 3 line at a time movements).
My mouse hunt is over, and so is this article!
This video has a full walk through of the unboxing, installation process including the optional install and configuration of Logitech SetPoint, followed by the Chrome extension, and finally, step-by-step AutoHotkey configuration (to prevent accidental Chrome zoom changes).
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Logitech Marathon Mouse M705
Logitech Wireless Mouse M560
Also consider dropping a comment with your opinions and experiences below. Thank you!
Jun 29 2014 Update:
Had a few family members who needed new mice try out the M705 and M560, and all favored the looks of the M560, but favored the feel of the M705. In other words, the M705 fit the hand better. I have noticed that the slight inadvertant vertical scrolling issue is a bit annoying as the days go by, but not enough to regret my decision. I can always change modes of the mouse wheel to avoid the minor issue for now, then switch back to Hyper-scroll. If you have a solid desk for your keyboard, you are unlikely to experience this minor issue. It's really just because I'm using a Ergotron WorkFit-S Standing Desk, where the keyboard is more prone to transmitting vibrations to the nearby mouse.
If you're also interested in a mouse pad / wrist rest that offers all day comfort, consider the HandStands Memory Foam Mouse Pad Mat with Wrist Rest (Black), with a black color that hides dirt, and doesn't seem to affect mouse tracking.
Belkin mouse pads are even easier to find locally, and used to use gel, but now seem to use a harder foam. I personally prefer a quality gel wrist rest, where you slight sink it it during rest, maximizing comfort.
But if you're ok with foam wrist rests, and can handle a bit of a smell for the first day or two, consider the Staples Mouse Pad with Gel Wrist Rest, Black, also seen pictured below. This wrist rest is a softer and wider pad than other brands I've tried.
- There are now 4 M705 mice in our extended family, and the projected battery life continues to be amazing, with nearly 3 years still showing left on my mouse.
- Install of drivers and configuration is identical for Windows 7 64 bit, on a ThinkPad T500 I was recently helping with.
- I apparent use the fingertip grip method, coupled with a wrist rest, for all-day comfort. See also
- Finally, a new comprehensive review has now surfaced:
We spent almost 90 hours researching nearly 200 mice, surveying more than 1,000 mouse users, thoroughly testing 25 mice ourselves, and consulting with a panel of experts and laypeople to determine that the $50 Logitech Marathon M705 is the best mouse for most people. Our panel—consisting of varying hand sizes and mousing grips—near-unanimously favored the size, shape, and glide of the Marathon over the competition, especially praising button placement and selection.
I had not seen this mousepad before, but it's now my favorite. More squared off works better for my keyboard/mouse tray. It's not memory foam, but it's soft and comfy.
I have found dark grey looks good, hides dirt, and works well for optimal tracking. Not just from this mouse, but other older laser mice that you might use occasionally. So my new favorite is the same Fellowes, just the dark gray version instead.