It seems that Logitech may have taken a page from the Portal game series, as they develop their own version of a companion cube. Instead of laying a box on switches that must weigh quite a bit, Logitech went the complete opposite direction with their concept of a Cube. As I mentioned in the title, this is not only the smallest mouse I have ever seen, but it is the smallest product I have ever had the pleasure of using and bringing forward to my readers.
The idea here it to make a mouse that is small enough to fit in your pocket, but even more thought went into this design. Everything that we typically consider basic features of a mouse, such as the left click being on the left, or the right click being on the right, or better yet, a scroll wheel that isn't a wheel at all! The way Logitech went about things here will stand your previous notions of what makes a cool mouse, crumble it all up and throw it in the waste bin. I will be honest; there is more of a business market feel to this new mouse. I used it for a few days and while odd at first, it easily becomes second nature in no time at all, but there are features like its presentation mode that makes you realize that most of us don't have that concern.
Even with the Logitech Cube Grab-and-Go mouse lending its features to the more business minded who would carry the laptop under one arm, their coffee in the other and with this tiny design, you can now slip this mouse slash pointer into a protective sleeve and stash it in your pocket as you walk to the next meeting.
Even for those of us who don't like the keel of a mouse pad on out laptops for even the most basic of internet surfing, you now have those same abilities, even if the beverage of choice to your next meeting is a beer before you meet up with your buddies. While I was at CES, the news of this mouse was a black on white version. Today I am bringing you the Logitech Cube in very sleek, white striped panels over black trimmed edges.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Just like with the G105, Logitech isn't very specific in the specifications chart they supply. Pulling out the digital scale and laying the Cube on it, the scales LCD read it weighs in at a measly 25 grams, seriously that is it! As for the dimensional figures, well here goes, get ready for these! The Cube is 54mm long, 29mm wide and will sit 17mm taller than the surface it rides on. The other major plus with this mouse is that it is wireless and uses a dongle that I have seen in design, but not with this six device reading capabilities of the Logitech Unifying Receiver. For those in the business realm, if you lift the cube off the table it can be used as a slide selector for presentations, while you walk about discussing things.
There are a few things that come along with the Cube mouse. The scope of delivery shows that there is a Cube mouse of course and the USB Unifying Receiver. Then there is the pre-installed Lithium Ion battery, a very short USB charging cable, a carrying pouch and of course some paperwork. As I said, when I was at CES, they had more of a black and grey striped model with white edges on display. The model we will be seeing soon is a white and almost a pearl stripe pattern with piano black edging and corners. Aside from the On/Off switch and the charging port at the back of the mouse there is the Logitech name in grey on the side and the sensor on the bottom to help you figure out which way is up and down, or even front and back.
Doing a fair bit of searching, I can only find a select few listings of this mouse anywhere. Google UK came up goose eggs when I went there to look and even Google.com seemed as if I was crazy when I looked for shopping hits. What I was able to see was that there is a listing at NCIX-US for $68.62 as a pre-order. The other location I see that there is any hope of getting the Cube right now is direct from Logitech for $69.99 and you select the color after you select "add to cart". Even with a limited supply, I think this mouse is creative enough, sized small enough for almost unnoticed portability and really slick looks as the Logitech Cube sits on your desk looking inconspicuous and nothing like a typical mouse that anyone thinks of a mouse as being.
Just sit back and relax as I get through the packaging so you can feast your eyes on another product that proves good things can come in the smallest packages.
Packaging and Contents
There really isn't a whole lot of information found on the plain brown cardboard, outer packaging. Here Logitech chose to offer the company name, the name of the mouse, the scope of delivery and the address at which Logitech is located.
On the one side you have the SKU barcode, UPC barcode, the mouse's "born on" date and the fact that the Logitech Cube is a product of China.
On the opposite side of the outer packaging there is a warning about the Lithium Ion battery inside the Cube. I've never tried to dissect one before, but this sticker makes it seem like a really bad idea to fool around with these if they are damaged in any way.
With the outside covered, I popped the top of the box and exposed a few things. First off the inside of the lid offers a bit more information about the Cube. You can see the black and white box inserted in the brown cardboard box with the Logitech name on it. At the bottom is the last thing, this is where Logitech has slid some paperwork into the bottom of the outer packaging.
Here is where it starts to feel like I got a set of Russian nesting dolls. First we had the outer packaging which we opened to expose this packaged in the middle of. Once removed you can see there is a panel with the Logitech name, one with Logitech Cube on it and the other has an image of the Cube mouse. With six sides to fill of the cube box, these three panels are just repeated.
Removing the top of this box exposes the Cube mouse. Now this box isn't this big just to house a mouse and receiver, there is plenty more to find in here.
Right under the mouse is in fact the receiver which is sitting in a section of high density foam with holes cut out as to allow your fingers to get in there. You also notice there is something below the receiver.
Under the foam and receiver there is another compartment covered with this cardboard telling us to look inside! This is where the accessories and the specific to the Cube instructions are found, which I will show later in the review.
Logitech Cube Grab-and-Go Mouse
I am starting off with the bit of the Cube mouse that sits against the palm of your hand. Here is where you connect the mini-USB charger and where the power switch is located. Also just above the two of these, there is an LED that will show through the white panel to show green for charged or red for about to die.
On the top of the mouse you can see that there aren't the conventional click buttons or a scroll wheel for that matter. What you do find at first glance is exactly what the naming implies, a cube of sorts because it is more of a rectangle.
The front of the Cube also offers the same white and grey striping in the panels that cover the sides.
The left side of the mouse is where Logitech chose to display the company name. For right hander's, just to orient you a bit here, this logo would be just in front of your thumb.
Even the bottom uses the same white and grey striping, but this time there is the sensor in the middle above a sticker showing power ratings, part number and the FCC ID for the transmitter used in the Cube.
Just in case you didn't yet have a full grasp on the size of the Logitech Cube, well here it is next to an average 9V battery so you can see there isn't much to this mouse at all.
Paperwork and Extras
Opening the paperwork, or rather unfolding it, you start with a page showing the scope of delivery. It then shows that you need to plug in the receiver and turn the Cube on. To use the Cube, the left click is at the leading edge of the Cube. To use the right click, you click in the center of the top of the cube. To scroll you just slide your finger between the two buttons. If you want to use the Cube in presentation mode, simply pick it up and use the left click button to go forward, or flip the mouse and use the left click button to go back in the slide show.
On the back of that fold out instruction sheet, Logitech shows how to hook up the charging cable to both the Cube as well as the PC and even follows it up with a basic troubleshooting guide.
The paperwork that was slid under the bottom of the brown cardboard packaging is the basic Logitech use and care manual with all of the safety hazard warnings and such inside of it.
Remember the image of the cover inside the box that said "look inside"? Well under that cover was the first set of instructions I covers, but also this hardware minus the receiver. I just wanted to show the receiver from this angle to show that it is a low profile adapter. On the top you have a plastic material of some sort that is designed to be the sleeve for the Cube so it can sit in your pocket amongst change or keys and not get damaged. That leaves the super short USB charging cable. To be honest though, I don't need two or three feet of cable to charge a 25 gram mouse.
During my time with the Cube, I found it small for my hands. I mean anyone with large hands is going to find themselves finding this mouse just awkward to get used to. After about three days I finally got the hang of it. Getting used to where to click the mouse came pretty fast and the Logitech Flow Scroll worked great, when it was working correctly. By this I mean that the Cube is not without its issues. What I found with my Cube, is that when the mouse would wake up from hibernation there were instances where the scroll was choppy and the downward tracking would be lost. Every time it was simply remedied by turning off the switch and tuning the Cube back on. Once that was done the tracking and scroll issues were gone... for a while!
Even with its little setbacks the Cube is very innovative and should be a hit to all those office techies who don't know what to get your buddies at the holidays. Stack up a few of these little mice and rest assured, you will be the coolest guy in the office, even if for just a day. I'm not going to go as far as to say this is a mouse made for ladies only, but it sure helps if you have smaller hands. While only needing to move 25 grams around the table and its use is pretty intuitive once the layout is known, it cramped my hands for three days, but I was using the Cube for like fourteen hours a day. For use around the office and the trick ability to be a slide show controller, the original design and delivery in the Cube Grab-and-Go mouse is unique and was cool to see.
The Cube is just being released to e-tailers as I write this, so unless you are going directly to Logitech, I don't think you are going to find one otherwise. Currently the Cube in both colors is available from Logitech for $69.99, plus shipping of course. Is it worth it? Well to be honest, to me no! I know it is new and issues or quirks are bound to arise, but having to switch mine off and on all the time sort of makes the auto wake feature worthless to me. It tracks well when it is tracking and the scroll and buttons work well on a fresh start. I really like the concept, the design, the size, the whole idea really, it's just a shame that I seemed to have hands that are way too big to be comfortable with this.
The Cube is not a complete failure, that isn't what I am getting at. To me the drivers or the firmware could still use a bit of work to eliminate the issues I found and on top of that, besides photo viewer with my family, I didn't find much use personally in the presenter aspect of the Cube. For those of you who will utilize the features as they are intended to be used, I think Logitech offers a solution that can be the answer to your needs; it's just not for everyone.
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