Revolutions; socioeconomic, political, in literature, language and culture. Revolutions tend to be things that affect entire countries, the thinking of nations, or whole segments of an industry. In stable regions, they tend to be infrequent and slow to get going. In the technology world, however, and especially the computer industry, revolutions seem to be not just frequent, but the order of the day.
Compared to other segments, though, the progress of our input devices has been relatively modest and certainly not revolutionary. Apart from a few ground-breaking peripherals like the Novint Falcon and the 3Dconnexion SpaceNavigator 3D Mouse, the classic keyboard and mouse combo hasn't really changed that much from the days when they were first invented. We still move mice in pretty much the same manner as always, while keyboards largely retain the same layout they've had since the days they were typewriters. Does Logitech's latest cordless desktop, the MX 5500 Revolution, deserve its revolutionary tag line?
Quite apart from all the usual gizmos you'd expect to find at this price-point, Logitech does throw in a few unique (compared to the competition) features. Its reasoning seems to go something like this: if one wheel on a mouse is good, two must be better (a viewpoint I personally couldn't agree more with), and while we're at it, two screens are better than one so let's add one to the keyboard.
But let's see how it all works out in practice. Upon opening the box, you get the keyboard, mouse, charging station and Bluetooth dongle, together with software and documentation. It's all beautifully presented and co-ordinated, and makes you feel like you're getting your money's worth.
Logitech's ‘Quick Start Guide', meanwhile, is an example to other manufacturers of how it should be done. An A3, full colour fold-out manual with clear, step-by-step instructions - accompanied by large, unambiguous photographs - deals in detail with setup and troubleshooting. If you're reading this article, you are unlikely to need it, but plenty of consumers will find it a blessing.
The flip-side of the ‘Quick Start Guide' gives a comprehensive overview of all the special keys on both keyboard and mouse, their operation and application, and the various functions of the keyboard's LCD - which do need some illuminating, as there are a few.