The 2.4GHz frequency also enables the mouse to receive information from the PC as well as transmit – Logitech refers to it as a smart mouse. It knows when the PC is in standby mode or off and can shut itself down, which is very useful for power saving. This is important as Logitech is only claiming three months usage and the MX610 runs off regular AA batteries rather than a built in rechargeable battery with a stand, so you’ll need a spare set of AA to hand in case you run low. You’ll have warning enough to buy a new set though if you don’t as there’s a light on the top of the mouse that indicates when power is low, and the SetPoint software also tells you. If you leave your PC on all the time then you can turn off the mouse manually, with a button and power light on the underside of the device.
As well as being able to know the PC’s state, the mouse also knows when you’ve received an email or a message from a chat client, slowly flashing yellow for the former and blue for the latter. The lights also buttons so you can just press those to bring up the respective application. This functionality is available via Logitech’s SetPoint software, but the downside is that it’s limited to Outlook Express, Outlook and MSN Messenger or Yahoo Messenger. This was fine for me as on my work machine I use Outlook and MSN, and I found it really useful being able to call up Messenger from the mouse, without having to go into the task bar tray. However, I also use Thunderbird for my personal email, and that just isn’t supported, which is a shame. Equally if you use another chat client, such as AOL IM or Trillian, this feature won’t work, which is disappointing.
If you don’t want the light to flash for every piece of spam that falls into your inbox you can manually filter out messages to just the ones you wish using the SetPoint software. SetPoint also enables you to map the function of each button to what you wish. You can do this on an application basis, so you can tailor how the mouse works in your apps, which is a good thing. If an installed app doesn’t appear in the list you can add it by selecting Manage Programs. What I can’t understand is why the software doesn’t have an option to let you apply the same settings globally. I wanted to map cut and paste to the side buttons in all apps, but had to go into each program and do it manually – a real chore.