Logitech V550 Nano Cordless Laser Mouse

The Logitech V550 Nano wireless mouse is marketed as a notebook mouse, but the real story is that this is just a really superb mouse, whatever sort of computer you use it with — notebook or desktop.

I never thought I would say that about a wireless mouse, having not been a fan of wireless input devices. There’s the hassle with batteries, the pairing tedium with Bluetooth, batteries make wireless mice heavier. Then there’s the latency that has plagued wireless mice — that microsecond of hesitation before the cursor responds. Drives me nuts.

I’m not really being inconsistent here. The V550 Nano is the first wireless mouse I’ve tested that gives me nothing to complain about regarding responsiveness. The Nano is there instantly as soon as the computer is awake and there’s no cursor response latency I can detect. Tracking is excellent. All presumably thanks to the 2.4 GHz RF wireless technology which Logitech says provides an exceptionally robust signal that exchanges data 300 times faster than conventional 27 MHz wireless. I’ll take RF over Bluetooth for mouse wireless anytime.

The V550 Nano’s USB RF receiver is tiny, protruding less than a quarter-inch from the USB port. You should be able to leave it plugged in when you carry your laptop in a computer case or backpack. 

The receiver also can be stored inside the mouse’s battery bay. If it ever gets lost or damaged, or if you want a second one for another computer, spares are available for $10.00.

The V550 product bundle contains the mouse, an external USB receiver dock with USB extension cord, two “Clip and Go” docks in silver and black, a metal box to store the spare dock and supplied dock removal tool, two AA alkaline batteries, two solvent cleaning wipes to prepare the laptop surface for attaching the dock modules, and a Quick-start guide.

The V550 with its two AA batteries is heavier than my featherlight MacMice DangerMouse, but so well-engineered and comfortably-balanced I can live with the extra inertia of rest. Generously-sized, slippery glide pads on the mouse bottom help.

“Notebook mouse” notwithstanding, the V550 Nano is larger than some “full-sized” mice I’ve used, and I find it comfortable. The styling is attractively understated, sort of like how Mercedes-Benz automobiles don’t knock you out with their styling, but look tastefully classy. The analogy carries over to the V550’s materials and build quality, and the feel of its scroll wheel and button switches, which have similar positive and reassuring tactile feedback to switchgear on high-end European cars.

Speaking of control feedback, I’ve long advocated low-effort, short-travel input controls, and the V550’s buttons are among the lowest-effort I’ve ever encountered, to the point where their hair-trigger responsiveness has resulted in some unintentional clicking. I can’t quite bring myself to complain about this, since I’ve lobbied vigorously and long for low-effort controls, but I’ve had to make some body-English adjustments. The buttons have a positive action, and the MicroGear metal-alloy scroll wheel feels substantial and precise, shiftable between freewheeling and click detent action with a downward click. In freewheeling mode the metal wheel has enough inertial weight to keep rolling for some time when spun.

Getting to the V550 Nano’s marquee feature — its Clip-and-Go dock — lets you clip the mouse to the outside of your laptop, making make it easier to use a mouse with a notebook when moving from kitchen to living room or one’s desk to a meeting. You won’t have to choose between grabbing your mouse or a cup of coffee.

The dock modules are for one-time attachment only, and can’t be removed and replaced or switched to another computer. They’re engineered with adhesive that sticks tenaciously to a properly prepared (solvent-cleaned) surface, so need careful positioning exactly where you want them the first time. If you do need to remove the dock module, the supplied removal tool will help do that without damaging your computer’s surface.

Logitech offers replacement modules for a nominal $2.00. You can find out more about that here.

Attaching the mouse to the dock is easy and it seems fairly secure once attached, although in certain circumstances, such as carrying the laptop under your arm in a crowded area, present some danger of it being bumped off in contact. 

The mouse powers up instantly when moved on the mouse pad or when the computer wakes up, with none of the response lag that is typical of Bluetooth wireless mice. A power button located on the mouse bottom also facilitates manual power-on/power-off. Battery life is claimed to be as much as 18 months, which addresses another reservation I’ve had about wireless mice.

The V-500 Nano mouse is designed to be plug-and-play so you don’t need to install any software drivers in order to use the basic mouse features, but if you download Logitech’s Control Center driver software (or have it already installed to support another Logitech device), the scroll wheel can also be configured with scrolling and acceleration speeds to your preferred levels of response, and to support horizontal scrolling by nudging the wheel to the left or right.

There is also an application button located behind the scroll wheel that allows you to configure your choice of Finder actions in the Control Center. All good stuff.

I think this probably all-round the best mouse I’ve ever used. Excellent even if the Clip-and-Go feature isn’t particularly appealing, and of course if it is, the Logitech V500 Nano will be uniquely interesting. The Logitech V550 Nano cordless laser mouse for notebooks sells in the U.S. for $59.99.

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