A New Optical Technology
The optical mouse is about to completely take the place of the trackball mouse, and that is not a bad thing. No maintenance, no wear and no mechanical parts ensure lifelong, constant precision. But optical mice do have some inconvenient aspects. While they can be used on most surfaces, some, like glass or plain gloss, can be a problem. And players of fast action games like Quake or Unreal Tournament find they don't have the same level of precision and responsiveness as a good trackball mouse.
Last year, Microsoft and Logitech started improving their optical sensors to bring speed and precision in line with Quaker requirements. Our tests revealed that they had succeeded (see the article: Optical Mice: The Fall/Winter Collection ). However, at the time there were two technologies in the game and we were not able to decide between them on the theoretical basis of their technical features. With the MX range, Logitech has made things even more complicated by introducing new specifications and measurement criteria for their more powerful sensor.
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