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Review: Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400

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Logitech is one of the brands that consistently update their product line-up so it’s not unexpected for the company to come out with peripherals that seek to enhance the user experience on the new Windows 8 platform.  Windows 8 has incorporated touch features but for those who still prefer to use the lowly mouse to navigate its new interface, having a mouse that is optimized for scrolling through the tiles of apps or quickly accessing the Start screen greatly improves the experience.

The Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 is one product that lets users use the new functions on the Windows 8 interface.   What it essentially provides the user is the ability to make use of the new horizontal scrolling on the Windows 8 interface and a quick access to the new Start screen.   Read the rest of the review to learn more about the Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400.

Design and Features

The retail packaging for the Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 is pretty basic.  Nothing fancy, nothing extraordinary.  Included in the package is the mouse, two AA batteries, the USB receiver dongle and the manual.

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Taking out the mouse immediately gave me a feeling that there’s something unusual about its design.   The scroll wheel that normally occupies the upper middle area of a mouse is noticeably gone, to be replaced this time by a glass strip that responds to touch gestures.   The color choices are quite commendable since the T400 exudes a business-like appeal.

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It’s predominantly black, with gray-colored accents on the side.  The top of the mouse has a smooth matte finish but the side is adorned by ribbed rubber material that’s smooth to the touch yet also provides better grip with its textured finish.  The strips on the side of the mouse add flair to a rather unexciting design.

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On the underside, it’s once again an all-black affair.  There are four round gliding strips on the corners that facilitate the movement of the mouse.   You’ll also see the power switch and the 1000 DPI optical sensor that tracks the mouse movements.  Below the optical sensor is a latch that slides open to reveal the battery slots and a small storage space for the USB receiver dongle.

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Performance

What makes the Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 a Windows 8-specific mouse is the touch strip that replaced the scroll wheel.  This strip takes gestures that command horizontal and vertical scrolling.  This is achieved by simply swiping sideways and up and down on the surface of the touch strip.  The left and right swipes also work as back and forward functions on web browsers.

The touch surface is very responsive so I never had any issues when I used the mouse.  The touch strip is also clickable on two areas.  Clicking anywhere on the top 2/3 of the surface brings you to the Start screen while the bottom part activates hyper-scrolling.  These functions can be customized through the downloadable Logitech SetPoint software.  The left and right click buttons are on the left and right sides of the top portion of the surface of the mouse.  If you’re looking for pinch to zoom gestures and other more complicated actions, they are not available on the T400.  What the mouse offers, basically, is the scrolling functions and quick access to the Start screen.

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The T400 is light and small so it is ideal for users who are very mobile.  The bad thing about this is it might not provide a perfect grip for those who have big hands.  For those with normal-sized hands, the T400 is very comfortable and provides a stress-free mouse-controlled navigation of your desktop or laptop.  At first it may offer a rather unusually low profile but since the scroll mouse has been replaced by a touch strip, I could understand the decision to use a low profile since most of the actions involve touching the surface with the finger.  A high profile mouse with a touch surface would have been uncomfortable to use.  The T400 is therefore an understandable compromise between comfort and ease of use, but any initial discomfort easily goes away.

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The Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 uses a 2.4GHz unifying wireless receiver.  It’s a very small receiver with a length that’s about 1/8 of the usual length of a USB flash drive.  It’s therefore unobtrusive and it’s easy to store.  In fact, it has its own storage slot inside the battery compartment of the mouse.  As a unifying receiver, it can connect up to 6 compatible devices through a unifying software.   Connection between the mouse and the receiver is strong and reliable and even in busy areas, there’s no interference.

The battery life of the T400 is quite impressive at 18 months.  This remains to be seen since I have only been using the mouse for a few weeks.  If battery life is as claimed, this would be another reason to get this mouse since you can practically forget about the fact that it operates on batteries.

The T400 works on a Windows 7 system the same way it works on a Windows 8 system.  The gestures are the same and the functions are the same, so if you like the design and the touch gestures on this mouse, you can use it even if you own a Windows 7 system.

Wrap Up

The Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 is a solid device with intuitive design.   It looks great, it feels great, and although it has a slightly lower profile than the ordinary mouse, this is dictated by the fact that the scroll wheel has been replaced by a touch-operated strip.   The touch gestures are easy to learn and takes little time to get used to.  If you need a go-to mouse that will do the basic functions on a Windows 8 system, this is a good choice.  In fact, it also works on Windows 7 systems and offers the same functions and gestures.

What you need to know, however, is that the T400 only offers basic scrolling gestures and a shortcut to the Start screen for easy access to your favorite apps.  It does not have complex gestures like pinch to zoom functions nor does it offer access to the Windows 8 Charms Bar.  There are other peripherals that do this but if you a mouse that offers access to the basic functions of Windows 8, the T400 is one solid choice.

The Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 is priced at P2,199 and is already available in the Philippines.

Rating: 8.8/10

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