Connection and Operation Peculiarities
Before connected to a computer Cube uses a tiny Logitech Unifying receiver, that is nowadays applied at all the wireless keyboards and mice of the company. The receiver operates at the frequency of 2.4 GHz and provides connection at the distance of 25 meters. One of the special advantages of the receiver is the possibility to switch up to 6 Logitech devices to it, which means that there’s no need to occupy other USB connectors.
First and foremost we downloaded the Unifying program, which is necessary for the receiver. The installation got just a few clicks and the screen with further instructions appeared. In accordance to the instructions we switched on Cube and that was confirmed by the green indicator of the device. The signal was found and Cube immediately started to perform mouse functions.
To perform the setting of Cube one needed to download SetPoint drivers, the universal tool for Logitech manipulators.
The main window shows that Cube was automatically identified; the battery charge time appeared beside the device name. Among the available settings one may find the pointer speed, its acceleration, scroll step and Smart Move options, as well as the pointer trace option.
As it turned out, the Smart Move option is the scroll function that may be found in each and every mobile device with a sensor screen. The core principle of that function is that one starts scrolling with a sliding touch while when the finger is put off the screen the scroll continuous “inertially”. The time and speed of the scrolling depend on the speed and size of the screen sliding touch. That function offered by Logitech deserves the highest grade, frankly speaking, the scroll of an ordinary mouse doesn’t seem so convenient after the Cube scroll was once used.
The Battery tab allows showing the battery charge time both in percents and days that are left. One is also assured that the program is informing about the low battery charge.
We didn’t manage to get through to its settings. Despite correct connection and operation of Cube and Set Point, the device was ignoring Unifying receiver.
The Cube body shape is quite inconvenient for long usage in the mouse function. Even the smaller notebook “rodents” are not really ergonomic, quite often they don’t have enough body length, which is inconvenient, especially for men. As for the device being revised now, its body is absolutely tiny and, what is more, has unpractical rectangular shape. One cannot at all say that a hand “grips the device” or that it is lying on it. One sooner has to hold the device with two fingers and palm starts to get tired because of such an unusual job. Holding a good mouse a palm rests while holding Cube it gets tired.
The doubts about quite an unusual location of the buttons, the left one in the upper part and the right one in the center – were resolved. Such an approach demonstrated its “right for existence”. We are not asserting that this design is better than a conventional one with both of the buttons placed in the same plane. As we have already mentioned the left-click area is a bit sunk and one feels “hill” of the right button very distinctly. It takes some time until one gets accustomed to put the index finger on the surface carefully, as the latter is sensitive to sliding and is used for scrolling.
Cube showed great results when used in the function of a presentation manager. The device do not apply the obvious way for slides change by pushing the upper button for going to the next slide and the lower one – for the previous slide. The new slide will be opened when any of the buttons in the “regular” Cube position is pushed. However, if one turns it over any of the buttons may be used to go to the previous slide or command.
Before we started testing, the Logitech choice seemed quite an illogical one, still later everything became clear. During a presentation a narrator may get really excited, sometimes becoming quite emotional starts using gestures and in that very moment the previous/next slide buttons placed according to the “obvious” principle are really easy to mix up. In practice it was exactly the body turnover that demonstrated the most intuitive slide order control. By the way, the presentation control mode switches on automatically, as soon as Cube leaves the surface.
Although it seems quite a simple unit from the outside Logitech Cube is the embodiment of a thoroughly calculated design especially for a device as tiny as it is. It offers really user-friendly control solutions and it is indeed good at presentation managing yet Cube is not the best mouse. Moreover, its competitors cannot boast of offering the sensor scroll and Smart Move functions.
Speaking about drawbacks one should mention that the device is not equipped with a laser pointer. It is possible that a pointer could have spoiled the “simple control” principle, anyway, it is the fact that the device has no any pointer. Eventually, the official price of ?69.99 seems to be a big one. It is not that the device is not worth it, but such a price automatically reduces the number of potential buyers and the device becomes suitable just for those who often have to make presentations and mainly when away. In that case, the mouse function, as well as the large operation range of 25 meters, convenient in a lecture hall of any size, seems quite useful.
As it was said above Logitech Cube costs about ?69.99. The alternate presenters should be considered only if they have the mouse function, which makes Oklick Wireless Presenter Mouse 805M the best competitor. It was issued in 2011 and seems to be quite a good choice, not any worse than Cube.
The device has the shape of a mouse and the body is really convenient for holding in hands and managing of presentations. The device has a laser pointer and even a mini-joystick to control the cursor when in the air. The price is absolutely acceptable – about $35, but it’s really difficult to find the device on offer.
The conceptual Genius Ring Presenter is a much fresher example; it came into the market in March. That gadget has the shape of a ring and is to be put on the index finger while control is made by the thumb. The device has five buttons including those meant for presentation managing. The manufactures have found the place for a laser pointer as well. The mouse function is provided by a sensor trackball; the wireless connection is supported at the distance of 10 meters. About $40 is a bit expensive, but the device will obviously find its buyer.
- Stylish and ergonomic design for a presenter.
- Convenient control when used in the presenter mode.
- Big amount of settings.
- Sensor scrolling and Smart Move options.
- No laser pointer.
- Body shape is inconvenient when used in the mouse function.
- Inconvenient equivalent of the right and the left mouse buttons.
- Big price.