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Logitech iFeel MouseMan

Date: September 10, 2001
Manufacturer:
Written By:


Logitech has been in the mouse business for a long time, and they're probably in the top two, if not the top in terms of mouse and keyboard popularity. Microsoft was the first in tier one optical technology, but Logitech quickly followed with their optical mouse line. Both companies have gone through their teething pains with the technology, and have since revised and improved upon it.

For those in the dark, optical technology is something Microsoft introduced first to the consumer market a few years ago. It was a great idea at the time. A mini camera taking snapshots at high speed to track your mouse movements. No more do you need to deal with a dirty mouseball, a missed frag in gaming, or a mistake drawing a line in Photoshop. Too bad this was all but useless on glass surfaces, and the optical component had a tendency to flake out. Unfortunently, optical mice still have some limitations in terms of surfaces it can be used on, but so long as the surface is opaque, you should be fine.

Logitech, not to be left behind, introduced their line of optical mice soon after, and depending on your preference, offered similar performance to Microsoft's mice. Personally, I've always preferred Logitech's overall quality, and felt they made better feeling mice. Since I'm righty, nothing beats the comfort of the Mouseman series of mice.


The iFeel MouseMan

Logitech has several lines of mice, and more recently have introduced the "iFeel" line. iFeel is force-feedback, something I'm sure we've all heard of. It'd be kind of annoying if the mouse shook like crazy, which it thankfully does not, but the vibrations are certainly there. We'll discuss this more as we begin our review of the Logitech iFeel Mouseman.

System Requirements

Windows® 95, 98, Me, NT 4.0, 2000
Windows® 3.1 / DOS for basic functionality or
Macintosh® with Mac OS 8.6 and above excluding OS 10 (with USB port)
Available PS/2 or USB port
Requires CD-ROM drive to install Mouseware®

Specifications

Internet Service Provider (ISP) account required for full WebWheel" software functionality
Compatibility: Internet Explorer® 5.0 or higher installed required (provided with product), or Netscape® 4.5, 4.6 or 4.7

Despite the above where it mentions you need an available PS/2 Port, my mouse is USB only. I double checked my packaging and found no PS/2 adapter, so you may want to be sure you have some free USB ports.

There are some AAA Duracell batteries, but those are simply to power the flashing light on the box. I promptly took them out to power my TV remote.


Looking sexy! Lotsa curves on this baby to keep your hand comfy for some all night (gaming or pr0n surfing) action. Although Logitech offers a variety of ambidexturous mice, optical, cordless, and optical and cordless, like the previous MouseMan models, this mouse is designed for right-handers in mind. I'm afraid if you're left-handed, you're out of luck. Sure, the mouse will still work, but it's going to be as awkward as hell.

The MouseMan is a 4 button mouse. You got your left button, right button, scroll wheel/middle button, and a thumb button. This may seem like a lot, since most mice have 3, but I would have liked a 5th button. If you play any games, you'll know that the more buttons you have easy access to, the better. One nice thing Logitech does is the buttons have a good feel to them. They "click" better than other manufacturers, and they don't feel as "squishy" as Microsoft's mice. It's a subjective opinion, so you'll have to try one out yourself to see which you prefer.

As with most new mice coming out to the market, this is another optical mouse. To add to my earlier comments about optical technology, another benefit that may not obvious at the start, is that there is essentially no cleaning to do. So long as you're not dragging it through soda puddles, you'll never have to clean the mouse ever. Occasionally, I'll take an air gun to it and blow off the dust, but the weekly ritual of taking apart my Boomslang 2000 and cleaning the rollers, it is long gone.

I want to add that the quality of the mouse is superb. I think the pictures are obvious, but the material Logitech uses is really good. Anyone who has used the Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer, like me, can probably tell you that it feels cheap in their hands. The MouseMan has a good weight to it, and it doesn't feel like it's going to snap in half in your hands.

Software

The mouse comes with as well as . I'm sure most of you are familiar with mouse software, since they're all basically the same. Logitech offers a feature called WebWheel in their software which allows you to do a lot of web surfing commands via the scroll wheel. Like previous Logitech mice, there are some issues with the wheel in first person shooters. It's fairly well documented, and can be somewhat problematic to fix. Be sure to grab the to help correct these issues, or try the following suggestion from their website:

1. Click on "Start", "Run" and type REGEDIT [enter]
2. Open the following Registry key: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\SOFTWARE\Logitech\MouseWare\CurrentVersion\Technical
3. Change the following key to read as shown: "MouseHookDLLEnable"="0"

The Immersion Desktop is an addon software which basically controls the force feedback. After installation, it loads up on start up.

The force feedback works in a variety of applications such as your operating system of course, and any production applications you use in your OS. It works for a variety of games, and the effects are very cool in Unreal Tournament. There isn't any support for Quake based games though, AFAIK.

Force Feedback

The blurb from Immersion's site regarding force feedback:

"Immersion TouchSense" technology brings a whole new dimension of realism to gaming. Software and hardware developers can add realistic tactile feedback that corresponds to events and environments within the computer game world. For example, you can experience a fish nibbling at your hands or the vibrations of flight turbulence all through your mouse, joystick, game pad or steering wheel."

In practical sense, you'll get a little shake depending on what you do. I didn't test every game out there, but like I said, in UT, the effects are cool. Depending on the weapon, you'll get a different vibration. Not enough to throw off your aim, but it does add a little to the gaming experience. They have a more extensive list of .

My take on all this is that force feedback in a mouse is no big deal. I usually ended up disabling it all together because I found it annoying. Call me a traditionalist, but for a mouse to vibrate everytime I click on something doesn't feel right. A few times when the mouse shook, I thought I ran over a bread crumb on my desk, or something got stuck in my mouse.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I'm extremely pleased with this mouse. I was happving problems with carpal tunnel while using my Boomslang 2000, and the switch to the Logitech mouse helped a great deal. It's not cheap, but the price (~50$ USD) is right for a mouse of this quality. I could do without the force feedback, and Logitech offers the optical MouseMan for about 10$ less. Totally suitable for gaming, as well as everyday work, you'll be happy with the iFeel Mouseman. Heck, anymouse that glows in the dark is certain to impress the chicks.

Pros: Comfortable, nice design, glowing light looks cool, good responsiveness, vibrating mouse may appeal to some, but can be disabled if you choose so.

Cons: Vibrations can be bothersome, lefties are out of luck with this model, scrolling issues in some games.

If you got any comments, be sure to hit us up in our forums.

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