Update: A conversation jogged my memory about the Logitech Pile’o’Crap MX5000. I actually purchased one of these puppies after getting excited about the integrated LCD. I have since sold it, and have to say it rates a poorly 2/10 on my gadget-o-meter.
Here’s a brief review:
It’s a keyboard right? Keyboards are meant to submit text to a computer. So when a keyboard occasionally fails to send text, I call that a Bad Thing. Also the driver for the LCD display is buggy and slow. It would often consume 5-10% of my CPU, and would regularly crash when trying to display new IM messages on the LCD. I could never, ever get the Email alert integration working with Outlook 2003.
The slidey volume controls on the left hand side: looking at them you’d think they were 100% scale, e.g. the bottom of the slider is mute, and the top is full volume right? No. If you slide your finger through the full range of the volume slider, it would change the on-screen volume widget maybe 15%. So to increase the volume from mute to 50%, you would have to slide your finger up the volume control 4 or 5 times. Craptacular!
Selecting a playlist and starting music playback took maybe 5-6 presses of the fiddly little LCD menu keys. No thanks. I can pop Windows Media and start a playlist in 2 mouse clicks.
The new Logitech Cordless Desktop MX500 Laser is one hell of a mouthful of a product name, but the specs match up with the hype. With an integrated LCD, media controls, and a laser mouse, this thing looks like my next keyboard.
The LCD screen can display e-mail and instant message (IM) notifications, favorite playlists and Internet radio stations. And by displaying certain information on the LCD ? such as the status of the caps lock and F lock keys, volume levels and mute ? the keyboard also alleviates visual clutter that would ordinarily be displayed on the computer monitor.
And of course it has a fricken laser in it.