Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400
Now that the Microsoft Windows 8 Operating System (OS) has been released, many are finding that navigation with a mouse is somewhat lacking. Microsoft put much emphasis on touch and if your PC doesn't have a touchscreen display then you are missing out on some of the programs ease of use. Microsoft, Logitech and many other mouse companies have released new mice that are designed to work best with Windows 8.
Logitech recently announced three new wireless touch devices for Windows 8 users. The Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 is the companies entry level wireless mouse for Windows 8. It looks and acts like a regular mouse with a touch zone for scrolling. From there you go up to the Touch Mouse T620 that has a full touch surface. This is a pretty radical change as it has no real left or right buttons and might be too much of a change for some. At the top end of the line you have the Touchpad T650 that is a large touchpad that can do 13 gestures and is considered the future of input interfaces. Today, we are going to be taking a closer look at the Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400. This is the entry level Windows 8 touch mouse and where we will be getting our feet wet. When this mouse was first announced in October 2012 it had an MSRP $50, but can already be found for less than that online ($44.85 shipped). This also makes it affordable and that is a big plus in this day and age.
The Logitech Zone Touch Mouse t400 comes in a familiar looking box and the basic features are pretty much run of the mill. The mouse has three buttons, uses two AA batteries (included) and operates with 2.4GHz wireless technology and has a USB dongle that needs to be plugged into the PC. So far it sounds like any other wireless mouse, but the kicker on this one is that the physical wheel used for scrolling is gone. Logitech has replaced the wheel with a touch strip that you can use to move up or down, as well as scroll left or right. The touch strip has just one physical button, but Logitech divided the touch strip into two zones that can be programmed to do a couple different pre-programmed functions. Out of the box the top of the touch strip opens the Windows 8 start menu and the bottom acts like the traditional third button. Quite the change for one that has been using the old scroll wheel for more than a decade!
The Logitech retail box for the Zone Touch Mouse T400 covers the basic features, but doesn't come close to providing in-depth information as to what this mouse exactly does. It looks like Legit Reviews still does have a future in reviewing PC hardware!
Inside the retail packaging you'll find the Logitech T400 mouse, USB wireless dongle and the multilingual setup guide. The retail box mentions that the Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 has an impressive 18 month battery life and that batteries are included, so they must already be installed.
The Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 is a fairly small mouse that weighs 68 g (2.40 ounce) and measures in at 61 x 105 x 30 mm (WxLxH). The left/right/middle buttons are right where you'd expect and there is a soft rubber strip placed on the sides for better comfort and handling.
The right side of the Logitech t400 is the same as the left as this mouse can be setup and used by left and right handed users with the Logitech SetPoint software.
The best feature of this mouse is the surface-touch area that helps make Windows 8 touch navigation experience much better. On this 'glass' touch-zone area you can use one finger to do the following four gestures:
- Swipe up/down (vertical scrolling)
- Swipe left/right (horizontal scrolling)
- Swipe left/right (horizontal scrolling + back/forward)
- Double-tap front/back (zoom +/-)
The first two gestures work out of the box on Windows 7 or Windows 8 (RT supported as well), but the last two gestures require SetPoint 6.5 or later software installed to work. The touch surfaces on the Logitech T400, T620 and T650 are all powered by Synaptics technology.
Flipping the Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 over we can see that Logitech placed a removable sticker on the bottom that helps people turn the wireless mouse on and show the URL to download the software. In this shot you can see the 1000 DPI optical sensor that tracks the mouse movements. The DPI is not hardware or software adjustable. Also shown are the four 'pads' on the bottom of the mouse that help it glide across your mouse pad or desk surface.
The Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 comes with two Duracell AA Alkaline Batteries pre-installed. It is nice to see Logitech using a name brand and not a generic one! Logitech says the batteries could last up to 18 months in low-usage scenarios. We'll be taking their word on that one! In-between the batteries is the holder for the USB 2.0 receiver/dongle. This wireless dongle uses the 2.4GHz (unifying) wireless protocols and has a range of up to 33 feet or 10 meters.
Now that we know about the main features and specifications, we can take a look at the mouse software!
Logitech SetPoint Software
When we plugged in the wireless USB dongle and turned on the mouse they were instantly paired on our Windows 8 laptop and the above message popped up saying that we needed to download SetPoint Software for a better user experience.
After installing the SetPoint software you have an icon down in the notification area that you can access at any time. The utility has a fair number of settings that you can adjust and we will quickly cover those. On the left hand side you have five tabs that have the key adjustments. The sections were point & click, navigate Windows, scroll, mouse batteries and unifying. On the upper right hand corner of the GUI you have the tools tab as well!
Under the Point and Click menu you can setup the mouse for your dominant hand and adjust the pointer speed.
On the Navigate tab you can adjust the Zone Touch area and set it up to do one of two things. You can set the touch zone to either open the start menu or switch applications. At first we thought that the switch applications feature would switch between any open application, but it only works on Windows apps. For example if you have Firefox and Photoshop open and you have the touch zone set to switching applications it won't work. If you have the Windows Photo directory and the Windows documents folder it will switch between the applications. You can not set this zone to do anything else, but you can enable double-tap zooming for use with Windows applications.
Just to be clear you can't assign any keystroke to the touch strip other than the two mentioned here, so full customization is not a possibility.
Under the scroll menu you can set the scroll functionality of the T400 optical mouse. One thing that we noticed with the scroll function is that it didn't scroll as fast as we wanted. With a mouse wheel you can spin it faster or slower, but with the touch surface we were unable to match our old school mouses scroll speed. This was disappointing and we were about to write the mouse off when we found the 'scroll options' sub-menu.
The default scroll speed increment is set to 3 lines, but it can be adjusted between 1 line, 3 lines, 6 lines, and screen. By increasing the speed from 3 lines to 6 lines we were able to get the speed issue resolved. This menu also allows you to scroll with inertia and smooth scrolling.
The mouse batteries menu tells you the life status of the battery and when the
battery gets low the software will alert you that they need to be replaced.
One of the nice things about the wireless dongle that comes with the Logitech T400 mouse is that it supports up to six compatible wireless mice and keyboards! Logitech calls this Unifying receiver technology and it means you just need one dongle that must stay plugged into your notebook’s USB port. This receiver works in USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports and barely sticks out of the port. The last menu of the SetPoint software allows you to launch the Logitech Unifying Software menu.
Here is the Logitech Unifying software advanced menu with the Logitech T400 mouse connected. This menu also allows you to update the firmware of each device and un-pair devices that no longer need to be connected. You can also check the signal strength of each device and even update the SetPoint software version from this menu.
The last part of the SetPoint Software that we need to check out is the tools tab and here you can get system reports, update SetPoint, change the notifications and again access the Logitech Unifying Software menu.
The Logitech SetPoint Software was found to be easy to use and offered great functionality for a budget friendly wireless optical mouse. Our only gripe was some redundancy, but other than that we found that it met expectations.
Final Thoughts & Conclusions
After using the Logitech Zone Touch T400 wireless mouse on the Asus Zenbook Prime with Windows 8 we found that it was easy to get used to and did help with Windows 8 navigation. The thought of not having a physical scroll wheel may be daunting to some, but we quickly adapted to how the touch zone scrolling works. The Logitech SetPoint software is key to making this work and feel right to users and Logitech has done a great job.
The Logitech T400 is a rather small mouse, so if you are concerned about ergonomics be aware that this mouse is on the smaller side. The small and slim design makes it a great travel mouse though, which is something Logitech does not market it for. The rubber edges make for a nice gripping surface and all the buttons felt crisp and you could hear a nice positive response click when each is pressed.
Having the ability to swipe horizontally and get to the Windows 8 start menu or switch between Windows Applications is nice, but at the end of the day that is all you can really do with this mouse that makes it different. Most mice these days have five buttons and the Logitech T400 has only three. It gets away with this by putting the forward and back functionality on the touch pad, which eliminates the need of these two buttons. In this new touch drive era, losing buttons and using gestures feels appropriate and it is where the industry it headed.
The Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 for Windows 8 is backed by a three year warranty and is available in black, red and blue. The model we reviewed today is the black version with part number 910-003041. This model can be found online for $44.85 shipped at Amazon. The Logitech M510 wireless mouse is a comparable 5-button traditional mouse and it can be found for $29.45 shipped at Amazon, so at the end of the day you are looking at ~$15 to get the touch zone. If you want to try out gesture technology and want the ability to get to the Windows 7 or Windows 8 start menus with a dedicated zone, then this mouse is worth trying out.
If you are looking for a mouse that supports more gestures then you might want to check out the Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T620 as it supports six gestures and one is access to the charm bar in Windows 8. This mouse costs $65.61 shipped, but has a full touch surface and is better suited for Windows 8 navigation. We will be reviewing the Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T620 in the near future.
Legit Bottom Line: The Logitech Zone Touch Mouse T400 is a great entry level wireless mouse that supports gestures, but it left us wanting more Windows 8 navigation options. If gesture scrolling, tap zoom and one touch access to the Windows start menu is all you need then it works, but if you want more functionality you need to step up to a more expensive model.