Power users often get quite attached to their input devices and don’t like to move on from a winner. For the considerable number of fans of an older gaming mouse, the MX518, Logitech is bringing it back.
The MX518 was first released back in 2005: a curvy, gaming-focused wired mouse with the now-standard eight buttons. It was fairly primitive by today’s standards, with an optical sensor maxing out at just 1600 DPI (literally one-tenth the resolution of today’s top gaming mice) and a glossy plastic top that looked like a bit of the Terminator T-1000 dropped off. It was a gentle evolution of the MX500 design from 2002.
The 2019 version of the MX518 will feature a more toned-down exterior with Logitech’s current branding, but its ergonomics remain identical to the original, right down to the circular thumb and DPI adjustment buttons. Underneath, Logitech has upgraded its hardware. The new mouse gets the company’s most advanced 16,000 DPI sensor, a nigh-instant response time of one millisecond, and an onboard ARM chip to manage all of it.
The refreshed mouse will cost $60 when it goes on sale, which is fairly typical for a mid-range wired gaming mouse. For the sensor inside, assuming you can actually use that much DPI, it’s a bargain. Logitech hasn’t said when it will be available, but you can pre-order it now.
It’s almost time for Mobile World Congress, and you know what that means…it’s exactly time for Samsung to steal everyone’s thunder with its own event. The first Galaxy Unpacked product reveal of the year will be later today.
As usual, the Unpacked press event will be livestreamed to the internet, so gadget addicts can watch the worldwide reveal in real time. The event will take place in San Francisco at 11 AM local Pacific time, which is 2 PM Eastern and 7:00 PM UTC. The video will be live on this Samsung site.
New flagship phones are an inevitability. The latest iterations on the main line, the Galaxy S10 and S10+, have already been leaked for weeks. In addition to the usual hardware and software bumps, we’re expecting a new “hole punch” front camera design that replaces the common “notch” with a small hole in the upper right corner of the curved screen, and triple rear camera modules on at least the larger phone. The Galaxy S10e is expected to be a cheaper version of this design, with the hole punch camera intact, analogous to the iPhone XR.
What might be more interesting is a reveal of Samsung’s upcoming folding phone design, rumored to be called either the Galaxy F or Galaxy Fold. Samsung showed a prototype of this folding screen device (a smaller screen on the outside with a large inner screen that folds open like a book) in November of last year. Samsung’s teaser video means a short appearance, if not a full technical breakdown, is in store.
Since this folding phone hasn’t been seen at the FCC for wireless testing and other press materials haven’t leaked, it seems likely that it isn’t quite ready for a full retail rollout, as the S10 phones are expected to receive within a month of their announcement. Samsung is so ready to get the Galaxy S10 rolling that you can actually reserve a chance to reserve a pre-order of the new phones before they’re even announced.
We’ll be talking about everything Samsung announces later today, so keep it locked here for full details as soon as they drop.
We’ve made no secret of our love for NVIDIA’s SHIELD: it’s easily the best stand-alone streaming gadget around. If you still don’t have one, head over to Amazon for a great deal today.
The SHIELD, along with its minimalist remote and excellent controller (which isn’t always included), is going for just $107 plus the cost of shipping. To my location, that all comes out to a bit under $115. That’s a savings of $85 on the set-top box and controller combo and an impressive $65 off the SHIELD alone.
Note that, with NVIDIA’s excellent record of software and functionality updates, the SHIELD makes a great gift even if you have to sit on it for the better part of a year. Though it often goes on sale, it’s pretty rare that the discount gets this steep.
High-end Android tablets are thin on the ground these days. Though Apple is all-in on the iPad Pro, Google has abandoned its Nexus and Pixel slate designs, and NVIDIA gives the SHIELD no love. Samsung is picking up the slack.
That said, even the Galaxy Tab S5e is less bodacious than some of Samsung’s earlier Android-powered tablets. At $400 for the Wi-Fi model it’s not competing with either the iPad Pro or the high-end Surface line, instead making its consumption-focused design much more attainable. The highlight of the spec sheet is certainly the 10.5-inch, 2560×1600 OLED screen—still a rarity outside of the phone market. That will make for rich, vibrant colors and deep contrast.
But elsewhere the specs are oddly muted. The S5e is powered by a mid-range Snapdragon 670 processor, and it gets just 4 GB of RAM in its base 64 GB configuration (an upgraded 6 GB/128 GB version will be available). Cameras are 13 megapixels on the rear and 8 on the front, and as is Samsung’s wont, it’s packing a MicroSD card slot for easy storage expansion. The battery is a generous 7040 milliamp-hours, recharged via USB-C.
There’s no pen or stylus built-in, but an optional keyboard case (connected via proprietary POGO plugs) will let you bang out emails or work on your screenplay if you’d like to travel without a heavy laptop. Samsung’s Dex software, when combined with a dock, monitor, keyboard, and/or mouse, gives you an approximation of a desktop experience.
At just 400 grams (a little less than .9 pounds) and 5 mm thick, the Tab S5e is shockingly light, and it will be much easier to throw in a bag or purse. And, as if it mattered these days, it runs Android 9.0 and Samsung’s new “One” user interface out of the box. The tablet has a vague “Q2” launch window and will be available in black, grey, or gold color options.
Historically, vertical mice have been made for carpal tunnel and RSI sufferers. They’ve been functional, but clinical, lacking some of the features of more modern designs. Logitech’s MX Vertical aims to buck that trend—and succeeds.
Thoughtful choices in both hardware and software allow the MX Vertical to serve all the functions of a vertical ergonomic mouse, while still packing most of the bells and whistles that make Logitech’s high-end mice favorites among power users.
It doesn’t hurt that the thing looks like a postmodern sculpture when it sits on your desk. The design is just short of perfect, and it gets an easy recommendation for anyone who wants a comfy, functional mouse that conforms to you like a friendly handshake.
You’re probably familiar with the MX Master, Logitech’s top-of-the-line conventional mouse. We’ve already reviewed its trackball variant, the MX Ergo, and I happen to have the original to compare it to as well. Suffice it to say: they’re all pretty fantastic mice. The MX Vertical takes the smooth, premium looks of those mice and rotates them by 90 degrees.
Well, fifty-seven degrees, if we want to be exact. The MX Vertical smoothly contracts and curves up to its top edge, a striking flat oval with the still-confusing “Logi” branding on one side and a thumb button on the other. We’ll get to that button in a bit, but first: the thing just looks fantastic. And that’s no small accomplishment, considering that vertical mice like the Evoluent have a tendency to look like amorphous blobs of plastic.
Soft-touch material is everywhere your hand rests, and the back curves into your palm with an appealing wave pattern. A wide lip at the bottom of the grip keeps your hand off of your mousepad. At the time of writing, Logitech only offers the mouse in a grey-and-darker-grey color scheme.
Logitech told me that a focus of the MX Vertical was to give it the same premium look as its other MX hardware, on the basis that customers who need a design that lowers RSI stress don’t necessarily want a mouse that looks like a piece of medical equipment. That attention to detail shows. Different as the mouse is from conventional design, it won’t look out of place on a designer desk or hanging out with MacBooks and Surfaces.
Hardware Covers The Basics
Extending our look past the, well, looks, the hardware in the MX Vertical is fairly basic. You get standard left and right mouse buttons, a regular clicky wheel, and two thumb buttons set to forward and back by default. Oddly, there’s no hidden button where you thumb rests for gestures or other functions. I was expecting one, as that button is present on the MX Master and my M720 Triathlon. Perhaps it was left out after ergonomic testing.
The battery is rechargeable and—a nice, forward-looking touch—gets its juice via a USB-C port on the front. That’s something the older MX Ergo and MX Master don’t get. The battery on my mouse went down to 50% after a week of testing, which is in line with Logitech’s longevity claims. One minute on the charger gives you three hours of wireless use.