Logitech announced today the MX Air, its newest play at the home theater PC market. The mouse brings a lot of new elements to the market and I’m happy to say that it performs quite nicely.
The device functions on two levels. At its most basic, it incorporates a laser mouse that performs on par with the table tracking of Logitech’s MX Revolution mouse. That said, it is an adequate tool for mousing around a desktop, providing accuracy, consistency and a comfortably contoured shell that won’t leave your hand feeling like a shriveled up claw. But that’s not the main point of this device.
What sets it apart is the incorporation of Logitech’s Freespace motion control technology. This allows users to simply pick the device up and use it as a gyroscopic pointing device. Hand movements track remarkably well and the transition from surface to air is entirely seamless and implemented perfectly. This is the first device I’ve seen that stands to usurp Gyration’s longtime domination of the HTPC controller market.
There is a tiny learning curve to the device, one that requires you to stop making wild gestures and begin depending on subtle flicks of the wrist. Once one incorporates that into the movements, the accuracy hits 100 percent. Furthermore, there is something distinctly enjoyable to me, a lifelong mouse-user, being able to mouse around a table and then transition to live movements.
Another aspect of this device is its svelte exterior. It looks better than any mouse one might imagine. A perfect addition to any home theater, especially when coupled with a Logitech diNovo Edge keyboard.
It also incorporates all the controls one would demand from a home theater controller. Sexy touch-sensitive buttons light up that allow users to play and pause, adjust volume, and select media. What’s more, holding specific buttons and making specific gestures with the hand can enact certain functions, like skipping tracks forward or backward.
The MX Air functions on a 2.4 GHz RF signal and can get a range of about 30-feet. It’s made for Windows, but it’ll work with OS X — although some of its functions will be limited. Look for it in August for an MSRP of $150.