Boy, can press releases be deceptive. When we recieved the email and photos from Logitech earlier this year unveiling the outfit’s cool new mouse/presentation device, we had the impression the little brick was much bigger than it actually is. In fact, the $70, wireless Cube is tiny — so tiny that it almost seems designed for the hands of a five-year-old.
The Cube is two travelling devices in one. Slip it out of its sleek cover, plug the USB dongle into your MacBook, flip the Cube’s switch, set it down on a flat surface and it’s ready to mouse around. Like Apple’s mice, the whole top surface of the Cube is a button, and scrolling can be achieved by sliding a finger along the top surface. Lift the Cube from the table and it magically becomes a presenter, with the button now advancing slides; flipping the device over makes the Cube backtrack with each click.
Hard-core, ultralight backpackers often lop off toothbrush handles to save weight. The Cube would be their perfect peripheral; it’s miniscule to the point of madness.
Like most of Logitech’s mice, the Cube tracks well on a variety of surfaces. Battery life is pretty good: I was able to use it for at least a week, at a moderate rate, without needing to refuel (accomplished via its micro-USB port).
The miniature USB dongle that comes with the Cube is one of Logitech’s standard Unifying recievers, and can be used with up to five other Logitech peripherals that work with the Unifying system.
The Cube works pretty well as a presenter. Guess how it performs as a mouse: That’s right, like you’re trying to use a presenter as a mouse. It’s far too small and angular to be comfortable, and sliding my finger across the top surface to scroll felt imprecise and, well, mildly icky.
I swear, the only reason I didn’t lose the tiny USB dongle during testing is sheer dumb luck. The little thing is fine for desktop use, where its low-profile form is meant to be shoved, semi-permanently, into one of the myriad USB slots desktop computers usually come with; but free USB slots on laptops are often in short supply, which means removing the dongle at the end of the day — only there’s no way to stash it with the Cube.
Best for Navy SEAL commanders in the boonies doing on-site mission presentations and maybe a little light mouse-work.