THE GOOD: You can customize shortcut tasks for all seven buttons on the Logitech M510 mouse and the laser tracks smoothly across nearly any surface except glass. The battery lasts two years with daily use and Logitech’s micro-receiver frees up precious USB ports by connecting multiple Logitech accessories with a single dongle.
THE BAD: The directional buttons on the left side limits this mouse to right-handed users only.
THE BOTTOM LINE: With more shortcut buttons than you’ll know what to do with, the Logitech M510 is the best budget mouse for anyone tired of dragging their fingers around a trackpad.
When was the last time you upgraded your mouse? If the answer falls sometime between “never” and “I don’t even remember where I got the one I’m using right now,” it’s time to step it up. And if you’re not ready to drop the equivalent of a Friday night bar tab on the Lexus of mice, the Logitech M510 is a reasonably priced option that has a lot of the same features for far less. The retail price is $39.99 (£34.90, AU$55), but the real-world price is at vendors like Amazon and elsewhere is literally half that.
I’ve used the Logitech M510 (mine is red but it comes in black and blue too) for the last three weeks and it’s already the first thing I look for when I pack my day bag, and here’s why: it works. By that, I mean I don’t have to worry about finding a mouse pad or a clean surface to work on because the laser can track on anything from carpet, wood and even clothes. The connection does hiccup on mirrored surfaces like glass and marble – that probably won’t matter to most people, but it’s worth noting Logitech’s pricier models include its “Darkfield” laser sensor that works on everything.
The M510’s hourglass shape guides your hand into a natural, “straight ahead” position (at least for right-handed users). The contour gives your wrist a break while the rubber grips on the side make a soft landing pad for your thumb and pinky.
The mouse has no shortage of buttons — seven total — to turn your hand into a control center for shortcuts that you assign using the Logitech SetPoint software. The two extra buttons for your thumb on the left side also make it really easy to flick back and forward in a web browser or media player. The notched scroll wheel clicks down as well as to the left and right for horizontal scrolling: a “must have” for anyone that deals in daily spreadsheets.
Logitech’s tiny Unifying Receiver is also a big advantage in this world of shrinking USB ports. It’s a quarter of the size of a USB flash drive and can pair six Logitech accessories at once, meaning you can use one dongle for a keyboard, a mouse, or any other device in the Unifying family on Chromebooks, Macs and Windows PCs. There’s even a spot for it inside the battery compartment, too, in case you ever want to travel with it. (Prefer Bluetooth, for dongle-free compatibility? Go with Logitech’s MX Anywhere 2 or M535 instead.)
Speaking of batteries, Logitech tells us that two AAs power the mouse for two years, but you can squeeze even more juice out of it if you switch the power off when you’re done. Finally, here’s a pro-tip that applies to all Logitech mice: although there’s room for two, it’ll work exactly the same with one battery if you’re in a bind.