Speed Up Your Workflow With a Programmable Mouse

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Sitting at my desk and looking at the peripherals, I have noticed that my mouse is in dire need of an upgrade. Although the Microsoft 5-button mouse has faithfully served my clicking needs for the past 8 years, I began to wonder, is there anything else out there?

I do a lot of web browsing and some editing/design work, for which hot-keys and the mouse play a key role for getting things done. But I need the work pumped out faster, and I want to browse more efficiently. In my research I discovered the existence of programmable mice that have buttons to which you can bind any key or function your heart desires (or, at least, what the software will allow). How irritating it is to press Ctrl + Tab to go to the next tab on the browser! Even worse is going to the previous tab, Ctrl + Shift + Tab. My wrist doesn’t bend that way, thank you very much. Imagine pressing one button on your mouse for these functions instead of all that rigmarole; sounds good enough for me.

What I ended up purchasing, was the Logitech G600 mouse, shown below in all her glory,

 

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This monster has 20 programmable buttons, twelve of which are accessible by your thumb. It’s advertised for MMORPG/video-game players, but don’t let this fool you as being it’s only use. After you purchase it, you download the Logitech software, connect your mouse, and start programming the buttons. Here is how I use it for browsing the web (shown using the Logitech customizing software):

 

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The thumb buttons control my browser, opening and closing tabs and cycling through them. I guess you can call me a tab whore. I also use the thumb buttons in the back to close all my programs and shut down my PC in a flash. When you hold the third mouse button with your ring finger (dubbed the “G-Shift” by Logitech), all your thumb buttons have new functions! I use these (below) to quickly open software such as my web browser, email, downloads folder, task manager, etc, etc:

 

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There you have it, no more need for the task bar. Worried that there are too many buttons for you to remember? Don’t be. The thumb buttons are grooved towards each other (shown below), giving you two thumb positions. In each thumb position you can easily press 6 out of the 12 buttons.

 

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Other goodies:

It can store 3 different button combinations that you can cycle through with one click on the mouse. Need a different set of hotkeys when you’re working in Photoshop? Make a Photoshop “mode.”

The buttons light up, and you can change the colors to what you want. It’s sexy. Don’t like it? You can turn it off.

Declare its independence. Save your button combinations within the mouses internal memory; take that baby with you to work.

Cost. $55 on bhphotovideo.com at the time of this post. For the time this thing saves, you’ll make that money back in a jiffy.

The Upsets:

The Logitech software is not available for macs. If that bursts your bubble, I still have some solutions for you:

1 – You can still buy this mouse, program it on a PC, and then use it on your mac. However, I am told you cannot switch modes this way, and I have no idea how to program the command button that macs use. This workaround is not great. Hopefully Logitech will make the software available on macs, and soon.

2 – There are other mice (Razer Naga, and the R.A.T. series mice) that can be programmed by macs. Watch out for Razer, though, as I heard they get wonky after a year. Read lots of reviews.

 

Other concerns:

The mouse is quite big. It can also be heavy if you lift your mouse to move it often. Find it in a store and test it out.

It’s wired only. This may be an issue if you are very mobile. If you want mobility, look into the R.A.T. M. mouse.

 

Oh yes, your author has no affiliation with Logitech and, sadly for him, was not paid for this review.

Author

Ilya Slukhov

Ilya is a college student who does webdesign in his spare time. He has recently been delving into web and mobile app development. Email: ilya@slukhov.com

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1 Comment

  1. William Christner July 18, 2014 at 3:23 pm

    That mouse looks awesome. I want one now. I enjoyed the article. Thanks

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