Logitech MX518 Optical Gaming Mouse Review

Admin - 2007-06-04 22:15:54 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: Admin   
Reviewed on: July 15, 2005
Price: $39.95

The Logitech MX518 Gaming-Grade Optical Mouse comes packed with all of the features that gamers crave for and then some! From the appearance, you may compare the MX518 to Logitech's MX500 or even MX510 mouse but the MX518 features a new optical engine that is capable of a 1600-DPI resolution! You'll also find another advantage that the MX518 has over other Logitech mice, and that's the on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment. The MX518 places you in the driver seat as you have the ability to change the sensitivity of the mouse with quick-shift controls. The sensitivity buttons allow you to change the sensitivity to 400, 800, and as high as 1600 DPI with no software or drivers to install!

Most mice on the market use only a 8-bit data path to send data, and you may occasionally experience "mouse lag" with these mice. The optical engine built within the MX518 utilizes a 16-bit data path to send data to your computer which provides ultra precision when gaming and zero mouse lag!

What else does the MX518 have that other mice don't? Let's dig into the review and find out!

About Logitech
Logitech designs, manufactures and markets personal peripherals that enable people to effectively work, play, and communicate in the digital world. The company's products combine essential core technologies, continuing innovation, award-winning industrial design and excellent price performance.

Logitech's origins lie in the OEM sector, which remains an important part of its business, and represented 13 percent of the company's total sales in Fiscal 2005. To meet the demands of its OEM customer base, which includes most of the world's largest PC manufacturers, Logitech offers high-volume manufacturing with focused quality control, worldwide distribution and logistics, and the ability to leverage its infrastructure under changing demand conditions.

Logitech continues to broaden its product offering and its presence in the retail sector. This is fueled by a trend among consumers to enhance their basic PC systems with more fully featured personal peripherals that add functionality and cordless freedom to their desktops. They are also purchasing supplementary devices designed for new applications and specific purposes such as gaming, multimedia, or audio and visual communication over the Internet. Further, Logitech's retail business includes personal peripherals for platforms beyond the PC, such as gaming consoles, portable music players, mobile phones and home-entertainment systems.

Today, Logitech's retail business accounts for 87 percent of its revenue. To provide the market with a broadening array of best-of-category products, Logitech's business model calls for supplementing its internal engineering and manufacturing strength with additional products and technologies through a combination of strategic acquisitions and industry partnerships.


What's Included

The MX518 comes with a USB-to-PS/2 adapter for those of you that either don't have a USB port (who doesn't have one of those these days?) or if you simply prefer PS/2 over USB. If you're buying a gaming mouse you're more than likely not going to be using the adapter, but for whatever reason you have Logitech has provided it so that the MX518 will work with any computer configuration.

The SetPoint software that's included on a CD allows MX518 owners to receive an audio notification when switching sensitivity settings on-the-fly. SetPoint also allows you to program six of the eight buttons on the mouse to perform different tasks. You are also able to create up to five custom sensitivty settings and switch to them on-the-fly!

The MX518 installation manual provides easy to understand illustrated instructions on how to get your new MX518 mouse installed and setup on your computer.

Closer Look

The bomb-proof shell of the MX518 mouse looks as if it was shot and the bullets were stopped dead in their tracks, at least that's my perspective of the design. The paint is a metallic silver color which presents an armored steel look that adds to the bullet dent effect. A clear covering over the design protects the beauty of this mouse.

On top of the MX518 we find the famous right and left click buttons, but also a scroll wheel which acts as a middle mouse button in addition to its scrolling capabilities. Above and below the scroll wheel you'll find two buttons which allows you to click through the different sensitivity settings. By default without instaling any drivers or software you can choose from the following sensitivity settings: 400, 800, and 1600.

Having the ability to choose different sensitivity settings without ever installing any software, is simply extraordinary to me. I have been using Razer mice ever since I can remember which dates all the way back to the first Boomslang mouse that they created. One thing I disliked about using their on-the-fly sensitivity adjustments was that I had to have their software and drivers installed. As matter of fact, I don't like installing any additional drivers or having to run software in the background unless absolutely necessary.

The MX518 sensitivty control feature is all handled onboard in the hardware of the MX518 at the sensor level. The actual sensor switches the DPI mode on the fly as you push the buttons. The mouse is literally sending a native 400, 800 and 1600 DPI resolution to the PC. Since all of this is done at the hardware level, no software or drivers is required!

The last button found on top of the MX518 is located underneath the negative button and it looks like cascading windows. This button allows you to quickly switch between opened documents. Of course we can easily reprogram this button to serve a more useful task using the provided Logitech software. Perhaps this button would be better suited for a quick button to the rocket launcher in Unreal Tournament 2004. :)

On the left side of the MX518 mouse we find two additional buttons near the thumb rest. By default and without installing drivers or software, these buttons are programmed as forward and back buttons in Internet Explorer. As always, you have the ability to reprogram them.

I could not continue this review without first talking about how comfortable the thumb rest is on the MX518. I have been using the Razer Diamondback mouse, which is an excellent mouse and similar in performance to the MX518, but the MX518 is so much more comfortable than the Razer Diamondback. Your thumb can simply rest on the side of the MX518 without the strain of having to hold it in place. I have to give Logitech a major thumbs up (literally) for the design of the MX518.

Similar to the left side, the right side of the mouse also has a contoured grip for your pinky finger. The material grips to your fingers effortlessly and it feels very smooth.

On the bottom of the MX518 we find not three, not four, but five super slick teflon feet for the most ultimate precision and control. Software
As I have said throughout the entire review, the Logitech MX518 mouse requires no software to run - it's truly a plug-and-play mouse! However, installing the provided SetPoint software will give you many useful features like custom sensitivity settings, programmable buttons and more. I wanted to see what the fuss is all about so I began to load up SetPoint on our main test computer but it failed to install. It stated that it could not run my current version of Windows, which was Windows XP 64-Bit Edition.

Therefore I had to use another test system which ran Windows XP 32-bit in order to fully test the software.

On the main screen of the SetPoint software you can configure the MX518 buttons to perform different tasks than what they are currently performing when clicked. All of the buttons are configurable except for the left and right click. There are a total of six different tasks that each button may perform. The first task is the default task for the specific button that you are configuring. For example, if you are configuring the Sensitivity Decrease button, then Sensitivty Decrease will be the first task on the list. The other tasks will depend on what button you are currently configuring. The most important task for gamers will be Keystroke Assignment.

Keystroke assignment allows you to perform a single key or combination keystroke. For example, you could setup CTRL-ALT-R on your left side button. Then you could go into the key bindings of your favorite game like Counter-Strike and bind the radio command menu to CTRL-ALT-R. Now, when you click that button on your mouse the radio command menu will appear.

The "other" task will bring up a menu of selectable functions that range from cut and copy to maximize and minimize.

On the next screen you will find mouse movement settings. These are the same settings that can be found in Windows under mouse properties within the control panel.

On this screen you are able to setup an array of different settings like game detection, whether or not you want SetPoint or the OS to control speed and acceleration, and also game mode settings. At the bottom of the screen there is an advance game settings button. Clicking this button will bring up the advance settings for on-the-fly sensitivity settings.

On the advance game settings screen we find the easy to configure sensitivity settings. By default, there are three preset sensitivity settings and the ability to custom configure up to five. To configure the different levels click a number one through five and then slide the dial to the DPI you wish for that setting to be set at. Each number represents one click on the mouse. For example if you wish to go to your fourth sensitivity setting and you are currently at the first setting, you would have to click up three times. You may also disable different sensitivity levels, if you only want to have a couple. I have one setup for "Full Speed" 1600 DPI, another setup for sniping while gaming which is at 1000 DPI and another for my wife who likes the sensitivity lower.

The Recognized Games list on the right of the screen lists all of the games that SetPoint recognizes on your system. SetPoint will recognized most all games but if it doesn't, you can "browse" to the game executable on your system to manually add the game to your list. If you're using game not listed in the Recognized Games list, you will not be able to use on-the-fly sensitivity adjustments.

The final screen of the software is the "Tools" tab. This screen displays your current control center and driver version. You can also find more information about ergonomics of the MX518, Logitech support, and a help manual of the SetPoint software. Testing
To test the Logitech MX-518 mouse, I'll play some of my favorite FPS games and my favorite MMORPG, Ryzom. During the tests I will be looking for: mouse lag, slickness of feet, overall comfort, usability of the buttons, and finally control.

After playing about an hour of Unreal Tournament 2004, I noticed very similar performance as I found in the Razer Diamondback but with slightly better precision. I relate the better precision to the weight of the Logitech MX518. The Razer Diamondback is a fairly lightweight mouse while the MX518 is heavier and feels more solid while playing.

I found most of the buttons easily accessible while gaming, in exception to the side button that's closest to the front of the mouse. I found it difficult to reach this button with my thumb while keeping the mouse still at the same time. The slightess mouse jerk at super high resolution like 1600 DPI, could cause death in a FPS game. If both of the side buttons were positioned towards the back of the mouse more, then they would be more easily accessible without the mouse jerk.

The Logitech MX518 Optical Mouse is easily, the ultimate right-handed gamer�s mouse. Notice I said, right-handed because the MX518 is only for right-handed users. There is currently not a left-handed MX518 and Logitech has no plans to make one. The MX518 is the most comfortable mouse that I've ever had the pleasure of using. The ergonomics is simply amazing and I don't think it can get much better than this unless you had a mouse molded to fit your unique hand. The ultra high 1600 DPI resolution makes it a hot item for gamers and performance enthusiasts a like.

Priced around $40 bucks (Newegg), you simply can't go wrong with the Logitech MX518. It's also reassuring to know that Logitech will be there if the MX518 somehow breaks or is defective, the three year warranty means a lot to a hardcore gamer. I highly recommend the MX518 to anyone seeking to gain the extra gaming edge or if you're simply seeking a new mouse for everyday use. The MX518 will now replace my Razer Diamondback which I had been using before it was even released.