Lognetmedia ML-903 ICON 2000DPI Laser Mouse

hardnrg - 2007-02-11 13:23:37 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: hardnrg   
Reviewed on: March 26, 2007
Lognetmedia
Lognetmedia
Price: 129.00 Poland Zlotych (€33.34 Euros) $44US

Introduction:


Lognetmedia

Lognet is a telecommunications company that decided to broaden its range of products and services.  Operated by a sub-company, Noone Studio, Lognetmedia provides multimedia, audio-visual, and computer accessories.  The main products are headphones, mice and bluetooth headsets.  Lognetmedia is a relatively new company, started only a couple of years ago, is based in Poland and distributes its products throughout Europe.

ML-903 ICON 2000DPI Laser Mouse

In this review I will be taking a look at Lognetmedia's highest performance mouse developed for gamers and graphic designers.


Closer Look:

Back of the box


Most product boxes these days are a combination of a cardboard shell and some annoying transparent plastic molded to the shape of the mouse.  Lognetmedia have a simpler box design which looks almost like a display case.  You can see pretty much all around the mouse without visual distortion from molded plastic packaging.


Inside the box


Continuing the minimal theme, all you get in the box is the printed cardboard inserts, the mouse itself, and 4 replacement PTFE non-slip feet.  Any heavy mouse user will know that the feet do wear down eventually, or may come unstuck and end up getting lost.  So having the replacement feet supplied in the box is a welcome addition.


The mouse bears a striking resemblance to Logitech mice.  It looks very similar to my MX518 and, with the DPI indicators, you can see that it looks even more like the Logitech G5.


At first I thought the side buttons were mouse buttons 4 and 5, as with my MX518 and Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0.  But, after examining the mouse and finding no additional buttons, it seemed that these side buttons controlled the mouse sensitivity.


The "clone" styling of the mouse is evident from all angles.  Underneath, you can see the four PTFE feet and the location of the laser is central.

Installation:


Traveling light

This mouse packed light and arrived without a manual or any software/driver CD. A bit odd, I thought at first, but then again I don't use the Logitech drivers or software for my Logitech MX518 mouse. I can't remember actually reading a manual either. If you think about it, do you really need a manual or software for any mouse? It's not as if it has loads of extra multimedia buttons that some keyboards have.

So, to install it, you simply connect it to a free USB port and it is installed as a HID-compliant input device. If you take a look at the Device Manager you can see these types of devices listed under Human Interface Devices.  For comparison, here is my Logitech MX518:


The Logitech MX518 simply uses the built-in Microsoft drivers.


And here is the Lognetmedia ML-903.  Notice it uses the Microsoft laser mouse driver and needs no additional drivers or software.  A simple approach to adding input hardware, and really how I think it should be for all mice.


Specifications:


Concise

The specs on the box are very terse and to-the-point.  They inform you of all the relevant ratings and abilities, but I think some of the acronyms should be expanded or explained with a feature-benefit note next to them or listed underneath.  An example is the "FPS: 7080" detail.  What does this mean?  I assume it means a sampling rate of 7080 frames per second, but how does that work together with the Mouse Rate of 500 Hz?  It's not entirely clear and I think if a specification is going to be listed on the box (highlighted in red, so obviously a main selling point) it should be made more obvious what the feature provides to the user.

Box specs

Sensor: Agilent ADNS-6010 (6.4 Mpix/sec - laser)
Always On: Yes
CPI: 2000 (400>800>1600>2000)
FPS: 7080
Mouse Rate: 500Hz (2ms)
Max. speed: 114cm/sec (45IPS)
Acceleration: 20g
Feet: 4x SPEEDFIRE (Polytetrafluoroethylene)
Click: Quick Click Technology*
Buttons: 2+1 (2 additional ones to increase/decrease CPI on the fly)
Shape: Ergonomic (for right-handed users)
Warranty: 2 years

* Quick Click Technology empowers a user to click a single button around 80 times per 10 seconds

Site specs

The product page for the ML-903 is much better at explaining the specifications and features and I really think the following information should be included in the packaging:

Lognetmedia mL-903 Icon is the first Polish high-end mouse for pro-gamers and graphic designers.

e-sports profile:

It has a heart of well-known ADNS-6010 Agilent sensor of 2000dpi resolution, used previously in mice like Razer Copperhead and Logitech G5. It guarantees reliable speed of 114cm/s and acceletation of 20 g, image sampling of 6.4 Mpix/sec, 7080 FPS and reaction time below 1ms.

mL-903 Icon has been equipped with five Quick Click buttons, which can be pressed even more than 8 times a second. Its ergonomy provides the user the required usage comfort.

Beneath a 110 g light mouse there are PTFE (politetrafluoroethylene) Speedfire feet of high-level slip characteristics.

 
Home and office profile:

Lognetmedia mL-903 ICON is a high-end product that guarantees a problem-free work at large variety of surfaces. A legendary ADNS-6010 reputable Agilent sensor and extra slippery PTFE (politetrafluoroethylene) feet make a mousepad absolutely unnecessary.

High resolution of maximum 2000dpi with on the fly regulation, 20 times higher than standard optical mouse precision, remarkable reaction time and Quick Click technology make Lognetmedia mL-903 ICON a mouse of great characteristics.

Lognetmedia mL-903 ICON  is perfect for both work and play.

Name: mL-903 ICON
Type: ProGamer Ultra Performance (wire)
Sensor: Agilent ADNS-6010 (laser engine)
DPI: 400 > 800 > 1600 > 2000
On-The-Fly Sensitivity: YES
Data processing rate: 6.4 Mpix/sec
FPS: 7080
Polling rate: 500Hz
Motion detection: 114cm /s (45 ips) & 20 g
Buttons: 5 (2+2+1)
Wheel (roller): YES
Technologies: Quick Click
Feet: 4x Speedfire (politetrafluoroethylene)
Interface: USB - FULL SPEED
Wire lenght: 2,5 m
Warranty: 2 years

Now we can see that this mouse uses the same laser as Razer and Logitech mice!  Unless you were some sort of laser expert, I doubt you would have realized this from the box specs.

Testing:


Testing Setup



CPI?

Ok so apparently it isn't DPI, it's CPI.  The second highest rated acronym on acronymfinder.com for CPI is Characters Per Inch, and this is what comes to my mind when looking at the abbreviation.  Another meaning for CPI is the Couch Potato Index, which I'm guessing is the severity of how much you are a couch potato, haha.  Anyway, in this case, I can only assume it makes sense in Polish.  Ok, well who really cares right?  The four settings on the mouse are obviously DPI and each setting is chosen by the side up/down button.


At the lowest setting of 400 DPI, the indicators are all off.  Then when 800 DPI is activated by the side button, the lower LED is lit up.  1600 DPI lights up the middle LED, then 2000 DPI lights up the top one.  The LED indicators are blue and are visible from pretty much any angle (180° semi-sphere).

If you are used to a Microsoft, Logitech, Razer or any brand of mouse that has more than 3 buttons, you are probably familiar with the "forward/back" buttons on the left side, where your thumb would be if you're a right hander.  I use a Logitech MX518 and a Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 3.0, and have been using the side buttons for forward/back navigation for years, especially in Internet browsers, and also make use of these buttons in games.  So having these buttons as on-the-fly sensitivity controls on the ML-903 is handy, but also slightly annoying as you can't configure them to be anything else and I find myself inadvertently changing the DPI whenever I want to jump back a page, use the flashlight in a game, etc.

Get into the groove

The concave section just under the on-the-fly CPI/DPI buttons is a bit too concave and the side of my thumb ends up resting on the CPI/DPI buttons.  This just feels awkward and seems as though the mouse has been designed for people with smaller thumbs.  I do have large thumbs, 28mm at the widest point, so this probably won't be an issue for most people.  As Lognetmedia have effectively designed a Logitech clone, I don't mind comparing it to my MX518 so much.  My MX518 is a lot less concave in this area and by big old thumb rests on a fairly flat surface relative to the ML-903's half-a-pipe level of concavity.

Scroll wheel

The scroll wheel, handy for scrolling through long webpages and documents.  It is often used in games to switch weapons and can usually be keybound to other game controls.  I've found scroll wheels vary quite considerably and can make the difference between a good mouse and a great one.  My Logitech MX518 scroll wheel is easy to scroll up and down, and has a very positive stop/start when it advances to the next notch.  The Intellimouse Explorer 3.0 is as easy to scroll as the MX518 but the tactile notching effect is not as good.  The Lognetmedia ML-903 has noticeably more resistance to scroll than either the MX518 or Intellimouse and the notching effect is about the same as the Intellimouse.  It's not particularly stiff, and it may work itself loose over time, but it just seems a touch too much effort to move it for a gaming mouse, especially given the weak notching.  If the scroll wheel isn't easy to move and the notching is weak then it can be hard to use in-game for something like a scope zoom for example.  Scope zoom could cycle: Off -> 5x -> 10x, and you could find yourself overscrolling because of the slight extra effort and the weak notching.

Human auto-fire

So the claim of "80 clicks in 10 seconds" seems very optimistic, but after using this mouse in many games and applications, I think this rate of clicking would be possible if you had almost super-human clicking abilities.  That is to say, the primary and secondary mouse buttons have a "hair trigger" response that require less force than my Logitech MX518 or Microsoft Intellimouse Explorerer 3.0.  This proved itself useful in Rainbow Six: Vegas when I had one of the weapons on single shot rate-of-fire, with a silencer, and needed to take out a few enemies at once.  It certainly shone here as an incredibly accurate and lightning-fast mouse for first-person shooter (FPS) games.

As you know, the mouse wheel also functions as a third button if you press it down.  The ML-903 has a bit too much resistance here and I found myself mis-clicking the middle button (i.e. not clicking at all because the mouse requires more downward force than I'm used to).  This seemed a bit odd compared to the hair-trigger main buttons, but I can understand that if it was too easy to depress, then you would end up inadvertently pressing the middle button when scrolling.  I still feel that the middle button should be easier to press though.

Slip-sliding away

Polytetrafluoroethylene, more commonly known as PTFE, can be used to make low-friction pads or feet for computer mice.  When coupled with a low-friction metal or plastic gaming mousepad, the mouse can glide effortlessly over the surface allowing very fluid and accurate movement.  The ML-903 makes use of these feet and it works.  It's noticeably easier to move around than my Logitech MX518 although that might be because the pads on the Logitech are fairly worn.  Regardless, the non-slip feet do a fantastic job for Lognetmedia's mouse.

Conclusion:


A high performance gaming mouse...

I was impressed by the ML-903 ICON mouse, the on-the-fly sensitivity works well in games and graphics applications like Adobe Photoshop.  In games, it matched or exceeded the performance of my current Logitech MX518.  The only thing I can fault about the mouse is that it only really has three buttons (left and right + middle), as the side buttons are for DPI selection.

This is where the mouse falls short of the Logitech and Razer mice it seems to be competing against.  In games like Rainbow Six: Vegas, I did not miss having the 2 extra buttons of my Logitech MX518 as the game's control system doesn't really require extra buttons.  Whilst playing games like Unreal Tournament 2004 with a large array of controls that benefits from being bound to extra buttons, I really missed having two spare assignable buttons on the side.  Other games that use a flashlight, such as Tomb Raider: Legend or Doom 3, I like to bind the side (forward) button to that function to allow toggling of the light without moving my left hand from WASD, shift or CTRL for crouch, and space for jump.  Also, I missed having side buttons for forward/back navigation in Internet browsers.

This really comes down to personal preference though, it has to be said.  I know many people with Logitech and Razer mice that don't even use the side buttons.  The ML-903 ICON has the same 2000dpi laser as Logitech and Razer's high end gaming mice, and is cheaper than comparative products from either brand.  So if you don't need more than 3 buttons on a mouse, and are looking for a high performance laser mouse that doesn't break the bank, the Lognetmedia ML-903 ICON may be the mouse for you.

At the time of writing the review, Lognetmedia only lists retailers located in Poland.  Similarly, all attempts to find an alternate retailer in Europe ended up with Polish results.  Hopefully Lognetmedia will expand their distribution in the near future as they have a genuinely high performance product here that many gamers would love.



Pros


Cons