“Overall the MX518 is a very worthwhile piece of hardware” – Matthew Oickle
Ever since the beginning of computer gaming, players have always been trying to find a way to get an edge against their opponents. Whether it is as old as a mod that allows mouse functionality in Doom to more modern solutions like 3D-glasses or programmable keyboards, the main objective of the gamer is to find the fastest and most efficient way to eliminate the enemy. With that said, I am going to be looking at the Logitech MX518 gaming mouse.
Included in box:
- MX518 optical mouse
- Logitech SetPoint installation CD-ROM (version 2.3)
- USB to PS/2 adapter
- Sensitivity increase button
- Scroll wheel
- Sensitivity decrease button
- Application switch button
- Page forward button
- Page back button
Now this is not exactly the newest piece of gaming hardware on the market; I actually bought it a few months ago, as you can see from the bits of paint that have been worn away from long nights of Counter Strike and Battlefield 2. Other than that though, it has performed extremely well over time but I will go into more detail about its performance after I talk about its specifications.
The most distinct feature of the MX518 is the ‘dents’ all over the top of the mouse. This is not the result of losing too many sessions of CS:S but it’s actually just a very clever graphic design which is usually bound to impress at LAN parties. The shape and the overall feel of the mouse is very good, it fits snugly in the hand and with the left side of the mouse curved inward it makes it even more comfortable to hold.
It has a fairly good weight, not too light and not too heavy. It weighs about 110 grams, compared to a standard Microsoft optical mouse which weighs about 80 grams. (I’m sorry if those figures are incorrect, to weigh the mice I used a baking scale that is at least 40 years old since nothing better was available). The MX518 also slides very nicely on almost any generic mouse pad – I’ve been using a ruddy old Nortel pad and the mouse feels very smooth.
The MX518 features 8 buttons, 6 of which can be assigned to different functions using the Logitech SetPoint software that comes with the mouse that I’ll talk about later. The feature I found most useful is the two sensitivity buttons located in front and behind the scroll wheel. These are great when playing games where one moment you need pinpoint accuracy then the next you need a bit faster pointer speed (eg, using a sniper then drop it for an assault rifle) – this can all be done in game and on the fly. This function is done all by the mouse itself, no drivers are required to increase or decrease the sensitivity on the fly.
Another one of the MX518’s functions is the application switch button. This one requires the Logitech drivers and is quite frankly pointless in my opinion. When pushed, it brings up a small menu that shows all the applications that are currently running. Now this may sound kind of useful but unfortunately it is executed poorly. Let me explain:
First off, most of the time it doesn’t work – even as I am typing this in Microsoft Word with two other applications and a folder open, after pressing the button the application menu doesn’t come up. But if I minimize everything then try pressing it at the desktop the menu comes up flawlessly. I even tried updating the Logitech SetPoint drivers to the latest version (3.1.116) and I still got the same results. It’s not really that great though – even when it does work, it’s just simply an alternative to using ALT+TAB. Also the application switch button is placed too close to the center of the mouse, so in order to press it you need to shift your whole hand back and it’s just inconvenient to do so.
The application switch button:
The application switch feature:
The “page forward” and “page back” buttons are pretty handy, since they’re very easily accessible especially if you have them bound to a “use” or “reload” function in games. The only small problem I had is that the “page forward” button was positioned a little bit too far forward, but other than that I had no major problems. The page forward and page back functions even work without the drivers, so that’s a nice little touch.
Included with the MX518 is a CD-ROM containing the Logitech SetPoint software. This software has some pretty cool features, I’ll discuss those after some screenshots.
Assign the buttons to do whatever you see fit:
Basic mouse functions:
Choose any DPI setting you please, ranging from 400 DPI to 1600 DPI:
Now the variable DPI setting is very cool, in my opinion. The idea of letting you tweak the mouse as you see fit is great; also being able to rebind the mouse buttons to do almost anything you want is very cool also – definitely some very useful features right here.
Overall the MX518 is a very worthwhile piece of hardware. Everything from the shape to the design is presented very nicely. No matter what game you’re playing, this mouse will definitely give you an edge against your opponent.
Another bonus is the price – the Logitech website advertises it as $49.99 (US), which is a pretty good deal for good quality gaming hardware. If you’re a gamer who’s looking to improve their game play and tired of using that $15 cheapo Microsoft mouse, the MX518 is a very nice solution.