The silence is deafening when you use the $29.99 Logitech M330 Silent Plus mouse. And that’s by design: You may not even realize how noisy your current mouse has been all this time until you try this one. Then you’ll notice what you’ve been putting up with.
For some, the clickety-click of the typical mouse may have always been a comforting adjunct to the tappity-tap of the keyboard. But for some situations, the option for a quiet mouse could be an attractive option, whether it’s one mouse or 30: in an open-plan office, a household with sleeping small children, a library, a computer lab. (That said, the M330’s wireless design may make it less suited for deployment in public-use spaces where the untethered mouse could just, ahem, scurry away.)
The M330 Silent Mouse is also a perfect, perhaps even crucial, complement for any creative professional or enthusiast working in a recording environment, such as broadcasting, film or video production, or podcasting. In those arenas, a click could be an annoying or even a costly price to pay when navigating a computer-based production system. That alone could make the M330 Silent Plus no-brainer-worth its price in saved remediation time.
The Logitech M330 Silent Mouse has a compact, appealing design that should suit most hand sizes. It felt comfortable to use with our smallish right hand. The curve hit the base of our fingers naturally, letting our index and middle fingers flow over the buttons. Along the bottom left is a slight, textured indentation that proved a great resting spot (as intended) for our thumb…
Between the two mouse buttons sits the usual scroll wheel. The wheel has a prominent rise and a serrated texture…
On the underside of the mouse sits a power on/off button, and the battery compartment…
The battery compartment is both secure and easy to remove by sliding your finger down. Inside the compartment sits a AA battery, as well as a slot that can house Logitech’s included 2.4GHz wireless receiver when it’s not plugged into a USB port somewhere…
The receiver transmits across a distance of up to 10 meters. While the receiver itself doesn’t support Logitech’s Unifying technology, the mouse will work with a Unifying receiver that you may already have for another Logitech device, such as a Logitech keyboard. The Unifying technology lets you use one compatible USB receiver to fetch the signal for multiple devices that support Unifying, thus sparing you a USB port. (It also, ahem, helps Logitech keep shoppers brand-loyal.) The mouse is compatible with Windows, Mac, Chrome OS, and Linux-based computers.
The M330 Silent Plus measures 4.2×2.7×1.5 inches and weighs just 3.2 ounces. Logitech also offers a slightly smaller version of the mouse, the M220 Silent. (Its list price is slightly lower, at $24.95.) You can see the two beside each other here; that’s the M220 Silent in black on the right…
That more-portable model has an ambidextrous design that lacks the M330 Silent Plus’ thumb rest. The footprint is a bit smaller (3.9 inches long and 2.4 inches wide), and it’s a scootch lighter (2.7 ounces).
Setup, Usability Conclusions
Setting up the M330 Silent Plus is straightforward. The first time you use the mouse, you’ll need to pull out a tab on the underside so the battery will be available…
Next, remove the battery cover to access the USB dongle, insert the dongle into a USB port, and you’re off to the relatively silent races. It’s as easy as it gets.
Logitech says the battery can last up to 24 months. Shuttling the power button on and off will help preserve battery life, but so will the mouse’s ability to automatically enter sleep mode if it detects it’s not in use.
This is a standard three-button mouse in most respects, but we did find it odd that Logitech’s brief, three-picture setup guide makes no mention of the button behavior. Granted, Logitech went for brevity and minimalism, printing the steps on the back of the cardboard insert that’s part of the blister-pack packaging, but an entire half of the insert goes unused. And Logitech only mentions a support URL for questions, with no indication that you’ll probably have to go to that site to figure out how the scroll wheel works.
How the scroll wheel works? Now, you’d think that that is a no-brainer, but…
Forward and backward scrolling works as you’d expect. What happens when you press down for a middle-click, though, may vary depending on the application you’re using. In “most” Internet browsers, Logitech says to expect the middle-click to close browser tabs if you click anywhere on the tab, or to open a link in a new tab. Also, in most browsers, Logitech says that when you middle-click a folder in your bookmarks bar, each Web site in the folder will open in its own tab. Finally, in “many” applications, if you click and hold the middle button, you can drag the mouse to scroll in any direction. These were all handy shortcuts, but we were at sea we until we spotted that info in Logitech’s downloadable PDF. That info needs to get on or in the packaging, stat.
So, how did the mouse work? The silence is relative. It’s not perfectly silent—there’s still a bit of a thump, if not a click. But the M330 Silent Plus is noticeably and dramatically quieter than previous Logitech (and others’) non-silent mice we’ve tried. Logitech claims the mouse is 90 percent quieter than standard mice. We didn’t have an anechoic chamber handy to verify that, but it seems a reasonable claim by eyeballing—nay, earballing?—it.
We especially liked how the “click” action of the buttons felt buttery-smooth, and how the main buttons required the full length of our finger to press. That’s a design point that’s always finger-friendlier and helps stave off hand fatigue.
As for the actual mouse tracking, we had no complaints on the variety of surfaces that we tested, and we moused around with the M330 all over the house. The M330 has Logitech’s Advanced Optical Tracking, which Logitech claims enables “ultra precise” tracking on “almost” any surface. In our experience, we had no issues, whether we were mousing away at a wooden table, on a piece of paper, or even on fabric.
At a $29.99, and discounted to around $20 at this mid-December 2016 writing on various e-tail sites, the Logitech M330 Silent Plus mouse is a reasonably priced value-add that will appeal to anyone for whom noise could be an issue. That ranges from those using the mouse in professional recording situations to those who need silence so their roommate or significant other can sleep. We’d also like to see a wired (and maybe even cheaper?) version of the Silent Plus that could be deployed in public scenarios—such as a lab or a library—where 30 or 40 mice working away at the same time is a clickin’ cacophony.
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