Logitech has announced three new wireless mouse peripherals that aim to make it easier for PC fans to use traditional point-and-click devices in the touch-friendly world of Windows 8. The range of Windows 8-focused mice include the Rechargeable Touchpad T650 for users who want to replicate the tablet experience as much as possible. Logitech's Touch Mouse T620 is ideal for those who still want a traditional mouse, but want to use touch most of the time. If you aren't ready to dive into touch full time, the Zone Touch Mouse T400 is a traditional two-button mouse with a glass touch strip in the center for those situations where gestures in Windows 8 make more sense than clicking.
Windows 8: the touchy, feely OS
Using a traditional PC loaded with Windows 8 promises to be a radically different user experience, especially when it comes to navigating the new OS. Traditional interface elements such as the Start button have been eliminated, and Microsoft has introduced new navigation features such as the right-side charms bar for accessing system features including the Control Panel and system search.
Windows 8 still allows you to use a traditional non-touch enabled mouse. But to navigate the new OS more efficiently you'll probably find it easier to use gestures for at least some situations such as scrolling through Start Screen tiles or switching between the Start Screen and the traditional desktop user interface.
If touch gestures aren't for you, then I would strongly advise you study up on at least some of the Windows 8 keyboard shortcuts. This will help you get around the OS more efficiently without having to worry about relying on Microsoft's somewhat finicky hot corners in Windows 8.
Logitech says it aimed to replicate the touch tablet experience as much as possible with the new Rechargeable Touchpad T650. The touchpad lets you use gestures such as a three-finger swipe upward to get to the Start Screen and a three-finger swipe downward to go to the desktop. This is different than the set of gesture commands Microsoft introduced in July for PCs where three-finger swipes are used to zoom in and out. The Touchpad T650 comes loaded with a built-in battery that recharges via USB; Logitech claims the T650 will last up to one month on a full charge.
If you still want a mouse-shaped device, but are looking to use touch as much as possible, the Touch Mouse T620 offers a compromise. The peripheral turns the entire mouse surface into a touchpad and doesn't offer the traditional two-button mouse set-up. Nevertheless, the T620 still lets you use taps to navigate certain parts of Windows 8. With the T620 a one-finger tap takes you to the Start Screen and a two-finger tap takes you to the traditional desktop. You can also swipe on the right edge of the mouse for the charms menu and swipe the left side to scroll through your open apps. The T620 takes two AA batteries and Logitech promises a six-month battery life.
For anyone who just can't give up their traditional two-button mouse, Logitech has you covered with the Zone Touch Mouse T400. You can use the T400 just like any other left-right button mouse, but the T400 also has a glass touch zone instead of a center scroll wheel. You can use the touch zone for horizontal scrolling through the new Windows 8 Start Screen, or vertical scrolling in a traditional desktop app such as Internet Explorer. The T400 also has two touch-based shortcuts: pressing the front of the touch zone takes you to the Start Screen and pressing the back of the touch area lets you scroll through your open apps. Logitech says the T400 will last up to 18 months with a fresh pair of AA batteries.
Logitech has not yet announced a specific launch date for the three new peripherals other than to say they will be available in October, so look for these devices soon. The Rechargeable Touchpad T650, Touch Mouse T620, and Zone Touch Mouse T400 have suggested prices of $80, $70, and $50, respectively.
Microsoft in July also announced several touch mice designed for Windows 8.