August 18, 2022

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The real magic mouse was made by Logitech, not Apple

The real magic mouse was made by Logitech, not Apple

We may never know why Apple so persistently insists on charging the mouse upside down, like a beetle with its legs in the air, general after general after general.

But I know this: If you want to mouse Really Feel the magic, the price is damned, Logitech has the right tool for you.

When I want to charge my wireless mouse now, I don’t need to plug in a wire or put it in the dock. In fact, I don’t think about charging at all. It just…does. Because last Christmas my very generous brother-in-law bought me a wireless mouse that would charge itself.

Logitech Powerplay with G502 Lightspeed Mouse.
Photo by Sean Hollister/The Verge

What you are looking at here is a file Logitech Powerplay Wireless Charging System, is a mouse pad with a wireless charger that magnetically sends electricity to a special disk. Logitech has been sold Since 2017 – As long as Apple has exposed us to the upside-down beetle.

To give you an idea, here’s a file completion Description of what I did once I got this product:

  • I opened the package
  • I put the charging pad on my desk
  • Dropped a soft cloth mouse pad attached to the top
  • I removed the Logitech G502 Lightspeed Mouse Wireless USB dongle from my computer
  • Connect Powerplay’s USB cable instead
  • Cut off the magnetic disk at the bottom of the mouse
  • Turn the mouse on and off

and then, I never thought of charging a mouse again. Not even this particular story.

Seriously, it’s been three months, and I’ve never had to move a finger – because they all charge on their own. always. automatically. Just by being on the mouse pad.

Charm.

This is literally the entire setup instructions.
Photo: Logitech

I’ve never reviewed a perfect product before, nor am I saying this is a product – I hate feeling like myself. Especially for some clients Act Claims their mice in the end stop charging Or the mouse pad was peeled off and had to be taped or taped. Plus it’s incredibly expensive $120 for the mouse pad aloneMouse is not included. No, it doesn’t double as a phone charger or uses Qi: it only works with its own magnetic disk, which only fits a handful of Logitech’s most expensive mice, including the G502 Lightspeed, G703, G903, G Pro Wireless, and G Pro X Superlight.

However, it has a 4.7 star rating on Amazon with Surprisingly few negative reviews. The most common complaint is that nearby speakers or headphones can pick up a hum when charging, which I haven’t noticed myself.

What I have noticed so far is that there is nothing to notice. It just works. There are no disconnects, no on and off switches, and nothing to set. true that The shipping coil does not cover the entire mouse pad, but I never really thought about it, nor do I go back to a dead rat. It always comes alive every morning at work and every evening I play.

Some users have Powerplay In larger mouse padsThis is the only size Logitech sells.
Photo by Sean Hollister/The Verge

It probably doesn’t hurt that I use it with Logitech G502 Lightspeedour choice of Best wireless gaming mouseIts ergonomic grip, plenty of well-placed clickable buttons, impressive performance and adjustable weight set it apart from the Razer Mamba and Logitech G900 that I owned before. But this is the $140 mouse, And there is no discount on the package with both. Even the least expensive compatible mouse, the G703 Lightspeed, will usually cost you $70 for sale – The Powerplay charging pad is rarely ever for sale.

But you can do what I did: get a mouse, use it until the battery bothers you, then add Powerplay. (Find out a decent son-in-law while you’re at it, too.)

This was kind of an idea, recalls Andrew Conrad, who was CTO of Powerplay (and wrote the reference guide) in 2017. It was designed as the ultimate demand-side solution for gamers willing to spend more to solve the charging issue once and for all.

At the time, there was still a stigma against wireless gaming mice, and battery life was part of that – while the Razer Mamba and Logitech G900 convinced me that low-latency gaming is possible over wireless, neither of which can handle much charge after a few years of use . With the G900, Konrad says that’s because while the PMW3366 sensor was capable, it used more power than the newer Logitech sensors from Hero.

Logitech G900, with power and charging cable inserted.
Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales/The Verge

While developing the Hero, Logitech also looked at wireless charging – but at first, he didn’t like what he saw. Qi wireless charging means keeping the mouse in a stable place. Same with wireless charging mounts like This is HyperX. Razer and Mad Katz Super Capacitor mode for instant charging In some stricken mice, but that meant they would have stopped working if you removed them from their charging pads, and those pads and mice had to be sold as a precious set. “We wanted to create a modular solution,” Konrad says.

So Logitech shipped their R&D lab in Lausanne, Switzerland, with this idea, and they came up with a set of ring antennas that can slowly charge a mouse — think days, not hours — even while it’s moving.

“I named it Dogbone when I first saw it,” says Konrad, who took a trip to the R&D facility during development. “They were like, ‘Yeah, but because of the way the concentric fields overlap that create a hot spot in the middle. “The whole pillow could be covered because of those lobes.”

“It’s basically just a giant moving transformer,” he explains. “You have the smaller winding coil that goes to the higher winding, and the field is wide enough that the power charge is always greater than the total power of the mouse.”

according to FCC fileoperates at 6.78MHz, such as The old A4WP / Rezence standard Which fell by the wayside once Samsung and Apple gave the Qi signal instead. Konrad won’t say how much credit the Logitech partners might be owed: the charging board and circuit board for the LG Innotek transmitter, for example, are both named, although it could just be a manufacturer.

The other thing I find interesting about the Powerplay Mouse Pad is that it’s not just a charger. It also doubles as a wireless mouse receiver, so you don’t need to leave your mouse dongle connected to your computer anymore – keep it inside your mouse for easy grip and navigation. FCC file appears there Arm Cortex-M3 Full 32MHz Computer and a bluetooth antenna inside – although Conrad suspects that bluetooth hasn’t actually been used. He says it’s not a functional part of the final product, and Logitech uses its own 2.4GHz “Lightspeed” wireless package to connect to a mouse instead.

The arm slide is inside the Logitech Powerplay receiver unit.
Image via FCC

But to me, the strangest thing about the Powerplay system is how long it has been stuck without fuss — even the packaging hasn’t changed since 2017. Does this product really sell? That being the case, says Konrad, “people are buying like crazy,” and it’s worth that the G502 Lightspeed, G Pro Wireless, and G Pro Wireless Superlight have become the most popular mice of all time. But he can’t share the sales figures. He also admits that he doesn’t use it himself, but rather the smaller G305 that doesn’t have room for a Powerplay disk. Instead of a wireless charging mouse pad, he keeps a box of Energizers under his desk. “It bothers me once every six to eight months.”

On the whole, the battery life of a gaming mouse has improved dramatically since 2017, with the recent G Pro X Superlight having a charge of 70 hours, compared to the previous generation’s 60 hours, which in itself was double what it was in the previous generation. Mice with fewer features – like the G305 from Coonrad and mice from competitors – can easily cross the 200 hour mark now.

“If that’s so cool, why doesn’t Logitech smell like it? The war on wireless has been won,” says Conrad.

In 2022, you definitely no You need to spend hundreds of dollars just to get a wireless mouse that does not die every week. But it’s nowhere near as magical as it never needs charging at all.

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