MX 518 Retrospect

26 January 2020

The MX 518

In this day and age of modern consumerism and planned obsolescence, how many of my frequently used electronic appliances have survived the past decade? I only found one: The Logitech MX 518 mouse.

After inventorying all technical appliances that I still consider functional for daily use I conclude: the MX is the longest serving member of the household. In fact, the only other electrical appliance that has outlived the MX is my kitchen toaster (disclaimer: as of writing I'm 32 years of age).

The MX was originally released in in 2005 retailing at around $50. I bought mine in 2008 and it's been a reliable workhorse since. I've used it daily for browsing, creative work, and occasional gaming. I've owned four different laptops during the same time period.

Yes, it's a relatively simple piece of technology, and there aren't too many moving pieces that can break. It's also fairly easy to clean and has no software dependencies. Regardless, I still find it amazing that everything still works after 12 years of daily use. The buttons are as responsive as ever and the precision still feels great.

Newer, better?

As far as pointer devices go, there's been a great deal of innovation since the MX was launched. I've had the opportunity to try some at work. Cordless, "magic" mice, trackpads, high-DPI laser, adjustable weights, the list goes on. The only real draw has been the cordless, but the hassle of charging and occasional connectivity issues are enough to keep me sticking with the MX. Even the physical design and aesthetic of the MX still feels contemporary. The only reason I see myself replacing it, is if it actually stops working.

End of life

All things will eventually come to an end, and so will the MX. Question is how and when? I don't know too much about optical sensors lights, but that feels like a potential candidate of failure. The other thing bound to wear out would be the buttons. I assume the repairability of the MX once it breaks will be next to none.

Future Prediction

My gut feeling is that the trend in consumer electronics is still pointing towards less repairability and longevity. More "smart" connected appliances that are bound to become obsolete as new software is forcedly pushed down onto end users.

The MX survived the past decade, but will it stay relevant during this one?

Logitech has obviously capitalized on the popularity and success of the MX 518 and released a successor/re-issue: The Logitech G MX518 Gaming Mousesponsored link

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Hi, thanks for reading!

Iā€™m Daniel, Software Engineer from Sweden. If you have any questions regarding this article please reach out to me on Twitter. You can also find me on GitHub.

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