Saitek Obsidian Wireless Mouse

Posted on December 29, 2007
Author: Sean Potter
Pages: 1 2 3 4
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Installation

Installation was a breeze. Saitek does not include a driver CD because the mouse doesn't need them! As soon as I plug the mouse in, Windows detected it and had it working in no time. Ubuntu and Knoppix' configuration utilities also had no issues setting up the mouse for regular use. Oddly, this is marketted as a 5-button mouse, but Linux sets the Z-Axis (scroll) buttons to 6 and 7. My guess is that the touch sensor in the scroll merely emulates button presses depending on where your finger is. In hardware terms, there is 7+ buttons, but there are only 5 physical buttons. Regardless, it's awesome that the touch sensor works without a special driver.

Before beginning testing, I used one of the batteries until it was dead. I sat it on the charging pad on the cradle and let it charge for about two hours, or until the LED ring around the charger turned from red to green. I put it into the battery back in to the mouse and set the spare battery on the charger. Let's get to business!

Desktop Usage

The first thing I noticed was the high-sensitivity of the mouse. At 1000dpi, I didn't need the mouse anywhere near it's full capability. Unfortunately, this meant that I had to access the control panel or control center (Windows and Linux respectively) to lower the sensitivity. I'm used to being able to adjust it via a utility hiding in the taskbar area.

Using the mouse in everyday activities such as browsing, reading documents, and dragging&dropping resulted in little notice in any lag from the wireless connection. As the wireless connection speeds continue to increase (from 2.4GHz to 5.8GHz or whatever it may be), I imagine we'll see less and less lag. A few years ago I used the Logitech MX700 as my primary mouse, and the lag became very apparent at times. With newer technology, the lag isn't as bad.


All the buttons were very functional. The mouse is quite symmetrical, and the buttons on either side of the mouse perform back and forward events for programs such as browsers. It's a little difficult to figure out which one you're pushing, and it's awkward trying to find a proper spot to hold the mouse at the use the buttons. I'm sure one would get used to it, but it shouldn't be difficult to get accustomed to a general-purpose mouse. I do give props for Saitek for creating a mouse that gives right- and left-handed users equal access to this buttons. Knoppix and Ubuntu both recognized these buttons and set them up properly.

The scroll pad also worked great in Linux and Windows, although it was difficult in both operating systems to create a center button click. You should be able to tap the pad for it, but it took some effort to do this. Even then, it more often than not created a scrolling effect. Regardless, scrolling works by moving your finger up or down the pad. At the top and bottom of the pad is a "faster" scroll function, which I found unusable in Linux. It appears that there are buttons detected, but neither Ubuntu nor Knoppix do anything with them. I imagine you could set this up if you wanted to.

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