There’s very little that the Logitech MX Master won’t connect to, although it may be overkill for many users.
Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse: On The Plus Side
Mice are mice, right? In an age where trackpads and touch interfaces are taking up so very much of the market, it could be tempting to declare mice as real niche products.
I’m not sure that this is true, but equally there’s little doubt that many people use very basic mice, and most frequently, just the mice that came with their computer, even if it’s a horrid misshapen lump of plastic. Cheap mice suck, but even some expensive mice are more hype than results. Why yes, Apple, I am looking at you.
For a number of years now in the productivity space, if you wanted a high-end mouse, your best options were either from Microsoft or Logitech, although I’ve flipped and flopped as to whose mouse was actually “best” at a given point in time. The Logitech MX Master is Logitech’s latest take on a “premium” mouse, and it’s certainly an interesting looking rodent.
Measuring in at 83.5×128.3×47 (HWD) and weighing 147, the Logitech MX Master represents a solid investment in desk space, with a traditional mouse shape that appears to melt outwards to the left hand side, leaving a comfortable indent for your right hand thumb to sit while you’re mousing with it. A bronzed finish — it’s really just plastic — gives it a premium feel, with something of the look that you might expect out of a gaming mouse, although this is a product that, according to Logitech, is suited for “Masters of their Craft”. I’m not sure what that means. Anyone got any clues?
Odd marketing aside, the Logitech MX Master uses Logitech’s Darkfield laser for tracking. The claim is that it can track virtually anywhere, and I really can’t fault it. Nowhere on my regular work desk could befuddle it, but it was equally happy tracking across my trouser leg, or even very briefly across my cat when she unwisely sat on my lap. Despite the name, it turns out that felines do not make good mousing surfaces.
The Logitech MX Master connects with one of Logitech’s tiny USB Unifying recievers, or via Bluetooth, or via a microUSB cable, which will also charge the mouse. That’s a lot of connection methods, but there’s method to this madness. On the underside of the Logitech MX Master a button allows you to switch between three paired devices. The idea is that it’s a mouse that you can use seamlessly across your desktop, laptop or Windows tablet at the tap of a button. Once you’ve done with pairing, it works precisely as advertised, flicking easily between multiple devices with each tap of underside button. The only minor quirk here is that because the button is on the underside, you’ve got to flip the Logitech MX Master up to change between devices.
Not that the Logitech MX Master is lacking in other buttons to use. Aside from your regular left/right combo, there’s a scroll wheel with the choice of either smooth or ratcheted scrolling, or an adaptive mode that clicks into ratcheted scrolling for smaller movements but jumps to smooth scrolling if you spin the wheel a little faster. I’m more of a ratcheted scroller myself, but it’s a neat feature to have, and if you really don’t like it, you can set it to just one or the other, switchable with yet another button just above the scroll wheel.
On the side is a sideways scroll button and two thumb buttons, which by default go back and forwards through documents or web pages. Finally the base of the thumb rest hides another button that can be set to a variety of different uses with Logitech’s Options software. You don’t have to install Options to use the Logitech MX Master, but you’ll need it to make the most of this particular mouse.
Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse: On The Minus Side
It’s great that the Logitech MX Master affords multiple connection methodologies, but you’ve got to have compatible technology for them to make sense. More specifically, you’ll need a Bluetooth 4.0 compatible laptop or desktop to connect the Logitech MX Master to, which means if you’ve got an older system that’s still “Bluetooth” compatible, it won’t see the Logitech MX Master at all. No particular prizes for guessing how I found that out, but it does highlight one weakness in the Logitech MX Master’s multi-part connection model, because if you don’t have a compatible Bluetooth device or two, you’ll have to take either a cable or the USB adaptor with you wherever you go, at which point it’s much like any other regular wireless mouse.
The way that the Logitech MX Master shifts between smooth and ratcheted scrolling is quite neat, but every once in a while during usage, I’ve had it flick to smooth scrolling a little too quickly, leaving me at the bottom of a web page or document when I’d only wanted to move a little more rapidly through it. Likewise, and this may just be a personal quirk around the way I hold mice, but it’s a little too easy to rest your thumb in a position where it can activate the side scroll wheel, sending you sideways on a task accidentally.
Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse: Pricing
The Logitech MX Master has an Australian RRP of $129.95.
Logitech MX Master Wireless Mouse: Fat Duck Verdict
The Logitech MX Master is a really nice mouse for productivity work, but then at $129.95, it would seriously want to be. Having said that, while I do think there’s a place for really nice mice, I can’t deny that this is a niche product.
It’s built to look somewhat like a gaming mouse, but dedicated gaming types will probably opt for something that can be weighted and adjusted, and to nobody’s surprise, Logitech is just one of the firms that’ll sell you something like that. If you’re a solid productivity hound who does need its multi-device easy pairing and can live with that slightly twitchy scroll wheel (or live with just turning it off altogether) its’ a great piece of kit, but not an inexpensive one.
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