Beautiful. Stunning. Precision. Perfection.
Those are all words that when I see them together I associate them with some exotic sports car like a Lamborghini Aventador or a Corvette Z06. However, those aren’t words that I’m using to describe either of those since I haven’t gotten lucky enough to get a review unit of the latest car of my dreams. These are words that I’m using to describe a mouse. Yes, those little things that most of us use with our PC or laptop to surf the web. These are the words that come to mind now that I’m using a Logitech MX Master mouse and today I’m going to break it all down and tell you what this device is all about as well as the good, the bad and everything else.
Specs And Features
If you’re familiar with Logitech’s gaming mice, or any of their keyboards, you’ll know that they seem to make the most comfortable and durable products in the industry. The MX Master is a very attractive wireless peripheral that provides both support and functionality for a variety of office functions.
First and foremost, the MX Master is big, but since I’ve been using a Logitech MX 1000 Laser Mouse for 8+ years, the MX Master doesn’t seem or feel any larger to me personally than my previous mouse. Unlike everyday mice, it has a high profile and a ton of extra space, both in its capacious thumb rest and broad palm rest. An attractive bronze-colored trim rims the device, which gives the MX Master a little more flair than the average office mouse.
In terms of buttons, the MX Master has the right idea, but not every button is created equal. The device sports a left button, a right button, a clickable scroll wheel, two thumb buttons, a thumb scroll wheel and a clickable thumb rest. There’s also a button right beneath the scroll wheel, which can set the wheel from a “frictionless” mode into one that offers more resistance. This can be more comfortable for users who want to scroll through content at a slower pace.
Logitech’s scroll wheels are hit or miss, and the MX Master is more in the miss category. The free-scrolling mode is admittedly useful on very long Web pages, but the more resistant mode isn’t nearly resistant enough. Even a casual spin sends the wheel spinning endlessly, making it, in practice, not very different from its default mode.
The thumb buttons also leave something to be desired. The two buttons are not only tiny, but right on top of one another. It’s very difficult to distinguish between the two of them without feeling around first. This is not necessarily a deal-breaker, but Logitech could have taken a page out of its gaming mice to make something a little more intuitive. Arguably, a $100 mouse should have buttons at least as good as an $80 counterpart like Logitech’s Proteus Core.
On the other hand, I have nothing but nice things to say about the thumb scroll wheel. By default, this secondary scroll wheel will scroll horizontally on websites and documents that are longer than the average computer screen. This came in handy so many times, it’s frankly surprising that standard office mice didn’t adopt this feature years ago.
The MX Master can connect to three separate systems, switching between them seamlessly; it’s one of the mouse’s most touted features. Right now, the MX Master works on Windows and Macs through Bluetooth, with an included dongle for machines that don’t have Bluetooth built in. In theory, the Bluetooth functionality means that the MX Master should work on Android and iOS as well, although I have yet to give it a try since I don’t ever really use a mouse with my mobile phone or tablet.
Connecting to and switching between multiple systems is, indeed, as simple as Logitech suggests. Simply flip the mouse over, and press two buttons: one to switch profiles and one to connect. If you want to use the MX Master on multiple systems; for example, a living room PC that acts as a media player, and a workstation that you need for Photoshop; it’s a surprisingly useful feature. If you only use one system, though, the MX Master won’t revolutionize your workspace, and if you need to switch between setups in the same room, flipping the mouse over each time could get very tiresome, very quickly.
Of course, multiple profiles aren’t much good unless you can customize your controls, which is where the Logitech Options software comes in. By downloading Options, you can tweak everything from button commands to sensitivity. While Options is neither as deep nor as pretty as Logitech Gaming Software, it gets the job done in a fairly intuitive manner.
You can reassign every button on the mouse. Pretty much any function is on the table: Keyboard strokes, media controls and even operating system commands are all part of Options’ options. My only major criticism is that while you can control the MX Master’s sensitivity in a general sense, you cannot select specific dots-per-inch(DPI) numbers. More advanced users often know offhand their preferred DPI settings for various tasks(I like 1,200 on a dual-monitor setup and 800 on a single screen, for instance), whereas “sensitivity” will not mean anything to them in a vacuum.
The Options software also touches on one of the MX Master’s unique features: Its thumb rest, which doubles(by default) as a gesture control. Windows 8.1 users especially know the pain of using a traditional mouse-and-keyboard interface on an operating system designed with a touch screen in mind.
The thumb rest acts as a halfway point between a touchpad and a mouse. If you click down and drag, you can switch between applications, zoom in on text, access the desktop or pan around the screen. Using the Options software, you can set up a variety of different commands on both Windows and Mac. The MX Master is quite good at differentiating between the four cardinal directions.
Gesture controls on the MX Master didn’t change the way I use a mouse fundamentally, but they were nice to have. Over the course of a few months, I could see myself getting very used to these handy features. If you don’t like them, though, they’re easy enough to turn off.
Logitech claims that the MX Master can last up to 40 days on a single charge. When I read this I really wasn’t surprised since I have owned a Logitech MX 1000 Laser Mouse for well over 8 years now and battery life on that device is a good 20 – 25 days. And that’s a device that was made 8 – 10 years ago, so with the advancement of technology I expected to get that 40 days on a single charge without any issues.
I’ve only been using the device for about 35 days now, and oddly enough I’ve yet to put it on the charger except for when I first pulled it out of the box and wanted to charge it to make sure I started using it on a full charge.
Unlike the Logitech MX 1000 Laser Mouse, the MX Master doesn’t come with a cradle that you charge the device in. It comes with a simple MicroUSB cable, you know, the ones that are every in our houses and offices today thanks to Android and many other devices. So all you need is that MicroUSB cable and an outlet and you’re good to go to charge the device back up so it doesn’t die.
I’ve been able to test the Logitech MX Master on several machines including Acer and Lenovo laptops as well as an Acer Chromebase. On all of those the devices worked perfectly well without issues excluding the Acer Chromebase.
When using the MX Master on the Acer Chromebase no matter if you are using the unifying receiver or connecting the device to the Chromebase via Bluetooth, the on-screen virtual keyboard always appears when you are in a screen or a field on a site or in a program where you are capable of typing. This only happens on Chrome OS systems even if you have the on-screen virtual keyboard completely disabled. I’m not sure exactly what causes this, but it is quite frustrating as I don’t like or want to see the on-screen virtual keyboard at all since I have no desire in using it.
On all of the other devices I tested it on, the MX Master worked perfectly. It was quick and easy to pair it up regardless if I chose to use the unifying receiver or connecting it via Bluetooth. Then adjusting the settings of the MX Master such as mouse speed, scroll wheel speed and everything else just simply worked as you would expect it to.
I’ve used Logitech hardware for many years now and that’s mainly because I’ve never really had any issues with them. You pull them out of the box and they just always work. The MX Master is no different in my opinion. While the price tag for this beast is $100, and to some that will seem like a lot of money to spend on a mouse, it’s a $100 that I’d certainly be willing to spend since I know what I’m getting.
With the MX Master you know you’re getting a great, solid, durable mouse that will last you for many, many years to come. Plus you get a piece of hardware that feels very comfortable in your hand when using it and you can use it for hours on end without cramping which is hard to say about a lot of mice out there on the market today.
If you’re in the market for a new mouse that you want and plan on keeping around for several years, then I’d highly recommend clicking the link below and grabbing yourself a Logitech MX Master today. Spend that $100 and get you something that in my opinion just can’t be beat by anything else out there on the market. Once you do, sound off in the comments below and let us know what you think of this device, especially if you’re using one today.