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Tech review: MX Master 3 mouse

Philip Fisher reviews the new state of the art mouse from Logitech.

8th Oct 2019
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MX Master 3
Logitech
MX Master 3

Over the years, this reviewer has literally used dozens of computer mice and rarely noticed any tangible difference, except when wires were consigned to history (other than in some antediluvian accountants’ offices).

It therefore came as Joy to discover that using the Logitech MX Master 3 was, like its keyboard companion the MX Keys which will be reviewed soon, genuinely exciting.

As with most gadgets, the features make a big difference but there is also a visceral thrill, helped by a rubbery feel and smooth operation, that only users will fully appreciate.

The pleasure is enhanced by a range of functions, wheels and buttons combined with a shape that feels so natural in the hand you wonder why nobody thought of it before. This gadget looks pretty cool too, with a profile similar to a living mouse, and could pass muster as an ornament in an ultramodern setting.

That shape means the Master 3 not only fits your palm like a glove but should also help those suffering from RSI who require technology designed by ergonomic experts.

To complement the physical mouse, Logitech has created an associated program called Options. This allows users to program the mouse, even designating separate operations for different browsers and computer programs, particularly those in the Microsoft stable.

The mouse uses laser beam technology so that it works perfectly on this writer’s glass-topped desk and is fast and precise. It can also operate with up to three linked devices at the click of a button.

It eight separate aids to operation, several of which are programmable. In a right-handed mouse, starting from the controls include an invisible clicker under your thumb – this is the multipurpose gesture button – two buttons to move back and forward between pages, for example when surfing the Internet (or redo/undo in Word or Excel), a horizontal wheel that can operate in different ways depending on the program you are using (more below). The standard left and right buttons are reversible and fit comfortably under the index and middle fingers with a vertical steel, electromagnetic scroll wheel in between, and behind that a further button, the wheel mode shift.

Most of these can be configured to fit the user’s needs and tastes and combine to give massive functionality. For example, the horizontal wheel will zoom in and out in Word but take you from side to side on an Excel spreadsheet.

The vertical wheel on top works perfectly for scrolling but, once again, has different modes of operation. You can move forward on a line-by-line basis but, if you spin it more vigorously, the cursor will race effortlessly down a webpage or spreadsheet.

Now that so many of us regularly work on laptops at home, we have new requirements from computer mice. Helpfully, not only is the MX Master 3 wireless but rather than taking up a scarce USB port, it can operate through Bluetooth connecting with up to three separate pieces of hardware, for example a computer, tablet and a phone.

It can also flow effortlessly from one computer to another. Here, there is a limitation, since while you are able to drag files between a MacBook or PC, you cannot currently cross onto a mobile phone.

The rechargeable battery is powered by a USB-C cable and lasts for 70 days according to the manufacturers.

This relatively brief review should offer a good overview of what is possible, but anyone who is tempted to invest around £99 (or less if you shop around) can explore the full functionality and much more detail on the Logitech website.

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By Charlie Carne
10th Oct 2019 12:02

I've used only Logitech keyboards and mice for years, as I have always found them to be the best available input devices. I bought the MX Master mouse two years ago and it's the best I've used. Amazon sells the latest MX Master 3 for £99.99, but they still sell the 2017 model Logitech MX Master AMZ version for £52.90. I'm sure that there are some small upgrades in the 2019 model (eg USB-C charging in place of micro-USB) but, if cash is tight, the older version is still excellent.

EDIT: I would add that I use it on a glass-top desk and its laser-sensor works perfectly, unlike many cheaper mice that need an opaque surface.

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