Gadget Zone: Logitech MX Master mouse and CRAFT keyboard review
The mattress industry trumpets the fact that we spend a third of our lives asleep, but broaden that out to the deskbound office workers among us - how much of our lives are spent clicking or tapping at the cheapest mouse and keyboard that our paymasters could find?
Cloud vendors may sell the dream of accountants being able to sign off a client’s return from a Bahaman hammock, but the majority of the profession are still predominantly desk-based.
Therefore your mouse and keyboard should be something to invest wisely in, but often aren't due to the perception that they are much of a muchness. So when Logitech asked AccountingWEB to trial samples it seemed like a good opportunity to see if this was true. or whether the devices could really realise the productivity gains promised by the Swiss tech firm.
Set-up and feel
As with most wireless accessories these days the setup was straightforward, with the devices made accessible by plugging in wireless connectors to two available USB ports. Wireless keyboards and mouse devices are not exactly a new development, but they are a new one to AccountingWEB towers, so it was nice to be able to move both devices around freely without becoming entangled with my desk phone cord to create a wirey jungle.
Both mouse and keyboard have a solid feel to them - the keyboard, in particular, is actually fairly weighty. If you’re somewhat of a furious touch-typer (like this writer) and aren’t a fan of ‘keyboard slide’ this might be the one for you, but if you move desks regularly and struggle lifting heavy objects it might not.
On the plus side, the slightly concaved keys and matte finish on the surface make for a smooth and even typing experience, and the backlighting to the keyboard that lights up when your hands approach is a nice touch. However, the keyboard angle is set at 4.7 degrees without the ability to adjust the slope.
The mouse also promises a ‘unique scrolling experience’, and while this may be taking things a little too far the addition of a separate scrolling wheel on the side of the mouse allowing side-to-side movement is extremely useful for those operating large spreadsheets, for example.
A major selling point of the keyboard is its creative dial or ‘Crown’ located on its top left-hand corner. On a basic level, this allows the user to adjust volume levels up and down, play or pause music and adjust screen brightness
However, installing Logitech’s Options software opens up a range of other productivity tools, where the user can tap, spin, or push-and-turn the dial to perform functions on an app-by-app basis. Some apps are picked up by Logitech’s software, while others are customisable.
One useful function is the ability to switch tabs when working in browsers like Chrome or Firefox by turning the Crown - something which took a little time to get set up and used to, but when mastered saved having to do the clumsy Ctrl + number/Ctrl-Alt-shift dance.
For accountants, a key component is how it interacts with Excel. Depending on how you use Excel it might not necessarily be a game-changer, but the dial allows the user to select data within cells and create charts and tables, then adjust the chart and table styles and colours. Here’s a short video demo:
The more creatively minded can also use the dial for things such as changing brush size on Photoshop, Illustrator or Paint, adjusting focus or zoom
Another key feature highlighted by Logitech is the ability to move between up to three separate PCs, laptops, tablets or other devices using the dial, providing you are using Logitech’s Flow software and a compatible keyboard and mouse. Switching between paired devices is fairly straightforward, and is done using the dedicated 1, 2, and 3 device switch keys next to the number pad.
Used every working day by this reviewer the charge lasted for just over a month before a red ‘charge me’ light appeared on both mouse and keyboard. Each is charged via USB cables rather than requiring batteries, and you can you use them while you’re charging - a useful feature, even if it does break the ‘wireless’ illusion.
The charge time for the mouse was about two hours, with the keyboard taking a further hour to be fully ready. One slightly peculiar point is that the mouse takes a USB A, while the keyboard takes a USB C connection, but as long as the charging wires are kept in a safe place this shouldn’t cause too much of an issue.
To wrap things up, these are premium products at a relatively premium price. If you are in the market to upgrade to a more pleasant keyboard and mouse experience, then both are well worth the investment.
Once set up and bedded in the additional productivity functions are helpful and do save increments of time, but to manage expectations this writer would file them in the ‘marginal gains’ category rather than expecting anything revolutionary.
The Logitech MX Master 2S wireless mouse is £99. The Logitech CRAFT Advanced Keyboard is £179. Both are available from the Logitech website.
While this is an independent review and is not a paid-for advertorial, a free sample of both products was sent to AccountingWEB towers for testing as part of the review.