So, anyone who knows me well knows I am really not a fan of Logitech products that have been coming out in the past 10 years or so… but after hearing some rave reviews of the Logitech MX Master I decided to look into it. After being impressed with what I saw I picked one up for use at work. Here’s what I’ve found:
While the build quality is excellent, it was two unique features in particular that drew me to buy it:
1) Horizontal Scroll Wheel - This is a second scroll wheel located by the thumb which allows you to scroll horizontally rather than vertically. This feature is a GODSEND for people like me who work a lot in excel with detailed spreadsheets. Yes, some other mice have the main scroll wheel which you can push to the side to accomplish this, but I find in practice you often end up moving it to the side accidentally when you’re trying to middle click, and you are also unable to control the speed at which you scroll horizontally.
2) SmartShift - (jump ahead to find out what this feature actually is) Many people I know have been big fans of Logitech’s “Freewheel” mouse wheel scrolling which allows the wheel to spin freely with little to no resistance. This is great for scanning large documents or just generally moving through documents/webpages quickly without moving your mouse to click on the side scroll bar. I have not been a big fan of this because I don’t like it for scrolling small amounts (I much prefer the clicky “ratchet” mode for this) and found it cumbersome to switch between the modes constantly. This is where “SmartShift” comes in to play. The mouse wheel defaults to ratchet mode, but when a certain amount of force (which you can set in the software) is applied to the mouse wheel, it goes into freewheel mode automatically. This gets rid of any gripe I had with Logitech’s freewheel, and it works brilliantly.
Here are some other features that I don’t really care about, but you may want to know:
- Dual Connectivity: Connect using RF dongle OR Bluetooth
- Pair up to 3 devices, and switch between them with a button on the bottom
- Rechargable Battery
- “Darkfield” laser, which lets it track on any surface (including glass)
In summation, I REALLY love this mouse and don’t regret buying it for a second. However, that isn’t to say that it is without a flaw. This mouse has two notable cons:
1) Forward and Back thumb buttons - In order to accommodate the horizontal scroll wheel, the forward and back thumb buttons have been squished on top of each other which makes them MUCH harder to use than normal. Some people have managed to get around it by simply setting both buttons to back (to avoid accidentally hitting forward) OR also using the “gesture” button for one of the forward and back functions, but it is still an irritance on a mouse that also suffers from this second con…
2) Price - The Logitech MX Master is much more than the average mouse. It is $119.99 in both Canada and the US. While, in my opinion, the build quality and features more than make up for this, it is definitely enough to drive people away that may not see the full benefit of its features.