A few years ago, Logitech came up with a winning formula with its MX master mouse. This high-performance productivity peripheral wasn’t cheap, but it offered everything users needed to dominate a workspace: thumb buttons, gesture controls, a horizontal scroll wheel, and a robust software suite. The MX Master 2S followed a few years later, with improved battery life and a fun new software feature. This is our Logitech MX Master 3 Review.
The Logitech MX Master 3 mouse ($100) isn’t radically different from its two predecessors, but it’s the most refined version yet. From its smart redesign of thumb and gesture buttons and extremely long battery life to its new scroll-wheel technology, the MX Master 3 is probably the best quality productivity mouse you can buy.
The price may still be prohibitive, and I wish the software ran a little smoother. Yet, Logitech has provided a compelling example of the utility of the MX Master 3 in almost every standard office program.
Logitech MX Master 3 Review: Design
The Logitech MX Master 3 is a large, ergonomic, right-handed mouse measuring 4.9 x 3.3 x 2.0-inches. It weighs 5.0 ounces and runs on a rechargeable lithium-ion battery. My only complaint here is that there is nowhere on the mouse to store the tiny dongle, which only begs to get lost as soon as you remove it from a USB port. Credit goes to a high profile and a lot of handy curves, the MX Master can be held comfortably in your hand for 3 hours. The palm and thumb rests are both slightly textured, and the matte finish is fingerprint-resistant.
There is also the button layout, which is much better than the design of the two previous models. The mouse still has left and right-click, an adjustable scroll wheel, and the handy horizontal thumbwheel. But this time, the thumb buttons are separate, side-by-side models, instead of the confusing, cramped triangular models Logitech used earlier. What’s more, the gesture buttons on the thumb rest have a clear button to hold, instead of just pressing the thumb rest and hoping for the best.
The most exciting progress, however, is in the vertical scroll wheel. You can click a button and switch the scroll wheel between a tense, rattling mode and a loose, free-scrolling mode.
What’s fresh this time is what’s under the hood. Instead of interlocking gears that make a lot of noise and break down over time, the MX Master 3 uses magnets. That means there is no noise, and no wear and tear; it’s just a matter of reversing the polarity. Electromagnetism can be a beautiful thing. On the front of the mouse, there is a USB-C charging port (compare and contrast with the micro-USB charging of the previous models), and at the bottom, there is a button to switch between three different inputs.
With Bluetooth and USB wireless, you can pair the MX Master 3 with three devices at the same time and switch between them almost instantly by pressing this button. It’s a handy feature if you have a desktop, laptop, and mobile device handy during your average workday.
The MX Master 3 prides itself on different types of wireless connections. USB, Bluetooth, Mac, Windows, Android, even iOS (with a few modifications) – it works with any system and both major connection protocols. Since you can pair it with three devices at the same time, you don’t have to pair and repair it too often; even then, the process takes less than a minute.
Logitech also claims the MX Master 3 has impressive battery life – 70 days on a full charge. We can’t verify this because we’ve only had the device for a few weeks, but we haven’t made much of a dent in battery life yet. The device needs three hours to charge fully, or you can get three hours of uptime from a one-minute fast charge. Upgrading to USB-C has had some tangible benefits. It’s worth discussing the scroll wheel and thumb buttons in detail. When you install the Logitech Options software, these inputs can do some impressive things.
The software is pre-installed with different profiles, changing the functionality of the inputs depending on the program you’re using. In Google Chrome, for example, the thumb buttons take you back and forth through web pages, while the horizontal scroll wheel switches between tabs. When you go to Microsoft Word, the thumb buttons undo and redo your last commands while the smooth scroll wheel zooms in and out.
You can use the gesture buttons to go back to the desktop or another program or do something else you program them for. While Options comes with about half a dozen pre-installed profiles (Microsoft Office, Adobe Suite, and the like), you can also customize your profiles and let your extra buttons do just about anything. You can assign keyboard commands, media controls, and even 3D rotation. The options are useful for everyone – from touch typists to graphic designers.
The only drawback is that Logitech Options itself isn’t as powerful as it could be. In the beginning, I couldn’t get Options to recognize the MX Master 3 at all; I had to switch to Bluetooth. Even now, whenever I use the USB dongle, it won’t give me battery estimates or let me use profile-specific commands. Nor could I specify numbers for the adjustable DPI, relying instead on a fuzzier “sensitivity” slider.
I assume Logitech will update the software in the future, but it’s not a good first impression, especially since USB connections are usually a little more reliable than Bluetooth connections.
Logitech MX Master 3 Review: Performance
It is always a bit difficult to measure the performance of productivity mice because “productivity” can be a misty term. The work of a graphic designer is very different from that of an accountant, and both are very different from that of a journalist. Still, most of the week, I use the MX Master 3 as my daily mouse, navigating through Microsoft Word, Google Chrome, Slack, Thunderbird, VLC, and other programs I use every day at work.
The mouse was very comfortable to use during an 8-hour working day, and the extra button commands came in handy, especially in Microsoft Word. While writing this review, I regularly zoomed in and out and used the thumb buttons to correct typos. I also tested the mouse in Excel, and I’m pleased to report Logitech’s claim that you can scroll through 1000 rows in less than a second is accurate.
One thing I didn’t use was gesture control. However, I imagine it could be much more useful if you work in graphic design or video production, where small, light directional movements could make a big difference.
Logitech MX Master 3 Review: Conclusion
While Logitech Options can use a little spit and polish, the MX Master 3 is generally an excellent, functional mouse that addresses some of the open issues from previous Logitech MX Master iterations. Although $100 is a lot to ask for mice, the Logitech MX Master 3 offers everything users need from productivity, and nothing they don’t, no matter what field they’re working in. If you’re not a fan of extra features, you can get a comfortable, functional productivity mouse within the $20 to $30 range.
However, if you want a top-of-the-line moue that might just help you do your job a little more efficiently, the Logitech MX Master 3 is the best option. For more options, check our list of Best Mouse
The Logitech MX Master 3 mouse can help you be a little more efficient in almost all common productivity programs.
- Comfortable design
- Helpful extra buttons
- Innovative scroll wheel
- Helpful software profiles