A great mouse just got even better (and it brought a friend). Logitech’s new MX Master 3 mouse raises the bar on speed, thanks to a new electromagnetic scroll wheel that the company says can breeze through 1,000 lines in a second.
Meanwhile, the high-end mouse maintains the precision tracking, aggressively comfortable design and endless customization options that make it ideal for power users. And, it gains a new desktop productivity partner — MX Keys, a deluxe keyboard with sweet backlighting and other advanced options.
The MX Series mice and keyboards are “a series with a heritage,” said Logitech’s Maxim Bondar, a portfolio and brand manager for the company’s premium creativity and productivity product line, in a briefing for Cult of Mac. That heritage started in 2002 with the MX 700 mouse and continued with 2004’s MX 5000 keyboard.
The advanced scrolling of the latest MX Series mice is the No. 1 thing that users say they use and love, so with the MX Master 3, the fifth-gen MX mouse, the company’s designers asked, “How can we bring this to a new level?” Bondar said.
Logitech MX Master 3 mouse
The showcase feature of the MX Master 3 is its new MagSpeed scroll wheel. Logitech says it is 90% faster than the company’s normal mice. Made of machined stainless steel, the MagSpeed switches automatically between ratchet and free-spin modes, thanks to an electromagnet.
Changing electrical polarity inside the mechanism adjusts the scroll wheel on the fly. The seamless switching lets you go from slowly scrolling through a large document to ripping through it. You can also change modes manually, but the automatic switching works wonderfully. (Logitech provided Cult of Mac with advance demo units of the MX Master 3 and MX Keys.)
Showcasing Logitech Options software
In order to showcase the powerful customization capabilities of Logitech’s free Options software, which works with the company’s latest peripherals, logical setups for key third-party software come preloaded with the mouse.
For instance, the thumb wheel comes set to work differently in various Microsoft apps. In Excel, it scrolls horizontally; in Word and PowerPoint, it zooms. Other apps with predefined custom settings include Apple’s Final Cut Pro, Adobe’s Photoshop and Premiere Pro, and the Safari, Chrome and Edge web browsers.
Like its predecessors in the MX Master series, the new Logitech MX Master 3 works via Bluetooth or an included Unifying USB dongle that can connect multiple Logitech devices. While the design looks quite similar to the previous model, the MX Master 2S — with gesture buttons, back and forward buttons, and a thumb wheel, in addition to the standard left and right buttons — Logitech tweaked the design a bit to maximize comfort.
Logitech’s 4,000-DPI Darkfield sensor returns
The mouse once again features Logitech’s high-precision Darkfield sensor. The 4,000 DPI sensor tracks beautifully on all surfaces, including glass. Logitech says the MX Master 3 is five times more precise than your average mouse.
Its rechargeable battery, which thankfully charges via USB-C, lasts up to 70 days when full juiced, Logitech says, with a three-minute charge providing a full day of use.
Logitech MX Keys
And then there’s the MX Keys, the sleek yet sturdy steel keyboard Logitech launched today alongside the MX Master 3. MX Keys brings smart illumination to your desktop. The keys light up when twin sensors detect your hands near the keyboard.
“You don’t need to wake up your keyboard by hitting a key,” Bondar said. Plus, the backlighting adjusts to the brightness of the room you’re working or playing in.
Logitech’s Perfect Stroke keys are gently scalloped to fit your fingertips. The low-travel keyboard feels similar to what you’d experience with a laptop (as opposed to the clicky keyboards some people prefer).
“This is a typing experience that people really love,” Bondar said.
Keyboard comfort varies by individual, but to me, it definitely feels better than Apple’s trouble butterfly keyboards.
All those features, plus an automatic shutoff when the MX Keys is not in use, combine to maintain battery life. Like the MX Master 3, the new wireless keyboard also charges via USB-C. Logitech says the keyboard will last 10 days on a full charge under typical conditions, or up to five months with backlighting switched off. (You can use it while it charges if the need arises.)
Logitech’s ultimate Mac peripherals
The MX Master 3 and MX Keys look and play well together. The black finish on the devices I tried out looked classy and professional, if somewhat staid. The subtle ridges along the side of the mouse, and the contrasting silvery-gray edge, give it more personality than the keyboard. Both the mouse and the keyboard felt great in my hands.
“Our newest flagship products are designed for advanced users, such as software developers, engineers or designers, who want to be more productive and need to interact with their digital content at the speed of thought,” said Delphine Donne-Crock, general manager of creativity and productivity at Logitech, in a press release. “The MX Master 3 MagSpeed Scroll Wheel is our fastest, quietest and most advanced scrolling wheel to date, and MX Keys brings you the most comfortable low-profile typing experience we can provide so you can work as long as you want. When used together, these premium performance tools deliver the ultimate solution to your desktop.”
Both products work with Mac and iOS devices as well as Windows, Android and Linux machines. And, thanks to Logitech’s Flow technology, you can use them to work on up to three devices at a time, switching seamlessly between them. (That means you can copy and paste things between computers — even ones running different operating systems.)
The new products, which Logitech announced today, list for $99 each and should become available immediately. If desired, you can purchase the coordinating MX Palm Rest for $19.99.
Update: Logitech is running a special deal on this new gear through Saturday. If you buy an MX Master 3 and an MX Keys, you get an MX Palm Rest for free. Use this link to purchase the bundle directly from Logitech.