How do you improve on something that already does exactly what you want it to? Logitech’s MX Master mice have long been favorites for productivity hounds who want to read, process, and produce as much as they can, as fast as they can. (That may sound like most people these days, but not everyone buys a mouse over it.) Logitech’s newest flagship MX mouse, the $99.99 MX Master 3, reinforces the series as the go-to for powerful office peripherals. Small tweaks make it even easier and more comfortable to use. Plus, a new software perk makes advanced customization more accessible, so even non-tweakers can streamline their workflow and find their groove. Whether you’re a multitasking maven or simply have the workload of one, this mouse is worth splurging on.
Scroll Faster, Master
In a lot of ways, the MX Master 3 isn’t far from rest of the MX Master family. Like the MX Master 2S, it’s a right-handed eight-button mouse with a large thumb wing. On top, it has two click panels, a clickable scroll wheel, and a button just below the wheel to switch manually between precision and free-wheeling scroll speeds.
On the side, it has two macro buttons, a second scroll wheel, and a special “gesture” button on the wing. The last acts like a function key on a keyboard, giving you four extra inputs when you hold down the gesture button and move the mouse up, down, left, or right.
And yet, the buttons and scroll wheels also showcase the MX Master 3’s largest improvements. The two buttons on the side, which most office users think of as back and forward buttons, are larger than before and have a gap between them, making it easier to distinguish between them with your thumb. Likewise, the gesture button is now marked with a small, raised line, making it simple to recognize, even for new users.
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The chrome-plated crown jewel (or at least the most obvious improvement) on the MX Master 3 is its new electromagnetic scroll wheel. Instead of adding resistance mechanically, magnets in the center of the wheel add resistance at certain points, simulating a feeling of graduated ticking as you scroll line by line.
The magnetic resistance feels different from any scroll wheel I’ve ever used. There’s a certain bouncy feeling every time you scroll up or down a line. I’m not sure the electromagnetic wheel improves the scroll wheel’s accuracy, as Logitech claims, but that extra feedback feels pleasant and signals when you’re building up to your next increment, making it easier to pull back from the brink of overscrolling.
The magnetized wheel also opens the door for dynamic scrolling, in which the scroll wheel automatically increases or decreases its resistance depending on how fast and hard you roll the wheel. Scroll slowly, and you’ll feel that bouncy tick for every line; flick the wheel to give a full spin, and the resistance drops to zero, letting you get down the page quick. Of course, you can switch between precise and resistance-free scrolling manually, but having access to both at once feels more intuitive and useful than either one alone.
Outside of the new buttons, most of the MX Master 3’s features are similar to or the same as the ones on the MX Master 2S. Even so, they provide great utility. For starters, the shape is very comfortable: At 2 by 3.3 by 4.9 inches, it’s slightly taller and slightly smaller than its predecessor. The “hump” where you rest the base of your pointer finger looks almost comically high. But the shape makes the mouse fit like a glove. Holding and guiding it feels about as natural as holding a mouse can.
Under the hood, the MX Master 3 still uses Logitech’s long-running Darkfield sensor, which tracks at up to 4,000 dots per inch (dpi) and can reportedly track movement on any surface, including glass. I qualify that with “reportedly” because I tried it on just a handful of surfaces: wood, plastic, a cotton tablecloth, my office carpet, the top of my Apple MacBook Pro. (You know, the usual spots.) It worked on every surface I tried.
Though the sensor works well and 4,000dpi is a high enough ceiling for most users, it is worth pointing out that there’s a whole mountain of mice—mostly gaming ones—that track at higher speeds, including models that cost substantially less than this one. While most of us, including gamers, don’t really need a 16,000dpi setting, as you’d get with Logitech’s own G502 Lightspeed wireless gaming mouse, I would have liked to see at least a small resolution bump up from the MX Master 2S, especially as two- and three-monitor setups continue to be more and more common for professionals at work and at home.
The MX Master 3, thankfully, also retains the outstanding battery life of the MX Master 2S. It can reportedly last up to 70 days on a single charge. Better yet, the MX Master 3 switches its charging solution to a quick-charging USB Type-C port. According to Logitech, the mouse completely charges in two hours, and in a pinch you can get a few hours of juice after charging for just one minute. That said, the port is placed, strategically, at the front of the mouse. You can simply plug it into your PC and use it as a wired mouse while you power up.
Speaking of which, let’s talk about connectivity. Like its predecessor, the MX Master 3 connects wirelessly over Bluetooth or using an included 2.4GHz Unifying adapter. The mouse supports three discrete wireless channels, so you can connect up to three devices to the mouse at once and change the active device on the fly via a small switch on the underside of the mouse. (One device might be connected via the dongle, others via Bluetooth.) You can also connect multiple Logitech devices that support Unifying connections to a single Unifying adapter. So, in this case, if you pair the MX mouse with an MX keyboard, you’ll be able to use them both on a single adapter, while filling just one USB port.
For the most part, all of these connection options work fine, though it is possible to overburden the mouse. I noted some lag when the mouse was connected to multiple devices using wireless adapters. It isn’t a disqualifying problem, but it’s something to be aware of, especially if you plan to use Flow, Logitech’s cross-device control feature. (More on Flow in a moment.)
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The MX Master 3 pairs with Logitech Options, the MX series’ configuration software. It’s a smooth, snappy experience that makes changing your inputs clear and easy. Like past MX Master mice, the Master 3 allows for app-specific customizations, but this time around Logitech also offers pre-made custom setups for the most frequently used apps, including Microsoft Office, the Adobe Creative Suite, and web browsers like Safari and Chrome. These presets, which are based on frequently used setups from past MX Master mouse users, give casual users the ability to gain a custom experience, and may help new users see how experienced tinkerers fine-tune their setups. Whether or not they work will come down to each person’s preference, but if they don’t, you can modify these builds or create your own.
Options also gives you access to Flow, the aforementioned cross-platform control tool. Flow allows you to connect to multiple devices simultaneously and bring your mouse from one device to the other as if the second device is an extra monitor. It also supports basic functions between devices, like moving files and copy-and-pasting text from one Flow-connected device to another. It works across every platform the MX Master 3 supports, including Windows, macOS, Linux, iOS, and Android.
For people who use multiple devices on a daily basis, it’s a real boon to be able to switch from one to the other using a single set of inputs. Flow isn’t a new tool, but it remains a rare and extremely useful feature for anyone who splits their work across two or more computers or tablets.
Still the Master
The MX Master 3 gives you many powerful features, and it does so in a package that feels natural and comfortable no matter what you’re doing.
There are more customizable mice, many of them made for gaming, but the MX Master 3 gives you what you need to steamroll through most of the day-to-day stuff—spreadsheets, word processing, reading documents—as fast as your eyes can keep up.