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Logitech MX Master 3 and MX Keys Advanced Wireless Mouse and Keyboard Review

Christopher Coke Posted:
Category:
Hardware Reviews 0

Last year, I was lucky enough to review the Logitech MX Master 2S for PC Perspective. When Logitech announced its successor, the MX Master 3, I reached out immediately to see if we could take a look at MMORPG. The MX Master 2S was one of my favorite mice of all time, would the Master 3 live up? At the same time, Logitech announced the brand new MX Keys keyboard. They’re for creators, professionals, and even gamers. Let’s dive in.

Specifications

Current Price

  • MX Master 3: $99.99
  • MX Keys: $99.99
  • MX Palm Rest: $19.99

MX Master 3

  • Sensor technology: Darkfield high precision
  • Nominal value: 1000 dpi
  • DPI (Minimal and maximal value): 200 to 4000 dpi (can be set in increments of 50 dpi)
  • Buttons: 7 buttons (Left/Right-click, Back/Forward, App-Switch, Wheel mode-shift, Middle click)
  • Scroll Wheel: Yes, with auto-shift
  • Thumbwheel: Yes
  • Gesture button: Yes
  • Wireless operating distance: 10m
  • Wireless technology: Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless technology
  • Battery: Rechargeable Li-Po (500 mAh) battery
    • Get three hours of use from a one-minute quick charge.
  • Optional software: Logitech Options and Logitech Flow
  • Dimensions: 4.91 in (124.9 mm) x 3.31 in (84.3 mm) x2.0 in (51 mm)
  • Weight: 5.0 oz (141 g)

MX Keys

  • Dual connectivity:
  • Connect via the included USB receiver or Bluetooth low energy technology
  • Easy-switch keys to connect up to three devices and easily switch between them
  • 10 meters wireless range
  • Hand proximity sensors that turn the backlighting on
  • Ambient light sensors that adjust backlighting brightness
  • USB-C rechargeable. Full charge lasts 10 days – or 5 months with backlighting off
  • On/Off power switch
  • Caps Lock and Battery indicator lights
  • Compatible with Logitech Flow enabled mouse
  • Dimensions: 5.18 in (131.63 mm) x 1.41 ft (430.2 mm) x 0.80 in (20.5 mm)
  • Weight: 1.78 lb (810 g)

MX Palm Rest

  • Dimensions: 2.52 in (64 mm) x 1.38 ft (420 mm) x 0.31 in (8 mm)
  • Weight: 6.3 oz (180 g)

The MX Master Series - the “Do Everything” Peripherals

Logitech’s MX series isn’t new but the MX Master mouse line is one of the most beloved I’ve come across in my years covering the industry. These aren’t gaming peripherals, per se, but they are precision-crafted for creative professionals who need that extra level of comfort and accuracy. It stands to reason, then, that you could use them for just about anything and have a good experience, provided you’re not a competitive eSports player.

In the last year of my using the MX Master 2S, it quickly became my favorite mouse, supplanted only by Logitech’s own G502 earlier this year. I’ve used it for photo editing, A/V work, spreadsheets and word docs, and playing the gamut of different game genres. I’m distinctly not an eSports player and never felt disadvantaged, even in high-stakes shooters. What was more important, though, was the unique features it brought to the table that made using my computer faster, more intuitive, and much more fluid when swapping between multiple systems.

Behind the scenes of the hardware review game, it’s rare that I (or most reviewers) continue to use products long after they’re reviewed. Going into the 2S, I thought that I’d do the article, toss it back in the box and be done; it wasn’t a gaming mouse and I’m at best a hobbyist creative. The shape, size, feel, and features of the 2S so thoroughly won me over that it’s one of the first mice I recommend. It’s my gaming mouse that’s not a gaming mouse just because of how comfortable it is to use.

All that to say, this set has a lot going for it and you should definitely consider it unless you’re on the upper crust of competitive gamers.

Logitech MX Master 3 - Worth the Wait?

First things first, the MX Master 3 is a large mouse. It’s somewhat similar in shape to a G502 (intended for palm grip) but it wider with a pronounced incline that tilts your hand to the right. There’s also a large wing to rest your thumb. Compared to the MX Master 2S, it’s a touch thinner and 4g lighter for a total weight of 141g. It’s designed with ergonomics in mind, so weight was clearly a secondary concern. It’s meant to be used with a full palm grip but I was still able to control it with my fingertips just fine, though the center of gravity causes it to tip back when lifting it to reposition.

The trade-off for that larger size is a mouse that feels extra comfortable in the hand. The angle is a small touch but one that makes a big difference over the course of an entire workday. The angle is made to match the resting angle of your hand and the result is that the mouse feels much more natural and controlled. The weight also has a lot to do with this because it keeps the Master 3 grounded so your movements are intentional and precise.

The mouse also continues with the excellent Darkfield sensor. It supports DPI settings up to 4000, which may not seem like a lot but I found it perfectly fine, even for 4K displays. It also be used on any surface, even glass.

Like the MX Master 2S, the left side of the mouse acts as your control center and offers the biggest benefits to your work flow. Hidden under the thumb rest is a gesture button. Holding the button and moving the mouse in a direction (a “gesture”) can perform an action. Holding it and swiping to the left can change apps, for example. Holding it and swiping down can Show Desktop. Using the Logitech Options app, you can set these gestures to functions that are the most convenient for you. Once you’re used to gestures, it’s hard to go back to another mouse.

Above the thumb rest is our horizontal scroll wheel, our forward and back buttons, and the battery indicator. This area has been refreshed from the 2S, increasing the size of the scroll wheel and moving the forward and back buttons underneath instead of behind. Each is now easier to access and, like gestures, is fully customizable and loaded with presets for different apps. In Photoshop, horizontal scroll swaps to adjusting brush size, in Premiere Pro, scrubbing the timeline.

The other big change coming to the MX Master 3 is the new MagSpeed Smartshift Wheel. The MX Master 2S featured an excellent scroll wheel that could shift between the notched scrolling we see on most mice and a free-wheeling hyper scroll mode. The MX Master 3 uses a steel mouse wheel inside an electromagnetic field to provide its “notches” and hyper scroll functionality. The notches are soft but tactile. Tapping the button below the mouse will swap between hyper scroll and auto-shift mode which can auto-detect when you’re trying to spin the mouse versus notch it down.

This wheel is fantastic. If you need to rapidly scroll documents or webpages, it is a game-changer with a maximum scroll speed of 1000 lines a second. It’s also just extremely satisfying to spin in a fidget-spinner kind of way. It’s also much quieter than the MX Master 2S, too.

When it comes to battery, they’ve made its life even better. A full charge will still net you 70 hours of use but a single minute of charge time will provide you three hours of use. Let that sink in. One minute for three hours. I’ve had the mouse now for several weeks and I haven’t yet dipped below green on my battery indicator.

The other key feature here Logitech Flow, which allows you to seamlessly use the MX Master 3 on up to three devices. Swapping is fast and easy with a button selector switch on the bottom of the mouse. Logitech Flow takes it a step further by allowing you to copy and paste seamlessly between machines. When I want to transfer video files between my gaming and editing PCs, this is much more efficient than using a thumb drive. And, well, it just works. That’s cool.

While I rather liked that touch of extra width on the original MX Master 2S, it’s hard to argue that the MX Master 3 is anything other than a major upgrade to an already great mouse.

MX Keys: A Newcomer to the MX Family

Along with the MX Master 3, Logitech unveiled their latest entry to the MX family, MX Keys. Like the MX Master, Keys is a wireless keyboard that supports multiple devices with a quick button press. As you can tell from the picture above, it also has a lot in common with the chiclet keyboards of the Mac world, featuring a low profile design and full Mac support.

The keyboard takes clear inspiration for the Logitech Craft, which I also reviewed last year. Like the Craft, MX Keys features a minimalist design with slim bezels and concave key faces. That keyboard, which retailed for $199, featured a touch-sensitive knob on the top that would change purpose depending on the app. MX Keys drops this knob but maintains the same solid, elegant build that makes it a perfect fit for users who like chiclet keys.

As a mechanical keyboard fan, I was surprised by just how much I enjoyed using the keyboard. The keys have a shallow but highly tactile travel that feels very nice under the finger. My typing speed didn’t take a dip when switching to these keys and in fact may have improved a little thanks to the tactility preventing typos. I also appreciate the inclusion of a backlight, though I wish it got just a bit brighter.

Like many newer keyboards coming out, the function row is now dedicated to secondary functions like media controls with F1-F12 accessible when holding the Fn button. This works perfectly in my use case since I rarely use those keys anyway and would much rather have dedicated volume and track controls.

The MX Keys can also be purchased with an optional wrist rest for an additional $19.99. It’s specially sized to fit the height of the Keys but it’s still very expensive for what’s otherwise a very simple, if stable, wrist rest.

All in all, MX Keys is a solid low profile keyboard. It offers the same typing experience as the much more expensive Craft as well as the multi-device support of the MX Master 3. If you’re a chiclet fan, it’s a solid option.

Final Thoughts

I came into this review excited to see how Logitech would improve one of my favorite mice of all time and the upgrades are solid and meaningful without sacrificing anything but a few millimeters of width. Gesture control and the MagSpeed scroll wheel are phenomenal features that are hard to go back from. When paired with the MX Keys, you have a full peripheral set to swap between multiple systems on the fly, even including the game-changing copy-paste functionality of Logitech Flow. At $99 a piece, either peripheral will make a solid upgrade to your setup, so long as you’re not gaming on a professional level.

Pros

  • MX Master 3 offers outstanding battery life - 1 minute charge for 3 hours of use!
  • Great ergonomics
  • Gestures controls allow you to customize your computing
  • Horizontal scroll can be customized for different apps
  • MX Keys feel great to type on - tactile and sturdy

Cons

  • I prefer the slight extra width of the MX Master 2S
  • MX Keys could be just a touch brighter
  • Palm rest is too expensive

The product described in this article was provided by the manufacturer for the purpose of review.


GameByNight

Christopher Coke

Chris cut his teeth on MMOs in the late 90s with text-based MUDs. He’s written about video games for many different sites but has made MMORPG his home since 2013. Today, he acts as Hardware and Technology Editor, lead tech reviewer, and continues to love and write about games every chance he gets. Follow him on Twitter: @GameByNight