I don't know where we went wrong. Somewhere between the invasion of touchscreens and hyper-advanced trackpads, the humble mouse was forgotten. Well, forgotten by me, anyway.
Luckily, the market hasn't completely fallen by the wayside, and, in fact, it's alive and well, highlighted beautifully by Logitech's excellent new MX Master. I haven't been this excited about a mouse in, well, ever.
I've never been a mouse person. Or, anyway, I've never really seen the value in spending lots of money for something that made browsing the Internet sliiiiiiightly better. I was always satisfied with whatever was around, whether itt was a wired mouse I got in a $20 keyboard combo, or one for travel that was so small it made my hand cramp; I've never been picky about what I used. Click, scroll, click, scroll—all the same to me.
What a terrible, naive, short-sighted outlook that was.
A few years into my stint here at TechnoBuffalo, I finally started to realize that a good mouse was just as important as a good keyboard—maybe even more so. I navigate the treachery of computers all day. Too much. But it's a necessary part of my job, and a good mouse, to my surprise, makes an enorMOUSE difference. (Get it?)
Clicking, scrolling and navigating my computer has basically become muscle memory at this point, so why not do it with a tool that at least makes doing this monotonous activity more comfortable?
After using the Logitech Performance MX and Marathon M705, I had the opportunity to try out the Logitech MX Master, and I can say without reservation that it's damn near close to being a masterpiece.
Before I used the MX Master, I was very happy with the Marathon, and actually preferred it to Logitech's Performance Mouse MX, which many considered to be the company's best mouse. It was comfortable, functional, and reliable, so I was a little reluctant to make the switch, and actually delayed the process for a few days because I feared change.
But after switching finally, it was like slipping on the perfect pair of already-worn jeans, or wearing your favorite shirt. I never want to part with the MX Master. Ever.
Having used it for the past month and a half, I'm so very happy it exists. Not only is the design great—design? I know, funny, but it matters—but it offers wonderful precision, endless functionality and truly phenomenal ergonomics. It also supports Bluetooth, which means you free up a USB port for hard drives and other such accessories.
When you first pair up your MX Master, you'll want to download the Logitech Options app, which lets you customize the different buttons, gestures, and scrolling options the mouse offers. It took me a while to get the right balance, but I think I finally have the exact setup I want. (You can ask me if you want, and I'll tell you.)
The only real thing that bums me out about the mouse is that the scroll wheel doesn't offer left and right clicking, which is something I used quite a bit in the Marathon to switch spaces in OS X. I have since switched that to the forward and back buttons next to the thumb wheel, which seems to be a solid compromise. But I still miss it.
Otherwise, the design and layout of the MX Master is so delightful. Logitech says the device has actually been hand-sculpted to offer the most comfortable experience possible, and I have no reason to disagree. I initially thought the mouse was a little too large for my taste, especially since I was coming over from the Marathon. But I got used to it pretty quick, and now I can't imagine using anything else.
It looks awesome, too, featuring a stealth black and copper two-tone look, along with a textured thumb rest. You can tell Logitech spent time getting the design exactly right, which is just about the best compliment you can give it.
One of the mouse's highlight features is the speed-adaptive scroll wheel, but I actually didn't use it all that much. What this does is vary your speed of scrolling; scroll slow, and you'll feel resistance. But let fly, and the mouse wheel will begin to spin freely (and smoothly), until it slows down on its own and goes back into a more resistant clicky mode. This is handy when scrolling through long documents, but I never really utilized it.
On that note, I never really found myself using the thumb wheel; it's not that it wasn't useful, but there just aren't very many situations when I needed it. The only time I do utilize the feature is when I look through my TweetDeck feed, which currently has 12 different columns. 🙁
Beyond design and functionality, the MX Master is very responsive. While I didn't get a chance to use the mouse on an array of different surfaces, Logitech claims the Darkfield Laser Tracking works "virtually anywhere, even on glass and high-gloss surfaces." I've been using it on a mousepad, though it worked perfectly on a wooden table.
Finally, the MX Master comes with slick easy-switch technology, which allows you to pair it up with 3 different devices. At work, use it with your desktop; at home, use it with your laptop, etc. The feature is easy to setup, and even easier to use. Simply press the button,wait for the 1, 2 or 3 to light up, and you're good to go with your corresponding device of choice.
Additionally, the mouse sports a rechargeable battery (indicated by three LEDs by the thumb rest), which promises over a month of daily use (about 6 hour days). I didn't run any battery tests, so I can't say for certain if Logitech's claims are accurate. I can say that I never had to worry about the battery running out in an inopportune time; if it does run out, you can use it with a microUSB cord plugged in.
Overall, I have mostly positive things to say about the MX Master. I have run into some Bluetooth issues, though everyone in our office has been experiencing Bluetooth interference, so I'm giving it the benefit of the doubt. There have also been a few instances when the scroll wheel has inexplicably switched from natural scrolling (my preferred setting) to standard. This has only happened a few times, however, and it can easily be remedied by going into the Logitech Options app. A minor annoyance among an otherwise wonderful experience.
A mouse is an important tool for a productive and seamless workflow, so I would absolutely recommend the MX Master. It's a little pricey at $99, but it's well worth the money. The design and ergonomics are beautiful, the functionality is close to perfect, and it's incredibly comfortable. Put it this way: I wasn't a mouse person before, but I am now.
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