The first thing you notice about this mouse is its sleek design. It has a metallic type band around the base of the mouse, which curves up to the side thumb buttons in an attractive almost copper/brass colour, depending on the light. The thumb rest has a very funky prism printed effect while the rest of the mouse is finished in a matte black. The scroll wheel has a chrome lining on each side of the wheel, all this adds to the look of the mouse which gives it a more premium look compared to the MX950. The bottom of the mouse is also in the same copper colour and now has a few more buttons, which we will talk about shortly. The front is more pointy and still has the familiar shape of the previous performance mx. The Logitech logo is printed on the left mouse button. One downside of the design is that this mouse is only useable for right handed operations. So if you are looking to use this with your lefty, it just wouldn’t fit correctly. Overall the design is very nice but may not be to everyone’s liking as it is a little bit more showy than the outgoing MX950.
The mouse packaging is simple and in line with what we have come to expect from Logitech and other manufacturers. It has a lid that covers the mouse and when opened showcases the mouse and lets you put your palm on it to trial it. The back of the box shows a description of all the main features of the mouse. The contents of the box includes the mouse, a unifying receiver, a micro-usb cable (which is used for charging the mouse), a manual and warranty papers. There is no cd provided for the software. You will have to download this from Logitech’s website.
The mouse was very easy to connect, although I already had the unifying software installed from the MX950 and other Logitech combination keyboards that I’ve used at work. It connected straight away, but to customise some of the buttons you will have to install the Logitech Options software. This was installed automatically for me through a pop-up window and a relatively quick download. The software lets you customise the usual mouse features likes scroll speed, sensitivity, thumb wheel options and even the main scroll wheel SmartShift feature.
SmartShift is a new feature which, when enabled, will automatically switch the mouse from ratchet (or normal “clicky” type scrolling feedback) and the Logitech freespin (or freely spinning) modes.. The SmartShift feature we have found to be very useful and activates when needed. Basically, you scroll a little faster and it unlocks the wheel to spin freely and it will let you scroll up/down quickly. Then when its stopped, the ratchet mode is re-enabled, which a very re-assuring clunking noise as its locks back on. At first I thought the mouse was faulty, but soon realised it was just the chunky locking mechanism, which sounds like it won’t wear out any time soon. On the top the button under the scroll is to hot switch between free spin and normal ratchet/clicky type scrolling.
The only problem I had with the side buttons was that they were a slightly different position as compared to the MX950 and that meant I had to move my thumb down to use the buttons as the side scroll wheel is where my thumb would normally rest. I’m not sure if this would be a problem for those with slightly smaller hands (my hands are larger than normal). There is also a hidden button located under where you would rest your thumb. Pressing this button (downwards with your thumb) will, by default, let you switch between open programs. This button is customizable within the Options software.
The underside of the mouse has some more buttons, feet and the optical sensor. The buttons are the on/off switch, the connect button and the device selector button. This particular mouse lets you sync with up to three devices at one time. So you could have your desktop on device 1, your laptop on device 2 and your media pc on device 3. You can select which device to connect to by pressing the device selection button. The optical laser used in this mouse is the well tested and proven darkfield laser which works on glass and other reflective surfaces, which would normally give problems to an optical mouse. You can also connect this mouse either through Bluetooth or the unifying receiver, giving you an option to free up one USB slot. This may be useful for people using this mouse on a laptop/ultrabook or who are running out of spare USB slots. This mouse is compatible with both Windows and Mac devices.
Overall the MX Master is a great upgrade over the outgoing performance MX950 mouse. Should you upgrade? Short answer, No, because it is similar to the previous mouse for basic mouse operations. If however, you require one mouse to seamlessly work on three different devices or you need Bluetooth connectivity or you must have side scrolling capabilities or you need SmartShift, then definitely upgrade your older MX950. If you need a new mouse, this mouse may just be the best thing for you.
It is a great mouse and can be found at good prices, if you search around. The retail price is a little high in Australia at $149.99. We managed to get this one on sale at Office Works for $90.30, which was due to JB HiFi having a sale on Logitech items. You can also get it on Amazon for US$99.99.
If you need a new mouse, look no further than the Logitech MX Master, you wont regret it!
-Random Reviews Team-