The Logitech MX series has grown to become a hot fan favourite – and it’s not a claim without merit. Between ergonomic comfort and feature-packed functionality, there isn’t much one can find fault with, especially since few competitors have come close to creating this fine balance of form and performance. With the latest MX Master 3S, the tech giant yet again re-establishes itself as the leading player of the mouse race, keeping to its reputation of a smooth operator.
An upgrade of the MX Master 3, the newest member boasts an almost identical look and feel to its predecessor. The thumb rest, side buttons, and MagSpeed scroll wheel make a welcome return, with a wavy pattern and matte finish lending subtle aesthetics to its sloped cut. There are the same seven buttons: left/right click, back/forward, App-Switch, Wheel mode-shift, and middle click, all of which are well-positioned and lay within easy reach.
The similarities extend to the base as well. On the underside, the MX Master 3S ships with a USB-C port, the power button, and an Easy-Switch button that allows users to easily swap between three paired devices. The starting DPI remains at 200, but the maximum has been upped from 4,000 to 8,000 – an upgrade that shouldn’t affect most users, except for those who prefer a higher mouse sensitivity.
The main difference that sets it apart from the MX Master 3, however, is its quieter switches. On paper, the MX Master 3S offers 90 percent less noise, and while the exact levels cannot be accurately pinpointed, the theory does seem to translate well to the real world. Both left- and right-clicking made for an extremely silent affair, with the buttons producing barely any sound even when rapidly pressed.
It’s a change that needs some time to get used to. Unlike its predecessors, the mouse delivers mushier, less tactile clicks, resulting in reduced feedback and a softer feel overall. There’s also no bottoming out while clicking, but the overall lack of a solid, firm touch may not sit well with long-time users who want tactility.
True to its reputation as the reigning ruler of ergonomic mice, the MX Master 3S is extremely comfortable in the hand. The gentle curvature continues to be an ergonomic fantasy come true, while the thumb rest offers great support with its grippy, rubberised texture, especially for long periods of use. The buttons are, as mentioned earlier, laid out perfectly based on where the hand naturally falls, such that it’s convenient and easy to reach them – barring one particular exception.
Here’s the thing: this thumb rest actually doubles up as an extra, configurable button, but to hit it, you’ll have to reach back to the base of the thumb, which is in the same awkward position as it was previously on the MX Master 3.The difference, though, is that the button is now much softer than before.
While palm grippers will stand to benefit most from the MX Master 3S, its architecture still does a good job at providing ergonomic comfort for claw grippers. Left-handers are unfortunately left out of the equation with no support for a southpaw grip, and those with smaller hands may also find the mouse a little too big to comfortably grasp onto. It isn’t exactly lightweight either, weighing in at 141 grams and measuring 84.3 x 51 x 129mm, but its performance more than compensates for its heft.
Indeed, putting the mouse through its paces further cemented its position as the best of its class. The electromagnetic MagSpeed scroll wheel still leaves much of the competition in the dust, and comes across as extremely handy for skimming through lengthy content. It offers very little resistance, allowing users to easily speed past 1,000 lines per second. Check it out in action below:
Press the middle button, and the FreeSpin mode can be swapped out for Ratchet mode, which brings back tactile bumps to the scrolling action. As an alternative to manual toggling, the Logitech Options+ software automatically switches the modes back and forth based on the spinning speed of the wheel through the SmartShift feature, and it works very well. Going between both modes proved to be a smooth and responsive experience, with no lag observed during the transition.
There’s the vertical scroll, and then there’s the horizontal one, which comes in handy for various situations. For example, it can be used to read emails in a split-screen arrangement, where the text is usually cut off at the edge. Instead of manually dragging the bar at the base of the window, you’ll be able to scroll to the left or right side and continue reading as per usual. In another case, the thumb wheel makes it convenient for users to adjust brush sizes on Photoshop, or zoom in and out of images.
The buttons below function in the same way. By default, the top key acts as a ‘forward page’ function, while the bottom brings users back to previously-visited pages, but each of these buttons are customisable in the Options+ software. The selection is extensive, too – the thumb wheel alone can be key-bound to the following shortcuts: horizontal scroll, zoom in/out, volume up/down, tab navigation, and volume up/down.
Just like its predecessor, productivity continues the name of the game here, and the MX Master 3S has been designed in a way where work can be done on any surface. As someone who types atop a glass table at home, this setup is very convenient, as it reduces the hassle of bringing out a mousepad. It isn’t applicable solely to glass, either – flicking the mouse across carpeted, lacquered, and rough surfaces all yielded a quick, latency-free response.
In fact, the silky-smooth on-screen hovering is a constant for users, especially if they opt for dongle connection. While touted as a wireless mouse, there were rare occasions of jerky cursor movements and small windows of delay. For the most part, however, the Bluetooth pairing does work as intended.
On the note of connectivity, the MX Master 3S can hook up to and switch between three different devices via the Easy-Switch button located at the base. The on-the-fly transition proved to be fuss-free, responsive, and seamless, though some may find the act of turning the mouse over a little inconvenient or cumbersome. It’d also be good if a dongle storage component could be included somewhere on the underside, as the device is rather small and can be easily lost. Logitech has done so for its line of gaming mice, so it’s not like the idea is out of reach.
For all that its bulk is unsuitable for professional or serious gaming, the MX Master 3S actually performed decently during light, casual sessions. Diving into the worlds of Inscryption, V Rising, and Hades made for an enjoyable affair, and the added grip and wrist comfort from the mouse’s ergonomic build was very much welcome.
Rounding things up is the 70-day battery life that has been carried over from the MX Master 3. While it’s difficult to determine its exact capacity, an average of 10 to 12 percent drop was registered per week over the course of five working days, which is already an impressive feat in itself. When it eventually runs out of juice, the USB-C charger can be hooked up to supply a whole day’s worth of charge after just one minute – or so Logitech claims. In practice, there wasn’t any opportunity to put this to the test, as the mouse was still around 65 percent capacity at the point of writing this review.
The battery levels can be viewed on the Options+ app, but there’s also an indicator next to the thumb wheel that lights up when the mouse is running on fumes, appearing only when the battery life hits 10 percent and under, or while charging. It’d have been nice to have more specific markers, though, such as yellow and green light to reflect the ‘healthy’ and ‘middle’ range respectively.
With the Logitech MX Master 3S, everything just clicks. At S$169, the mouse is priced at a premium, and it does a convincing job at justifying it. There’s plenty to love here, from its excellent ergonomic features to the long-lasting battery life, although the upgrades aren’t enough to warrant a switch for existing MX Master 3 users, some of whom may not be a big fan of the quiet buttons. Still, it’s easily the best wireless productivity mouse on the market – more so for those who often work with and across multiple devices or screens.
GEEK REVIEW SCORE
The best gets even better. The MX Master 3S proves yet again that its status as the leading kingpin of ergonomic mice is well-deserved with its arsenal of nifty, high-performing features.
Aesthetics - 8.5/10
Build Quality - 9.5/10
Performance - 9/10
Value - 9/10
Geek Satisfaction - 9/10