"I wrote this while very tired, I promise the full review will be much better written." -Andrew Risenhoover, January 2016
My time with computers has been a joyous, exciting, and frustrating journey through many forms of technology. I once gave my history in computers in an article, and it gave me great pleasure to share that story. Through all of that I have gained quite the perspective on computer components and peripherals. Experiencing every possible bad scenario that could happen, over the course of my life, lends a lot of knowledge on the do’s and don’t’s of component purchasing. For example, when buying an upgrade for a computer, just because Best Buy sells it, does not mean that it’s a quality brand worth purchasing. I’m looking at you PNY. Today we focus more on peripherals, specifically the Logitech MX Master wireless mouse.
Logitech MX Revolution
My first really well built, and feature rich keyboard and mouse combo was the Logitech MX Revolution set. Top tier in its hay day, and it lived up to the expectations. When the battery gave way, after an appropriate amount of time in service, it was time to look into replacement. I sought after a replacement that gave me a similar experience, while addressing a few key flaws to the Revolution’s mouse. After doing a reasonable amount of time in research of what was available, I settled on the next generation in MX, and purchased the Logitech Performance MX.
Logitech Performance MX
I chose this mouse for the simple reason that it addressed my primary concern; the battery. It replaced the non-replaceable built-in battery, which you had to dock the mouse to charge, with a replaceable AA rechargeable that you could charge via Micro USB and remain using it in the charging process. The sacrifice made was the scroll wheel; in which both mice has a free spin mode for the wheel. On the Revolution, activating the free spin mode was as simple as spinning it harder than standard speed, and the kinetic force would unlock the wheel for a short time, allowing you to free spin. On the Performance MX, you had to activate the free spin with a mechanical toggle button situated below the Left/Right buttons. This made using it just difficult enough to avoid it, unless the convenience outweighed the annoyance. I have big hands, and I would have to partially lift off, and bend my index finger in a sharp angle to hit it. I eventually got used to it, and realized that the free spin not activating all the time was nice. I would occasionally over scroll on the previous generation, which amounted to a slight, frustrated moan. However, an inappropriate amount of time passed, and both my back button and primary left click button were both damaged. This was primarily because of a failed attempt at using a recliner as a computer chair, and the mouse falling off the arm of the chair onto the hard floor, a lot.
Logitech MX Master
During my time, and frustration, using the broken mouse I started shopping. I immediately looked into what Logitech was offering in the next generation MX department. I found that a new one had not been released as of yet, but found all the information on what that new device was going to be. It was the Logitech MX Master, and it was glorious. It was love at first sight, and the features listed were an amazing leap from the previous generations. A much bigger leap than the jump from Revolution to Performance. I will spare you the details of why it took me this long after its eventual release to buy it, but I did, and had some funny insights to why this mouse is so good.
It’s almost a direct merger between the features of the Revolution and Performance.
Let’s go through it all, piece by piece.
Battery & Charging
Logitech took the non-replaceable battery from the Revolution, and the Micro USB charging, use on the go, charger, and combined them into this mouse. They took the worst feature of the original device, and one of the best from the next generation, and said “Perfect!” Obviously, I just received the device, and this is just the first impressions, so I have no baseline to say this will perform the same way as the first. However, if it does, I am out of luck, and I don’t like that.
Here we find a scroll wheel, with a button to release the free spin. However, when pressed, you find that the release is electronic and not mechanical. Much like the Revolution, the mechanism to release the free spin is controlled by the tiny motors. What I soon came to discover is that the kinetic release is suddenly also present. Again, we find a direct combination of features from the previous versions. It’s too early to tell if this will be a good merger, or a bad one. Another thing to let time decide.
This is where I feel Logitech gets it right. They add a few extra buttons, which can be reassigned to different tasks, aside from default. However, it isn’t an overabundance of extra buttons, so there is no sense over overwhelming confusion trying to find one tiny button in a field of tiny buttons. Many manufacturers are overdoing the extra buttons now. The Master has The standard 2, the middle scroll wheel with press down button, the back and forward buttons on the side, the button to release the scroll wheel, a free spinning dial on the side, and one undetectable button built into the floor of the thumb rest.
The interesting thing is that Logitech ditched their SetPoint software for a software called Logitech Options. Which is not compatible with the older peripherals, so my keyboard still requires SetPoint. Even more interesting is what buttons can do, and what buttons you can reassign. The scroll release can be reassign to a different task. The free spinning wheel is versatile, but I must say it is an amazing volume control.
In the second generation, Logitech dropped the standard laser, and replaced it with a technology they called ‘Darkfield Laser’ which gives the mouse the impressive ability to track on any surface, most shocking was glass. Despite my not actually having a glass topped desk, the Darkfield upgrade gave a noticeable improvement in overall tracking everywhere. No skips, jumps, bumps, just smooth sailing; even when I accidentally fall off my mousepad.
The MX line has always been a pretty similar shape, and both initial generations were a nearly identical fit. The Master, on the other hand, is a bit more high tech in design, and fits just slightly differently enough that my hand is still getting used to it. An upswing in my PC gaming is helping break it in.
There is a good amount of information to be learned just from pulling it out of the box and using it for a few hours. Overall I can say I am as pleased with it as I should be, the “flaws” I did find are only fueled by my previous experience in failure. Said failure being caused by time and the sheer embarrassing state our battery technology is in. I expect to get a solid couple years out of it, which will come in handy as we bring you more content in all avenues of The Drakkarium.
Have anything to add? Have you had a different experience? Let us know in any one of the comments threads! And don’t forget to Like and Share!