The (New) Mouse of Dr. Mac's Dreams

Dr. Mac’s Rants & Raves
Episode #116


I’ve tried to love Apple’s trackpad, but I can’t get over my decades-long love affair with the good, old-fashioned mouse. When I reviewed my all-time favorite mouse — Logitech’s MX Revolution —in 2007, I said it, “comes closer to perfection than any other pointing device I’ve ever used.” Sadly, the MX Revolution was discontinued shortly after I wrote that. When inventory ran out and I couldn’t find another at a reasonable price, I reluctantly switched to its successor, the Performance Mouse MX, which offered most of the features I loved but was missing the feature I liked best: a speed-adaptive scroll wheel.

Unlike other scroll wheels, speed-adaptive wheels work two ways at once: free-spin or click-to-click. When you flick it so it spins fast, your document scrolls by very, very quickly; if you move it slowly and precisely, your document scrolls accurately one line (click) at a time.

Why am I telling you all this about a mouse that was discontinued many years ago? Simple: Logitech’s just-released MX Master mouse includes the best speed-adaptive scroll wheel I’ve ever used. I work with a lot of very long documents; speed-adaptive scrolling is the greatest thing ever invented for working with them. With one flick of my finger I can scroll from the first page to the last, even if the document is 50+ pages.

That alone would be worth the price of admission to me, but the new MX Master mouse has much more to love. For example, there’s a second thumb-operated scroll wheel on the left side, which can be used for horizontal scrolling or configured to perform other actions using the new Logitech Options driver software.

The brand new Logitech Options mouse driver is more modern than the previous version (Logitech Control Center or LCC).

There are also five programmable buttons, one of which is a new type called a Gesture button. When you press it, it executes a different action based on which way you moved the mouse — up, down, left, or right. I use left and right for forward-and-back and up and down for Hide (current app).

The Gesture button lets you assign four commands to a single button.

Like most Logitech mice, the MX Master has Darkfield Laser Sensors, so it tracks perfectly on almost any surface including glass.

And last but not least, Logitech claims its rechargeable battery lasts up to 40 days on a single charge. I’ve only had mine a week but it’s still showing three out of three bars of battery.

Although the MX Master is the best mouse in the house today, there are a couple of things about it that I’m not happy with:

First, the Options software doesn’t allow you to assign a modifier key-click, such as Option-Click or Command-Click, to a button. The old LCC driver included this useful feature and I’m hopeful it will return in a future update. 

Second, its sculpted shape, while exceedingly comfortable to me, is only suitable for right-handed users. But, unlike the modifier key-clicks, this one isn’t likely to change anytime soon.

MX Master’s sculpted shape feels great as long as you’re not a lefty…
Photo courtesy Logitech

At $99.99, the MX Master isn’t cheap, but I don’t know of a better mouse regardless of price, just as long as you’re right-handed.

Logitech MX Master. $99.99.

And that’s all he wrote…