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Logitech MX Master 3S review: The crownless again is king

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : 91
inc VAT

Subtle updates propel the Logitech MX Master back to the top of the mouse mountain

Pros

  • Outstanding build quality
  • Near silent click
  • Highly customisable

Cons

  • Logi Bolt not backwards compatible
  • Quite large
  • Nowhere to stow Bolt dongle

The Logitech MX Master has long been a favourite here at Expert Reviews. Back in April 2015 we reviewed the original and called it the “ultimate productivity mouse”. Successive updates have kept it at or near the top of the class and it took the superb SteelSeries Prime to dethrone it in 2021. 

I personally still think the SteelSeries Prime is a great mouse for a combination of gaming and productivity, but the new MX Master 3S is such a superb piece of design and manufacturing that it has finally had its previous top spot restored.

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Before we get into the gravy and biscuits it’s worth mentioning that the new MX Master uses Logitech’s new Logi Bolt USB receiver as well as Bluetooth; there’s no wired option – the Type-C cable in the box is for charging only.

Logi Bolt is built on the Bluetooth Low Energy protocol rather than plain-Jane 2.4GHz as used in the old Logitech Unifying Receiver, and is apparently more secure thanks to its “proprietary channel hopping algorithm”, but it isn’t backwards compatible. 

Also, you need to install the Logi Bolt Installer software (available for Windows 10 and 11 and macOS 10.15 forward but not Linux) to connect the receiver. If your OS isn’t listed you’ll need to connect the mouse as a normal Bluetooth device or marry up the mouse and receiver on a machine that is compatible.

Lastly, you’ll need to install the new LogiOptions+ software to manage the device. The original LogiOptions software won’t recognise the new mouse and receiver, which took me half an hour and a fair amount of frustration to realise.

READ NEXT: Logitech MX Master 3 review

Logitech MX Master 3S review: What does it do well?

Let’s start with what’s new and, while it’s not a whole lot, the changes are still significant. Most obviously in terms of user experience, the new mouse has much quieter click buttons but still retain their tactile quality. This gives the click-action a feeling of supreme, almost preternatural, quality. 

The feel of the soft rubber covering of the MX has been masterfully judged with a perfect amount of give, friction and smoothness. There are few things in the world that feel nicer to hold in your hand.

And the new MX Master also boasts an improved sensor, with a wider dpi range that extends from 200dpi to 8,000dpi. This makes the new MX a very capable mouse if you need to flick between displays or across the latest ultrawide 5K or 8K monitors. The MX Master still uses what Logitech calls a Darkfield Laser sensor, meaning it can be used on shiny surfaces and even glass tables.

Versatility is a strong card in the MX Master’s game. All told, the MX Master has seven buttons and two wheels. Six of them can be programmed using the LogiOptions+ software so, for instance, you can use the side scroll wheel to adjust your PC’s volume if you so wish.

You can even set the main scroll wheel to run smoothly or with a slight ratchet effect simply by pushing the small button behind it, or you can temporarily disengage ratchet mode by giving the wheel a quick roll forward or back. That’s not a new feature but it’s still a really attractive and useful one.

Logitech reckons a full charge of the MX Master’s 500mAh battery is good for 70 days of heavy use. There’s no way I can test that but the charge indicator only dropped to 93% after a week of continuous use, which suggests that the prediction is pretty accurate.

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Logitech MX Master 3S review: What could be improved?

The MX Master has always been and continues to be a big and heavy mouse. At just over 141g it’s one of the heaviest on the market and it rises to a not inconsiderable 52mm at its highest point. I can see it being too big for some users with small hands. There’s also the issue of the MX Master being suitable for right-handers only, but that’s an inherent problem with all semi-ergonomic mice.

The three skates on the underside of the MX Master are rather small given its size and weight, which results in a noticeably greater surface pressure than that of my SteelSeries Prime, which has both larger skates and a lighter weight. The Logitech certainly takes more effort to move around as a result, although I’m sure I’d get used to it if I swapped permanently.

Considering the size of the MX Master I was quite surprised to discover that there’s nowhere to stow the Logi Bolt receiver. I have Logitech mice in the office that are half the size and weight and cost less than half as much and they still have small concealed slots in which you can park the receiver to keep it safe.

Then of course there’s the price. The RRP of the MX Master 3S is £120, although at the time of writing Amazon had it on offer for £91. That’s still a chunk of change for a mouse, but at least you’re getting something very well made for your money.

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Logitech MX Master 3S review: Should you buy one?

Assuming your hands are not too much smaller than the average and you don’t intend to do much in the way of gaming, then yes. For office or productivity work, the MX Master 3S is as close to the state of the art as you can get, and the sense of quality you get when you hold it and use it is genuinely difficult to relay in words alone.

I won’t be surrendering my SteelSeries Prime because I actually have quite small hands, don’t need all the MX Master’s functionality and want a mouse that can game well too, but if my needs changed more to productivity, the MX would certainly be the mouse I’d swap to.

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