LOGITECH MX MASTER 2S
A precision-pointing desktop heavyweight
THIS IS THE IPHONE X of mice. Let us explain: When a new Apple phone comes out, packed with features, and highfalutin suits get wind of their colleagues getting one, IT departments the world over get tickets demanding an upgrade. Denial often results in mysterious breakages, previously functional iPhone 7s making their way down flights of stairs or under Lexus tires. If the appearance of this mouse on desks doesn’t cause a rise in fraudulent pointing device button-snapping or latte spillages, we’ll be surprised.
Not that it’s the perfect mouse for everyone. For example, the MX Master 2S lacks the Lightspeed connection tech that’s been exciting us so much recently, falling back on Logitech’s older Unifying Receiver module—still perfectly speedy and OK for gaming, but not the twitchy winner that gamers crave. Unless you configure it, there’s no DPI switching on the mouse itself, with that function transplanted instead into Logitech’s Options software suite. The molding defiantly pitches it solely at right-handers. Fans of light mice may also be dissuaded. This is a heavy thing that really feels it; it glides smoothly and calmly, responds in a slick manner, tracks almost deliciously. We’re not entirely sure of the physical reason for its catamaran-style base, other than looking a bit cool, and separating the sensor and associated functions from the wing pieces—the MX Master 2S moves perfectly well without any additional aerodynamics.
WHEEL OF FORTUNE
It’s the features that’ll make it so business-attractive. Let’s move down from the top. Two acoustically independent main buttons, completely separate from the main upper shell. A rubberized, but not sticky, metal mouse wheel, weighted and smooth, with the option to switch between ratcheted and freewheeling modes. That ratcheting isn’t a physical thing, either—hit a button, and it electrically activates a mild catch; spin the wheel fast, and the ratchet disengages, dropping back into place when you’re done spinning. Sounds weird, but splitting fast scroll facilities with the knowing chunk of a clicky wheel feels really good.
On the left edge, there’s a syrupy smooth thumb wheel, useful for scrolling side to side, or any other function you want to configure it for. Behind that, realistically too far behind to comfortably reach with your thumb, is a pair of sliver-thin buttons that we’ll skirt over, because this is the bit where we tell you what’s great about the Master MX, and they’re really quite awful. On the thumb rest, a hidden gesture control button. Down the wire—an entirely optional USB connection, useful only really when charging—is the aforementioned Logitech Options driver, which lives up to its name with a cornucopia of configuration choices. Further on from that, Logitech Flow, a multiplatform rip-off of Synergy, which enables you to seamlessly move the MX Master 2S’s cursor between multiple machines, even going so far as to copy and paste between them. You can hook up several devices without it, too—the mouse itself saves configuration of up to three individual machines, either via the Unifying Receiver or Bluetooth.
It's an absolutely gimmick-laden package, then, in a well-built, attractive, comfortable shell. It’s easy to see how those features would be highly attractive to creatives, professionals, and desktop users, and inspire scurrilous envy in those who don’t get to play with them. It really is an iPhone mouse. But like Apple’s handsets, it brings with it a couple of negatives. First, the ecosystem: Unless you’re happy to stick with the stock settings, you absolutely must use Options, and we had a couple of issues with software crashes and incompatibility on our travels. Second, something of a narrow focus. Those side buttons are almost unusable, and the thumb wheel is of questionable value to all but a specific sector. The MX Master 2S does more than enough to deserve the "Master" designation, but a few design tweaks might have seen it earn an even stronger superlative. –ALEX COX