The Logitech MX Master 3 was a popular mouse for Mac enthusiasts, but now Logitech has launched a model specifically designed for Apple compatibility. The MX Master 3 for Mac costs $ 99 and offers some Mac-specific details and features that its predecessors lacked. Logitech also launched an equivalent keyboard, the $ 99 MX keys for Mac.
These were fantastic Logitech peripherals. But are these Apple-specific versions the ultimate Mac accessory?
Logitech MX Master 3 for Mac
The MX Master 3 for Mac has many of the same features as the regular MX Master 3, including the horizontal scroll wheel and ergonomic shape. However, it does have some new features, including improved Bluetooth connectivity and a room gray color scheme. There are also a number of pre-defined app-specific shortcuts that take advantage of Mac behavior.
One of the best features is the gesture control button just below the thumb position. Hold the mouse button down and move the mouse to the side. This will run a native Mac function. For example, you can hold it down and swipe up for Mission Control to mirror the MacOS trackpad gesture. This is a great example of a company that really understands how the Mac works – including its vulnerabilities – and then builds accessories based on that knowledge. Aside from setting up our own custom gestures, we only saw access to Mission Control using the mouse with Apple's own Magic Mouse.
After spending about a week with the mouse, I loved some of its smarter features. For example, the scroll wheel, which automatically switches from ratchet clicks to free flowing rotations when you start scrolling quickly. The horizontal scroll wheel has some ingenious uses (e.g. scrolling sideways in spreadsheets or increasing brush size in Photoshop) and some that feel a little more average (I think of increasing the size of word processing documents). However, it is a nice idea and still a practical addition.
The MX keys for Mac
The MX keys are full-size keyboards with a numeric keypad and additional function keys on the right. It is available in a room gray and black color scheme that matches Apple's aesthetic taste, as well as a proper Mac layout. These include the control, option and command buttons. Although the regular MX keys are designed for both Windows and MacOS, and split markers have been used on some keys, the MX keys for Mac avoid confusion and provide you with the standard Mac layout you are already familiar with.
But there's a lot more to it than just a Mac layout. It has a clever backlight system that uses an ambient light sensor to detect whether you really need the backlight – and if so, how strong it should be. Logitech estimates that the MX keys last 10 days on a single charge with the backlight on, or up to five months with the backlight off.
The MX Keys are super easy to use and I felt at home almost immediately. The keys are weighted just right and almost never bottomed out and the mechanism bottomed out. There is no fatigue that you would get with the MacBook's old butterfly keyboard, and it is much quieter than a mechanical keyboard, but still offers a satisfactory click. If you've been struggling with a MacBook's butterfly keyboard for years or are just looking for a cheaper alternative to Apple's full-size Magic Keyboard for $ 149, you should have the MX keys on your shortlist.
Just a problem
The Logitech Options app connects everything together. You can override the default mouse button actions app by app with your own shortcuts, making some of the more lackluster default settings a little more useful. It's easy to use when it's a bit overloaded.
Options has a feature called Flow that lets you use the mouse and keyboard on two computers (including Mac and PC) at the same time. The idea is that you simply move the mouse pointer from one screen to the other, much like a built-in KVM switch. It's a great idea and it also works with the keyboard: use Command-C to copy a file to your Mac, move the mouse to your PC and press Ctrl-V under Windows. The file is then inserted.
The problem? I had big problems setting up. Even though Flow followed the instructions carefully, he simply refused to find my PC. I've asked Logitech for help and it's probably an issue that can be fixed.
Despite my setup issues, the new Logitech mouse and keyboard are worth buying. The MX Keys for Mac are extremely easy to use, while the MX Master 3 for Mac is the real brain. If you were looking for a way to revise your Mac setup, these two accessories could be the answer.