A small blog so that I don’t have to explain to people why I bought a 135 dollar mouse. But, a small blog that helps them understand why they should buy a mouse that is basically the iPhone equivalent if someone is looking for productivity mouses. It’s a good product.
Rewind to about 6 months back
6 months earlier, Vipul is searching for mouses. He’s got the bucks, but he’s not sure what he is looking for. He is looking for something functional that just works. He looks at MX Master 3. Goes through the features. Goes through the specs. Reads through the cult following behind the mouse, the fan review videos on YouTube, and needless to say, he was impressed. I mean, who won’t be? It’s one good mouse with a lot of “mouse” in it.
But, the same question goes through his head that everyone has. Is it worth spending this much for a mouse? Couldn’t a 30 dollar mouse do the same things MX Master can? Apart from the features that people are crazy about. I started looking at the other way of how I would end using this mouse. From that thinking, some questions popped into my head. I searched answers for them and document them here, so you don’t have to. Eventually, there is a review of the mouse itself to make up your mind too. Bon Appetite!
MX Master 3’s Support on Linux? Advertised & unsupported but works.
Officially, MX Master 3 is supported on Linux. But, Logitech hasn’t made the Logitech Options client available to folks on Linux (Forum post). This means the selling features like Logitech Flow or easy configuration of applications doesn’t work. Neither does the configuration of DPI settings, acceleration setting, color setting, button remapping, etc. What does work out of the box is the mouse itself. Plug in the dongle you receive with the mouse after turning it on, and it “just” works with whatever device you are using it with. To the settings tweak addict in me, I tried finding things I want to change but couldn’t find anything wrong with the default configuration.
The community, on the other hand, has been busy with their MX Masters. They have created some amazing resources, applications, and configuration guides for the mouse they all use and love. These make sure you are using the MX master like it was meant to be right down to the bone. Take a look at the list below; feel free to suggest more suggestions down in the comments.
- Arch Wiki’s MX Master 3 configuration guide
- Solaar – Linux device manager for Logitech devices
- Barrier – Alternative to Logitech Flow if you have more than one devices but can work with any mouse/keyboard. I have used it extensively and it’s great.
- Piper – GTK application to configure gaming devices
- MX Master 3 Specs on Logitech.
Conclusion – Can MX Master 3 run on Linux? Yes. Would it be easy to configure? No, some hacking needed.
MX Master 3 or MX Master 2?
MX Master 3.
There is extremely little difference between the two mouses. USB-C charging and some slight modifications in the MX Master 3 can be considered to make the mouse UX better. But not nearly enough to justify the price tag it sells on. One day, I posed that very question to my colleague, and his answer helped put my mind to rest. MX Master 3’s magspeed scrolling feature is crazy flexible for flying through logs or huge code files at light speed. It’s also available in the 2, but in the 3, it’s noiseless.
That feature hands down sold me on the MX Master 3. Here’s a video of what I mean. Check it out, and make up your own mind.
MX Master 3 offers two modes of Magspeed scrolling that can be toggled with the center button you see in both the mouses. I guess the difference is the noiseless scrolling the MX Master 3 implements. You feel so much in sync with using a mouse and keyboard then. As the mouse is now able to perform a bulk of navigations that weren’t possible before. Without even touching the keyboard that I mention. Yeah, I said it. I can fly through pages, going back and forth without even moving the cursor using the scroll wheel and thumb buttons that the mouse has.
Is it for small hands? That’s debatable.
It’s a big mouse. It’s a spacious mouse with a lot of room for your palm, your thumb and fingers, and everything else. I don’t know how to describe it. It fits perfectly like a glove, and that ergonomic shape of it does matter quite a bit. My hands genuinely enjoy going around this mouse. That said, with a lot of reviews you will read. People have mentioned that the mouse is not meant for folks with smaller palms or smaller fingers. For you all, Logitech released the MX Master Anywhere. Go through their amazing sites for their hardware. I love going through them just for kicks.
If something is wireless, it needs to have its dongle.
I mean, the heading says it all. Bluetooth is highly unreliable at long distances or with more than one device in the vicinity. It flakes out more than my unit tests. If I am buying a product this expensive and it’s wireless, it should come with a dongle. What I like about Logitech is that they go over and above on their craftsmanship. Both in hardware and software. Their unifying receiver dongle can control more than one Logitech device at a time. So you can connect your Logitech mouse and keyboard with the same dongle and ditch them annoying cables. To my surprise, the mouse works really well in Bluetooth mode, too, when the dongle isn’t available, which is impressive work by Logitech. The mouse creates a unique Bluetooth profile, and it starts showing up in your Bluetooth menu when you switch devices. It’s quite a frictionless process.
No dongle was also why I didn’t go for a wireless mechanical Keychron keyboard and instead went for a Ducky One 2 SF. We go over that and how to go about buying your first mechanical keyboard. Without being a total nerd about it, because the blog will do that for you.
6 months after using it. Regrets not found.
After 6 months of usage, I use the mouse fluidly with my work. I use the thumb buttons to navigate the browser tabs previous or next or go back and forth in my VS code windows. I use the thumb rest button to change applications but not that much. I mildly considered changing the thumb rest button to pause and play music but will do that some other time. I use the mouse for about 14 hours a day; it stays on constantly and wakes up without any delay when you shake it after a delay. You can switch devices with the button given below, and it does work on almost any surface. Floors, glass tables, beds. The batteries last for about 3 months and charges back to 100 in about 1.5 hours with the USB-C charging.
You know I tried. I tried finding a single thing wrong with it, but I couldn’t. It’s a well-made piece of hardware, user-tested across the world, and the company really knows what they are doing. So, go for it. If you got the cash. It’s a valuable asset that will serve you in your work. I mention it as an iPhone of productivity mouses because like most (early) iPhones. The mouse has top-notch hardware, extremely easy to use software, but you can’t ever justify the hyped up prices they sell for. You buy the iPhone for the half eaten logo on the back and trust that comes with the manufacturer. That’s what Logitech has created in its MX Master series. It’s an amazing product.
Here’s a bonus panel where someone disassembled their MX Master 2
All photos originally tweeted by Vipul Gupta is having cake 🐣 (@vipulgupta2048). Vipul’s 2020 no compromise minimalist remote setup blogs are a series. With more blogs, coming right up. Full list of items and more recommendations is available here on Notion.