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Logitech's Upgraded MX Master 3S Mouse Is Quieter, New MX Mechanical Keyboards Are, Too

Logitech MX Master 3S mouse
The MX Master 3S also comes in a pale gray color.
David Carnoy/CNET

What's happening

Logitech has debuted an incremental update to its MX Master mouse, along with two new mechanical keyboards.

Why it matters

Logitech's already great MX Master mouse gets even better, and the company seeks out a non-gaming audience for mechanical keyboards.

Like its "S" predecessors, Logitech's new MX Master 3S mouse ($99, £120, AU$170) isn't a fully redesigned new model but an incremental upgrade. Ergonomically unchanged, it features quieter operation and an upgraded 8,000 DPI optical sensor that Logitech says tracks on most surfaces including glass and offers faster workflow with high-resolution monitors. Alongside the MX Master 3S, the company also announced two new mechanical keyboards -- the full-size MX Mechanical and "minimalist" MX Mechanical Mini -- for $170 (£170, AU$270) and $150 (£150, AU$230), respectively. All three ship in May.

The Logitech MX Master 3 is one of our favorite mice and even if the MX Master 3S isn't a major upgrade, it does feel improved. The mouse is indeed quieter to use -- Logitech says clicks are now 90% quieter compared to its predecessor -- while maintaining the same precise feel with smooth, fast scrolling. The MX Master 3S has the same MagSpeed Electromagnetic wheel of the MX Master 3 (it allows you to "zip" through 1,000 lines in one second) along with the same side scroll wheel for faster horizontal navigation.

The 8,000 DPI sensor (compared to MX Master 3's 4,000 DPI) can make a noticeable difference if you're one of those people who picked up a big computer display to beef up your work-from-home setup. Also worth noting: The MX Master 3S is a bigger mouse than the more mobile MX Anywhere 3 yet arguably offers a superior ergonomic experience for all but those with very small hands. In April, Logitech introduced a new, more compact Lift Ergonomic Vertical mouse designed for people with small- to medium-size hands (though those with large hands also seem to appreciate its smaller size). 

The mouse features the same design as the MX Master 3.

David Carnoy/CNET

Fresh take on mechanical keyboards

Logitech has other mechanical keyboards in its keyboard portfolio, like its G gaming models and the retro-modern Pop Keys with eight swappable emoji keycaps in the box with room for four on the keyboard itself. Pop Keys seemed aimed at a younger audience, but Logitech says these new MX Mechanical keyboards are targeted at professionals -- and software developers in particular -- "who fell in love with mechanical keyboards when they started playing games and now they want the same feeling of precision and control with their professional desktop keyboard." 

According to Tolya Polyanker, head of the MX Series for Creativity and Productivity at Logitech, the MX Mechanical combines the best of Logitech's gaming keyboard expertise with its MX Master Series experience. And, in fact, it seems to borrow from its G915 gaming keyboard when it comes to the switches. 

The Logitech MX Mechanical Mini (top) and MX Mechanical full-size (bottom).

David Carnoy/CNET

The MX Mechanical and MX Mechanical Mini feature low-profile mechanical switches that are about half the height of traditional mechanical keys. I've been using the Tactile Quiet (Brown switches) versions of the keyboards, which Logitech says are its quietest mechanical keyboards ever. They still make an audible clicking noise with each keystroke and you have to press a little harder on the keys than you would with Logitech's standard MX Keys keyboards (the keys still travel more). But they do feel like toned-down versions of mechanical keyboards and have a dash of the smoothness found in membrane keyboards.

The keyboards are available with 3 different switch options with varying degrees of clickiness. 

David Carnoy/CNET

Truth be told, I'm not a devotee of mechanical keyboards -- I'm partial to Logitech's MX Keys Mini keyboard -- and didn't love Pop Keys. But I did find the Tactile Quiet version of the MX Mechanical Mini to be an appealing hybrid that, in a sense, delivers the best best of both keyboard worlds. That said, the MX Mechanical and Mechanical Mini are significantly more expensive than their MX Keys counterparts, which retail for $100.     

Logitech says Clicky (blue) and Linear (red) switch options are also available for both the full-size MX Mechanical and MX Mechanical Mini in select markets. Most people who work in open-office environments choose not to go with the louder blue switch types as a courtesy to those around them. Linear red switches have a relatively light spring force and are even quieter than brown switches. They are popular among gamers for their speed.

Like Logitech's standard MX Keys keyboards, the MX Mechanical has smart backlighting with automatic brightness adjustment based on ambient lighting conditions and an auto-off feature when not needed to conserve battery life. Like other MX Series mice and keyboards, these are powered by a built-in non-user-replaceable rechargeable battery that juices up via a USB-C connection. With the backlight on you'll get up to 15 days of heavy use out the keyboard before having to charge, but the number jumps to 10 months if you keep the backlight off.

MX Mechanical, MX Mechanical Mini and MX Master 3S are all compatible with Logi Options Plus software that allows you to customize individual buttons, use pre-defined or create your own app-specific profiles, adjust tracking speed and select backlighting effects -- static, breathing, contrast, wave, random and reaction. All three products are equipped with both Bluetooth and the company's proprietary Logi Bolt wireless USB receiver.

Alas, the included receiver is a USB-A dongle that requires a USB-C adapter for PCs that only have USB-C ports. That USB-C adapter isn't included. Like other MX models, the new mice and keyboards can connect to up to three different devices and are compatible with Windows, macOS, iPadOS, Android, Chrome OS and Linux devices. Often Logitech makes Mac versions of its MX Series mice and keyboards, but for now, the MX Master 3S and new keyboards are only available in "universal" versions. 

Finally, like many other companies pushing to create more environmentally friendly products, a portion of the MX Mechanical and MX Mechanical Mini keyboard's plastic parts are made from post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic: 45% for MX Mechanical and 47% for MX Mechanical Mini. Additionally, Logitech says the aluminum top case for the keyboards is made from low carbon aluminum and produced with renewable energy rather than fossil fuels for a lower carbon impact. The MX Master 3S mouse is also made with PCR plastic -- 27% for the graphite-colored version of the mouse and 22% for the pale gray version.