Logitech MX Master 2S mouse (review)
It’s no secret that Logitech is by far one of our favorite brands for mice and keyboards. Nearly every one of these devices in the entire building is from Logitech, aside from some custom mechanical options that some of us picked up on. So I already knew going in there, that the Logitech MX Master 2S would lead to a good result. Yet I was still surprised at how much it appealed to us.
This review was a little late as we have been using the 2S for a while on a number of machines now. By a lot of time, I mean a lot of time. Which allowed us to get a lot of use out of it and really “deepen our opinion” as someone else likes to say sometimes.
If I had to guess what would be the most common mouse in the office, it would be the Logitech M705. It’s simple, it’s effective, and it has a very good autonomy. He’s everywhere, including my desk. Or at least he was there. I have since switched to 2S myself after using it several times on one of the workstations until I fell into it.
Unfortunately, this one is no longer made by Logitech, so what you see on the market right now is what you get. Then you are stuck with the used community. Luckily, there’s still plenty of inventory, and it’s been on sale a lot lately (links available near the end of this review).
It’s a slightly bigger mouse than the M705 but not by much. It’s about 15% larger at most, with that fin sticking out for a nice place for your thumb to rest inside. It’s a bit heavier but not much. It slides about the same as the M705 and has all the same buttons.
Beyond that, things change. The precision is superior, it has a built-in battery (chargeable from a front USB port), the main scroll wheel is much more advanced, and offers a second thumb scroll wheel (horizontal scrolling).
The second scroll wheel is hidden to the left of the Previous/Next (or customizable) button. Usually, I forget he’s even there. However, I’ve used it a number of times where I needed fine scrolling back and forth. The movement of the wheel is very smooth and barely perceptible.
As mentioned, the two buttons on the right are customizable, like all other functions/buttons on this mouse (using the Logitech Options desktop app). It takes some getting used to thanks to the way they lean into each other. The M705 was easier to feel and click quickly because it was left and right, and a little separation between them. These almost blend together, so you have to feel around and sometimes press the mouse a bit oddly to make sure you’re hitting the right one and not both at the same time.
They are, at least, nice to have. And again, they are customizable. I set mine to open notepad and calculator because I use that feature way more than I ever need a forward/backward option.
There is also a hidden button in the fin. This is an option that I really miss in the M705. You see, this mouse had a hidden button on the side of the mouse that looked like this. Logitech has since quietly updated the M705 and removed this button from its design. I’ve used this button a lot and I’m so glad to have it back. It’s just located in a slightly different location than this.
You access the button by pressing the rubberized texture of the mouse. It’s just a small area of the fin with a hidden button underneath. It’s a gesture button, which is even better than what the M705 (before) had.
By default, a single tap will bring up Task View in Windows for easy switching between windows (which is why I’ve always used the button). However, if you press while dragging the mouse up, down, left, or right, it will perform one of four tasks. You can switch between desktops, open the start menu, or show/hide the desktop.
You can individually set what each of these gestures does or choose from a list of group presets. The options are so many, which makes this button incredibly powerful.
The Logitech Options app is quite user-friendly and simple to set up the mouse and you can make the buttons whatever you want. You can even configure what a down click on the main scroll wheel does (by default, the “middle click”).
You can also configure the small square button, although you probably won’t touch it. The default function is to toggle between the two scrolling options. Smooth or ratchet. I find myself doing it all the time depending on my mood or what I’m using the mouse for. Again, you may only end up using one of the two and decide to customize that button for something else.
Smooth vs ratchet (stepped) scrolling is nothing new. However, the Master 2S takes it a step further because if you spin it fast enough in ratchet mode, it will temporarily shift smoothly as if you were spinning the wheel of fortune. When it slows enough, it simply stops abruptly and locks into ratchet mode. This is called “SmartShift”. At times I really like it and at others I don’t know what to think about it. Luckily, you can turn it off through the desktop app if you’d rather the clicker be just a clicker.
This mouse, along with the more expensive MX Master 3 (and a few smaller options), is compatible with Logitech Flow. This is a software trick that allows you to use the mouse on multiple computers at the same time. It will even work between MacOS and Windows systems, which is really nice.
Think of it like having multiple monitors on the same computer. When your mouse passes the edge of the computer, it moves to the next monitor. Only in this case, each monitor is connected to a different system. A really nice feature, although it still needs some work. The company has been approaching the software for a while, so it will (hopefully) improve as it evolves.
In the meantime, this is a very good idea. There are similar options on the market, but we like the direction Logitech is taking.
The bottom of the mouse expands its capabilities even further. You can use the Logitech Flow to move between computers as a multi-monitor setup. However, you can also just use it as a standalone mouse for each system separately. You can do this by pairing it with up to three different systems using Logitech’s Unifying USB receiver adapters or using Bluetooth.
So you can use it with a Windows system, a Mac system, and then maybe a mobile device. Just press the button at the bottom to switch between the three. Pairing with other USB receivers can get a little tricky for some reason, but the Bluetooth option is ideal (if you need it).
This mouse’s laser (Darkfield) is excellent (and better than the M705 for sure), and it can be used on just about any surface. This adds a lot of versatility to the mouse in what you can use it and where you can use it.
However, the customization of this mouse is where it’s at. It’s so incredibly customizable. The software does a great job of pulling this off. Logitech Flow still needs work, but Logitech is a company more than capable of delivering (at least they have the brains to do so). Hope they stick to it.
In terms of comfort, the mouse really does things well. It’s not the smoothest sliding mouse we’ve ever come across, but it does a great job. The texture is excellent throughout, allowing you to maintain a good grip, and the mouse fits your hand quite well.
Battery life is decent. You can get “up to” 70 days of use. However, this is where the M705 really continues to win the award. This includes every other mouse we’ve used or tested. The M705 can give you up to 3 years of battery life depending on your activity level (and we’re very active on a daily basis). We haven’t seen this in any other mouse we’ve encountered. Imagine if Logitech could do that with the MX Master series. The competition would throw their hands up and walk away.
You don’t get that range with the MX Master series, but you do (at least) have the built-in rechargeable battery. It’s micro-USB though. Logitech didn’t go with USB-C for fast charging until the MX Master 3. Luckily, the job is done, and we still have standby USB cables everywhere.
What it comes with
You get a micro-USB cable as well as a Logitech Unifying USB receiver. Beyond a few instructions, that’s it. It’s all in the software.
What do we like? It’s comfortable, highly configurable, fluid, powerful and sexy. It’s a very good mouse.
What are we neutral on? Battery life could be better. We’ve been spoiled with the M705 all these years, so our expectations are a bit high. The SmartShift in the scroll wheel can be a little weird at times, but it can be turned off. It is completely user preference and there are some here who absolutely love it. Logitech Flow is an amazing feature to have access to. It still needs a little work to make things as user-friendly as possible.
What don’t we like? The two customizable thumb buttons are a little hard to press at times (it doesn’t always feel natural when trying). It’s easy to hit them both at the same time. That is just about everything. Battery life misses this category as the mouse really does a lot with multi-device support and stuff. So it can absolutely improve, but it doesn’t make the score any worse.
*Average price is based on when this item was published
- Sensor Technology: High Accuracy Darkfield
- Nominal value: 1000 dpi
- DPI (minimum and maximum value): 200-4000 dpi (can be adjusted in 50 dpi increments)
- Battery life: Up to 70 days on a single full charge
- Battery: Li-Po rechargeable battery (500mAh)
- Number of buttons: 7
- Gesture button: Yes
- Scroll wheel: yes, with automatic shift
- Standard and special buttons: Previous/Next and middle click
- Wireless operating distance: 393.7 in (10 m)
- Wireless Technology: Advanced 2.4 GHz wireless technology
- Optional software: Logitech Options and Logitech Flow
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