You’d be forgiven for thinking every mouse scroll wheel is the same because for the most part they are. Roll the wheel under your finger while it clicks all the way. But Logitech’s new MX Master 3 Mouse, with the help of magnets, has a bit of a different approach, and it’s positively delightful in a way I never would have expected.
Instead of using a physical mechanism to provide the tactile clicks that let you scroll, say, a spreadsheet one row at a time, the MX Master 3 uses magnetic resistance to create the same effect. It feels just the same as you scroll slowly, but it also gives the mouse a superpower: Scroll fast enough and the magnets disengage, then the all-metal wheel is released to spin smoothly and freely with a quiet, satisfying mechanical hiss. Give this bad boy a flick, and it will spin for smoothly by its own inertia. It’s satisfying in a way I can’t describe, and that I also can’t get enough of.
While it is certainly a fun gimmick, it’s also more than that. This freewheel spin (which can also be engaged on demand, using a dedicated button) will let you scroll through dozens of document pages or thousands of spreadsheet rows with unparalleled ease. Of course, if you find yourself doing this on a regular basis, you might be better suited to just use the “Find” functionality, or build a hyperlinked table of contents, but there at least is a reason beyond just “Why not?”
This feature isn’t new to the Logitech’s MX Master 3 mouse, it was also present in earlier mice in the line, but with an implementation that felt looser and ran louder. The Master 3’s polished version is a whole other animal. And the mouse boasts more than a mere luxury scroll wheel. It also lets you program a selection of customizable buttons through its pack-in software (which runs on MacOS, Windows, and Linux), sports a 40,000 DPI sensor, an very comfortable ergonomic body, and USB-C charging, with a port that helpfully isn’t right on the bottom so you can charge it and use it at the same time if you have to.
Ultimately, while the MX Master 3 mouse is one of the best you can lay hands on, it does come at a hefty price of $100 when it ships later this month. And despite it terrific fit and finish, I don’t think it will usurp my favorite trackball. But it is certainly one of the most terrific mice I have ever used, and it has ruined me for every other scroll wheel forever.
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