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  • Soon Kai Hong

Logitech MX Master 3S Review: Silently Better But Not Worth The Upgrade

If you’re in the market looking for a really ergonomic mouse that can fit really well within your professional workspace, you would probably have looked at the Logitech MX Master series. Well this is the latest and greatest from Logitech, the MX Master 3S. For some of you, it has been a long time coming for it’s been almost 3 years since the MX Master 3 launched. So is this worth the upgrade? We’ll say it right here. For most of you, the answer would be no.

At first glance, I would say that nobody will be able to differentiate between the 3 and the 3S simply because they are basically downright the same, physically. The only difference visually per se would be the colour choices in which you’ll have 2 options to choose from now. Graphite and this right here, Pale Gray which is like an off-white kind of colour. Personally, I’m quite liking the Pale Gray and it does complement both my Audioengines and even the White Xbox Controller.

In terms of the design, this is, as mentioned, downright familiar. It still sports the same silhouette with all the buttons and wheels where they’ve always been and the soft touch material is gentle to the skin. This means it still is really comfortable to use, and ergonomically designed for all right-handed users.

So you might be asking, well, what’s the difference?

There are mainly two major differences and the two are things you’ll instantly notice once you start using the 3S.

The first would be the sound of the clicks. They are very much quieter now and very similar to that of the Pro Click and Pro Click Mini from Razer. Logitech terms this as Quiet Clicks and it manages to retain the tactile feedback from the 3 but is now 90% quieter in comparison. Now I don’t have the previous 3 here to do a side-by-side comparison but I do have Logitech’s own G303 Shroud to compare it with. This should give you a good reference as to how quiet the clicks are on the 3S.

Of course, the sound is really up to preference, but I personally do quite like and appreciate the much quieter click noise on the 3S. On that same train of thought, it also does make quite a lot more sense in a professional environment. So you don’t ever have to worry about disturbing your colleagues around you ever again.

The second major difference is the new and improved optical sensor. Compared to the previous generation, the maximum DPI is doubled from 4,000 to 8,000. With how much working from home has transformed the workplace nowadays, the increase in DPI is definitely a benefit, especially for those of you who work with multiple high-resolution monitors, be it at home or the office. Of course, 4,000 was already plenty capable but the fact that you can now achieve a higher DPI should you need to while still retaining the iconic and comfortable design is definitely a plus.

Personally, I use 9,600 DPI daily so it actually isn’t even enough for me, but hey, to each their own. And just like before, the Darkfield High Precision sensor allows you to use the 3S practically anywhere, even on glass.

And honestly, that’s really about it, the two main differences that separate the 3S from the 3. The rest are as mentioned, pretty much downright the same, such as the MagSpeed Electromagnetic Scrolling, or even down to the weight at 141 grams alongside the battery life at just about 70 days on a full charge and three hours of use from just one minute of charge.

In essence, this is just a slightly improved version of the 3 which is no surprise given the fact that this is the 3S and not the 4. Which is by no means a bad thing per se.

The MagSpeed Electromagnetic Scrolling is still really great and you can toggle between free-spinning or tactile. The thumbwheel is really intuitive and easy to reach, while the forward and back buttons are placed right below that which makes it really accessible and you still have that Gesture Button right where your thumb would rest.

Goes without saying that you can use this either on 2.4GHz wireless with the included Logitech Bolt USB dongle or via Bluetooth and you can toggle up to 3 profiles pretty quickly with the button on the bottom. One neat touch about that is that it does light up the profile number you are on when you lift the mouse up.

To add on, the Logi+ software provides a tonne of customization options as well. You get to basically change the function for the buttons to be practically anything you would want and you can even access specific functions that are tied with specific apps such as Google Chrome, Adobe applications, Microsoft Office and much more.

The 3S really continues the trend of the MX Master Series for offering versatility and function with form. This is honestly just a really good everyday or productivity mouse, both in terms of hardware and software.

However, that’s not to say it’s perfect, because it’s not. I have a few gripes about the 3S and it’s enough for me to not be able to use it as a daily driver.

The first of which is that there isn’t onboard memory. That’s right. Just like the previous model, the latest model still doesn’t support onboard memory. This is quite the oversight in our opinion, especially for many of us who might want to use this mouse with a company device which might not allow the installation of Logi+.

The other annoying thing about the absence of onboard memory is that the mouse will revert back to the default DPI of 1000 in standby mode. So if you move the mouse from standby, it does take a second or two for it to connect back to Logi+ and apply your intended DPI setting. That slight lag really does throw you off and I’m not a huge fan of that.

But perhaps more importantly, I hate the fact that this mouse has hardware acceleration built-in and there’s no way to turn it off without modifying things out of the norm.

I hate acceleration and I think it’s one of the worst things for a mouse ever. Because I’m such a high DPI user, acceleration severely affects accuracy and muscle memory. I think acceleration is fine had it still had a maximum of 4,000 DPI, but now that it’s capable of twice that, the option to turn it off really needs to be included. My two cents. Oh and of course, because of acceleration, this is by far the worst mouse for gaming and we aren’t even talking about latency or polling rate.

So we come back to the question. Is the Logitech MX Master 3S a worthy upgrade?

In all honesty, not really especially if you’re coming from the MX Master 3. All you’re really getting is the 90% less click noise and a sensor that’s capable of 8,000 DPI. But the good thing is that the 3S retains the same sticker price as the 3, coming in at S$169 or US$99.

But again with that said, that is really all the improvements you’re getting and silent clicks might not even necessarily be your jam. Honestly, I wished the 3S had included the option to disable acceleration as well as the inclusion of onboard memory. Had the 3S included those upgrades, it would’ve been a much better mouse worthy of an upgrade and a much easier recommendation.

As it is right now, while it is a good mouse for productivity and more, it’s only worth it if you don’t already own a MX Master. But if you already do, especially the 3 or even the 2S, this isn’t worth the upgrade.

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