As some of you might know I used to work exclusively on Surface Pro -devices and for almost two years I had The Best Mouse to go with it: Microsoft Surface Precision mouse. Desktop computer I had was a lot older model and thus I used it only occasionally – the keyboard I had with it was a mix of old fashion (large) and modern (colors & design.). After switching to work on a new desktop computer since autumn 2020 I eventually recognized I need to upgrade my keyboard. And almost accidentally I also upgraded my mouse “while at it”. This ended up as “upgrading my workspace to modern in 2021” After a few months of use it is time to spotlight these with this review.
I used to have Lenovo Legion K200. Once I upgraded my home office to a modern Desktop computer I started to use the keyboard a lot more than before. It was a solid one to write with. But it was noisy. Really noisy. After some time I knew it was time to look for a replacement since I often write blog posts during late night hours.
Looking around I discovered something I hadn’t thought: getting back to Logitech keyboard & mouse with MX series. Big changes of course were that I was going to move from wired keyboard to wireless and while Surface Precision Mouse was (and is) a great mouse I wondered if I could get something more with the new Logitech MX Master 3 mouse as well.
Both devices are managed, configured and updated via Logitech Options software.
First things first: MX Keys is really backlighted keyboard – unlike the cheap Legion was. And it is a lot smaller in size – taking a lot less space on the desk and having a wireless keyboard also cleans the desk up a bit since there isn’t any wires running. MX Keys can be connected to multiple devices easily as well – either with the dongle or with Bluetooth. There are bunch of features available for MX Keys – check out Logitech site for more if you are interested. The dongle and Logitech software allows clipboard between computers (even between Mac & Windows) but I never set that part up since I had no need for it.
What I noticed that I need to pay attention to charge the keyboard. There is a small light that starts showing red when you are in low of juice but despite that I managed to empty this one once. Battery should last 10 days with backlight on – and when you forgot to turn it off now and then it can come as a surprise. For writing this blog post I checked on battery consumption and after 5 days it shows it 2/3. However I generally built a habit to charge the keyboard weekly – and especially before any public speaking session. You could say that running it empty once left some scars – but you can also charge MX Keys while using so it is not really a issue on my desk. Charging is done via USB-C which is The Way for my devices nowadays.
The keyboard is somewhat compact compared to my previous Lenovo Legion (“the Ogre”). This lead to a lot of learning and typos – especially in the beginning. But I still tend to press Caps Lock on when I intend to hit left Shift. But what I love is the softness, accuracy of keystrokes and the feeling what you get when typing. Keys feel premium and it hasn’t shown me any signs of wear so far. The chassis is sturdy – it is surprisingly heavy for it’s size – and thus that translates to solid structure, premium quality and on most importantly: usability; The keyboard doesn’t move when you type. I currently don’t have any plans to take the keyboard with me while traveling, so the weight is not the issue.
The keyboard layout is full sized, despite I earlier called it compact. All keys are there: arrows, insert/home/page up/page down/end and delete arrays and there is a separate numpad as well. On compactness I refer more to the position how I am typing on it.
What is really important is that MX Keys is silent. Quiet. Almost like applied with the infamous Cone of silence. The last one is exaggeration naturally, but compared to the previous one this one is like a ninja. I hope it is also at least somewhat spill/waterproof since I just accidentally managed to drop some water to keyboard when writing this article I will update this post in case I had to get a new one.. 😂
- I had two hiccups: lost connection to the computer. Restart, remove/plugin of dongle didn’t help. After a reboot of computer I got the keyboard back. This may be more about some glitch at Windows’s end – however this hasn’t happened anymore for over two months. I also created a back-up connection to the computer via Bluetooth in case that would happen again (I didn’t have to use this even once so far). At first I through I run out of battery but it didn’t solve itself with charging.
- Slightly too compact but making this keyboard 10% larger would also mean taking much more space on the desk.. Adjusting to this size takes some time – but I think I will get there since with longer period of time. Old fingers learn slowly.
- Fn-key is on the right part of spacebar.
- Backlighting is superb. I really love the way it activates when it senses that hands are nearby.
- Ability to connect to multiple devices and can switch between devices easily
- Ability to have more Logitech devices in one dongle. After the glitch mentioned above I did separate them to their own dongles but later got back to use a single dongle (and free up one USB port, no matter how many you got..)
- Ability to connect the keyboard to a other device via Bluetooth allows the same keyboard to be used with tablets, for example.
- For those who need: the same keyboard works for Windows & Mac
- Silent and quiet but reliable
- Premium-feeling when typing
- Ability to set application specific key functionalities
I am not going back to the previous keyboard. This is a really good for my modern workspace.
MX Master 3 mouse
Trying out a new mouse kind of a ad hoc decision. I didn’t have any real need to switch to a new one. Microsoft Surface Precision Mouse is a good one. However, sometimes you just want to explore what else is out there.
My first impression was that the mouse was a bit larger(more tall/thick/height) than Surface Precision mouse is. So first I had some tune-in phase when I learned how to rest my hand comfortably on MX Master 3.
This mouse has lots of cool features and specs (like ability to connect to multiple devices, buttons you can program etc). If you want to learn more from specs check out Logitech site for information.
Some key things are
- long battery life (70 days – I didn’t run out of juice with this one but I never tested would this last two months. )
- Ability to program application specific actions to several buttons. This is really cool: I have set two thumb buttons to control Teams mute and camera for example. The more you add, the less you remember them.. So I just added a few key ones – like those Teams shortcuts.
- Two wheels (this separates this mouse from many others (like Surface) who only have one wheel)
There is a lot to learn on this mouse – but doing so can increase productivity and reduce the need to click around in various places. Two wheels can be used to scroll information both vertically and horizontally. Using application specific buttons means you click around less in the UI. And of course skipping between apps is easy when you can invoke Teams app or virtual desktop switching when using the mouse.
I took a few pics from Logitech site to show the versatility of this mouse.
- There isn’t much really. It takes some time to adjust your hand to the new form. In the beginning my palm & fingers resisted this so I had to have some breaks until I adjusted to it
- It shows already some tinting on material. Don’t choose this gray version unless you really like grey (I should have gotten the black/graphite instead!) . Of course this is nothing but aesthetic issue – and I may want to keep the mouse out of some pictures eventually if it gets worse.
- This is the Way and the Mouse I feel comfortable with. Sorry Surface Precision Mouse – MX wins
- No glitches. No issues. Reliable.
- Accurate and lots of things you can adjust to your individual preferences (speed)
- Application specific programmable buttons – enough to my needs
- Feels good on hand. I can’t say it is a premium feeling but it is above standard ones. If I would have to choose then it would weight towards premium feel on materials and design.
- Charged via USB-C
- Ability to connect to multiple devices.
I do use Surface Pro 7 now and then (and once I travel again more it is the computer I take with me) and with that I tend to use Surface Precision mouse. The situation is nowadays reversed: it feels a bit odd to start using Surface mouse due to different design.
Surface Precision is still a good mouse, but doesn’t go to MX Master 3 level. But Surface mouse does have micro-USB charging.. With that it feels like it is outdated by a decade.
When traveling I will very likely pick up Surface mouse, despite micro-USB, since it is a bit lighter and smaller than bulkier MX. Connectivity wouldn’t be any issue since you can connect with mouse via Bluetooth without having to use the dongle.
What else can I say? This is a really good mouse to my modern work desk. No, I didn’t test this on gaming.
After these three first months with my new modern workspace keyboard & mouse I am really happy that I did the upgrade. These tools are not perfect – nothing is really perfect, there will be always something better in the future – but these would score pretty high if I was giving numbers. There are probably better devices, especially for gaming (or are there?), but since I spend my days & nights on modern work this is naturally reviewed from that perspective: my experiences. These improved my home office quality more than I initially thought. It is a combination of usability, reliability and also that feeling of quality they produce when used.
Yes – I should have gotten the dark mode / graphite colored mouse instead of a grey one to get the added visual quality to boost on vanity values. However: the color doesn’t affect the real life use and before writing this blog post: I didn’t even think about it much.
The usability and feeling (materials, response, build) makes these inseparable part of my working days. If you in a situation where you are looking for new keyboard/mouse I wouldn’t skip checking these out if you have similar preferences than what I have.
My next step leveling up my home office desk to more modern will be updating one or two displays I have. I have been thinking about ideas having a larger curved wide display to cover more content in one screen and topping that with existing two screens (one Full HD to be optimal for screen sharing, one 4K for general purposes) but I haven’t really gotten into details what would be optimal. What I don’t want is to end up buying new screens yearly.