Find out why Erik Eckel calls Logitech's MX Keys and MX Master 3 an ideal companion pair for Mac users.
Like grilled cheese and tomato soup, Logitech's MX Keys Mac keyboard and MX Master 3 mouse are a particularly good combination. By themselves, each is great. But combined, whoa. You're onto something.
Just as is probably true for you, I spend the better part of each weekday using a keyboard and mouse. I learned long ago the importance of higher quality peripherals. Considering the thousands of hours a year spent typing, scrolling, and clicking, I've never encountered trouble justifying such investments. And don't let any fancy financial types tell you computer components aren't investments: These accessories take your investment and grow the initial outlay into greater profit and value via the labor you complete wielding these devices.
SEE: IT hardware procurement policy (TechRepublic Premium)
Every time your fingers strike a key or your hand embraces the curves and buttons of a mouse, you should feel tactile confidence and comfort. Compatibility issues should prove ancient history. You shouldn't have to fret over short battery lives, and you assuredly should no longer be messing with wired cable connections for keyboards and mice.
Logitech's Bluetooth peripherals for Macs tandem delivers on all fronts.
The MX Keys for Mac keyboard
Let's start with the MX Keys for Mac keyboard (Figure A).
Let's get one item out of the way: The standard Magic Keyboard with Numeric Keypad is close to perfect. Apple's flat, square keys respond firmly and accurately when pressed. Battery life, too, is excellent, and the Magic Keyboard connects easily to Macs. So, why do you even need the Logitech?
For one, the MX Keys for Mac is cheaper. Apple's silver model is $129, and the price jumps to $149 for the Space Gray version. The Logitech alternative costs just $99.99.
SEE: Top 10 iPad tips (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Need another reason? If you're among those who carefully curate their workspaces, Apple's Space Gray Magic Keyboard, for which you pay the additional $20 surcharge, doesn't match Space Gray MacBook Pros. The Apple keyboards are closer to black, while MacBook Pros are lighter and grayer, making them appear mismatched. The Logitech is almost a perfect color match, which those who take pride in their offices or prize design and appearance will appreciate.
The third factor, however, is the deal breaker. The Logitech keyboard is backlit. The Apple Magic Keyboard at, again, almost $150, is not. I work from a home office, as do so many of us now, and depending upon the day, I can't read the keys on an Apple keyboard whenever the weather turns overcast.
The Logitech MX Keys for Mac (Figure B) definitively solved this problem. There's no more hunting for special characters and functions, as the individual keys are literally glowing in the dark.
Other advantages of Logitech's MX Keys for Mac include comfortable keys, which feature a sculpted design inviting to fingertips. The individual indentations naturally settle fingers into the ideal strike position, and the raised ridges on the F and J keys are more pronounced, too, making it easier to confirm your hand position on the home row without having to look down from your display. The 5 key on the integrated numeric keyboard boasts the same ridged bar, of course, which accountants and others routinely performing calculations will appreciate.
SEE: WWDC 2020: The biggest takeaways (free PDF) (TechRepublic)
Thanks to a smartly engineered proximity sensor, the keyboard lights up when your fingers approach the keyboard, too, not after first errantly striking the wrong key because the keys weren't lit. Careful energy programming, meanwhile, helps power the keyboard to months of use between charge cycles, which can be completed in two hours. Don't worry, either, if you forget to charge the keyboard. It's no big deal, as a quick three- or four-minute charge using the provided USB-C cable powers the keyboard an entire day.
The MX Master 3 for Mac mouse
The Logitech MX Master 3 for Mac mouse, like the Logitech keyboard, closely matches the finish of Apple's Space Gray Macs and pairs elegantly with its MX Keys sibling (Figure C).
The Apple Magic Mouse 2, which costs $79 for silver and $99 in Space Gray and serves as the default for most users, is subject to perceiving various touches and inadvertent contact as specific intended gestures and is too small for my hand to remotely operate comfortably. The MX Master 3 is much larger and fits the hand in a much more natural way thanks to its contoured shape (Figure D).
Those factors alone justify choosing the Logitech mouse over Apple's offering. But the MX Master 3 packs several additional significant advantages, too.
Just as properly toasting bread when making a grilled cheese and adding fresh ground black pepper to the accompanying tomato bisque creates a more savory experience, the functionality Logitech's Logi Options software provides business users is compelling. For example, I program one of the mouse's multiple individually customizable buttons to launch Mission Control, saving time and preserving ergonomic efficiency throughout the day every day.
SEE: TechRepublic Premium editorial calendar: IT policies, checklists, toolkits, and research for download (TechRepublic Premium)
Using Logi Options, you can also save and upload your mouse settings to your Logitech account, which permits backing up configurations and migrating settings to other computers, as well as set programmable functions for individual applications. The ability to set these individual application profiles is a game changer for those who regularly perform specific functions using Adobe and Microsoft applications, among others.
As for the mouse's performance, it's unsurpassed in my experience. The MX Master 3 can scroll 1,000 lines per second. Programmers and editors benefit from the speed. The machined steel electromagnetic ratchet also provides precision scrolling accompanied by a confidence-inspiring tactile clicking sensation. Just tap the top Wheel Mode Shift button to toggle between the settings.
Fortunately, battery life is just as good as its sibling keyboard. I go months between charges. When charging is required, like the MX Keys keyboard, the MX Master 3 ships with a USB-C cable. Just a couple minutes provides enough charge for an entire day, and two hours sets you up for another mammoth run. For $99.99, I can't find a better mouse.
Mate these Logitech Master Series peripherals to your Mac, and I believe you'll be pleasantly surprised at the upgrade each offers over its Apple equivalents. And that's saying something, as Apple's keyboard is first rate and its mouse is widely used. Take the time you save using the Logitech components to make yourself a good grilled cheese with a side of soup. Comfort food's almost always a safe bet, as are these Logitech tools.
- Raspberry Pi: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)
- How to use Mission Control to optimize macOS operation (TechRepublic)
- Why the Logitech MX Master 2S mouse is a perfect complement to Macs (TechRepublic)
- Hardware inventory policy (TechRepublic Premium)
- Logitech K480: The last mobile keyboard you'll ever need (TechRepublic)
- Apple Magic Keyboard for iPad Pro review: The pros and cons (ZDNet)
- Monitor, keyboard and mouse sales jump as coronavirus forces remote working (ZDNet)
- Best cell phone trade-in options for iPhones and Android phones (CNET)
- Clean out junk files in Windows 7, 8.1, and 10 (Download.com)
- More must-read coverage: Apple on Flipboard by TechRepublic