Logitech released the products earlier this week and after having time to try them out we are here with our impressions of Logitech’s flagship devices for Mac.
Logitech K380 for multiple devices
The simplest of the three devices is the K380. While the keyboard has been around for a while, this white Mac-specific version is new.
This is a compact Mac keyboard that’s similar in size to Apple’s smaller Magic Keyboard. Its compact size works well for smaller desks or a portable use case. Very simple, just throw in a bag.
Unlike the two premium options below, the K380 runs on a pair of AAA batteries. There is an on/off switch on the left side of the keyboard. It can be connected to up to three devices, all of which can be easily switched using the light gray device buttons on the left side of the function keys.
The keys are solid and tactile, although we’re not always fans of round keycaps. If you tend to hit the corners of the keys, you’ll miss them on these round ones. To be honest, a few days of typing and we adapted pretty quickly. It was only an issue when we kept switching from a square keycap to these round ones.
Logitech MX Keys for Mac
However, the new MX Keys for Mac are on another level. It builds on Apple’s own Magic Keyboard in almost every way. Apple’s keyboard convinces only with the solid tactile “click” when a key is pressed, the aluminum housing, the Lightning connector and the slim profile. But they are also up for debate.
The MX Keys for Mac keyboard is roughly the same size as Apple’s but has a raised back edge that can make it more ergonomic. We know there are people out there who think Apple is falling short, and Logitech clearly agrees.
While Apple uses Lightning – which we like because we always keep a Lightning cable on our desk for our iPhones – Logitech has gone for USB-C. USB-C is an excellent choice and we’re happy to see it here.
MX Keys works over Bluetooth Low Energy or with Logitech’s unifying receiver. The only issue we have is that Logitech continues to ship a USB-A version of its receiver. So if you want to use that, you’ll need a dock or USB adapter to make it work with a modern Mac. Luckily, Bluetooth is more than reliable and is our preferred connection method. Still, Logitech needs to update its receiver.
There is a full set of function keys on the keyboard dedicated to screen brightness, exposure, app view, keyboard brightness, media controls, volume, and eject. Apple’s keyboard basically all has the same keys, except for keyboard brightness options and the mobile-specific shortcuts above the number pad for calculator, camera, and locks.
Speaking of the backlight: it can be easily controlled via the function bar, but it also adjusts itself automatically. The light comes on as your hands approach, creating a beautiful effect when in use.
If we could change one thing about the Logitech MX Keys for Mac, it would be to actually make them out of aluminum instead of just silver plastic. It still looks good and has a hefty weight, but it’s clear that it doesn’t have the same quality as Apple’s true aluminum body.
Our favorite of all the new devices from Logitech is the MX Master 3 for Mac. Taking things to a new level, this mouse has far more tricks up its sleeve than Apple’s basic multi-touch Magic Mouse.
That’s not to say we’re not fans of Apple’s Magic Mouse 2, but users have long debated the merits of its low profile and poorly positioned Lightning connector. Users had to turn the mouse on its side to plug it into a charger, rendering it unusable while it was powered.
The MX Master 3 again has a familiar design and is very comfortable. It’s a lot bigger than the Magic Mouse 2, but it fills your hand and feels a lot more natural. It’s equipped with buttons and wheels on almost every side, all of which have different functions depending on the device and even the application you’re using.
To start, your standard left and right mouse buttons are at the top. We’d like these to have a bit more tension as they click a little too easily, but they’re solid enough. In between is the scroll wheel. It’s a new Magspeed wheel controlled by magnets.
The wheel can switch between precision mode, where you feel a solid click with every movement, and free spin mode, where there is no resistance. In both modes you can spin the wheel and slide it to a stop. The wheel is made of machined metal, giving it fantastic tactile feel. To switch between these modes, there is a small button just behind the steering wheel.
On the left is a metal horizontal scroll wheel. This has a little more tension and can be easily controlled with the thumb. This scroll wheel is useful for a few purposes. In Excel or Final Cut Pro X, it can act as a horizontal scroll wheel for your spreadsheet or timeline. When you’re in Safari, it can serve as a method for switching between open tabs. Finally, it can be used within the operating system as an easy way to switch between different desktops or full-screen apps.
The only problem is that we like to use it to switch between our full-screen apps, but when we’re in an app like Safari or Final Cut this function is overridden. We can disable these app-specific features, but they are useful in their own right. It just gets confusing as to why it can sometimes jump between desktops and sometimes not, and takes a second to process that we’re in a specific app.
Without the multi-touch capability of Apple’s tracking products, it can be more difficult to switch between these different desktops and apps. The bike helps, but only sometimes.
Below the wheel is another set of buttons. These can also be programmed. In Final Cut, they act as undo and redo buttons. In Safari, they can act as forward and back buttons.
Last but not least, the gesture button is under your thumb. Press these and move the mouse to perform a variety of functions. Hold and drag your mouse back to access the app expose. Hold and slide forward to open the various open desktops. And hold and slide left or right to switch between open apps. These can be customized and are very useful when used properly.
All of this can be controlled and configured with Logitech’s simple utility. Without it, many functions of the mouse will not work. It still functions as a mouse, but the gestures and special keys are less useful.
Logitech specifically advertises that the MX Master 3 was also designed for the iPad, so of course we had to put it to the test.
Once connected to our iPad Pro, the mouse was mostly smooth. It wasn’t perfect and we did notice instances of over-scrolling. It seems Apple’s devices are still the smoothest for tracking on the iPad, but this is probably the smoothest third-party device we’ve tried.
Of the extra buttons, only a few work here on the iPad. The mouse can switch between the two modes, right-click works just like normal click. We were even surprised to see that the gesture button worked, albeit not as strongly as it does on the Mac. What’s clicked jumps to your previous app, and holding it down opens the app switcher.
Other nice touches on the Logitech MX Master 3 include USB-C charging, 4000 DPI tracking, and support for tracking on any surface – including glass.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
All three of these new devices can be ordered now and are perfect companions for your iPhone, iPad or Mac. They’re cleanly designed to match Apple’s aesthetic, and everyone can switch between all devices on the fly.
They build on what Apple has already offered with more features such as B. Multi-device support, backlit buttons, and a bunch of customizable buttons.
We love that Logitech has brought these popular products to the Mac with their own enhancements, most notably Mac software and Apple’s signature command key.
Get Logitech’s MX Keys for Mac for $99, MX Master 3 for $99, and K380 for $39.