The Logitech MX Anywhere 3 is Logitech’s rendition of the ultimate portable mouse. It’s about as ultimate as it gets when it comes to price as well.
A princely price tag of $139 places it in the same bracket as gaming mice, which often sport some of the best internals money can buy. No doubt, high expectations will be high. The upside is that the MX Anywhere 3 is chock full of features and it looks the part. As a portable mouse, it is undoubtedly small. But the MX Anywhere 3 feels a lot heavier than it looks. It weighs about 95g (officially 99g) and fortunately, the heft feels assuring, and to some degree, conveys the sense that it is a premium product. It all makes sense once you rest your palm on its arches. With a relaxed grip and a jiggle of the wrist, and you’ll find that the weight of the mouse helps to control the movement.
Admittedly, I found myself unconsciously curling my hand into a claw over time regardless because of its low profile. It’s comfortable enough that I don’t notice it at first, but if you want to use it for long periods, it’s best to consciously rest your palm on the mouse. It’s a fair trade for a compact form, I suppose. What I don’t understand is that even though you don’t necessarily need the receiver, there should be room on the mouse to store it. I suppose Logitech’s priority is to keep the mouse compact, and it assumes that you’d keep the receiver permanently attached to one device, but it also means there is no elegant way to carry both with you on the move.
That aside, the Anywhere 3 is impeccable as a mobile mouse. Let’s start with the three indicators at the bottom. A button lets you cycle through three connections, each indicating a setup you can connect to. I connected one to a PC, one to a Mac, and one to an iPad. So you can have one mouse with all the presets carefully tweaked to taste (with the Logitech Options app) and use it on all your setups.
It’s also nice to have a USB-C port for a wired connection and it’s so convenient to attach the cable without having to figure out the orientation. Aesthetically, the side grips add subtle and tasteful lines, and functionally, they are rather useful as well. They also provide some add much-needed texture, and a gentle touch is all you need to rock the mouse around.
Of the six buttons on the mouse, four of them are programmable through Logitech Options. The buttons have been pre-defined for popular apps, but you can always customise them to taste. They’re limited to a range of options such as volume control, or opening apps like email, but they are especially useful for repetitive tasks.
Other cooler features include Flow, which enables you to move your cursor to the edge of the screen and then onto the next computer. This works even between PCs and Macs. It doesn’t work with the iPad, however. You can arrange the order of your setups from left to right etc, but you’ll need all devices (up to three) to be on the same Wi-Fi band for it to work. With that up and going, you can now copy and paste documents and text easily as well, even when from Mac to Windows and vice versa. For those who use both operating systems, this is a godsend. While you can’t drag and drop, you can copy and paste files across. File transfer speeds are relatively modest. It takes a couple of seconds for small files, but transfer speed slows down considerably when the files are really large, and your network speed becomes a bigger factor. My network isn’t the quickest, so it took seven minutes for me to transfer a gigabyte of data. Regardless, it’s still the path of least resistance.
The coolest bit of the mouse has got to be the click wheel, as it is electromagnetically controlled. Arguably, this is what distinguishes Anywhere 3 as a hundred-dollar mouse. It spins freely on its axis when the mouse is unpowered, but once the electronics kick in, the Anywhere 3 can simulate a traditional mouse’s clicky scroll wheel. You can push easily it into a free spin when it recognises that you are trying to reach far up or down a page, and you can even configure the sensitivity as well. The wheel itself is made from a machined piece of steel, which is perfectly weighted – it feels substantial and premium, and scrolling through hundreds of lines can be almost instantaneous, provided you have the control to go with the speed, of course. What’s more, you can engage the side button and scroll horizontally as well. It’s not quite as good as having a secondary wheel, but again, it’s a trade-off for a compact form.
Part of the charm is that it is supposed to be able to track on any surface you can throw at it. It doesn’t mean that it will always be silky smooth on really challenging surfaces, but the Anywhere 3 is perfectly usable so long as it’s a surface you can lay the mouse on.
The battery lasts really long – a claimed 70 days – which is essentially impossible to test without having a robot of some sort. I have never wanted a battery to die on me more than this one, and I simply gave up and assumed that what they said was true. The claim of a one minute charge giving you three hours worth of use was equally difficult to prove, but given the specs of the mouse, it’s safe to assume that you are more than safe either way. If I had any doubts about the weight before, I certainly don’t have it now. Having a seemingly indefatigable battery is certainly helpful if you’re frantically multitasking on the move.
With all that in mind, is the MX Anywhere 3 worth $139? Perhaps. It is pricey no matter how you look at it, and you certainly do not buy this only for its portability. But if you were to use its full breadth of features, the time it will save you will be worth more than its price.
Features - 7/10
Value Proposition - 7/10
Performance - 8/10
Design & Build Quality - 8/10
Overall - 7/10
The ultimate mobile mouse? For productive workers on the go, yes. The software enhancements are as important as the hardware.