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Logitech's MX Master and MX Anywhere 2 mice reviewed

Productive power in two convenient sizes

The TR staff is composed of gamers and PC enthusiasts, so most of the mice we review are usually gaming-oriented devices festooned with RGB LEDs and programmable buttons. Gamers obviously aren't the only people who use mice, though. Logitech's top-of-the-line mice for regular folks, the MX series, make big waves whenever they're updated. The MX Master and MX Anywhere 2 represent the most recent round of refinements to the formula. I've spent plenty of quality time with these mice over the last few weeks to see how they measure up.

One can tell at first glance that the MX Master and the Anywhere 2 are meant for two distinctly different habitats. The Master is a big mouse that could fit in a bag in a pinch, but it'll probably be happiest living on a desk. The Anywhere 2's smaller, flatter body is clearly meant to thrive in the wilds of Starbucks, airports, and laptop bags.

Both mice are wireless, and they each come with one of Logitech's tiny Unifying USB wireless recievers. The dongle isn't necessary for those with Bluetooth Smart-equipped PCs (better known as Bluetooth 4.0), though: each mouse can connect via Unifying and Bluetooth Smart.

What's more, both mice have three onboard pairing profiles, each of which can be assigned to a Unifying reciever or a Bluetooth connection. That makes it easy to move the mice between PCs with Bluetooth Smart and others with Unifying dongles with nothing more than a button press.

Wireless mice run on batteries by necessity, and the power cells in the Master and Anywhere 2 are pretty fancy. Logitech uses non-removable lithium-polymer batteries in each mouse, good for up to 40 days of use in the Master and up to two months for the Anywhere 2. An included micro-USB cable plugs into the nose of each mouse to charge the battery, and it allows you to use the Master or Anywhere 2 as a wired mouse in the meantime—albeit on a short leash.

Logitech's Options software handles the setup and customization of the Master and Anywhere 2. Unlike the gaming mice that we typically review, these clickers don't offer on-the-fly DPI switching or multiple custom profiles. DPI can be adjusted in Options, and limited macro functionality is available through the program's "keystroke assignment" custom function, but the lack of profile support is questionable. There's a lot of potential value in setting up separate profiles for creative applications like Photoshop and Office apps like Excel, for example, and being able to trigger common keyboard shortcuts with a macro is really handy.

As matters stand, anyone who wants to customize these MX mice on a per-application basis has to go through Options and change each button function one at a time—and they'd have to maintain a list of settings somewhere for each app. That's impractically clunky. At least profiles could be implemented in software, so Logitech might be able to add support for them in anupdate if it was so inclined. We'll examine this utility a little more later in the review.

Here are each mouse's specs in tabular form, for easy reference:

  MX Anywhere 2 MX Master
Dimensions (LxWxH) 3.9" x 2.4" x 1.4"
(100.3 x 61.6 x 34.4 mm)
5" x 3.4" x 2"
(126 x 85.7 x 48.4 mm)
Weight 3.7 oz (106 g) 5.1 oz (145 g)
Adjustable weight No No
DPI settings 400-1600 DPI (in 200-DPI increments) 400-1600 DPI (in 200-DPI increments)
Sensor type Laser (Logitech Darkfield) Laser (Logitech Darkfield)
Programmable buttons 5 5
Onboard profiles N/A N/A
DPI switching levels N/A N/A
Shape Ambidextrous (back/forward buttons RH only) Right-hand only
Wireless protocols Logitech Unifying, Bluetooth Smart Logitech Unifying, Bluetooth Smart
Pairing memories 3 3
Battery life Up to two months Up to 40 days
Price $79.99 $99.99

As the halo mice in Logitech's productivity-mouse lineup, the MX Master and MX Anywhere 2 are priced accordingly. The MX Master is $100 on Newegg right now, while the MX Anywhere 2 will set you back $80. Let's take a tour of each mouse and see what that money buys you.