Logitech Bolt: New wireless protocol provides added security for mice and keyboards

Logitech's MX Master and Ergo ranges of keyboards and mice will get a business-focused upgrade with support for the company's new Bolt wireless technology.

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Logitech's Bolt wireless protocol will allow a new generation of MX Master and Ergo keyboards and mice to connect more securely and more reliably than with standard Bluetooth LE.

Image: Logitech

Logitech's MX mice and keyboards have long been popular with both business and home users – and, of course, the company's webcams and video-conferencing systems were tailor-made for the new hybrid-working patterns that emerged during the coronavirus pandemic.

However, the company is now making a more focused push into the business sector with its MX Master Series For Business, which introduces a new feature called Bolt. 

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Described by Logitech as "a new high-performance, secure wireless technology", Bolt is based on Bluetooth LE and can be used to connect the new MX mice and keyboards to a computer either via a standard Bluetooth connection or by using the USB RF receivers that Logitech also bundles with its products. That support for both Bluetooth and proprietary connectivity has long been a feature of Logitech products, but the company claims that the new Bolt-compatible generation of mice and keyboards will offer business users lower latency and improved reliability in crowded office environments, as well as additional security features that aren't available with its existing MX products. 

When using a Bluetooth connection, a Bolt-compatible mouse supports Bluetooth Security Mode 1, Security Level 2, while a keyboard supports Security Mode 1, Security Level 3. However, Logitech's redesigned Bolt USB receiver is the more secure option, allowing both mice and keyboards to step up to Bluetooth Security Mode 1, Security Level 4.

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Logitech will release new MX Master Series For Business keyboards and mice at the end of September.

Images: Logitech

The Bolt option is also compliant with FIPS – the set of Federal Information Processing Standards specified by the US National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for use in non-military organisations. We've seen several FIPS-compliant storage devices in recent months, but the MX Master Series for Business is the first time we've seen its use extended to mice and keyboards. And like previous generations of MX products, the new Bolt-compatible models will provide cross-platform compatibility, allowing them to control up to three PCs and Macs, and even to quickly switch from one to the other by using Logitech's Options app.

That's the good news. The bad news is that Bolt isn't compatible with existing MX mice and keyboards, so business users who require that additional level of security will need to wait for the new MX Master Series For Business, which is due to launch at the end of September. There will also be a new version of the compact MX Anywhere 3 mouse, which is designed for travelling with a laptop. Pricing for the new range has yet to be announced, although the existing MX mouse and keyboard each cost £99.99 (inc. VAT) or $99.99, while the MX Anywhere 3 costs £79.99 (inc. VAT) or $79.99. 

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Logitech's ergonomic Ergo keyboards and mice will also get a Bolt-compatible upgrade: Ergo Series for Business.

Image: Logitech  

Along with the streamlined design of the MX Master products, Logitech is also launching a second range of Bolt-compatible mice and keyboards, called Ergo Series for Business. This consists of a new version of its Ergo K860 keyboard, which uses an ergonomic 'split' keyboard layout that's designed to reduce wrist-strain and other forms of repetitive strain injury (RSI). The Ergo keyboard will also be accompanied by a new version of Logitech's Ergo M575, which combines the features of both mouse and trackball for £44.99 (inc. VAT) or $44.95. 

Also See

Logitech MX Master 3 and MX Keys, hands on: Logitech reinvents the (mouse) wheel 

Logitech MX Anywhere 3, hands on: A compact mouse for mobile workers 

Logitech Ergo M575, hands on: An affordable ergonomic wireless trackball 

Hands-on: Logitech Ergo K860 Natural Keyboard