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

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For those of us who use laptops and aren't particularly enamoured of trackpads or pointing sticks, a mouse is a 'must have' accessory. The new Logitech MX Anywhere 3 is designed to be portable, measuring a compact 34.4mm tall by 65mm wide by 100.5mm deep, and weighing just 99g. But size isn't everything: this device has to offer enough functionality to be worth the £79.99 (inc. VAT)/$79.99 outlay.

Small it may be, but this mouse crams in the buttons. Six of them cater for left and right click, back and forward scroll, wheel and middle click. Horizontal scrolling is facilitated by holding a side button with the thumb while rolling the wheel. Considering the small size of the MX Anywhere 3, all of these buttons fall very nicely under the fingers. Then again, I do have small hands -- people with a bigger glove size might find things a little fiddly.

The MX Anywhere 3 lives off an internal rechargeable 500mAh battery that should last 70 days from a full charge, according to Logitech. It charges via USB-C, and the Logitech Options software that provides access to mouse information and customisation tells you when the battery is running low. I have been using the MX Anywhere 3 for a week and it's still showing as full as I write this. I do wish Logitech would refine its Options software to show battery percentage rather than just a bar system, but if you do get caught out, a one-minute quick-charge delivers three hours of life.

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The MX Anywhere 3 is a compact wireless mouse with six buttons -- left/right click, back/forward, wheel mode-shift, middle click. It should last for up to 70 days on a full charge.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet
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The Easy-Switch button lets you choose between three (Bluetooth or 2.4GHz) connection channels.

Image: Sandra Vogel / ZDNet  

The mouse comes with a USB dongle and will also connect via Bluetooth LE. My review sample was black (Graphite), but there are also near-white (Pale Gray) and pink (Rose) options. The shaping is nicely palm-friendly, and the textured silicon sides help with grip. For those who like a mouse with a top wheel, the one here will be very appealing. It's metal, with ridged outer edges and a rolling action that can be set to smooth or 'ratcheted' (with resistance set to your personal preference), and is a pleasure to use. If you prefer to use the two different modes interchangeably rather than stick with one or other, there's a button just below the wheel that toggles between them. 

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The Logitech MX Anywhere 3 can pair with three devices, and you switch between them by tapping a button on its underside. It's happy with Windows, Linux, Chrome OS, iPadOS and macOS. Logitech Options also offers a software feature called Flow that lets you move between devices and take data with you. Copying and pasting files and folders is very straightforward. For people who do a lot of moving of stuff between devices locally rather than relying on cloud services, this is extremely useful.

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The Options software can also be used to customise the two side buttons, scroll wheel and the small button beneath the wheel. The range of options is huge, from launching particular apps to taking on specific functions within particular apps. Good luck remembering everything you configure, but to make it easier to get going Logitech provides a range of settings for different apps, including app-of-the-moment Zoom. 

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MX Anywhere 3 colours (L-R): Rose, Graphite, Pale Gray.

Images: Logitech

All of this might feel like overkill if you just want a mouse to point, click, select and do the other navigation basics. But if you see your mouse as a real productivity enhancer, Logitech's MX Anywhere 3 and its associated (free) Options software, is definitely worth a look.

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