Logitech has reinvigorated the wireless market of late by revisiting a classic from a bygone era, the MX Master, previously reviewed on FoS. This is an even more impressive feat given the recent uptake of touchscreen laptops available on the market. But you just can’t be as accurate and efficient on other peripherals as with the mouse. And let’s face it, trackpads are pretty much glorified scroll wheels, which always feel cumbersome to use, with only a handful of users managing to eke out a decent amount of usage on them.
The wireless mouse has been around for many years, decades even, and the option of a travel mouse easily accompanies your laptop as the peripheral of choice when on the move. The MX Anywhere 2 Wireless Mobile Mouse fits this bill well, and packages all we love about the MX Master into a more diminutive product. The question is whether this reduction in size has led to a decrease in quality and attraction we found on the MX Master.
Build and Design
Compared to its big brother, the MX Master, the MX Anywhere 2 is substantially smaller, but does look like a pint-sized version. This isn’t a surprise, however, as the two devices were released alongside one another a few months back. This means that the MX Anywhere 2 shares the same matte black and bronze highlights found on the MX Master. The colour scheme goes a long way in projecting a premium product, and from what we’ve come to expect on the MX Master, we assume similar for the MX Anywhere 2.
But, aesthetics aside, the two mouses differ quite a great deal in terms of what’s available in features and buttons, with the MX Anywhere 2 being heavily stripped down to an almost minimum. But again, this is mostly due to the pocket-sized nature of the device, half the size of the MX Master. What’s left behind, in terms of physical buttons and the likes, are the two left and right click buttons, the scroll wheel, two (customisable) thumb buttons, and a gesture button slightly behind that. It seems simple enough, but the two latter buttons do have more function than simply standard buttons. The scroll wheel for example is Logitech’s hyper-fast wheel, which may be switched between standard, notch scrolling and super-fast freewheeling. The gesture button, on the other hand, allows the user to assign any form of gesture to it, by means of the Setpoint software, and simply triggers the gesture when the button is clicked.
Having reduced the size of the MX Anywhere 2 in comparison, comfort is of highest importance. While the size does take some getting used to, especially when you’re accustomed to larger gaming units, or even the MX Master for that matter, which is even larger than the standard mouse. But, all in all, using the MX Anywhere 2 during an extended amount of time isn’t uncomfortable, although users will have a slightly different sensation in their palms after, almost as if it knew something was amiss.
Performance and Battery Life
The MX Anywhere 2 offers just as good a performance as with the MX Master thanks to Logitech’s Darkfield laser technology that powers both devices. Again, this means that users are able to use the mouse on multiple surfaces, ranging from glass tables to the more obscure such as your lap if need be. The good thing about Logitech’s laser technology is that it works equally well on all surfaces, with great speed and precision. The 3-way connectivity is also useful in switching between three different devices, whether it be your PC, TV, smartphone, tablet and even mini TVs such as the Android and Apple TV offerings. The unit uses a combination of 2.4GHz Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and wired connectivity, although you could use one medium to connect to all three devices and switch between each.
The sensor has a sensitivity that ranges between 400 and 1600dpi, which is the standard for everyday usage, but not geared towards heavy duty gaming. Despite this, the unit is powered by a rechargeable Li-Po, 500mAh battery, which has a rather incredible battery life on a single charge, estimated to be around 2 months of average usage. This makes it easier to use with less hassle on worrying whether you have sufficient battery to last you the say, maybe even the week.
Despite it’s complicated Darkfield laser tracking, gesture button, 3-device connection, as well as its Bluetooth and Wi-Fi connectivity options, the unit still remains a plug-and-play device at heart. No time did I ever require the SetPoint software unless I wanted to customise one or two of the buttons available. It seems Logitech has placed some effort in understanding the needs of the modern consumer in creating a cross-platform, out-the-box, mobile mouse with an extremely long battery life.
What is very peculiar about the MX Anywhere 2 is that it’s priced very similarly to the MX Master, a device with a lot more features. I can only imagine that the unit’s portability would explain the cost, but given the option between the two, I’d easily choose the MX Master. That said, the MX Anywhere 2 is a fantastic little mouse, which does the job, and does it really well.