Logitech MX Anywhere 2S Review: the small portable mouse with a ‘Flow’ function

Just like the MX Master 2S, the MX Anywhere 2S evolved from the MX Anywhere 2. As a result, Logitech has not altered this mouse’s shape in any way, preferring instead to concentrate on introducing innovations in terms of its electronics and software. Besides having a new laser sensor, the Anywhere 2S also has a new feature called “Flow” which is especially useful when using several computers simultaneously.

PRESENTATION

The Anywhere 2S has the exact same design as the Anywhere 2, only its color scheme has changed – it is being offered in “graphite”, “light grey” and “midnight teal”. Its suggested retail price is 79$.

ERGONOMINCS

Comfortable to hold, but with some shortcomings that we would have liked to have seen corrected

The MX Anywhere 2S is a highly portable gaming mouse, specially designed to accompany users who move around a lot. As a result, it is very compact (100 x 62 x 34 mm) and relatively lightweight for a wireless mouse – it weighs in at 104 grams, as compared to the Anywhere MX’s 130 grams. The latter uses conventional batteries while the Anywhere 2S makes use of a 500 mAh (Li-Po) rechargeable power cell.

Logitech MX Anywhere 2S

The wireless USB transceiver is especially compact.

However, we regret the fact that Logitech no longer supplies a carrying case, especially since the Anywhere 2/2S models no longer have the clever sensor protector (that also worked as an on/off switch) that their predecessor had. Moreover, the on/off button featured on these new models can no longer be easily activated with one hand, which is a shame. In addition, the nano-USB receiver can not be stored within the mouse itself, making it easier to loose during its transportation – if it is not inserted into a USB port. That having been said, these shortcomings already existed on the Anywhere 2 and the fact that these models share an identical design has logically led to these shortcomings being the same for the 2S.

Logitech MX Anywhere 2S

It is hard to activate the on/off button with one hand without pressing the mouse’s other buttons, making it especially difficult to turn the mouse off.

 

Despite its small size, the Anywhere 2S is comfortable to hold, even though users with larger hands will be forced to hold it with their fingertips. Users with smaller hands may be able to place part of their palm on the mouse, but not much more than that. This mouse’s small size does not seriously impact its comfort and the 2S could easily be used as a primary mouse, but users who spend long hours using a mouse will undoubtedly prefer the comfort of a larger model when they are not traveling.

Logitech MX Anywhere 2S

From top to bottom and left to right: the mouse on its own; palm grip; claw grip; fingertip grip.

Almost perfectly symmetrical, the Anywhere 2S could conceivably be used by left-handed users, but right-handed users have the advantage of being able to access the two buttons situated on the right side of the mouse. These buttons are well-placed and do not get in the way of using the mouse with the left hand. They are very well-situated for easy thumb access when using the mouse with the right hand and they in no way interfere with moving the mouse, even rapidly.

Logitech MX Anywhere 2S

The mouse’s comfort is heightened by the materials used in its construction which are pleasant to the touch. The top-side of the mouse, including the primary buttons, is made out of a soft and smooth plastic which is not too slippery either. The sides of the mouse are covered with an even softer material featuring embossed triangular forms for improved adherence of the user’s fingers.

Logitech MX Anywhere 2S

Moreover, this mouse’s build-quality is impeccable: it has highly refined details and makes use of quality plastics. The 2S is also aesthetically pleasing and features plastic borders that have a metallic look and which highlight its contours.

In addition to the two primary buttons and the two side buttons, this mouse has a fifth, customizable, button located behind the scroll-wheel. By default, this button is set to activate mouse gesture features which allow actions to be performed by moving the mouse in different directions while the button is being held down. This button can also replace the scroll-wheel’s click function since clicking this mouse’s scroll-wheel results in changing the scroll mode. Indeed, just like its predecessors, the Anywhere 2S is equipped with an adjustable scroll-wheel, meaning that it is possible to switch between a notched mode and a mode in which the scroll-wheel turns freely. This second mode is very useful for scrolling through long documents – applying a small force to the wheel will allow it to turn freely for several turns. While we very much appreciate this proprietary Logitech technology – they hold the rights to the patent – in 2016 we identified a stability problem with this type of scroll-wheel when it is operating in the free scrolling mode. A problem which apparently afflicts a great many users – based on a survey we conducted. Sadly, despite receiving assurances from Logitech that quality control would be improved in order to avoid these problems from occurring in the future, we detected this problem once more on our Anywhere 2S test device (brand new device). We were probably unlucky enough to have acquired a defective model, but our test device proved to be seriously afflicted, which rapidly made us become frustrated with the free scrolling mode – source of too much unsolicited scrolling to be useful for everyday use. This is a real shame since the scroll-wheel is intended to be one of this mouse’s strongest selling points; it even has lateral buttons to allow for horizontal scrolling.

Logitech MX Anywhere 2S

In terms of how easily this mouse slides, its PTFE pads ensure fluid and fairly silent motion. Nevertheless, we still recommend that you use a mouse pad whenever possible for added comfort and to avoid wear and tear on the anti-friction pads. While the mouse moves quite silently, sadly the same cannot be said about the mouse’s switches which produce a louder clicking noise than those used on the Anywhere MX. However, their responsiveness is beyond reproach which is what really matters after all.

Logitech MX Anywhere 2S

Underneath can be found the button for switching radio channel which is used to switch between computers.

Like the Anywhere 2, the 2S can be used with up to three different computers – the user is able to switch between computers by the simple press of a button located underneath the mouse – thanks to its SmartShift technology. This is very useful for people who often use several computers, but, up until now this has been a rather tedious process since the switching was not instantaneous and required the user to turn the mouse over in order to press a button. This is no longer the case with the Anywhere 2S, thanks to its Logitech Flow feature which is built-into the Logitech Options software. This feature allows the user to switch between computers simply by moving the mouse pointer beyond the confines of the Windows or MacOS desktop. Of course this option needs to be configured before hand – in order to indicate the relative position of the different computers. This is easy to accomplish, however it requires that all of the computers be connected to the same local network. What’s more, Flow allows users to easily transfer files between computers by means of a simple copy-paste procedure! Whether using Windows or MacOS, the Flow function makes use of the local network for seamless operation.

In addition to this extra functionality which is only available on the latest generation of multi-device mice (unfortunately this does not include the Anywhere 2 or the MX Master), Logitech has also made improvements to the 2S’s electronics. Its battery autonomy has made a great leap forward: going from 40 to 70 days after a charge period of only 3 hours, even though the capacity of the battery itself has not changed. This improvement can be explained by an improved wireless transfer power management protocol, thanks namely to the work that went into the development of the G900. Furthermore, the mouse can be used for an entire day (8 hours) after being charged for only 3 minutes. Charging is done by connecting a USB cable to a computer and to the micro-USB connector located at the front of the mouse. This makes it possible to continue using the 2S while it is charging. Lastly, this mouse has a range of 10 meters, which is handy for giving presentations for example.

Logitech MX Anywhere 2S

The micro-USB port for charging.

PRECISION

A more sensitive laser sensor, still as efficient as ever

The Logitech MX Anywhere 2S is still equipped with a Darkfield laser sensor. This sensor has the particular ability of being able to function on a wide variety of surface types, including glass. Shiny wooden or metal desks…this sensor will work on most any type of surface which is very practical for people who travel and who won’t necessarily have access to a good desk and/or mouse pad all of the time.

This new mouse incorporates an improved version of the sensor which has a sensitivity of 4 000 ppp, versus the 1 600 ppp of the older generation. Not everyone will have use for such a high sensitivity, but since Ultra HD and multi-monitor configurations are becoming increasingly widespread and popular, this level of sensitivity could always come in handy. It is also possible to adjust the mouse’s sensitivity by increments of 50 ppp, starting at 200 ppp, which allows for a much more precise degree of control than was possible with the Anywhere 2 (increments of 200 ppp starting at 400 ppp).

In terms of responsiveness, this sensor is more geared towards office work and is really not responsive enough to play the fastest computer games (FPS, etc). It does however work well for playing games with high sensitivity settings or games that do not require very fast movements. We do however recommend that you avoid connecting the mouse through Bluetooth when using it for playing games, since its latency would be a serious handicap. Using the wireless radio link between the mouse and the nano-USB Unifying receiver would be a much better option.

STRENGTHS

  • Compact yet comfortable to use.
  • Adjustable scroll-wheel with two scrolling modes.
  • Good build-quality, attention to detail.
  • Precise laser sensor capable of operating on a variety of surface types, including glass.
  • Good autonomy, fast charging.

WEAKNESSES

  • No dedicated place for storing the USB receiver within the mouse itself.
  • Built-in power cell.
  • Exclusively reserved for right-handed users.
  • Clicking the scroll-wheel can only be used for changing the scrolling mode.
  • Noticeable latency when connected through Bluetooth.
  • There are still stability issues with the adjustable scroll-wheel.

CONCLUSION

Just as enjoyable to use as ever, the 2S version of the MX Anywhere is, unsurprisingly, an improvement over the previous version although this improvement is somewhat marginal since absolutely no change was made to the overall design of the mouse and it continues to have some of the same problems as the previous generation did. However, the 2S has improved enough to keep it at the top of the ranking of currently available devices.

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