I have a minor obsession with computer accessories.
Just this morning, I got a new keyboard in the mail from Amazon, then moved my custom keycaps from my previous keyboard. The same obsession extends to mice and pointing devices: I've tried 10 different mice during the past year and a half. This accessory obsession means I'm a frequent customer of Logitech products, since that company specializes in many computers, tablet, and smartphone accessories. Just when I was content with my setup, Logitech announced the $100 MX ERGO.
To the outside observer, this is a really strange device. Even to someone like me, it's a bit wild. I've used trackballs and thumb-balls before, but I couldn't wrap my head around tilting the mouse up at an angle. However, I was intrigued.
I've been using the MX ERGO Plus for a little over a week. Before this, I had a Logitech M570 at my work desk, and a Logitech M720 Triathlon. The Plus version reviewed here is exclusive to Best Buy, with the only difference between it and the standard version being the addition of one accessory (more on that to come).
A lot to like about the unique MX ERGO
The MX ERGO comes pre-paired with the included unifying receiver, which can be paired to other Logitech mice and keyboards. At my day job desk, I have the MX ERGO and a Logitech wireless keyboard paired to the same receiver, and they work beautifully. The MX ERGO can also be paired over Bluetooth, and it can remember a second Bluetooth device or unifying receiver. There is a switch just below the scroll wheel to toggle between devices.
Whether connecting over Bluetooth or to a unifying receiver, I had no issues with pairing the trackball or maintaining a connection. If I wanted to pick nits, I would wish the mouse could be paired to three devices instead of two, like the MX Master and Triathlon mice. This would give me extra flexibility since I use three computers, but to the average trackball enthusiast I'm sure two devices is plenty.
Near the front of the mouse, you'll see the forward and back buttons, left and right click buttons and the scroll wheel. The scroll wheel can also tilt to the left or right to act as buttons. The forward, back and scroll wheel tilt buttons can all be re-mapped with Logitech's Options software. Next to the trackball, there is a button to change the DPI on the mouse. This will let you slow the mouse pointer way down for use in a video editor or other very granular program.
The bottom of the MX ERGO is where things start getting strange. Every MX ERGO ships with a metal plate that can be used to keep the device flat, or tilt it at a 20-degree angle. This sound a bit silly, but in use it's really comfortable. The MX ERGO Plus ships with a plastic wedge that provides for an additional 10-degrees of tilt, which is even better. With the trackball tilted to the full 30-degrees, it becomes the most comfortable pointing device I've ever used. I spend about 12 hours per day in front of a computer, and with other mice my wrist is usually ready to give out by the end of the day. With the MX ERGO, I don't have any wrist strain, which is great.
The metal plate and plastic wedge are held on with magnets, which will be fine for most folks who keep the mouse in a single place on their desk. I added some double sided tape to mine just to keep everything together when the mouse is in my backpack. The bottom also has the on-off switch, and a hole to pop the trackball out for cleaning.
Logitech states the battery in the MX ERGO is good for four months of regular use, and with one minute of charge it will be able to last a day. Since I've only had this for a week, I can't test those claims. Unlike other wireless trackballs, the MX ERGO uses an internal rechargeable battery rather than rely on AA or AAA batteries. I've had a few trackballs in the past that went bad and stopped recognizing brand new batteries, so I'm happy about this.
Bottom line on Logitech MX ERGO
What I'm not happy about is my one big downside with this mouse: It charges with Micro-USB instead of USB-C. Logitech has already started using USB-C in its keyboards and webcams. Even discounting that, it's just bad for a mouse that will (hopefully) be used five to 10 years from now. This is the only device I regularly carry with me that doesn't charge with USB-C, a situation more and more users will face in the coming years. I'm getting around this issue with a wireless charging receiver, since I'm trying to purge my apartment of Micro-USB devices, but I would have preferred USB-C.
That complaint aside, the Logitech MX ERGO is the best mouse I've ever used. It's expensive at $100, and it took me some time before deciding to give it a try. If you've never used a trackball mouse before, you might want to start with Logitech's cheaper M570 before thinking about the more expensive MX ERGO. If you already like trackballs and are curious about this, go for the Plus version at Best Buy. It isn't any more expensive than the standard version sold elsewhere, and you have the option of additional tilt.
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