Editor note: Happy New Year!
A very trendy series of productivity mice recently has been the Master series from Logitech. However, there is a mouse that I have been using for over five years now that has never failed me. Despite its diminutive $20 price tag (at least compared to the $100 master series), this mouse is an absolute beast. In my opinion, it is simply an amazing day-to-day driver. This mouse is the Logitech M510.
This mouse is a great tool for everyday use at home or at work. The shape, although it might seem a little aggressive, is actually quite comfortable and fits many different hand shapes. My parents and sister have also used this mouse and found it quite comfortable, while having pretty different hand sizes. On the sides of the mouse, there are rubber grips, which provide some traction without being sticky. The scroll wheel is a little rattly, and unfortunately doesn't have a flywheel mode like the newer logitech mice. However, you can push it left and right, which is nice. This mouse is amazing for comfortable everyday use. The only two things I'd want to add is flywheel and sideways scroll (for graphic designers/video editors).
The buttons on the M510 were ahead of their time in 2010, and are still among the best today. They are snappy with little pre-travel. The side buttons do have a lot of post-travel though. Even the scroll wheel click is very firm and tactile. The two main buttons are coated with a slightly glossy sheen. The scroll wheel is encased in a nice grooved rubber cover, while the side buttons are simply matte plastic.
On the bottom, you can see the ergonomic profile, as well as some other stuff. There are four feet that are fairly small for a mouse of this size. Additionally, they certainly won't be mistaken for buttery-smooth teflon feet. However, they get the job done and don't cause scraping issues, which is what you want to have in a mouse. You can also see a little switch, which toggles the mouse on and off.
Lastly, the sensor. It is an optical sensor that is absolutely amazing for work. I have used it on a mousepad, wooden table, metal table, leather pad, etc. and it always works beautifully. This sensor tracks on any surface besides glass. One of the areas where the newer Logitech mice do beat the M510 is the "darkfield" sensor, which can track on glass.
Another area where this mouse excels is in portability. It has a fairly small and unobtrusive shape, so I always chuck it in my bag when I am traveling. There are inexpensive hard shells you can get for this mouse, but it is as sturdy as a brick, so I wouldn't worry about it. As you can see from the underneath picture, there is also a cover for batteries and the dongle. This is something that I love about the mouse; that it has an area to store the dongle. Overall, a superb mouse for traveling.
Although this will be a shorter section, I do want to talk about the battery life of this mouse, as it is one of the most important considerations for many people. Unfortunately, this mouse does use batteries and is not rechargeable. This is a large drawback. However, on two AA batteries, this mouse lasts for almost two years. The insane battery life allows lazy people like me to stick two batteries in and forget about it. Additionally, if you accidentally leave the mouse on overnight, you won't have to charge it while you're working the next day. When my Dad used this mouse, he would just leave it on.
The M510 can be controlled by Logitech's "Options" software. The annoying part of the software is that there are a lot of updates. However, for the most part the software will run in the background. You can configure any of the buttons to do anything, which is amazing. By default the side buttons are forward and back, which are about as useful to me as a dead bush. With the options software I remapped the keys to mouse 3 and delete, which are infinitely more useful for CAD, which is the main work I do with this mouse.
There are a few drawbacks to this mouse. In my humble opinion, the most important drawback is that there is no bluetooth. This really only applies to Macbook users because of Apple's stupid decision to eliminate USB-A ports from their laptops, but having to also plug in a dongle to use this mouse is kind of annoying. It is even more infuriating when you forget to bring your dongle on a trip and then you can't use the mouse. With bluetooth, there would be no plugging in required. In addition, then you could have the multi-device switching that many of the newer Logitech mice have. However, I personally have never need the the multi-device switching function.
The second largest drawback for this mouse is no side scroll or flywheel. If you have used other Logitech productivity mice before, or if you're a graphic designer, these might be hard to live without. I do some graphic design and did use the MX Master 3 for a while, and when I switched back the change wasn't that bad. However, if you are a serious graphic designer, this mouse might not be for you.
The only other drawback I can think of is the lack of rechargeability. Over the 8+ years my family has owned this mouse, we have spent almost half of the mouse' original cost on batteries. However, this would take years to happen, and honestly I think the tradeoff is worth it consider the two year battery life.
Lastly, this isn't really a drawback, but while this mouse is indestructible normally, it does get messed up pretty badly by water. We used to have two of these mice, until my sister dropped one into water while making slime.
This mouse is a productivity stud, and one of the few electronic products in today's world that is designed to last years, not months. My family and I have abused this mouse for almost a decade now, and it still performs its functions swimmingly. It has useful features, like the dongle storage, amazing battery life, and great feel in terms of shape and buttons. Overall, an amazing productivity mouse that, for $20, can be your main for years to come.