Logitech has finally made a mouse that works properly on glass


Printers and computer mice are regular sources for tech headaches, but Logitech claims to have solved a big mouse problem in the Logitech MX Anywhere 3S.

It’s a mouse that “tracks on virtually any surface, including glass,” according to Logitech.

If you have used a mouse for years, you will doubtless have tried to use the thing on a shiny surface, only to end up smashing it against a table, heading off in a huff to look for that mousepad you left god-knows-where.

Logitech says their gadget’s unusual ability is down to a new sensor, one with 8000dpi resolution. However, it’s not the resolution that makes a mouse work on glass.

Logitech announced its tech designed to let mice function on glass way back in 2009. It’s called Darkfield Laser Tracking, and uses two lasers at an angle to better see the surface under the mouse.

That’s right, this is old tech. But it’s still far from standard in Logitech mice in 2023.

Logitech MX Anywhere 3S review

Evening Standard tech editor Alex Pell put the Logitech MX Anywhere 3S to the test by pitting it against another mouse, Logitech Lift. The Lift is an unusual upright mouse, released in 2022.

Using the Logitech Lift on a shiny black plastic surface results in “very stilted movement”, where the MX Anywhere 3S glides away happily.

On a clear glass shelf, a bit like a coffee table surface, the Lift basically doesn’t work at all. There was “negligible movement” according to Alex, but the Logitech MX Anywhere 3S got by just fine.

Taking things to extremes, we tested the two mice on a clear glass sliding door. Yep, a pretty regular place to use a computer mouse. The Logitech Lift didn’t work at all.

Our Logitech MX Anywhere 3S didn’t exactly work like a dream, with our tech editor describing it as “slightly patchy.” But you could get away with using it to control a presentation in a pinch — but when are you going to need to control a PC via a glass door anyway?

“Overall, I’d say this solves the problem, unless you try it in the most challenging situations. Even then, it’s still mostly usable. Aside from fixing the shiny-surface issue, it looks like a normal Logitech mini mouse,” was our tester’s verdict. Nice work, Logitech.

We did try to tease some more info out of Logitech about how the design has been changed since 2009, the days of the original Logitech MX Anywhere. No luck, but you can tell something unusual is going on just from a glance at the underside of the mouse. Its laser sensor looks almost like a periscope camera lens, using an angled reflector.

If you want to get your geek on and learn more about how this core tech works, read the explainer article Logitech published way back in 2009.