Unless it happens to be called Jerry and is pursued by a cat called Tom, a mouse generally is not associated with multiple functions and versatility. It is seen as a pest in the real world and a point-and-clicker in the digital one.
There are some exceptions, of course, and in the digital world, we do see some incredibly versatile mouses that go well beyond their usual role of point and click. Most of these are seen in the online gaming zone, but multi-purpose mouses have been making their way into the productivity arena, too, with the Logitech MX series being the frontrunner. The Asus ProArt Mouse MD300 is the latest to try to make productivity purr.
Asus ProArt Mouse MD300 design: Big, scroll-y and button-y but understated
In terms of design, the Asus ProArt Mouse MD300 is understated, blending in rather than standing out. It is jet black with a matt finish, and at 118 mm in length, 72 mm in width, and 42 mm in height, it is definitely on the larger side and slightly heavy at 109 grams, as is common in mouses designed for productivity. It has the classic mouse shape and a slight ledge that protrudes from its lower left side for resting the left thumb.
On top, it has the classic combination of two left and right buttons and a clickable scroll wheel. Things get interesting after that. There is a large button behind the scroll wheel, and on top of the left side, there is a scrolling wheel, which Asus calls the Asus Dial, an interesting feature that makes its debut on this mouse. Rounding off things is a cylindrical scroller on the left side. That’s three scrolling options on the mouse.
What’s more, the scroll wheel and cylindrical scroller are clickable, and the Asus Dial has a button on its side, making for a total of six clickable buttons. On the base are the power and pairing buttons, as well as the housing of a 2.4 GHz USB dongle. The mouse can also pair with up to three devices over Bluetooth (with a range of 10 meters) and charges through a USB Type C port on top of the mouse, below the right and left buttons. There is also a USB A to USB Type C charging cable in the box.
All in all, the Asus ProArt MD300 is a solidly built, cleanly designed mouse. It is a little large and slightly heavy, but not uncomfortably so. A point to note here is that the mouse is designed for right-hand use, with the thumb rest, Asus Dial, and cylindrical scroller all placed on the left side. Again, this is something that we have noticed in many productivity mouses.
Asus ProArt Mouse MD300 usage: Simple enough for basics, unpack Armoury Crate for more
Using the Asus ProArt MD 300 is simple enough when you stick to the normal point, click, and select functions. Pairing is as easy as hitting the pairing button on the base, which makes the mouse appear on your computer. As we said earlier, you can connect to three devices and switch between them, but using the button on the base to switch between devices is not too convenient – perhaps it could have been kept on the side. You can use the mouse normally right from the moment of pairing.
All the buttons work and come with default settings – for instance, by default, the Asus Dial is set to control volume on the attached device, and this is very handy. Although it is located literally where one’s thumb rests, the dial has a certain level of resistance to it, so accidental touches are unlikely. The mouse works smoothly on any surface – it even worked well on a glass table. Its resolution can go up to 4200 dpi, but we doubt too many would buy this for gaming, given the lack of gaming-friendly buttons.
While it handles routine tasks smoothly, the ProArt MD300, with its blend of scrollers and buttons, is targeted at the content creation and designer crowd that needs to go well beyond the basic click, scroll, and select functions of a mouse. Download Asus’ Armoury Crate app, and you can totally customize the mouse as per your use and requirements.
Asus ProArt Mouse MD300 performance: Customisation delight for designers and creators
If you are a designer who works with a lot of layers or a video editor who has to get through reams of reels, then all those scrolling options on the ProArt Mouse MD300 take on a whole new dimension. You can control switching between layers, scrolling through options, and even changing the brightness of your display right from the palm of your hand without having to touch the keyboard. Someone using Photoshop can customize the scrollers to control zooming in or out or moving through layers.
The sensitivity of the side scroller on the Asus Dial is particularly good for those who have to get through a lot of options or even flick through extensive video frames. In fact, if customized well enough, the ProArt can let you handle most multimedia editing tasks without you ever having to touch a keyboard. The Dial takes some getting used to, but once you get the hang of it, you keep going back to it, although it sometimes sticks into the palm of your hand while using the cylindrical scroller. The buttons give good feedback, and barring the Dial (which has been designed to provide a little resistance to prevent accidental touches), the other scrollers move very smoothly. This is as premium a mouse experience as you can get.
The ProArt MD300 can also be connected to phones and tablets, although it is obviously not designed for those devices. We were able to use it easily with an iPad and the OnePlus Pad. Rather oddly, while the ProArt MD300 can work with MacOS devices (MacBook Pro, MacBook Air, iMacs, etc.), one cannot customize the mouse itself as the Armoury Crate app is only available for Windows devices. It is an odd decision, given how popular macOS devices are in the designer community.
Asus claims that the battery life of the mouse is 150 days, and while we could not test that, we certainly did not need to charge it at all during our month-long usage. And even if it does run out of charge, the ProArt MD300 supports fast charging – one minute of charging can give you eight hours of normal and three hours of heavy usage. Very impressive.
Asus ProArt Mouse Review verdict: Pricey, but a productivity performer
At Rs 7999, the Asus ProArt Mouse MD300 is definitely on the expensive side if you have never invested in a productivity mouse. However, it is more affordable than the Logitech MX Master 3s, which is generally available in the vicinity of Rs 10,000.
The ProArt Mouse MD300 is not for someone simply looking for a very good mouse for regular, everyday use, but if you use a Windows device and are a heavy user of Photoshop or edit videos extensively, then it is really excellent value for money. It literally places a lot of productivity in the palm of your hand and dials up a unique spin on productivity. Pun intended.
- Good build quality
- Smooth performer
- Multiple device connectivity
- Lots of functionality for designers
- Innovative Asus Dial
Great battery life and fast charging
- Limited functionality with Macs
- Asus Dial takes some getting used to
- Very much for right handers
At Rs 7,999, the Asus ProArt Mouse MD300 is definitely expensive, but it does come with features and functionality that many content creators and designers would appreciate, especially if they use Windows machines.
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