Logitech made a strange announcement in January.
proudly announce This is it MX Master 3S The wireless mouse, along with some other peripherals, has been certified to work with Intel Evo laptops. (Evo laptops are Intel Certified Ultra Meetings certain criteriaLike providing at least eight hours of battery life with a QHD display.) Imagine my shock when I realized I was using this particular mouse with Dell XPS 13 (Evo laptop) for about eight months Without Intel’s blessing.
Of course, even before the mouse earned Intel’s seal of approval, I’d enjoyed hours of trouble-free use. The same can be said of every working USB webcam you’ve ever connected to a computer. But that hasn’t stopped countless peripheral makers from touting that their devices have been certified for Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Zoom.
And while we’re at it, what’s the point of Works with Chromebooks Certification program? Chromebooks are known for their simple ChromeOS operating system. Does anyone really need proof beyond the listed ChromeOS support that a mouse, keyboard, or webcam will work with a $200 Chromebook?
At best, vendor certification programs for peripherals seem like a mere guarantee of support for something that’s almost certainly a given. At worst, these programs can lead tech novices to believe that a PC accessory won’t work with their system just because a tech giant like Intel or Google didn’t say so outright.
Do these programs hold any value for tech-savvy users or IT managers, or are they all just marketing in disguise? I’ve talked to Intel, Google, Microsoft, and Zoom about terminal certification procedures to find out.
Most companies have specific and relevant requirements for computer peripherals certification programs, but the majority do not broadcast this information to the general public. But you might be pleasantly surprised at the kind of test some of these programs put into PC peripheral mode. No, you don’t need Intel to tell you that a mouse will work with an expensive laptop using one of its processors, but the Evo’s character calls for including features that can be useful—like a confirmed Bluetooth range of at least 32.8 feet—and may bring a high-end experience beyond basic compatibility.
However, companies are relatively tight-lipped about these requirements. This doesn’t make it seem as though the stamps are redundant marketing ploys, but rather that it diminishes the value they can offer tech-savvy consumers.
Certification programs for PC peripherals have been around forever. When certification requires a product to meet stringent requirements designed around real potential use cases, it delivers clear value. A well-planned validation system can help end users and even IT teams identify products for specialist or seasoned users, establish a testing baseline, and draw attention to important specifications and features.
Standards or certification programs created as a joint effort between various industry experts and companies, such as VESA HDR display or ClearMR Monitor certifications, USB Implementers Forum’s (USB-IF’s) USB standards, or Peripheral Component Interconnect Special Interest Group’s PCIe standards, and details of capabilities and performance not otherwise given.
But unlike industry standards, the software we’re about to discuss—those from Google, Microsoft, Intel, and Zoom—are each controlled by a single tech company and highlight peripheral compatibility with one of the company’s own platforms.
These programs may call to mind Apple software MFI ProgramHowever, this certification does not focus on computer peripherals. Apple products also have a history of not playing nice with other third-party products, so there’s a more obvious need for MFi, even though that need is DIY.