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Logitech G500 Review

December 2, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

The G500 arrived a couple days ago, but I’ve had some schoolwork on my hands, and obviously, I actually needed to use the mouse for a while to get a good feel for it.

First, the package and overall feel. The mouse comes with the necessary software (sadly only Windows compatibility) as well as a set of 12 weights (6 1.7g and 6 4.5g) that come in a fairly classy case. Unfortunately, my 4.5g weights seem to be a little tarnished and appear dirty. This is only a minor issue, since I don’t plan to be playing with the weights. The included weight cartridge fits into the bottom of the mouse nicely, and pops out with a push of the eject button. Another hitch I ran into was the fact that my weight cartridge did not seem to want to ever actually eject. I often need to give the mouse a little tap while holding the eject button to get it out. Again, minor issue, doesn’t bother me much.

The mouse itself is fairly well-designed. I very much like the shape, as I prefer the “palm grip” when playing a game. The plastic on the sides of the mouse is of a course texture, which actually feels a little like sandpaper. It does grip very well, and even with sweaty hands does not slide. This is nice. I somewhat dislike the texture of the mouse’s main body though, a smooth plastic with a splotchy pattern on it. My biggest gripe is that it seems to make my hand sweat unnecessarily. This will probably cause problems during long periods of gaming. I give my highest compliments to the braided usb cord attached to the mouse though, as it seems very durable, and does not get in the way like the standard rubber cables. Overall, the mouse appears to be well made, and ignoring the sweaty hands after a while of use, feels nice in hand.

My default system is OS X, an environment in which the mouse did not perform particularly well out of the box. I plugged it in, and the motion was all relatively jerky, with inconsistent acceleration, regardless of which of the three preset dpi settings I had the mouse on. I figured that it’s probably a driver (or lack of) issue in OS X, so I fired up boot camp to do the real testing.

The first thing I did was install the included Logitech SetPoint software. This made a huge difference. I was able to customize the 10 different buttons on the mouse (I obviously didn’t change the left/right click, but I did set the dpi adjustment to toggle between 5 different settings: 200 (minimum), 400, 1200, 2000, and 5700 (the maximum). The default settings had been at 400, 800, and 2000. 800 was too low for regular browsing, and 2000 was a tad sensitive for my taste. I also adjusted the mouse’s acceleration to feel a little more natural.

I actually don’t do much PC gaming at all (the boot camp partition on my system is only around 3 months old), and the only games I have are from recent sales on Steam and the Games for Windows client (all under $3) including BioShock, KOTOR, Age of Empires III, and Deus Ex GOTY. I did my primary testing of the mouse in a copy of Arkham Asylum I got a while back, though, with a little bit of time in BioShock and KOTOR. Speaking of Arkham Asylum, which I finally finished today, this game is incredibly made. I won’t bother going into a whole review, since I literally burned through the bulk of it in the last two days, and the game is fairly old; most people who would care have probably already played it. All I can say is that the game’s visuals are incredible, and the combat system, in my opinion, is flawless.

Playing with the G500 is bliss. In fairness, this is only the second gaming mouse I’ve ever tested (the first being an older Logitech). In Arkham Asylum, I changed the dpi constantly, depending on the situation. 5700 was especially nice when I had batman perched on top of a gargoyle stalking armed thugs; I could quickly and easily change my view with the smallest flick. Lower dpis were very nice in combat, a situation in which I really don’t want the screen rotating around quickly. Again, I only spent a little time in KOTOR and BioShock, but the mouse performed admirably nevertheless.

I also did test the mouse in light use (browsing, etc) in Windows. Everything was fine and seemed more robust than my Magic Mouse, which seems to fare better in OS X. I also retested the G500 in OS X after adjusting the settings, and while SetPoint helped a lot, the lack of full driver support seems to hamper it. The Magic Mouse just moves more naturally in OS X.

To conclude, the G500 is a very impressive gaming mouse, especially those who prefer the palm grip. Quality-wise, it does feel quite a bit more “plastic-y” than my Magic Mouse which has that overall premium “Apple” feel, but that should be a given since the Magic Mouse is made of metal and glass. The G500 comes out on top in Windows, but I still prefer my Magic Mouse in normal use in OS X. In the end, for the $35 I spent, there’s really nothing about this mouse that I can put down.

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