Given my recent mouse trouble (link), I was feverishly wanting to put my new Logitech G5 laser mouse through it’s passes the moment I unwrapped it. Having used what I consider to be the pinacle of mouse technology for 5+ years, I was skeptical about the new mouse living up to my fairly high expectations. Last night after some Christmas present wrapping I had a chance to put the G5 through it’s passes. To be perfectly honest, with one exception (which I’ll get to shortly), it’s probably the smoothest and most accurate gaming mouse I’ve ever used.
The mouse itself is adorned in rust orange and gun metal gray/silver. Looking a bit like it belongs in the world of Half Life instead of on my desk. The orange LEDs embeded within it’s surface reinforce that notion as well. The mouse is also well textured, going with more of a tactile feel that would closely approximate very fine grit sandpaper. It’s not hard sleek plastic at all. This definatly won’t be sliding around on you and “sweaty mouse palm” is a thing of the past. The thumb-rest on the left side is a soft textured rubber so that you can grip the mouse easier. It a very comfortable mouse to use.
The underside sports teflon coated pads for easy glide on desktops or in my case, a RatzPad “gaming surface”. It’s also home to one of the two unique features of this mouse, the weight cartridge. A small eject button in the bottom exposes a removable orange tray with 8 small holes. Each of these can be fitted with a small weight that comes in a nice metal tin. There’s 16 weights, eight 4.5 gram weights and eight more 1.7g weights. These can be used to make the mouse heavier or lighter depending on your gaming style. If you’re a “pick up the mouse and slam it back down” sort of person, you might want to load it up with the 4.5g weights to minimize that. If you’re a “quick jerk” kind of person you might make it lighter to make your left/right movements faster. I’m more of the latter. I actually prefer a “smooth” movement sort of style that lends itself to weight somewhere in the middle. I’m experimenting with different combonations to see what I like the best. At the moment, very light seems to be working.
The second unique aspect of the mouse is the sensativity settings. Using two buttons immediatly beneith the mouse wheel you can increase/decrease the sensativity of the laser and thereby change the “speed” of the mouse. By default the mouse uses three settings for high/med/low. 2000dpi, 800dpi and 400dpi. The real genious of this is that these 3 settings are available at all times, in-game or on your desktop. Meaning, if you play games with different situations like I do, you can switch back and forth on the fly. Here’s an example scenario, in BF2 of course. You start out as a sniper, running around, probably needed quick action so you set your mouse to the middle setting. You find a nice place to snipe from, zooming in for a shot, you dial down the mouse to make you movements slow and smooth. Having taken out your target you spy an vacant enemy tank nearby. Stealing it, you switch your sensativity all the way up because the turrent turns slowly and you need all the side-to-side speed you can get. That my friends, is a beautiful thing.
Logitech even provides a software interface for changing, customizing and saving these three levels into profiles that are activated when a perticular game is launched. That’s a handy little feature indeed.
All the while all these things are displayed ON the mouse, as almost a battery level indicator, with glowing orange LED display. Very handy when playing the dark (as I do with matches).
This brings us to the single short coming of the mouse: The wheel.
As a frequent wheel user, for scrolling as well as in-game menu navigation/weapon selection, I found that the wheel is a bit stiff. It’s not loose like the new MS mouse (thank goodness) but it’s a bit to hard to crank up and down quickly. It take a very deliberate movement. The worst feature is the combonation of tilt-wheel and scroll wheel button press. By adding the “feature” of a tilt wheel, which I’ve still yet to use, they’ve consequently made it VERY hard to push strait down on the wheel as a button. 99% of the time you end up inadvertently scrolling it or, if you finger aim is even slightly off, pushing it from side to side. The tilt over-powers the button. I had to physically press extremely hard to even get the button to work. Using for a “zoom” as I normally do is now no longer an option. I’ve considered mapping “zoom” to the thumb button but have yet to play with it. It seems a waste to have not only the wheel button but the two tilt sides (which are considered seperate buttons) completely unused in a game situation. This will probably require me to “break in” the mouse a little and keep working at the middle mouse button until it meets my satisfaction.
As a whole, this is a VERY solid mouse. Beautiful action, perfect “glide”, smooth, smooth, smooth. The speed features, the weight tray, it’s all gravy on top of a brillaint piece of hardware. If it weren’t for that middle button, I’d be praising this mouse from the rooftops. As it is, it’s gets a solid 9/10, and hopefully that button will improve over time.