Since its release back in mid-2014, the Logitech G502 Proteus Core has found itself permanently attached to my gaming rig. By now I have a pretty good idea of just how solid it is, having run the thing around my mouse pad for two years. I try to tell myself I don’t have time for computer games but obviously that hasn’t been working — just last week I was forced to replace the feet of my G502, so it has some miles on the clock.
Looking back at our review, we gave the G502 a high score of 90 with the only real complaints being the lack of wireless support and the low-profile design, which might not suit those that prefer a palm grip. Everything else was spot on; the features, performance, price and overall look did it for us.
For the longest time I gamed using the Logitech Performance MX and although it wasn’t as good as many of the preferred wired solutions, I couldn’t part with it. Not having to deal with the attached cable, which for me didn’t feel nearly as good, I stuck with the wireless Performance MX and risked input lag, albeit minuscule input lag.
Still, the G502 was so good it convinced me to go back to the cord, though the dream would be to own a mouse as responsive as the G502 without a wire attached. That dream has now been realized with Logitech’s new G900 Chaos Spectrum wireless gaming mouse.
The G900 has been redesigned from the ground up to not just be a great wireless gaming mouse, but rather the best gaming mouse money can buy period. At $150, the G900 costs about twice as much as you might typically spend on a gaming mouse, but Logitech assures us that it’s worth every cent.
Design & Features
The Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum has been designed with an emphasis on weight, or rather reducing it as much as possible. Every aspect has been scrutinized to remove fractions of grams, from the thin wall molding to the hollow “spoked” hyper-fast scroll wheel design. The result is a wireless mouse that weighs just 107g, which should make it comfortable to use over long periods while delivering quicker response to motion.
The G900 looks impressive and is very comfortable to hold. Whereas the G502 was designed exclusively for right-hand users with that nice big thumb rest on the left side, the G900 is targeting a wider audience with an ambidextrous design, something we are seeing more as of late from high-end gaming mice.
In conjunction with the symmetrical design are included magnetic button covers that allow gamers to truly transform the G900 into a left- or right-handed mouse. Although the G900 is 11% narrower when compared to the G520, Logitech claims it boasts a non-prescriptive grip that accommodates a variety of palm, claw and fingertip holds.
Admittedly I was confused by this at first, until I realized that at least 15mm of the G502’s girth is accounted for by the thumb rest. Still that only makes the G900 a little over half a centimeter wider, but this does seem to make all the difference as it certainly feels like there is a lot more mouse to grab a hold of. Length and height-wise, both the G502 and G900 are virtually identical.
The G900 measures 130mm long, 67mm wide and 40mm tall while tipping the scales at just 107 grams, even lighter than the 121 grams of the G502 (168 grams if you included the permanently attached cable) thanks to those weight saving elements we mentioned earlier.
Logitech knows that everyone has their own gaming style and so the G900 is fully customizable. Its surface tuning calibration is an interesting feature that Logitech calls ‘Delta Zero’ technology, which lets gamers tune the mouse’s sensor to work efficiently on any surface. Whether you prefer your mouse pads hard or soft, light or dark, you can expect the best possible tracking response.
The G900 contains a 720 mAh rechargeable lithium-polymer battery that lasts a claimed 24 hours of continuous use with the mouse’s default LED lighting scheme and 32 hours with the lights off. This was difficult to gauge when testing, but based on my heavy use scenario I would estimate gamers will get at least a week between charges with the LED lights on, which admittedly isn’t much.
The G900’s battery also takes two hours to charge, though it can be used as a wired mouse while charging, which isn’t really an issue. Logitech supplies a nice braided cable with a custom molded connector and while it looks cool, any micro USB cable can charge the mouse.
At its heart, the G900 features the PMW3366 sensor, Logitech’s state-of-the-art optical gaming sensor with exclusive clock-tuning technology. This is widely accepted by enthusiasts and professionals as the best gaming mouse sensor on the market and works just as well with wireless connectivity as it does wired. It has zero smoothing or filtering across the entire DPI range (200-12,000 DPI), delivering exceptional tracking accuracy and consistent responsiveness at any speed.
The buttons of the G900 have been engineered to deliver a crisp, clean click feel with rapid click. A metal spring tensioning system and mechanical pivoting hinges are built into the main left and right clickers. This design reduces the pre-travel distance between the buttons and switches, while also minimizing the force required to click, enabling faster recovery after each click.
Those who want custom buttons for certain games will enjoy the fact that the G900 offers almost a dozen programmable controls thanks to a 32-bit ARM processor controlling the Chaos Spectrum’s onboard memory.
There are 11 programmable controls, and while the mouse works well in its default configuration, there are certain situations where gamers will want to change things. Logitech allows gamers to set up one-button triggers, put push-to-talk in easier reach, temporarily down-shift DPI for sniping and reassign any command or macro.
Using the software gamers can also set the lighting color and brightness to match their style, system and environment from a palette of up to 16.8 million colors. Cool effects such as breathing light patterns are available and you can set the G900 lighting to sleep when you aren’t using your system.
A nifty feature is the dual-mode hyper-fast scroll wheel with on-the-fly DPS adjustments. This is an updated version of Logitech’s exclusive dual-mode scroll wheel that gives gamers an enhanced click-to-click precision when scrolling as well as blazing scrolling speeds for surfing the Internet with the looser secondary mode.
Fans of first person shooters will appreciate on-the-fly DPI shifting when changing from fast-paced close quarters action to slower more precise sniping. This feature allows gamers to make the right move with up to five DPI settings that range anywhere from the pixel-precise 200 DPI to a lightning-fast 12,000 DPI, with three buttons in easy reach of your thumb.
Obviously, that 12,000 DPI sensor is the main event of the G900, allowing the mouse to track movement at 300 inches per second with up to 40G of acceleration.
Finally, the G900 is backed by a two-year limited hardware warranty which we feel is a little short for a $150 gaming mouse. Hell, we think even the G502’s three-year warranty would have been a bit stingy on this premium product and to me, two-year coverage says Logitech isn’t confident in the battery going the distance, which is a real concern.
By: Steven Walton