| Posted: Thu Jan 05, 2006 8:22 pm :: Author: FraZor
|The Logitech G5 Laser Gaming Grade Mouse
Web Link: Logitech G5
Current Web Price: ~£50 inc. VAT and P&P
Logitech have been making mice for a very, very long time. Way back when they made 2 distinct types of mouse. The ambidextrous Pilot styled series of mice and the ergonomic, but right hand only, Mouseman series. I personally used to favour the Pilot series, but it was mainly due to its lower cost, and that I found the ergonomic ones very odd to use. Logitech briefly made some gamers mice under their Wingman brand, which were also somewhat ergonomic, but they didn’t take off (sorry, bad pun).
A few years ago they decided to take gaming mice seriously again, strangely around the time Razer appeared out of nowhere with their successful and distinctive Boomslang series. Hence the MX series of high performance mice were born, although to be honest Logitech seemed to be having a bit of trouble marketing the mice properly to begin with. Their marketing material (if I recall correctly) wasn’t specifically aimed at gamers, more towards just stating these new mice as very high precision – but lets be honest here, you don’t need a super high precision mouse for writing emails.
The latest range of very much gaming targeted mice is their G series, of which the G5 is the flagship mouse. Some might argue the G7, cordless version is the flagship, being more expensive and all, but IMHO its not. The G7 lacks some of the features of the G5, such as the weighing system, plus most serious gamers would want a wired mouse for pure reliability.
Appearance wise, the G5 is a very nice looking mouse. It has a pre-worn look to it, with its pseudo-rust paint job. The shape is the result of the evolution of the ergonomics of the Mouseman series, and is a general theme with all the MX and G series mice. It takes a little getting used to, but after a short time it becomes second nature. Being quite wide and having room to rest all of your hand and fingers on the mouse means your had is not making any contact with the mousing surface, which in turn makes for smoother movements. I have fairly wide hands, so for me this works well.
The underside is home to 3 very large glide pads. My initial thought was that these were too large and would make for a fair amount of friction, but to be honest its just fine. It does feel like the mouse is making a good deal of contact but it doesn’t feel like its dragging. Also on the underside is the weights cartridge. The idea of this is to add a level of personal customisation to the mouse’s behaviour. After playing with the weights a while to try and work out which felt best to me, I settled on using all the heaviest weights, so that my mouse movements were as deliberate as possible. It’d be interesting to do a survey of G5 owners to see who uses what weight. I really have no idea if what I have is the optimum for me; it just feels right at the moment. For some odd reason, Logitech have provided lights for the weights compartment, so that it glows, but seeing as it’s always out of sight against the mousing surface, this is completely pointless.
Installing the mouse was a breeze. I also downloaded a firmware patch from the Logitech site that’s reportedly for fixing tracking issues, and although I wasn’t having any, I though it best to keep it up to date. The Logitech software it fairly intuitive, offering just about everything you could want, plus a bit more. The software offers the ability of defining up to 5 dpi presets, different button profiles for different applications, and different sensitivity profile groups for different games, all done by detecting when the game or application is running.
When used in day to day use, it’s a generally good mouse. As you would expect from a higher quality mouse, it’s responsive and comfortable. The buttons are generally well placed, assuming you are right handed of course. Lefties, sorry but you are out of luck if you want a left handed G5. There are the two normal mouse buttons, the middle click is of course the wheel plus there’s a thumb button. The wheel also tilts left and right for extra scrolling dimensions. This is where I ran into a problem. I use my middle finger on the wheel, and with the G5 I find it rather hard to hit the middle click – I often end up scrolling left or right instead. I found this quite annoying. The left and right scrolling on the wheel is much more sensitive than the middle click itself. In Opera (my web browser of choice) I use the middle click very frequently as ‘Open in a background tab’, so I ended up having to assign the thumb button as a middle button. This ended up not being a big deal as I found I never used the thumb button in normal use anyway, but I still found it annoying.
Also on top are the sensitivity selection buttons and display. The two small buttons below the mouse wheel allow you to adjust the sensitivity at any time, and the current sensitivity is shown on the display near the thumb button. There are 3 sensitivity presets by default, denoted by 3 lights. When the 4th and 5th presets are defined in the software they are denoted by combined lights, for example profile 2 is the top two lights on, where as profiles 1 and 3 are the top and middle light respectively.
My overall impression of the Logitech is that it’s a superb mouse. It’s highly accurate and very comfortable since its fit my hand pretty perfectly. I bought it for my new system build and have used it to complete FEAR, the first half of Vietcong 2, the first half of Serious Sam 2, many hours UT2004 online and also of Civ IV and X3 – Reunion. The dpi selector was fairly useful too; I used it mainly in FEAR and UT2004 when switching from sprinting and shooting, to sniping.
- Very accurate
- Comfortable ergonomic shape (for right handed people)
- Convenient dpi profile changing
- dpi indicator
- 5 dpi profiles (3 by default)
- 6 buttons, 2 scroll dimensions (or 8 and 1 depending how you use it)
- Configurable weight system
- Nice looking (IMHO)
- Anti-snag mesh covered cable
- Slightly fiddly middle click
- Not suitable for left handed mouse users
- Cable is quite rigid
Changes I would make to this mouse:
- It would be useful to have some kind of guide (wizard maybe?) to gauging what weight a user should choose.
- The middle click issue needs resolving, either make the wheel one dimensional or make it easier to press.
- Remove the cartridge slot lights, they are pretty much pointless