Logitech G500 Review
The Logitech G500 is part of Logitech’s excellent ‘G’ range of gaming accessories. As with just about every mouse these days the G500 boasts a ridiculously sensitive laser sensor, this one offering a staggering 5,700dpi, as well as a few other features that make it stand out as a choice for best gaming mouse – ten buttons, adjustable dpi, variable weights and onboard memory.
[easyazon-image-link asin=”B002J9GDXI” alt=”Logitech G500 Programmable Gaming Mouse” src=”http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/51HoNxGz0wL.jpg” align=”center” width=”270″ height=”300″]
So What Do You Get With The Logitech G500?
Logitech haven’t quite mastered the art of making interesting packaging. The G500 comes in a boring box that’s covered in a short list of features in various languages, with a handful of small photos of the bext bits. It’s not got that ‘wow, that looks cool’ factor that you get from companies like Razer and Mionix.
Open the box and things get more interesting, as inside you’ll find:
- a shiny new Logitech G500
- a stylish weight box containing twelve weights
- the weight cartridge
- manuals, including a quick start guide, user guide, ‘important’ health and safety information and an ad for the rest of the ‘G’ range
The mouse itself is a familiar design, an evolution of the old Logitech G5. It’s got a distinctive silvery pattern (tarnished metal?) on top and hard plastic with a gritty texture along the sides. There are ten buttons available on the G500 – the two main buttons, scrollwheel click plus left/right tilt, two dpi buttons on the top left and three more buttons on the left side. The G500 also has a braided cable with a silver USB connector (the cheapskates didn’t gold-plate it).
There is another button, just below the scrollwheel. This switches the wheel between a normal ‘clicky’ action and Logitech’s ‘hyper-scrolling’ action, where the wheel spins freely with surprisingly little friction – give it a good flick and it’ll carry on spinning for some time.
Also on top of the mice are three red LEDs. These indicate the current DPI setting from a total of three, each of which can be configured using the Logitech Setpoint drivers. By default the two buttons on top of the G500 control the dpi switching. It’s a simple system that works very well.
Flip over the mouse and you’ll find the slot for the weight cartridge. Yes, the G500 has a variable weight system using the same mechanism as the old G5. A removable cartridge holds up to six weights, and in the very smart weight box you will find six 4.5g and six 1.7g weights. You can mix and match any combination of weights up to 27g. I loaded up the maximum weight and immediately liked the new feeling, but then I like a hefty feel to my mice.
One thing to note is that the sensor on the G500 is not in the centre – it’s mounted towards the front of the mouse.
Setting Up The Drivers For The Logitech G500
One thing that Logitech are good at is producing good driver software, and the G500 is no exception. The only downside is that there is no installation CD with the mouse so you have to visit the website to download the latest version of the Setpoint driver software (just over 20Mb) but this is no great hardship.
Once installed Setpoint is very easy to use and gives you full control over the mouse. It gives you the ability to setup the three dpi levels for the G500 from just 200dpi all the way up to 5,700dpi and the x and y-axis can have different levels. The polling rate can be configured (from 125Hz to 1000Hz) as well as mouse speed and cursor acceleration.
Each of the button actions can be configured in the usual way, with standard Windows functions, mouse functions, keyboard keys or macros being available to choose from. The macro editor is very easy to use, allowing you to record your key strokes with ease. Configuring the buttons is important because some older games won’t recognise the mouse tilt or third side button, so you’ll need to reprogram the mouse to trigger the command you want.
The final feature of Setpoint is that it allows you to setup five different profiles and assign them to the mouse’s memory. You can then pick a button to switch between the profiles, or you can save the profile on the hard drive and have it load automatically when you start a particular game.
What’s the Logitech G500 Like In Use?
If you’re a left-handed gamer then you probably won’t want the G500 as it’s an ergonomic design aimed at right-handers. Fortunately I’m right-handed and I have to say I found the G500 incredibly pleasing to hold, fitting into the palm of my hand perfectly. From that you can probably guess that I prefer a palm grip, rather than claw grip, and if you are a claw gripper then the G500 probably isn’t for you.
I don’t like the hard plastic that runs along the sides, preferring the soft rubber that you find on many other mice, but other than that the G500 feels great.
So time to get gaming with the G500. A good test of a gaming mouse’s sensor is a FPS so I started off with Far Cry 2, followed by some online action with Left 4 Dead. Through a few long sessions of mercenary and zombie slaughtering the G500 never skipped a beat. The tracking from the sensor was superb, remaining accurate throughout, and the lift-off distance is reasonable at around 2mm – other mice are better but I have definitely played with worse. The dpi switching works a treat, with the two buttons being in an ideal spot for switching up and down (easier to reach than those on the similar MX518), and the LEDs give an easy indication as to where you are on the scale.
The feel of the buttons is equally good, requiring minimal pressure and responding with a positive click. The left thumb buttons are particularly good, each one being light but with a shape that makes it easy to pick out the correct button. I don’t think I hit the wrong button once.
Switching to a bit of real-time strategy I fired up Dawn Of War 2 (I’m loving that game at the moment). Yet again the G500 handled the pace with ease, and the extra buttons proved useful for some of the popular in-game commands. It’s great to be able to move some of the many keyboard shortcuts onto the mouse, to take some of the strain from your left hand – I find that in a fierce firefight I can easily lose my place on the keyboard and be pressing the wrong keyboard button.
Back in Windows and it’s more of the same … accurate tracking and a nice feel to the buttons.
What’s Wrong With The G500?
The scrollwheel of the G500 is compromised by that hyper-scrolling mechanism. The free-wheeling action is of very little use for games as the srcoll wheel is usually used for selecting weapons/items from a list, and for that you want a one-click-at-at-time movement to ensure you pick the right object. Unfortunately when you put the G500 into clicky mode the wheel feels a bit cheap and flimsy – I hope it’s built to last (*cough* Roccat Kone *cough). I think the G500 could have done without this feature and should have stuck with a normal mousewheel – a similar criticism can be aimed at the more expensive G9x.
Another minor point is that gritty texture on the sides – it doesn’t feel as nice as those rubbery coatings on other mice, but then I suppose it’ll wear better over time.
Buying A Logitech G500
I bought my G500 from Amazon for the princely sum of $56.99, undercutting the retail price of $69. Not a bad price at all for such a feature-packed mouse, and a good discount considering it’s not been on sale for long.
I had high hopes for the Logitech G500 and it met them with ease. It’s difficult to find anything wrong with it and not once did it offer any sign of a fault or problem. The sensor performs well, the buttons are all easily accessible and it’s shape fitted my palm perfectly.
However, it’s not perfect. I find that hyper-scrolling action on the wheel is unnecessary on a gaming mouse and makes it feel flimsy. You can also tell that Logitech took the cheaper option in a couple of areas – the surface of the mouse would have been better coated in the same rubbery substance as used by the likes of Razer and Mionix, or even Logitech themselves on the more expensive G9x.
Also, the USB connector should have been gold-plated – it might not make any difference in-game but if other companies are doing it on cheaper mice then it makes Logitech look a bit tight.
Nit-picking aside, I really like the Logitech G500 and give it a big ‘thumbs up’ – it’s a fantastic gaming mouse at a good price. In fact, I think I prefer it to the more expensive G9x – my previous recommendation for the best gaming mouse.