There are plenty of naysayers of dedicated gaming peripherals – we’ll call them anti-performers– who decry $80 mice as a waste of money that doesn’t enhance ability. Yes, it’s true that a great mouse can’t make a terrible player better. If you don’t know whom to shoot and when, the how doesn’t really matter. But the right mouse can ensure a good player performs reliably by interpreting his/her commands into accurate shots, selections, and gestures.
But in the crowded market of neon-lit, fission-fueled “gaming mice,” how do you know which one is worth your dinero?
Easy: I’m going to fucking tell you. It’s the Logitech G500.
The G500 has a lot of features, and while they’re all swell, the most important thing you need to understand is that Logitech is a company that gives more than half a shit about your peripheral-buying experience. You can trawl the web for hundreds of examples, but my own anecdotes convinced me rather quickly that Logitech deserved my money.
My previous gaming mouse, the Logitech G5, wasn’t perfect, but it lasted me nearly 5 years of constant, abusive gameplay. Not a bad record to start with. Anyway, it was certainly still functioning, but all the color was starting to fade. I had heard stories that Logitech routinely gives out discounts for no reason, so I wrote their customer service asking if they’d give me a coupon to upgrade to the G500. In less than 24 hours they sent me a code for 50% off and free shipping. It was now just $41.
Pretty nice, huh? But it doesn’t end there. When I actually got the G500, I noticed the left mouse button produced a tiny, nearly inaudible squeak. I wrote in to Logitech again, and they offered to send me a replacement G500 for the cost of shipping and handling. No, I wouldn’t have to send the original back!
Ultimately, I decided I had used up enough goodwill, and I kept my current G500. The squeaking went away in a few days, leaving only the unbridled joy of an exquisitely designed input device.
But enough fawning over corporate good will, let’s get to what this thing actually does.
The fancy stuff first: Complete customization
Right from the get-go, there are a few features that set the G500 apart from its contemporaries, but the most important one is dual-mode hyperscrolling.
With the click of a button, the mousewheel can toggle between two scrolling modes. The first is the standard, notched scrolling you probably have on your shitty Dell default mouse. The second is the greatest thing ever created, ever.
Hyperscrolling essentially puts your mousewheel on a ball bearing, allowing it to spin at any speed for any duration. A single flick of the wheel can quickly bring you to the bottom of a long web page, a boring Word document, or a long list of menu items. And unlike keyboard commands like End and Page Down, hyperscrolling is a nuanced, analog control. You’re able to spin your way around the web just as naturally as you spin discs during your weeknight shifts as America’s hottest dance party DJ.
It may sound like a lame add-on for pencil-pushers, but hyperscrolling is great for gaming. Actions bound to mousewheel_down or mousewheel_up can be executed hundreds of times a second. List-based inventories literally fly by. And everyone in 2Fort will be mighty impressed with how quickly you can toggle your weapons while wasting your Medic’s Ubercharge.
The G500 has a few other tricks up its sleeve when it comes to giving you more control. First, its on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment means you’ll always have the right accuracy at the right time. Whether you’re sniping in Battlefield 3 or Photoshopping Grandma out of your wedding photos, being able to drop mouse sensitivity at an instant means pixel-perfect precision. When the action heats up again, or you’re using a broad-stroke tool to finalize your abuela’s digital disappearance, just kick it back up a few notches. You can also use this mouse feature to appease multiple family members with different mouse settings preferences.
Well, grandma might not be keen in partaking, what with you being a giant asshole and all. Don’t worry; it’s cool. If you don’t want to use the sensitivity feature, you can assign its buttons to any other input, keystroke, or macro.
Speaking of personal taste, the Logitech G500 carries over the custom weight system from its G5 predecessor. Yes, that’s right: you can decide how much your fucking gaming mouse weighs. Some people like lightweight mice, but true connoisseurs prefer the mature, well-bodied feel of a more meaty, sensual mouse. With a careful touch you can gently slide in up to 27 grams of heft into
her its receptive undercarriage.
Everything else: Aiming at things and making them die
Frills are great, but what about the basics? The Logitech G500 excels where it really counts: telling your computer what the hell you want to do. With ten buttons (including the remappable hyperscroll and sensitivity inputs), you won’t find yourself wanting in ways to control games and other software. The G500 improved greatly over the G5 in this arena, since the latter suffered unusable mousetilt functionality, only a single side thumb button, and poorly placed sensitivity adjusters. All G500 buttons provide great tactile feedback, and aside from the temporary squeak I encountered, I have no complaints.
The mouse’s “gaming-grade” laser has been moved to the front of the mouse, another improvement over the G5. This allows the user to choose between broad, quick movements (by moving the whole mouse), or minute, accurate changes (by rotating the front end of the mouse). Many gamers were baffled using the G5’s center-aligned laser, since turning the mouse had no perceptible effect on cursor position. Unless you consider random stuttering a desirable effect.
As for the quality of the laser, I’m not really an expert. The mouse is extremely precise and sensitive to even the tiniest movements. I’ve noticed that the mouse cursor regularly moves a pixel when someone else in the house so much as steps within eight feet of my desk. This isn’t an issue during gameplay, but an example of just how small a motion the G500 can pick up. This can, of course, be adjusted via sensitivity controls, software tweaks, and weight addition.
Further research into the quality of its laser, however, is impossible, since my attempts to stare directly into it have left me legally blind in my right eye. I guess that means it works.
From what I can still see, the overall build of the G500 is superb. Gone is the overly steep arch of the G5, replaced with a more natural, ergonomic slope. The plastic is grippier on the side, making for easier “claw” style gameplay and a nice visual contrast. The faux-camoflage pattern on the top is a nice change of pace from the typical, and the braided, cloth cord common in Logitech’s upper tier wired mice is as fashionable as it is practical – no tangled wires here.
Underneath, the mouse is plain but elegant, with low-friction feet and an intuitive ejection port for the custom weight system. Near the front of the mouse, the laser port is prominent, with a strong warning not to look directly into the aperGODDDAMN IT ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? AGAIN? CAN SOMEONE ORDER ME A BRAILLE KEYBOARD? FLURRRGRBBB