Logitech G500S gaming mouse review

[Originally posted to my column at Examiner.com]

The Logitech G500s still keeps everything gamers loved about the G500 intact, and adds a little more ‘flair’ and new ‘hydrophobic’ surface. The G500s is comfortable, well-designed, and pretty easy on the wallet and among the best gaming mice in its price range.

Features at a glance

  • Sensor type: Laser
  • DPI (dots per inch): up to 8200
  • Up to 5 DPI settings (changeable on the fly)
  • Number of buttons: 10 (total) / 7 programmable
  • Sides: Textured plastic
  • 2m Braided fiber cable
  • Top: Matte black; water (and smudge) resistant plastic
  • Dual mode scroll wheel: Standard (Gaming) / free-spinning
  • Polling Rate: 125/200/250/333/500/1000Hz
  • Adjustable Weights: up to 27 grams of extra weight

The G500s is basically a corded, less expensive version of the G700s with a reduced feature set and fewer buttons. Both mice share the same ‘hydrophobic’ matte plastic surface, textured sides, and a similar (but not exactly the same) shape.

Both the G500s and G700s also have the same dual-mode scroll wheel, a feature unique to Logitech mice. Press the button behind the scroll wheel and you can switch between a precision scroll wheel mode (for gaming) and a free-spin mode (like a trackball), which is great for Web surfing and general PC use.

The G500s supports up to 5 different DPI settings to a maximum of 8200 DPI, adjustable in 50 DPI increments. Like most gaming mice, the G500s supports single- and multi-keystroke macros, which can be further enhanced by adding recorded mouse actions and/or custom timings. Once a macro is created, you can right-click within it the sequence and insert custom timings, mouse events, or even record extra actions from anywhere within the existing macro.

Comfort

The G500 also has the same basic right-handed ergonomic shape as the G700s, though the G500s has more subtle curves—it feels a little less ‘form fitting’ but also a little more relaxed. It will likely serve a wider range of grip styles.

The G500s lacks the large, distinctive, sculpted thumb buttons found on the G700s, and instead has 3 small thumb buttons.

Unique to the G500s is an elegant and well-designed weight cartridge system. Press a small button on the bottom of the mouse, and out pops a cartridge that you can load with up to 27g of weights. Although changing the weight isn’t something you’re likely to do often, at least the G500s makes it easy.

Software

Logitech’s unified drivers are generally among the better software drivers relative to their competitors. The software is easy to navigate, and despite its simplicity offers virtually all the functionality you’d expect from a good gaming mouse: macro programming, adjustable DPI, multiple profiles, etc. Logitech’s software is also a unified gaming platform and thus supports all of their peripherals—mice, keyboards, headsets, etc.

However, Logitech’s overall driver UI (user interface) could still be improved. Certain features—such as the many macro options—aren’t obviously placed. You’d never know the options even existed if you didn’t think to right-click (or use their help system) inside the macro to view your available options.Another weakness in the software is that it only stores a single profile on the mouse itself—if you want more you can store the profiles on the PC though.

Performance

The G500s is a comfortable mouse and arguably a little more comfortable than the G700s. It performed very well for both general PC use—an area in which it excels considerably thanks to its dual mode scroll wheel—and for gaming, where it was put through its paces predominantly in Splinter Cell: Blacklist, Hi-Rez Studios’ SMITE, and the preview build for Blackpowder Studios upcoming indie title Betrayer (preview forthcoming).

The Logitech G500s proved comfortable to use for extended periods, lending credence to their claims about the ‘hydrophobic’ and fingerprint-resistant coating.

If there’s any criticism to be made, it’s mainly that thumb buttons on the G500s could be (and probably should be) bigger and farther apart. Logitech could take a page from Razer’s design for the DeathAdder and make the thumb buttons larger.

Overall: 4/5 Stars

At a paltry $55 (or so) on the street, the Logitech G500s is an excellent value in gaming mice and could easily compete with mice costing almost twice as much. As such, it’s also an excellent replacement for its predecessor. It’s feature-rich, comfortable, and the driver software is very good.

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