Logitech G25 Review

Bosco - 2007-01-12 11:38:41 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: Bosco   
Reviewed on: January 23, 2007
Logitech
Logitech
Price: $299.99

Introduction

Anyone who is anyone knows who Logitech is. From mice to joysticks, to webcams and keyboards, Logitech has pretty much been doing it all since 1981. When it comes to quality, I personally expect Logitech to be at the top of its game because I own a lot of their products and have become very dependent on them. The G25 looks to be a great product and I cannot wait to get started on testing it.

Closer look



The shipping package was in good condition and it was packed very tightly on the inside. When I opened package, I found a press release CD for the G25 and the rFactor Racing Game sitting on top of the fancy G25 Box.



The product package was also very solid with no damage whatsoever. The box, weighing in at a cool 20 pounds, was very heavy, much more than I expected. It also sported the usual Logitech colors and graphics with a decent amount of info on the product.



Two things that can account for the hefty weight are the use of real metal and leather on the G25, and that it comes as three separate pieces. You can tell just by looking at it that the unit is not cheaply made.

Features

One great idea is that the two red buttons on the steering wheel can either be used for an E-brake or NOS, depending on what you are playing. The metal backplate behind the wheel for gear changing gives you that Formula One thrill. Sweet.



The gearbox has a game pad setup with extra buttons if you need them. The shift is a six speed with a reverse as well. How cool is that? It also has a Sequential Shift Mode option, if that's your personal preference.



There are three table clamps for the gear box, which I think was an awesome idea. I don’t know about anyone else, but when I am driving in real life, the gearbox takes most of the punishment. Now at home, I really don’t want it to fly off the desk. With the three clamps, the gearbox locks to my table very well.

The extra game pad has a little green LED to indicate that you have power going to the unit.

One thing that I thought would have been cool is if the pedals could have been lit up. I know, it sounds stupid, but it's dark under my desk and I just thought that it would have been a nice feature. (Note: This is just a personal thought and does not affect my view on this product.)

Installation

The gearbox and the pedals connect to the steering wheel with serial connectors, and the steering wheel has a USB cable that plugs into your PC and a power cable to power the unit.

I installed the CD first. When it was done loading, it asked me to connect the USB connector to my PC, then it finished the installation. I was ready to drive.  All the games played instantly the only time you had to change something was if you wanted to program certain buttons, but all the basics worked fine.

System Requirements

Or Games that support Logitech® Force Feedback

Package Contents

Testing

Testing a product out is one of the most exciting parts for me.



One thing that caught my eye right away was that there were no extra little rubber pads for the bottom of the pedals. So if they wear out, what are we supposed to do? There is an option for bolts, but I have hardwood floors in my office and don’t want to be bolting into that. My hardwood floors will become an issue later.

So I finally get everything bolted down onto my desk. To get ready to play, I have installed NFS:MW, rFactor, and TMNations.



I jumped into rFactor right away because I got to try it out at CES. The first thing that went bad was my shifting. I found that the gearbox is very tight going from 2nd gear to 3rd. Quite a few times I went from 2nd to 5th, but after a little while I began getting used to it. However, like I said, it’s pretty tight.

I found the steering very responsive, more so than I expected. I am so used to a keyboard and that delay you get when driving; there is no delay with the G25. The dual-motor force feedback gives you the thrill that you are actually flying down the track at 200kph. I have used force feedback before, but this is way superior to anything I have ever used and I suspect that it has to do with the dual motors.



There are two clamps that hold the steering wheel to the desk. I would have preferred to see three like the gearbox because it did move on me a few times. I tightened it down harder and it seems to hold better now. Quite a few times I found myself over turning or over correcting myself since I was not used to the wheel. I don’t think my buddies have ever laughed so hard like when they did watching me do 360s at 100mph on a sharp turn. Oh well, they are no better, what do they know... The force feedback on the steering wheel was very powerful and enjoyable to use. You could feel bumps and definitely knew when you hit a wall. Which, for me, was quite often.



The next thing I focused on were the pedals (gas, brake, and clutch). They are very responsive and the brake is stiff, just like in real life. This is where my hardwood floors became an issue. At high speeds, when I pushed hard on the brake, the base of the pedals would start to slide on me. Don’t get me wrong, with normal use they seemed to move very little, if at all. So what’s a guy to do? Well, thankfully I have a brace bar under my desk that I usually use for a footrest. Since I wanted to continue gaming but didn't want to renovate my desk, I grabbed my floor safe, dragged it under my desk, and put the pedals against that. Guess what? My pedals don’t move any more, no matter how hard I slam on them. Problem solved. Of course, if you don’t have a floor safe kicking around then you might have an issue to deal with if you have hardwood floors. There is an additional grip on the bottom for carpets. I tried using it on my hardwood, but of course, it didn't work but nor was I expecting it too. I then took it downstairs where there is carpet and it did do a decent job, but again, if you pushed hard enough you can make it move.





I switched over to TMNations, played that for a bit, and then I turned on NFS:MW. I am normally very good at this game but I again found myself trying to get used to the steering. Remember that NOS button I was talking about earlier? It comes in handy for this game, no doubt about that. After playing NFS for a while, I began to get used to the steering and found myself driving straighter then I used to and I also found the game more enjoyable to play. One of the main reasons for that is because there is more to do. From shifting gears and using the pedals, down to the steering, what more could you ask for?

I then headed across the street to my buddy’s house and hooked the unit up to his Playstation. After a few laps on Gran Turismo 2 and 3, I was in heaven. I allowed my buddy to try it out and he too was hooked. We both found it way easier and more fun to play the game with the G25 compared to the game pad.

I would love to spend more time testing more games, but there is only so much time in a day to test and I have to sleep sometime.

Conclusion

The weight issue is something that normally bugs me when it comes to anything to do with a PC. However, this time I liked the idea of the G25 being very heavy because if it was cheap and made of plastic, then I could see it breaking very easily, especially with me behind the wheel. I really enjoyed using the G25. The driving was so close to real life that I found myself yelling at the computer screen and power shifting to pass other cars while listening to ACDC - Thunderstruck. If you are into racing games, I definitely recommend the G25. It will change the way you play your games, and if you have loud speakers, expect the experience to be that much cooler.

Pros

Cons