Logitech G5 Laser Gaming Mouse Review

skinny - 2007-05-18 06:29:05 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: skinny   
Reviewed on: May 23, 2006
Price: $50 USD
The Logitech G5 Laser Mouse, features a 2000 dpi laser engine. This allows stunning precision, which I have never before experienced from a mouse. This is a USB mouse, with a new-to-me braided cord, instead of the usual rubber-coated that I am used to. This may be because I typically use the cheapest peripherals I can find, or maybe this is a unique thing to Logitech. Maybe someone can fill me in on that. The main selling features displayed on the packaging are that it is designed for gaming, has 6 buttons, a tilting scroll wheel, full speed USB, adjustable sensitivity, and weight tuning. I will get more into these features in a bit.

Closer Look
The packaging is very professional looking, hi-tech but classy, as I would expect from a company that has been around as long as Logitech. The mouse, which is a rubberized black with a silver/coppery colored plastic insert across the top, is prominently displayed in clear plastic inside the box. As I was opening the box, I was already trying to think of where my machete was stored so that I could hack the plastic open to get to the mouse, but was pleasantly surprised to find that the two halves of the plastic were not heat sealed together, and pulled apart without the use of life-endangering tools. Packaged in the box was the typical Logitech one page instruction manual, the typical Logitech "Please buy our other fine Logitech products" flyer, and the cd-rom containing the programming required to fine tune the mouse. There was also a fancy little tin, with "G5", and the Logitech logo on the top of it. As I attempted to open this tin, I was again tempted to find my machete. At first, I thought this was just a "big-finger" issue, until I had my fianc� (who is amazing, beautiful, smart, and allows me time to play with computer stuff) try to open the tin, with the same results as I had. Finally, the tin opened to reveal a selection of small round discs, labeled either 1.7g or 4.5 g. These would be the weights, as referred to in the "weight tuning" listed on the front of the box. Again, more on that feature later.

The mouse itself has six buttons. There are your standard left and right buttons, and a scroll wheel. The wheel also tilts left and right, which allows you to scroll left and right. As I have never spent more than $5 on a mouse, I have never had an option like that, and happen to really like it. There is also a button on the left side of the mouse which is preset as a "Back" button for net-surfing.

A unique feature of this mouse is the extra two buttons on the top, marked "+" and "-". These allow you to change the mouse sensitivity on the fly. To allow you to know which setting you are in (in case you can't tell from actually using it?), the mouse also has an LED indicator which shows which of the three settings you are on. This is a nice gimmick/feature, except for the fact that when using the mouse, my hand completely covered the indicator. Again, I had my small-handed fianc� handle the mouse to see if this was a hand-size issue, but her hand covered it as well. I found that if I really want the indicator to be visible, I could change my hand position, but it was not comfortable or natural at all.
Closer Look
The ergonomic design of the mouse is decent, but again didn't do so well with the big-hand test. It has a higher profile than most other mice I have used, but still allows the heel of my hand to drag on the desktop. The buttons are nicely spaced, within natural hand movements to reach. It sits on pads made from polytetraflouroethylene (PTFE), which is a fancy way of saying "really slippery stuff". It slides nice and smooth. I have not used it enough to see if the normal desk-gunk builds up on it like it has on every other mouse I have ever used.


Now for the techno-geek details. The box lists these specifications, most of which I have no way of testing, so we will have to take Logitech�s word for it. Tracking resolution is to a max of 2000 dpi, image processing is 6.4 megapixels / second, maximum acceleration is 20 G's, and maximum speed is 1.15-1.65 m/sec. If anyone can actually verify these numbers, please, let me know how you do it. I would be very curious as to how one would measure 20 G's on a desktop mouse. The USB data format is 12 bit/axis, the USB report rate is 500/second, and it has no sleep mode. The glide numbers do actually appear testable, but not by me (darn High School math�). The Dynamic Coefficient of Friction is 0.09, depending on the surface. The Static coefficient of friction is .13, as tested on a wood-veneer desktop. The tuning weight ranges from 0-38 grams, which is user tunable. Button life is rated at 8 million clicks, and the polytetraflour-whatever is rated for 250 km. I have a feeling this mouse will last longer than I will. 250 km on a desktop? That�s some hardcore gaming there.

Simple. Plug in a USB cord. Done.

If you want the full adjustability that makes this mouse worth its price, you need to install the software that comes on the supplied CD. It also allows you to install Musicmatch, which is packaged with it for no cost. The Logitech Setpoint software allows you to adjust every button click, as well as the responsiveness of both the x and y axis, for all three DPI settings. The interface for making these changes is very easy to use. However, I ran into a conflict with the very first change I made. I changed a button function for Internet Explorer only. In attempting to have the �Zoom� (press the wheel) changed to �Alt-F4� to close a window, I ended up having left clicks on the desk top bring up shortcut properties, and I could no longer manually type websites into Explorer. As soon as I changed the �Zoom� function back to normal, the problem went away. This may be more of an Explorer/Windows issue, as when I set the back button to �Prone� in Battlefield Vietnam, I had no other problems.


For basic use, I found that the factory settings worked well for anything I needed. The fastest DPI setting was too fast for anything I needed, the middle setting was a great speed for day-to-day use, and the slowest speed was excellent for working in Photoshop. The button clicks are pretty standard, but it took me awhile to get used to surfing with the "Back" thumb button. The left/right scroll with the wheel was handy to have.

Not being much of a gamer, I decided that my game testing of this mouse would consist of attempting to set new high scores in Minesweeper. Worked fine. I then decided that was not enough, and obtained some games. As mentioned above, I made a simple change of button functions for Battlefield Vietnam which worked fine, and found that the sensitivity control worked excellent. The game itself did not recognize the extra mouse buttons, only the standard two buttons and scroll. After adding the game as a program in Setpoint, and making changes in there, the mouse worked flawlessly during gameplay.

This is a fine piece of work. From viewing the packaging, I expected this to be a well put-together product, and I was not disappointed. The finish on it is excellent, the appearance is unique with the air-brushed look and the buttons and feet all line up properly (something not found on my normal $5 mice). I like the "on-the-fly" adjustability of the sensitivity. The adjustable weight is a cool gimmick, although I cannot ever imagine being so picky about my mouse that I need to adjust the weight in it. I set it to the maximum weight and left it there, which seemed to give me the best feel. The included software is easy to use, and visually attractive to look at.

This may seem like a simple thing, but I love the fact that I did not need industrial rescue tools to open the plastic packaging, while at the same time, I was quite disappointed in how difficult it is to open the tin that the weights come in. The plastic sleeve that holds the weights seemed to require a fairly stiff push to get it to stay in the mouse, and while the weights are easy to add to the sleeve, I found that I needed to use a pen to pop them back out again to make changes.

The ergonomics are decent, but until someone develops a way to make the shape of a mouse adjustable to each user, they are not perfect, and are not expected to be. The buttons are all easily accessed, and seem to have the right feel to click (not too hard, not too sensitive). Like mentioned above, the LED indicator could be in a better spot, such as closer to the front of the mouse in the gap between the thumb and index finger. That should make it visible to more people with different shaped hands.

The biggest selling point for me for this mouse was how I instantly missed it as soon as I switched back to the old mouse. The comfort, the smooth motion, and the added buttons all were noticeably missing. I also like the fact that the polytetraflouroethylene had not collected any build-up on them, when my old mouse had to be cleaned literally daily.

For anyone looking for a high end mouse that�s easy to use, very adjustable, and aren't worried about spending a little more than $5 for a mouse, I highly recommend the Logitech G5 Laser. I know I am sold.