Logitech G7 Laser Mouse Review

skinny - 2007-01-16 21:31:45 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: skinny   
Reviewed on: May 23, 2006
Logitech
GF City Computers
Price: $80 USD

Introduction
The G7 Laser Mouse is Logitech's offering for a high-tech, cordless mouse. It utilizes 2.4 GHz cordless technology and a 2000 dpi laser. This is the same system as found in the G5, which is the corded version sold by Logitech. The G5 has been my mouse of choice for the past several months. The G7 offers the same outstanding sensitivity, with the convenience of being cordless.

Logitech is a Swiss-based company that has years of experience building computer peripherals. They provide both OEM and retail products, with the majority of their sales being retail. In addition to their PC-based products, they also offer peripherals for gaming consoles, portable music players, mobile phones, and home-entertainment systems.





Closer Look
As with other Logitech products I have used, the G7 comes packaged in a very professional, unique looking box. Part of the front and top of the box are cut away to display the mouse inside a clear plastic insert, which is easily opened, no chainsaw required. The colors of the packaging match the mouse, which has a silver/grey top, and dark, emerald green sides. Features are detailed in a number of different languages, and the product specifications are listed on the side of the box. Inside the box, you find the mouse, two battery packs, the USB receiver, battery charger, software CD, and small but well-detailed installation guide and operating manual.




The G7 has a very sleek design. The two main buttons are integrated into the silver top of the mouse, which is a flexible material. The scroll wheel also scrolls side-to-side. There are two small buttons behind the scroll wheel, which are used to change the sensitivity of the mouse on the fly. A multi-purpose LED display is located to the left. There is also a button on the left side of the mouse, pre-programmed as a "back" button. On the bottom of the mouse, you will find a power button, as well as the slot for the rechargeable batteries. The mouse slides on three polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) feet. More on PTFE later.

The G7 shares the same ergonomic shape as the G5. The buttons are well located, and very easy to use. This is also the same as the G5. The biggest difference between the two is that the G7 is cordless. The G7's receiver is a nice small item that plugs into a USB port. Logitech also provides a charging station for the two included lithium-ion batteries. This charging station is powered through a USB port, and includes another USB port on the top side of the station, which is the perfect place to plug in the receiver.
Installation
Installing the G7 is a relatively simple exercise. Turn your computer on. Plug the USB charging station into a free USB port on your computer. Then plug the wireless receiver into the charging station. Place one of the two rechargeable lithium-ion batteries into the charger. There are two charging modes available, Normal and Boost. Boost requires a powered USB port or hub, while normal with work with both powered and unpowered. Charging time in Boost mode is 2 hours, and 10 hours in Normal mode. Once the battery is charged, remove it from the charging station, and plug it into the bottom of the mouse.



Your mouse should automatically be recognized by your operating system, but to use all the features included, you must install the supplied software. This is done by inserting the included CD into your computer, and following the onscreen instructions. This will install Setpoint, which allows the user to alter mouse settings, including button presses, battery warning levels and sensitivity settings. It also allows you to set specific mouse characteristics for specific programs.





Specifications
    Tracking
  • Resolution - 2000 dpi
  • Image processing - 6.4 megapixels / second
  • Maximum acceleration - 20 G's
  • Maximum speed - 1.15-1.65 m/sec

    Responsiveness

  • USB data format - 12 bit/axis
  • USB report rate - 500/second
  • Sleep mode - Intelligent

    Glide

  • Dynamic Coefficient of Friction - 0.09
  • Static coefficient of friction - 0.13

    Durability

  • Button life - 8 million clicks
  • Feet - 250 km

Testing

Prior to trying out this mouse, the mouse used in my day to day computing was the G5, so I felt I knew just what to expect of the G7. While the two mice are very similar, they have some pretty large differences as well.

The shape and button press of both mice are similar. The shape is comfortable, yet a little small for my liking as I have big hands. The buttons are all in easy to reach locations, however the two small buttons used to adjust the sensitivity can be difficult to reach without changing your entire hand position. The button-press is nice, with a soft click. However, I did find the scroll wheel on the G7 to be quite a bit louder than on the G5, and slightly annoying. It almost sounds like there is a piece broken inside. The PTFE feet, as with the G5, slid smoothly on every surface I tested it on, and did not appear to pick up gunk off the desktop and mouse pad like almost every other mouse. I found battery life to vary greatly depending on what I was doing. A day of gaming would completely drain the battery, where as I could go several days on one battery if I was only using the internet, Photoshop, and other applications. However, with having two batteries with a maximum 10 hour charge time, there was always a fresh battery available to replace the dead one. The current battery strength is displayed on the small LED display on the top of the mouse, and a warning pops up in the bottom right corner of the screen warning you when the current mouse battery reaches critical levels. The plastic cover of the mouse, while very pleasant to look at, has a feel that I can best describe as greasy. It is extremely smooth, and can be quite slippery. I much preferred the textured rubberized material found on the G5, especially for gaming applications. Changing batteries is pretty simple, although there were times that it took a couple attempts to get the battery to "catch" and stay in the mouse. There is also a small power button on the bottom of the mouse that can be used to prevent the battery from draining if you are going to be away from the computer for extended periods.

The multi-color LED on the top of the mouse serves several purposes. The mouse is "awake", it displays in orange the current sensitivity level you are set at. After approximately 5 seconds of inactivity, the display turns green and shows the current battery life remaining. This then disappears after another 10 seconds of inactivity and the mouse enters "sleep" mode. There is a noticeable delay when waking the mouse from an extended sleep.

I was unable to determine the effective range of this mouse, but was able to use it flawlessly from over 20 feet away, and through 2 walls. I simply ran out of room to test from any further away.


Conclusion
Having become quite attached to my G5 in a very short time, I was pretty optimistic at the start of this review. The G7 has pretty much everything the G5 has, plus more. How could that be bad? While some of the characteristics of this mouse disappointed me, for the most part, I was impressed.

For me, being cordless is not an issue. Therefore, I never really did see a benefit in not having the cord, but found that the battery life, while good, seemed to run out at the most inopportune times. Having the battery meter on the top of the mouse is a great feature, except my hand always covers it when the mouse is in use, so I never use it. The on-screen pop-up stating that battery life is critical came in handy on a number of occasions, and always seemed to give me enough warning to pause my game to make the change. However, battery changes aren't instant. If you can't pause your game, such as in a multi-player environment, you better find a good hiding place to make your battery change. Having two rechargeables is great, I hate buying batteries. I personally wouldn't bother losing the cord if it means having to change batteries though. I also found that there was often a noticeable lag when the mouse was allowed to "sleep", but this lag seemed to be intermittent.

As with the G5, I like the adjust-on-the-fly feature, as well as the "back" button on the left side. However, I could not get the "back" function to work in Firefox, even after making changes in the included programming. It did work properly in Explorer though. The ergonomics work well, and likely would for most right-handed people. The material that this mouse is made from bothered me though, as it constantly felt oily. I much preferred the G5 for its rubberized feel.

As with the G5, I really like the sensitivity levels of this mouse. The included software is easy to use. Installation is simple. The pads on the bottom of the mouse slid smoothly, and seem to stay cleaner longer than the pads on other mice I have used. The button press is good and solid, and quiet, although the scroll wheel made some weird noises. The side scroll is handy.

I have used other mice, such as the Microsoft Wireless, and some other generic $5 mice. The 2.4 Ghz technology was noticeable when compared to the Microsoft, as I never experienced any interference while using this mouse, yet I experienced it constantly with the Microsoft. When compared to that same Microsoft mouse and the other bargain mice, I found the ergonomics of the G7 to be superior, as it is designed for a right hand, while the Microsoft and most other mice are ambidextrous. A left-handed person would have to take this into serious consideration. The build quality is obvious in the touch and feel of this mouse. It feels like it is built solid, with quality materials. I am confident that this mouse, if not subjected to serious abuse, could be used without fail for years.

If having a cordless mouse is a priority for you, then I would recommend the G7. It works very well, and is packed with features such as the adjustable sensitivity and fully adjustable buttons. However, if flat-out gaming ability is your biggest need, I would suggest going with a mouse like the G5 instead, as things like the lag time, battery changes, and slippery feel of the G7 may interfere with your gaming experience.

Pros

Cons


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