Logitech continues to expand its G-Series gaming portfolio towards top-of-the-line solutions. Until recently, the G502 Proteus Core manipulator was the flagship of the line, but in May 2016 it was replaced by the G900 Chaos Spectrum wireless mouse, which embodies all the best achievements of the company’s engineers. Today it finally fell into our hands, and we can share our impressions of using it with readers.
|Model||G900 Chaos Spectrum|
|Type||Gaming (FPS/MMO/RTS games)|
|Sensor Model||Pixart PMW3366DM-T2FUND|
|Permission, cpi||200–12 000|
|Number of buttons||11 buttons (left, middle, right, two resolution keys, four additional side buttons, wheel tilts to the sides), scroll wheel, wheel mode switch|
|Maximum acceleration, g||40|
|Lift-off height (LOD), mm||1–3 mm|
|Maximum speed, m/s||7,62|
|USB port polling rate, Hz||125 / 250 / 500 / 1000|
|Frame rate, fps||12 000|
|Internal memory, KB||+|
|Cord length, m||1,8|
|Wireless receiver type||Nano receiver|
|Power, battery life||Built-in lithium battery, 24-32 hours|
|Protocol (GHz) / range (m) of wireless communication||2.4 GHz / 10 m|
|Ability to change weight||–|
|Possibility to adjust the body shape||–|
|Cable material||Nylon braid|
|Housing surface material||Plastic|
|Backlight||Yes (RGB, 16.8 million colors)|
|Illumination zones||Resolution indicator, logo on the stern|
|Leg material||Teflon (PTFE)|
|Software||Да (Logitech Gaming Software)|
|Dimensions, (L x W x H) mm||130 x 67 x 40|
|OS Compatibility||Windows 7 / 8 / 10|
|Additionally||Interchangeable side keys|
|Average cost, $||150|
Delivery and equipment
The box of the device looks very solid. The design is dominated by a combination of blue and white fonts on a black background. The image and name of the product are on the front side of the cover, and the mention of its main advantages is on the back.
Having removed the packaging film and the outer cover, we see such a beautiful box with a laconic Logitech logo, which you will probably want to keep as a keepsake to put something valuable there.
The package includes a mouse, a detachable braided cable, a set of accessories in a black plastic box (receiver, extension cable, replaceable keys and plugs), instructions and information about the terms of warranty service.
Appearance and design
The Logitech G900 looks like a symmetrical futuristic robotic arm. The aggressiveness of its appearance is given by separately suspended panels of the main keys and a characteristic glossy insert between them. The coating here is a relatively smooth matte plastic with an average grip coefficient. Traces of use accumulate on it quickly enough, however, it is also easy to clean.
Particular attention should be paid to the design of the panels of the main buttons. They are made on the principle of a swing. The rear part of the lever, hidden in the body, is spring-loaded and provides an almost instantaneous return of the button to its original position after pressing. Thanks to this, LMB and RMB are very sensitive and responsive. The Omron mechanical switches underneath have a MTBF of 20 million activations. The left button works with a click of medium volume, and the right one sounds very loud. The switch of the middle button under the scroll wheel is tight, it is pressed muffled, with a noticeable effort. Tilts of the scroll wheel to the side are made easily and almost imperceptibly. At first, I didn’t even notice that the wheel can be tilted at all, taking this movement for the natural play of the part. The scroll wheel has two modes of operation. In the inertial version, it does not have a fixation and is able to rotate silently on its own for a long time, providing very fast page flipping. In fixed mode, each turn is perfectly tactilely distinguishable and is accompanied by a characteristic informative crash when scrolling quickly. The modes are switched by a separate mechanical key located immediately behind the wheel. Two miniature triangular buttons are responsible for changing the resolution by default. Easy to press with a soft click.
All edges of the mouse converge in front, forming a «predatory» beak. However, of the interesting details, there is only a socket for connecting a USB cable.
The connected cord is centrally located and very low, although this moment is partially offset by a fairly rigid kink protection. In this mode, the mouse can be charged or used as a regular wired mouse. However, for the latter option, it turns out that the cable fastening is not rigid enough, and may slightly loosen the connector during prolonged use. There are no latches for a more secure fixation of the cord.
The USB signal cable has a length of just over 1.8 meters, and is encased in a nylon braid. It is quite thick in cross section, but very soft and flexible. It practically does not support the given shape and quickly straightens itself. On the side of the larger USB connector, a small ferrite ring is put on the cord to eliminate signal interference. The smaller connector is made like a plastic plug, which in theory strengthens its grip on the mouse. In addition, there is a convenient Velcro tape on the cord, which allows you to easily adjust its length or quickly fold it for carrying.
A stylish plastic box with soft filling contains a set of interchangeable magnetic keys for the right side of the mouse, a magnetic plug for the left side of the case, a USB extension cable and a miniature transmitter inserted into it.
By and large, an extension adapter is needed in order to connect the transmitter to the cord through it and place it closer to the manipulator, thus improving the signal quality. And for charging, the easiest way is to remove the adapter along with the transmitter and plug the released cable into the mouse. This is where you start to think — why do we need these extra manipulations with small details? Wouldn’t it be easier to make a regular charging dock? After all, the mouse will still be used for the most part in wireless mode.
The left side of the mouse is made mainly of the same material as the top panel, and only the front is interspersed with even more tenacious matte gray plastic. Keys of the main buttons visually hang over the rest of the body in this perspective. Two additional side buttons are made of glossy plastic, their location is very convenient and the thumb finds them without difficulty, thanks to their characteristic shape and a dividing strip in the middle. These keys are pressed easily with a «sharp» click of medium volume.
The keycaps are held on by magnets and can be easily removed by prying them off with your fingernail and pulling to the side. In place of the buttons, you can install one solid plug. This was done for those who do not need the side buttons at all, or those who prefer to see them on the right side.
The right side of the mouse looks identical to the left side. Only instead of the side buttons, a stub is installed here.
The cover on the right side can be easily removed and replaced with two side button caps, turning the G900 into a left-handed mouse.
The mouse feed has a regular rounded shape without sharp bends. The G logo is located almost horizontally, at the very top of it. The lower part, for some reason, is made of easily soiled gloss. Fortunately, she does not contact with the palm.
Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum has a symmetrical shape and is perfectly balanced for use with any type of grip, whether it’s «palm», «claw» or «fingers». The weight balance along the axes is excellent, the body does not collapse in either direction. And the mouse itself feels light enough.
The base of the mouse has four large Teflon feet on the front, back and sides. They have hooks to facilitate dismantling and replacement. Two more small legs in the form of arrows are glued near the sensor window. In addition, there is a power off slider and a button to restore the wireless connection. As a sensor, the G900 is equipped with Pixart PMW3366DM-T2QU infrared optics — one of the best, if not the best sensor in its class.
There are only two RGB lighting zones — the G logo on the back of the mouse and the current resolution indicator in the form of three stripes. The effects and color of these zones are adjusted synchronously.
The G900 uses the Logitech Gaming Software Universal Driver version 8.91.48 as software, and the mouse firmware version is 1.2.20. The choice of interface language is available only once, when installing the program. The driver is registered at startup and is always active by default, although this can be disabled.
The driver’s basic screen shows which mouse buttons are active, the mouse’s battery level, and prompts you to choose whether to use the mouse’s memory or software settings.
The section of sensor settings and key assignments can be solid or divided into two separate windows (depending on whether the mouse relies on built-in memory or on software). Here you can choose the layout of the side buttons (All active, all off, buttons on the right or left are active). There are 11 keys available for reassigning commands. They can be assigned any mouse function, a standard combination of Windows buttons, or a complex macro. The macro is written in a separate window with minimal functionality — only keyboard commands are perceived, between which delays can be edited. Five profiles are available for the built-in memory to choose from; in case of using profiles from the driver, their number is not limited. Sensor resolution is adjustable from 200 to 12000 dpi in 50 dpi increments. Five separate sensitivity levels can be set, one of which is assigned to the “shift” function, that is, when a certain key is pressed, this level is activated. You can choose from polling rates of 125, 250, 500 or 1000 Hz. Here you can also enable «increased pointer precision», namely, the angular anchoring of the cursor.
In the backlight settings, you can choose which of the two backlight zones will be active (logo and resolution indicator), select a lighting effect (static, color change or «breathing» mode), set the brightness and speed of the effect. The color palette allows you to select any of the existing colors for highlighting. In addition, backlight settings can be synchronized with other company devices.
The battery screen visually displays in percent and hours exactly how much charge is left in the battery and where exactly it is spent. There is also a quick backlight setting, because it is she who is the main charge eater.
Surface calibration is responsible for setting the minimum height of separation (LOD) of the sensor. By default, there are two surface options available from Logitech and a default setting. The user can add his own surface, and then follow the steps suggested by the program to calibrate the mouse sensor for it.
The built-in heat map statistics module allows you to track which buttons are used most often, in what quantity and for how long. The function is curious, but useless in its essence.
You can bind a popular program for streamers — Overwolf — to this software. And in the tab in the form of a gear are the settings of the driver itself. There is nothing particularly remarkable about them. The question mark icon sends the user to the instructions for this driver, straight to the manufacturer’s website.
Ergonomics and testing
Testing was done on a Razer Goliathus WoT (Speed medium) mat. The Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum is the best wireless mouse I’ve ever owned. The shape, weight and its distribution along the axes, the location of the keys, the material are very close to ideal, and this is regardless of what grip the user will hold this manipulator with. The same goes for the feel of keystrokes and the use of the scroll wheel. The friction force of the legs is selected with a bias towards grip. The mouse glides well, but has little to no inertia. In terms of autonomy, the mouse fully confirms the declared parameters. With the backlight turned off, it is able to work in the mode of very active use for more than 30 hours, without turning off when idle. For active players, this should be enough for two or three days, and with «office» operation (6-8 hours and shutdown when not in use), this period increases to almost a week. It takes exactly two hours to fully charge the battery from a dry state in a regular USB 2.0 port. The mouse can be charged while using the cable, and you don’t even need to turn it off to switch between wired and wireless modes. However, the lack of a convenient docking station for her is a little frustrating. The lighting and software are decent, although in my subjective opinion, the logo LED could be a little less bright.
As already mentioned, one of the best Pixart PMW3366 optical sensors to date is installed here and it behaves just fine. First of all, it is worth noting that there is no difference or delay in the reaction speed of the mouse, regardless of whether it works with or without a wire. It is physically impossible to cause the cursor to stall, parasitic effects such as smoothing the trajectory, drifting or linearity are absent, unless they are intentionally turned on. The lift-off height is set to an acceptable minimum after the first surface calibration, and the sensor stops moving at the slightest raise of the mouse. And most importantly, this character of the cursor behavior is preserved in the entire possible range of resolutions, both at its high values and at low ones.
As of today, the Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum is the world’s best wireless gaming mouse and sets the benchmark for all other competitive solutions. Everything is good in it — a sensor, a universal body shape, weight, switches, a scroll wheel, the ability to rearrange the side keys, high autonomy and stability in wireless and wired modes, on-board memory and understandable software, RGB backlight. It seems that when designing this device, the company’s engineers took advantage of the principle of the ancient Greek sculptor Phidias and simply removed everything superfluous from the product, leaving only the necessary and worthy functions.
The only inconvenience that can spoil the pleasure of using the G900 in the long run is the lack of a docking station. Having to frequently plug in the charging cable can cause the USB port on the mouse to become loose and fail later on.
We hope that the absence of direct competitors will not lead to an excessive overestimation of the recommended cost of the Logitech G900 in local stores, where it will soon become available for purchase.