Logitech G700s gaming mouse review
January 2, 2015 - From the time I've used a PC, I've used mice. I started with a ball mouse back in 1995 and after some time upgraded to an optical mouse when they became widely available. I then upgraded to one of the most luxury mice on the face of the planet, a Logitech MX1000 cordless laser mouse. After a brief stint with a trackball, because of a repetitive strain injury, and wearing out the MX1000 I jumped to an MX Revolution. The Revolution died too; enter the G700s.
The G700s is advertised as a gaming mouse, but I only occasionally play games (open world games mostly). I simply want a wireless top-of-the-line, ultra responsive mouse that will last me five years of daily use, and has some bells and whistles, especially programmable buttons and a good scroll wheel. In this review, I will not be repeating the fact sheet every reviewer writes down. For fact sheets like those, well, you know how to look them up. I will be reviewing this mouse from a usability point of view, and try to give my opinion as a mouse user of 20 years. And not as a gamer either, but as an allround user.
Appearance - The G700s is slightly chunkier than the MX Revolution, and about the same size as the MX1000. Logitech has dropped their usual rubbery coating in favour of a sandpaper like surface. It doesn't appear to be a coating; it seems it's moulded into the casing. Because of that it'll probably last a lot longer; on both my MX1000 and MX Revolution, the coating has worn off partially. The sandpaper feels good, but is difficult to clean, if it catches some gunk. It takes a few days to get used to, and now that I've had the mouse for about three months, it feels like I've never had different.
Handling - When it comes to mice, I'm a finger tip grip user. I arch my hand over a mouse completely while hardly touching it except with my fingertips. The shape of a mouse is largely unimportant to me. Since I have rather large hands, the size of a mouse is also of little concern to me.
Control - This is the first mouse I've owned that allows you to set a native sensitivity, and I wish I'd gotten one earlier. The sensitivity of the mouse is customizable over a huge range, which goes up to an insane 8200 DPI. So far, I've only used the range up to 2200 DPI. My previous mice weren't this sensitive, so back then I resorted to using accelleration to sweep across my 3360 pixels wide desktop. The big disadvantage of using accelleration is when you move back, your pointer never returns to its exact previous position, and when you move slowly, you run out of mouse space or bang against your keyboard. I used to lift and set the mouse to counter this effect. With the G700s, this is all in the past. The pointer always moves the same distance when I move the mouse. This sounds logical, and it should be, but on large desktops and with low sensitivity mice it isn't.
Weight, feet - The mouse is fairly heavy but nothing serious. Then again, I've never understood why mouse weight is such an issue for people, and I can't grasp the concept of weight tuning of a mouse. A male hand weighs around half a kilogram, so adding mere grams to a mouse that is already much lighter than your own hand seems rather pointless to me. You'd think people would worry more over glide resistance. That I can understand. I hate dirt or dust under my mouse feet. Unfortunately it's a fact of life. The G700s' feet are no different in this respect, but when clean, they glide like the wind . Too bad they're a weird, custom shape.
Scroll wheel - The mouse wheel is almost identical to the one on the MX Revolution, except the switchover from free-wheel to click is done with a mechanical switch. It doesn't have the automatic switchover the Revolution offers, and frankly I don't care. However, on the Revolution I used to have the wheel press button switch over the free/click function. The G700s can only do that on the middle button. A minor thing to get used to. A scroll wheel like the one on the MX Revolution will probably never come again. I think I read somewhere Logitech had great trouble getting the mechanism to work reliably. For me, the most important feature of the scroll wheel, besides scrolling, is left/right tilt. I have gotten so used to switching browser tabs with a tilt wheel, this feature is a dealbreaker for me. The G700s has the same feel as the MX Revolution in this respect.
G4-G7 buttons - These four buttons replace the more common two buttons for forward/back. All four have clearly felt ridges, so you can even press them with your stretched thumb.
G8-G11 buttons - G8, G9 and G10 are the three square buttons left from the main left mouse button. I found these to be the most useful secondary buttons, most easily reached and with just the right pressure to activate. The G11 button is too far out of reach, and seems destined to be assigned to a function you use very rarely, like the battery level check or profile switching.
Wireless - On a keyboard I couldn't care less, but a mouse must be wireless. Unfortunately, wireless also means batteries, and batteries run down. The MX1000 and Revolution could only be recharged on a charger base. That wasn't really an issue; the battery life of these mice was excellent: more than a week. But there have been times I was forced to take a break to recharge. The G700s can simply be plugged in and you can continue your work or game. The wire is still annoying, but having to take a break is more annoying. You also have the option of just swapping the standard NiMH AA battery, while recharging the depleted cell in an external charger. I commend Logitech for using a standard AA cell. However, for a device that's relatively power hungry, an 18650 cell would perhaps have been a better choice, lasting 3 to 5 times longer, at almost the same weight, while still being an industry standard size that you can charge in an external charger. Ah well.
Being a 1 ms response time programmable gaming mouse, the G700s uses its own dedicated transceiver, and is thus not compatible with Logitech's Unifying system. I've yet to experience wireless connection troubles with any wireless mouse; this one's -of course- no exception.
Battery - There has been much debate on the G700 and G700s battery life. It is stated that both the mouse and the software are highly inaccurate in reporting the state of charge. I can confirm this. With power mode on the max setting, the level drops from 3 to 1 in barely an hour, then drops to red in another 3 hours, and the mouse quits completely after another 2 hours. That's 6 hours of constant use, with 5 of those indicating a low/critical battery. With power saver on, by the looks of it, you'll get about 3 days of office use, with 2 of those indicating a low/critical battery.
I decided to do a little test. I let the battery level drop down to red, and then put the battery in my Maha C9000 battery charger/analyzer. The Maha said there was 1250 mAh, that's 65%, left in the battery. I did a second test, letting the mouse run completely down, switch it off and on, then let it run down again (just to make sure). I measured the remaining charge with the Maha analyzer and it read 60 mAh, so that's accurate at least.
For a product that is so well designed otherwise, this is bad. Logitech states they use a very advanced microcontroller with, no doubt, a pretty precise AD-converter. The G700 and G700s have been on the market for quite some time now, I'd think a firmware update would be in order. Then again, you'll get used it. Just use the mouse until it quits, then recharge it.
Indicators - Inobtrusive, but clear. Three tricolor LEDs indicate charge level (green/red), profile (orange) or sensitivity (red). Nothing fancy, nothing over the top. They don't light up every time you move the mouse, like the MX1000 and MX Revolution do, which was unnecessary and slightly annoying.
Software - For their gaming gear, Logitech developed a dedicated piece of software called Logitech Gaming Software. Well, at least they didn't spend any marketing dollars on a cool name for it, like they did with their G502 "Proteus Core" one gazillion DPI mouse. The software is intuitive, but slow to react to settings changes. Also, finding the "edit" button for mouse button assignment is somewhat tricky. There's no "double click" action that you can assign to a button; instead you have to create a macro with two mouse click actions. Sounds logical, but it took me a while to figure out.
Mouse profiles are stored in the internal memory, so you can take them with you. Unless you want very specific things beyond hotkey and macro definition, you can also use the help of the Gaming Software to make the mouse execute commands in Windows. I have yet to delve into this, so I can't elaborate.
- Build quality up to usual high Logitech standards
- Responsive, sensitive, zero accelleration
- Profiles stored internally and thus portable
- Fully functional during recharging, replaceable AA battery
- Meager battery life
- Battery gauge is useless
- G11 button is impossible to reach