by Jamie Fletcher on January 19, 2011 in Peripherals
Are you an avid gamer looking for a feature-rich and reliable gaming mouse that also happens to be wireless? Logitech’s G700 might be worth a look. At around $85, it’s not cheap, but it does offer a plethora of customizable buttons, the ability to go wired if the battery dies, and also supports a super-high 5700 DPI.
The G700 packs a whole lot of functionality into such a small package. This is one of those devices that needs a fair bit of time in order to appreciate. Setting up macros, tuning the DPI, becoming accustomed to the weight and button placement; not a pickup and go kind of mouse.
The weight is one thing that took me by surprise. This is not a light mouse and for that reason alone, it requires a decent – low friction mouse mat, less you’ll be feeling even the slightest resistance. The Razer Goliathus mat used throughout testing worked extremely well. If you are so inclined to reduce weight and don’t mind using the mouse in a wired mode, you can hook up the lead and remove the battery to shed a few grams. This does leave you with a blinking red light of doom, but there may be an option to disable this in the future – should developers feel enough pressure to implement it.
The build quality is a little deceiving. It’s heavy, rugged, well textured, but the buttons seem a little flimsy. The G7 button on the mouse I received does not have any feedback when pushed; feeling like the contact has been knocked out of place during transit. The button still works, but feels a little odd.
The wireless signal has been flawless, at no point did the signal suddenly drop or resync. The problem comes from it’s power-save mode. When the mouse is left inactive and drops into powersave, it can take a few seconds for it to wake up. If you plan only playing games, it would be best to enable the max performance mode.
The battery life is pretty appalling in all honesty, but this is the price one pays for high sensitivity, twitch reflex wireless mice. Pretty much all high performance wireless gaming mice have terrible battery life, typically limited to a day’s use. The difference with the G700 is the included charge cable allowing it to be used in a wired mode – just in case you forget to charge it overnight.
When this mouse was first released, it had the usual zero day jitters associated with these high DPI mice. Small precise movements often resulted in jerky cursor movements, making minor text selections and such impossible. Thanks to a few months of maturity, this is now a non-issue, as long as you get up-to-date firmware; possibly another reason a CD was not included; ensuring old problems were not re-exposed due to old drivers.
The flexibility of the software, especially with macro length, was unexpected. Peripheral memory with keyboards and mice have become a bit of a gimmick these last couple years. Selling $50+ mice with 128KB of memory is just offensive when 2GB flash drives can be had for under $5. Saving profiles and macros shouldn’t be limited on such high end peripherals. I’m glad to see Logitech taking steps to correct this. Do we need more than 5 profiles with 400 event macros? Probably not, but it’s nice to know we can if we want.
The G700 can be found online for about $85. Its closest competition would be the 12 button Microsoft SideWinder X8 black. The Razer Mamba is $120 with only 7 buttons – it’s stylish but $35 more stylish for fewer buttons?
As a personal preference, I’m still not sold on high end wireless gaming mice. The battery life is just too short to be practical. I complain if a battery needs charging once a week, let alone once a day.
In terms of practicality to button placement and configuration, the G700 is excellent. When properly configured, it can significantly improve reaction times to various events, or at least make them more predictable (double tap movements and run jumps programmed as macros). Even workaholics and graphic designers can benefit greatly by setting common functions to the mouse, leaving your Idle Hand for more nefarious deeds.
If a purely wired version of this mouse was made available at a lower price, I’d be all over it. Paying the extra for 1 days worth of wireless connectivity just doesn’t seem to cut it for me.
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