Date: November 14, 2011
Author(s): Rob Williams
There are many gaming mice on the market that sell for well over $60, but Logitech delivers an option at a mere $40 that it believes will cater to a huge number of gamers out there. It features a small, light design, a total of nine completely configurable buttons, a 2500 DPI sensor, comprehensive support for macros and more.
To become a competitive gamer, you must spend big. Right? We’re talking the biggest graphics cards, table-sized motherboards, mega-core CPUs, copious amounts of RAM and of course, gaming mice equipped with LCD screens, the brightest LEDs and a CPU in their belly. All that good stuff… right?
Wrong. At least, that’s Logitech’s stance with its G300 gaming mouse, which comes in at a mere $40. Like some offerings that cost twice as much, the G300 aims to deliver an easy-to-use mouse that’s packed with potential – and to make sure everyone can take advantage of what it offers, it also features an ambidextrous design.
There are few companies as experienced as Logitech where gaming peripherals are concerned, and at one point, the company set the benchmark for what a gaming keyboard or mouse should offer. I still have fond memories of the MX 518, and my recently retired G3 – that one being the original variant of the G300. With all of Logitech’s experience, does the G300 become the no-brainer gaming mouse? Let’s evaluate that possibility together.
Out of the gate, I must mention that the G300 is not for those who can’t use (or stand) smaller mice. This is in fact an overglorified notebook-sized mouse; smaller than the G9X in both width, length and height. That said, while I found the mouse troublesome at first, it grew on me fast. I’m at the point where I don’t even notice it, though it’s going to be awful difficult to go back to my previous mouse, the SteelSeries Sensei!
The G300 is comprised of a gray-colored matte plastic front with glossy pitch-black plastic accents. Aside from the scroll-wheel, the thumb rests are the only rubber pieces on the mouse, with a light textured design that helps give you a good grip – even while sweating (I had to do a single jumping jack before testing this out). Finally, there’s a slightly glossy red bottom that closely matches the plastic used for the feet. Overall, a good-looking product.
Most ambidextrous mice aren’t so catering with their button layouts as the G300 is. Split right down the middle, this mouse is appropriately symmetrical.
Yes, I promise I didn’t simply mirror one image.
Taking a look at the front, we can see the six buttons that surround the scroll wheel, each able to be configured as a function, keyboard button, keyboard shortcut or macro.
Under the mouse we find a bright red base, which, to be honest, is bizarre. Though the bottom isn’t that easily noticeable, it is visible without lifting the mouse. It clashes greatly with the rest of the aesthetic appeal the G300 created.
The G300 features dedicated LEDs on both sides of the mouse that represent the currently-selected profile (one of three). The default colors are red, blue and green, but white (more like a super-light blue), yellow, purple, light blue and black (off) can also be used.
The G300 overall looks to be a feature-packed mouse at its price-range, so let’s go a bit further and check out the included software, and then wrap up with some final thoughts.
It’s been quite a while since I last took a look at Logitech’s gaming software, and I must say, it’s come a long way in terms of functionality and refinement. As has become a theme with gaming peripherals nowadays, the G300 didn’t include the software in the box. Instead, it’s up to you to go to Logitech’s support site and grab it there.
Before even tackling functionality, though, I have to say that Logitech has done an outstanding job with the aesthetics for it software. This, quite simply, looks amazing. When so many companies produce peripheral software that tries way too had to be cool, it’s nice to see a clean, classy interface like we see here.
At the initial screen, you can choose to begin tweaking, or in the event you want to use macros, you’ll need to click on the icons to the top-right of the G300 image. This changes the profiles being used from the mouse itself to the PC. The G300 has no on-board memory, or at least a lack of it, so anything more than the three simple profiles cannot be used in its default setting.
The G300 is able to store up to 5 levels of DPI, or as few as 1. Support of 200 – 2500 DPI is supported which should be enough for most gamers. Need more? This is not the mouse for you. At the DPI screen, you can also change your polling rate and adjust other minor details.
On the button setup screen, you’ll see a simple graphic of the mouse with all of the various functions floating above their respective button. These can be double-clicked to change their functionality – which as mentioned on the front page can represent a keyboard button, keyboard shortcut, or a macro.
At the left in the above screenshot, you’ll find a list of pre-defined commands based on the game profile you’re currently selected on. These can be clicked and dragged to any one of the mouse’s buttons for the sake of ease – and in the event that your game is natively supported, this would be a good idea.
If those commands are not that useful, you can define your own. In the ‘Command Editor’, you have a wide-range of different options, from a single keystroke to blocks of text. There’s even an option for Ventrilo commands!
The G300 might be a gaming mouse, but the flexibility seen in the above screenshot makes it a mouse perfect for FPS, MMO or any other genre, or even general office work. Have to push the same keys all the time for some reason? Set it up as a macro. In one example, I set the Image Size option in Photoshop to one of the buttons so that I didn’t have to type in ‘Ctrl + Alt + I’ each time I needed it. Rinse and repeat for the ‘Trim’ command.
Overall, more keyboard shortcut / macro functionality than you can shake a stick at. Not bad for a $40 mouse.
The announcement of Logitech’s G300 came a mere week after SteelSeries announced its $90 Sensei – but despite that, I found myself excited. Why? Because while SteelSeries’ offering was catering to the hardcore gamer, Logitech had a product that proved that you don’t have to empty your wallet to have a full-featured mouse.
The G300 looks good. I seriously question its ugly red bottom, but that amounts to nothing more than a minor niggle. It features a total of seven buttons in addition to the standard left and right, and every single one is customizable, either with a keyboard shortcut, a macro or an application launcher. That’s a level of customization not even seen on some mice that cost far more.
I mentioned on the previous page that this level of customization makes it great for non-gaming purposes also, and I have to reiterate that fact. While I prefer my Sensei overall due to certain fluff features and its feel overall, I’m going to miss the ability of lessening the tedium of using Photoshop shortcuts with this mouse. If I had just one complaint at all in this regard, it’s that only three profiles can be used at once. For a serious gamer, that might become limiting, fast.
Another potential downside is the mouse’s size. It’s smaller than all other mice I’ve used in recent memory, aside from the G3 which was comparable overall. Within the first few minutes of using it, I felt uncomfortable and even wondered if I’d be able to continue using it for long. But, it’s been a month since that time. You can say I adjusted quick, and when I use it now, I don’t even think about its small size. You may or may not adjust as easily, so if you have a problem with smaller mice, you should skip this one.
Also, some gamers will undoubtedly have a problem with the lack of the side buttons not actually being on the sides. Rather, they are located on top of the mouse, which might be the first time I’ve ever seen such a design. For the most part, this didn’t bother me, but it did take some getting used to, and the bottom buttons on each side required me to bend my finger a bit more than usual – but overall, nothing major.
These two problems alone should help you decide whether this mouse is for you. If you are quickly adaptable to different designs, you should be fine. If not, you may heavily regret a purchase. Me? If I were in the market right now for a $40 mouse, I’d pick one of these up without hesitation. I’d just have to force myself to not look at the ugly red bottom.
Note: This mouse is -not- for Linux users. In testing with both Gentoo + KDE and Ubuntu + Unity, each configuration reaps odd issues. I am in the process of discussing the issue with Logitech to get to the bottom of it, but the fix does not seem easy.
Logitech G300 Gaming Mouse
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