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Logitech G7

Date: November 23, 2006
Author(s): Greg King

Is the G7 the killer wireless gaming mouse we’ve been waiting for? Included is the proven design of the other Logitech gaming mice, spare battery and even DPI control.



Introduction


In a move that many people welcome, the world of PC peripherals has been steadily migrating away from the cluttered desks filled with cables and wires. By removing said cables and wires, the industry is finally to a point where we almost have as many wireless options as we do wired. The problem today though, is that for gamers, there really hasn’t been a true ‘gaming’ wireless mouse that can offer the same performance and feel that a wired mouse can provide. Most wireless mice today come in a mouse and keyboard package and while there have been companies that have attempted to provide the gaming community a to notch wireless mouse for gaming, almost all have shunned these offerings for their tried, true and trusted wired optical gaming mice.

One company that has been leading the charge has been Logitech. Founded in 1981 in jolly old Switzerland, Logitech has been an innovator in the PC peripheral industry since there beginning. With their success, Logitech is now a publicly traded company on the NASDAQ with the call letters of ‘LOGI.’ The simple fact that they are a publicly traded company is a testament to the success Logitech has had and with this success, they have devoted a lot of time and effort to bring you and I the latest and greatest in gaming hardware for your computers.

There are many things that have become standard functions on all mice bearing the tag of ‘gaming.’ These include fully adjustable, on the fly DPI settings, an optical eye (preferably laser), programmable buttons and most importantly, a comfortable feel. Logitech’s G7 appears to fit all of the criteria mentioned above and more. Being a fully wireless gaming mouse, it offers a laser eye with a max DPI of 2000 but can be programmed down with buttons on the mouse itself. If it is anything like my previous mice, the comfort level should be high as well. On paper, the G7 looks to be a winner but can it deliver the performance that we all expect from a gaming mouse? Let’s find out.

Closer Look

The G7 came to me much the same as most anything does from UPS, FedEx, etc’ in a box. Once said box was opened, we see the retail packaging. The box screams ‘Logitech’, but informative none the less.

Once we flip the box over we see’ more info! Here we find all the vitals of the G7 from the mouths of Logitech themselves. There are a few bits of information that stick out to me more than the others; with the first being that the G7 comes with 2 rechargeable battery packs. This is a nice extra because when one battery gives up the ghost, you can simply pop out the dead one and place the freshly charged batter in the mouse. This all should take no more than 9-10 seconds.

Moving on, once we get the box opened, we find that the mouse and all the included goodies are still secure in a plastic molding. This is to keep the hardware in place during shipping and transportation of the mouse.

Turning the plastic casing over, we find a cleverly hidden message in the backing of the plastic. Hidden somewhere in the paper is a well placed message letting the user know just exactly they are getting into. Can you see the message?

Silliness aside, we open up the packaging and get all of the hardware out. Once placed upon the desk, we can start to take a closer look at all of the included doohickeys that come with the G7. Starting off, let’s take a look at the USB stick. This is the 2.4 GHz adapter that will allow your PC to communicate with your mouse and vice versa. This USB stick fits in any standard open USB port and does not have to be plugged into a USB 2.0 port.

The stick is smaller than almost all thumb drives but has that same rectangle-ish shape to it and can easily be mistaken for one. Notice the large lettering on the stick. More subtle reminders of just exactly what hardware you are working with.

From here, we will take a look at the batteries included. Take note that I did intend to say batteries and not battery. Because a main concern and gripe with most wireless mice today is the battery life and the recharging station included with most, Logitech decided to go a completely different route with the G7. Instead of a recharging station, you have a plain looking base station.



Closer Look

From this station, you plug the cord into the back of your PC, plug the USB 2.4GHz adapter stick into the top USB port and away you go. On the front of the recharging station, there is a wide opening that allows you to place your unused battery in the charger to charge up while you are using the good battery. This means that when one battery dies, you can place the charged battery into the G7 and place the dead one in the charger itself for use at a later time, when the battery is fully charged again.

One the bottom of the charging station, there is a switch. Should you be at a LAN event and need to charge up your battery a bit more quickly than usual, there is a boost switch that will push more juice into the battery, forcing it to charge much more quickly than it normally would. Whiles this is a good feature, the power going though the USB bus is higher than spec and should be plugged into your PC directly or through a powered hub.

Moving onto the mouse itself, we see that the G7 has retained the famous Logitech shaping and design. The G7 looks identical to my MX518 corded gaming mouse except that Logitech has substituted a classy carbon fiber look for the dented all to hell look of the 518. Notice in the first picture that there is only one button on the side of the G7. Where the hell is my forward button? How am I supposed to switch between weapons in Counter Strike if I don’t have 2 programmable buttons on the side of my mouse?!?

One thing that I would like to mention is that the sides of the G7 have a gritty sandpaper texture to them. This is different than the original G7 and its smooth sides. This is a comfortable feel and allows a better grip on the mouse.

From a top down view, we see the entire top of the G7. We can see the scroll wheel and just below it, we see the DPI settings buttons. These are what allow you to change between your DPI settings anytime you feel the need to do so. Natively, the G7 has 3 different DPI settings but with the included software installed, you suddenly have 5 different DPI settings that your fingertips. More on this later’

The bottom of the G7 is full of different little buttons, features and information. Logitech is so proud of the laser optics system; they decided to place the statement that there is a gaming-grade laser in the mouse. The G7 has a frickin’ laser beam in it! This is nice because lasers offer a much more accurate reading of motion than their normal optical counterparts.

Just above the optical eye, there is an on/off switch. This does exactly what it says it does; it turns the G7 off and on. This is nice when you are not using the PC and you want to save some of the battery life.

Also on the bottom of the G7 are Teflon feet. These allow the G7 to move over surfaces like butter in a pan. There are 3 pads on the bottom of the G7 with the two on the ends being by far the largest. Also on the bottom is the space for the batter pack. Above the battery area is an eject button. The G7 keeps the same design as the G5 wired mouse but instead of a battery, the G5 had separate weights that allow the user to switch the feel and weight of the mouse itself. This area has been replaced and I for one will not miss the weights.

Back on the top of the mouse, on the left side, we see a DPI and battery charge indicator. This is handy if you are unsure of how much battery you have left in the mouse. The mouse switches between DPI setting and battery left on its own.



Software

The G7 comes with a driver disk with the SetPoint drivers on it. When the CD is placed in the PC, it will autorun to this screen:

From here, we advance by clicking the next arrow and are prompted with the obligatory language selection screen. Being in Indiana and not being fluent in any other language than my own, I quickly pick English and move along.

Here we notice that this SetPoint software is not solely for the G7, but other Logitech products as well. Not needing any special software for my keyboard, I choose the mouse only selection and proceed with the install.

The next screen is just plain disturbing to me. I hate software telling me how I should use it and when an update is available for it. This is fine for my grandmother but not for me. I do not want anything running in the background that shouldn’t be. I would like to catch the demographic of all G7 owners. I would venture to make a guess that almost all G7 owners are the same as me and are rather picky when it comes to downloads. These are the same people that turn off automatic updates because they want full control over their PCs at all times. The only time I will really update my software is when there is a problem with my mouse, until then, keep the reminders to yourself.

Once installed, we can now get into the settings of the mouse itself. You can either go to your start menu to open the SetPoint program or you can double click the small icon in your system tray. Regardless of how you get there, this is the program that will allow you to completely control your G7.

In the first screen you see, you will have the choice to adjust the settings of your buttons. You can adjust the scroll speed of the G7 and even assign the buttons different tasks.

If you want your scroll wheel to skip over 3 lines, that’s fine, you can do that. If you want it to skip over 5 lines each time you click the wheel up or down, you can do that too.

You can also monitor the shape of your batteries and whether or not they need to be charged. If you so desire, you can set up warnings that will alert you to the fact that your battery is almost dead.

If you need to adjust your gaming settings, you click the tab with the picture of a rook on it. This will allow you to set different areas of you mouse to your personal gaming preference.

If you click on the lower right hand side of the window, you will get to the Advanced Game Settings. This will allow you to add 2 more DPI settings when the SetPoint software is running. This brings your total amount of settings to 5. Go to know when you are gaming.

It should also be mentioned that the G7 does not need the SetPoint software installed to function as it should. The G&, without the software, still has 3 DPI settings starting at 400 and going up to 2000 DPI. A good example of the reality of a higher DPI setting is that if you were to twitch your wrist or hand and the mouse moves slightly, the pointer would jump farther away from it’s point of origin than it would with a lower DPI setting.

Finally, if you need any information about your mouse or the drivers/software installed, you can click the tools tab in the upper right hand side of the window and get to the information screen.



Testing & Conclusion


To test out the G7, I played a few of my favorite games. CS: S is a must and not to far behind it is Rise of Legends and BF2. In all of these games, especially the first person shooters, accuracy is a much. The adjustable DPI settings are wonderful and allow precise aiming when zoomed in on an opponents head. I found the ultra high DPI setting of 2000 particularly helpful when driving a tank in BF2. The 2000 DPI setting allows you to pivot the tank’s turret at particularly high speeds.

This is good for when someone is shooting at you from behind and you do not have the time to turn the entire tank around to get a good shot at your persistent enemy. With my current monitor being a Dell 24′ 2407WFP, the full screen of Rise of Nations is large. With a higher DPI setting, I can drag my selection box around my troops a lot faster than I would be able to at a lower DPI setting.

I did run into a few problems. As an avid Firefox user, I cannot live without multiple tabs open at once. To open up more tabs, I simply click on the home icon with the middle mouse button. With the G7, the middle button wants to lean left or right and for me, it’s more to the left than anything. I wish the middle button was a bit sturdier and not so prone to going one way or the other. This isn’t something that would make me not purchase this mouse, but something that could easily be fixed my Logitech on future modules of the G7.

With all this said, the only huge complaint that I have with the Logitech G7 is the exclusion of a forward button. On the left side of the mouse, as shown in the pictures above, we can see that there is a back button. This is fine and good. However, I have become quite accustomed to programming different functions in games to the forward button and it is frustrating not having that button to work with. Not to mention when I am browsing the internet. Damn it man, I want to go back to the page I just came from but I can’t because there isn’t a button. Now I have to go all the way up to the top of the page and clock on the forward button. I know its not much but it’s certainly an inconvenience.

When it comes down to it, the Logitech G7 is hands down the best wireless gaming mouse that money can buy. During gaming sessions, even in fact action games such as Counter Strike Source, I did not notice a bit of lag and if it were not for the exclusion of the forward button, and the wire of course, I would not be able to distinguish between the wired and beloved MX518 and the G7. The response is that good.

The feel of the mouse is classic Logitech, comfortable. The addition of a second battery is a wonderful touch as well. No more placing the mouse on the recharge stand over night thank you very much! All you have to do now is remove the dead battery, place the fresh one in the mouse and then plug the dead one into the charger. It’s as simple as that.

This is a mouse that has found a home on my gaming PC and this editor has no qualms with recommending the Logitech G7 to anyone with the money to spend. If you are in the market for a wireless mouse, look no further than this one. The G7 has earned a 9 out of 10 and an editor’s choice as well. The G7 is a masterpiece in mouse design and because of this, everyone should have one.



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