Date: April 30, 2007
Author(s): Rob Williams
Logitech has quietly updated their popular G5 mouse, with the most significant upgrade being the extra thumb button. Although it’s hard to warrant an upgrade for a current G5 owner, it’s worth a look for anyone else in the market for a new gamers mouse.
Logitech is no stranger to gaming mice. Although I don’t have statistics handy, there’s no doubt that they have dominated the market when compared to the likes of Razer and Microsoft. Not only with their own sales, but also thanks to contracts with other companies for custom mice, like we see included with our laptops or OEM PCs. One of the reasons they succeed is due to their relentless market research. They find out what it is people want, and go with it.
It’s hard to believe, but it’s been over three years since the launch of their MX510 mouse, which arguably kicked up their sales to hardcore gamers. It had a solid design and fit to the contour of your hand perfectly (or most). It also introduced two thumb buttons which was appreciated by gamers of most genres. It was with the release of their updated MX518 where DPI switching came into play. Now, that’s a feature found on virtually any gaming mouse on the market.
Fast forward to the G5, a mouse that answered a lot of gamers queries and added a few gimmicks along the way. The G5 was their first gaming mouse to rid the optical sensor and replaced it with that of a laser. This wasn’t much of a surprise, after the intense success of their MX1000 desktop mouse. What it also added was a textured surface for better handling and also customizable weights.
As great as the G5 was, there was one major problem: It only had a single thumb button. How the mouse came out of R&D without dual side buttons was beyond everyone, but it has now (finally) been taken care of with this revised edition. That said, this will not be a full-blown mouse review like some of our others. The revised G5 is not an entirely new offering, but rather an updated version of their first release. This was a silent launch from Logitech (it can’t even be found on their site), and they are not giving away many details. I attempted to find out how exactly the sensor has changed, but was simply told it was “upgraded” and in turn, better.
I wondered why Logitech would release a revised version when they clearly don’t seem that excited about it, but then I realized that it’s probably the fact that the original is still in plentiful supply all over the place. It would be difficult to hop onto an e-tailer or walk into a computer store and not see one on the shelf. I am unsure if the original G5 production has ended, but it has no doubt slowed down thanks to this upgrade.
The G5, not surprisingly, arrived in a typical Logitech box with a sticker that states, “Now with 2 thumb buttons”. Notice the lack of exclamation here, as they clearly knew this is how it should have been done in the first place.
If you are familiar with the original G5, the first thing you will notice is the cracked blue/black skin they applied this time around. Personally, I don’t find this as interesting as the original rusted look, but it might work for some people. As mentioned, included here also is the weight pack.
For those of you who have been sleeping for the past two years, the weight system is quite simple. You have sixteen weights to choose from, half are 4.5g and the other half are 1.7g. With the supplied cartridge, you load up using the weights in various configurations to give the mouse a different overall feel. Some may enjoy the mouse weighted down, while others might prefer it incredibly light. I have never been a real fan of method, as I have never found it to do much. However, if you are a “pro” gamer, you may have a different opinion.
You can see that the revised G5 is identical to the original version in design. Logitech hit a winner with this one, which is why we see it on the MX500, MX510, MX518, G5, G7… *catches breath*. The braided cord has made a return, and it’s one feature I’ve come to enjoy. It just looks far better than a bland plastic cord.
Here are a few glamour shots:
Let’s move onto the software aspect of the mouse and conclude with our final thoughts.
Logitech SetPoint hasn’t changed much in the past few years, and the latest release is not much different. The first screen you’ll see has a picture of the mouse, and allows you to switch to a different mouse if you have more than one installed. You can configure each button to your liking. I am simple… and tend to like the way it’s set up from the get go, so I didn’t change anything.
The gaming section is a lot more robust this time around. As is becoming the norm, you can change your report rate from between 125Hz – 1000Hz, with 500Hz being the default. Also interesting to note is that you can now change the DPI on each axis, instead of both at once. This would prove useful in a variety of genres. First one that comes to mind is a flight sim, where you might want to turn slowly but ascend/descend with loose controls.
I’m happy to see Logitech has upgraded their software to cater more to hardcore gamers. Most will not want to configure their axis sensitivity individually, but it’s nice to know the option is there.
There is not much to say regarding the mouse, because it’s all been said before. I’ve said it in my MX518 review, Drew has said it in his G5 review and Greg has said it in his G7 review. Logitech has a good thing going, and it’s hard to dislike anything they put out. The mouse is comfortable and jam-packed with functionality.
As for the upgrades that Logitech doesn’t really boast about, it’s nice to have an additional side button, as it really should have been there from the beginning. Now we just need a second thumb button on the G7 and we’ll be good to roll. The upgraded sensor is something difficult to touch on, but I didn’t really notice anything amazing. I believe the primary upgrade refers to the software which allows you to handle polling. The actual sensor itself may be upgraded as well, but I didn’t find a problem with the original, so I was not sure what to look for here.
If you own the original G5, this probably is not worth the upgrade price considering it’s near identical, just with a few new updates. If a second thumb button is that important to you, then it will be worth picking up simply because it’s a mouse you are already used to.
To elaborate on what I touched on in the intro, this mouse might be a little difficult to find in stock, anywhere. I perused a few e-tailer and price comparison websites and couldn’t find them available anywhere. There is undeniable demand for this mouse though, so some e-tailers would be wise to get them in stock, alongside the original.
All of that said, I am awarding the revised G5 mouse an 8 out of 10. We gave the original a 9 out of 10, so you might wonder why I am docking a point here. The reason is that this is simply a rehash of an already successful mouse. It doesn’t bring anything new to the table, which is why Logitech is keeping so quiet about it.
Since the G5 was released, we’ve seen numerous variations, but nothing that warrants added excitement. The G5 upgrade should not be taken lightly, as it’s a great mouse. I’d just like to see Logitech bring something new to the table, rather than revamped versions of the same mice we’ve seen many times before.
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