Logitech G9 Gaming Mouse Review
By André Gordirro on October 27, 2007
High definition is the motto of today’s electronics. Everything has got to be high def: from your home theater’s TV to the LCD monitor hooked to your PC to – who knew? – the mouse you’re using right now. The newest gaming mouse from Logitech, the G9 model, reaches an impressive resolution of 3,200 dpi, breaking the 2,000 dpi barrier of his G5 precursor and similar models on the market. It also incorporates the highly praised scroll wheel from Logitech’s VX Revolution line. With two different interchangeable grips the mouse is just as useful for gaming as for regular desktop use.
The G9 model breaks the mold of Logitech’s usual design for its top of the line mice. Just compare the G5 model’s pear-shaped design to the G9’s small body which supports two different interchangeable grips: a compact shaped one called Precison (suited for intense gaming) and a broader grip called Load, indicated for slower paced games and hours of desktop work. Whatever the grip you choose, the main body has two thumb buttons (assignable to gaming functions besides the pre-programmed Web browsing capacity); a led indicating the current dpi level (from 200 to 3,200), with two buttons to increase or decrease this value; and the free-spinning wheel for smooth and quick scrolling.
On the underside there’s a button to adjust the spin modes of the scroll wheel between free-spinning or the usual rhythm found in common mice. On the original VX Revolution mouse – in which this new type of scroll wheel debuted – it was possible to select the spin velocity by pushing down the scroll wheel itself. Here you have to lift the mouse up to have access to this feature. The reason for this change is simple: during gameplay pushing down the scroll wheel is reserved for reloading weapons and other functions which would make it incompatible to adjusting the spin mode.
The interchangeable grips give the users two options. The Load grip has a broad rubbery surface with ample rest space for the thumb (and even the pinky toe) suited for strategy games and work. The Precision grip is narrower and has a plastic surface allowing firmer fingertip control. It’s ideal for a more intense game session. You can change grips by pushing down an ejection button on the back of the mouse.
There’s no obvious place to insert the weight cartridge at first glance. That’s because it stays hidden under the interchangeable grip in the back of the mouse. There’s no way to quickly adjust the mouse’s weight (from 4 to 28 grams) as you have to first eject the grip and then the weight cartridge itself. The operation feels like loading a clip magazine into a handgun. As with the G5 model, the USB cord is cloth-wrapped.
In contrast to the G5 model, the G9 mouse doesn’t feature the usual installation CD containing the SetPoint application (a universal program for all Logitech products). You have to either download it from Logitech’s website or update it if you have a previous version installed (which was our case thanks to the already tested G5). The user can assign different functions to the mouse buttons using the software (like we did to the navigation buttons assigning them to “copy+paste” while running Word and to gaming functions like jumping and crouching).
Ok, enough with the description: time to exchange virtual fire and put the G9 to some serious testing. We felt the Load grip was too comfortable and relaxed to the hyper-action of games like Half-Life 2 and Battlefield 2. Needing a literal hands-on approach, we changed it for the Precision grip. The Load grip felt great when playing long sessions of strategy games like World In Conflict due to hours of resource management and tactical planning. It’s a user’s call, just like with the adjustable weight: some like a lightweight mouse while others prefer a heavier device to give more precision to the virtual shots (usually those who take sniper roles at first person shooter games, like us). Selecting the perfect resolution appeals, again, to a gamer’s personal style: a low resolution is good for precise shooting; a higher dpi value is better suited for intense shoot out scenarios. The free-spinning wheel gives quick access to weapons and powers menus. But beware – sometimes it scrolls too fast and you end up with a weapon you didn’t want that particular time.
In final analysis, the G9 is the proverbial best of both worlds: it appeals to a hardcore gamer for its precise package – fast scroll wheel, high resolution and firm grip – and also to the casual gamer who works a lot and looks for a comfortable mouse. It’s far from being a cheap product but at least has a dual function to give you money’s worth. There’s no returning to a common optical mouse after playing with the G9. The Microsoft Sidewinder mouse is its closest competitor as a top of the line gaming device with its special button for spinning your POV 360 degrees on the fly, but the G9 more than compensates with the interchangeable grips and excellent scroll wheel.
* Researched on http://www.shopping.com on the day we published this review.