With 13 buttons, the highly-programmable wireless mouse can also work over a USB cable should there be too much interference in the area (especially at a LAN party). But it is plagued by battery life & weight.
September 2010 Anthony Garland
When it comes to PC gaming, you really are only as good as your gear. Logitech understands this key concept and continues to produce some of the best gaming peripherals, including the G930 headset & G510 keyboard. The latest gaming mouse, Logitech G700, looks to continue this tradition of excellence, with an amazing thirteen buttons. Let’s take a close look and see if it actually is as good as it looks.
Unmistakably from Logitech, the out-of-the-box fit and feel is second to none and only a properly tweaked and customized R.A.T. 7/9 can beat it. Even here, the difference is not as big as you think. The G700 will feel comfortable to anyone whereas the R.A.T. 7 will only feel comfortable for the main user.
On the left hand side directly in front of the four thumb buttons is three multi-colour LEDs. These LEDs indicate battery level; DPI settings; and macro selection with the color green, red, and orange respectively. Unfortunately, the 5 profiles on the Logitech G700 is limited to the 3 LEDs present. While it is very easy to determine the G700’s battery life and macro mode, it is not overly intuitive for DPI setting is active. You really need to look hard to see where the darkened LED is. This is only a minor annoyance, yet it is one Logitech could have easily avoided by including two more LEDs.
The Logitech G700’s ergonomics is not groundbreaking, but the overall performance of this mouse certainly is amazing. This is the first I have ever used which not only sports 13 buttons, but does so in a sane and sensible manner. The 4 thumb buttons, while close together, are designed in such a way that you instantly know which button you are pressing and need not even look. The same goes for all the others. They are subtly different in shape from each other. The tactile feel of each button is distinctive and you will be hitting any of them with your normal level of accuracy almost right away.
The wheel of the G700 gaming mouse sports not only a ratcheting mode but also a smooth free spin mode like the one found inAnywhere MX. For some tasks, the ratcheting precision is nice but for scrolling quickly through a long document, it’s hard to beat the speed of the free spin mode. To change between the two, you simply press down on the center upper button. Unlike many mice, the button behind the wheel adjustment is not a DPI changer; rather, it changes between the three custom modes. The G700 (in default configuration) has separate DPI up and down buttons near the left mouse button.
The base of this unit boasts several large ultra low friction feet which will allow it to continue to glide smoothly even with rough use. The sensor the G700 sports is extremely precise to say the least as it can go from 200 DPI all the way up to 5700. The other noteworthy feature of the G700 is that it can double as a wired mouse. Unlike most high-end Logitech wireless mice, this the G700 uses your typical “AA” rechargeable battery (Sanyo Eneloop 2000mAh). Better yet, you can continue to use this mouse as the battery recharges by simply plugging in the included USB cable and running it in wired mode. This is another simple tweak which makes this a great evolution of the Logitech line of gaming mice.
The Logitech G700 is plug and play, but it is noteworthy after the first time you plug it wired, it will take an extra moment for it to be recognized and the proper drivers be installed. That is all you have to do in order to use this mouse. No additional software is needed. However, if you actually want to use all those new buttons and features, you really have to install the software to tweak the settings so they can be stored on-board the G700.
For anyone who has used SetPoint software in the past, you are in for a nice surprise as this new version is much better. In the past, I always considered the Logitech software to be their weak link, yet this new version is actually decent. I really can’t see the need to track down uber options and install that custom overlay as the default options combined with the easy macro creation has me covered.
The G700’s software itself is extremely user-friendly and has plenty of popup help explanations if you need clarification on anything. All in all easy, straightforward and yet much more powerful than previous versions, which makes the G700 a breeze to customize.
For Logitech G700 testing, I have broken it down it into two main sections. The first is gaming. For the gaming section, I played three 6 to 8 hour marathon sessions using three different games over a period of three days. For the fast twitch genre, I picked Modern Warfare 2 (MW2) and Left 4 Dead 2 (L4D2). While similar in their need for fast reactions, both have different needs that can only be met by different capabilities. MW2 has a decent sniper ability built in, but puts less emphasis on fast 360º movements; whereas zombies in L4D2 can and do swarm you from all sides at near the same time. This does make having a high as you can stand DPI setting crucial for reducing damage taken. For the RTS crowd, I tried out StarCraft II where precision and not speed is the key to success.
The second set of testing consist of real world usage. While everyone dreams of gaming for a living, very few people will ever achieve this. To this end a combination of Excel, Photoshop and Firefox web surfing over an 8-hour period will help replicate a more “mundane” really world scenario.
The user experience of the Logitech G700 is fantastic. This wireless mouse really is both smooth and potent gaming peripheral. The G700 may not boast weight customization or interchangeable components like my Mad Catz R.A.T. 7, but still makes for a great gaming mouse. Even after extended gaming marathons, my hand did not hurt and I didn’t miss my customized R.A.T 7. With that being said, a precision aim button like the one on R.A.T 7 can make things such as headshots easier. The added benefits of this mouse do outweigh this minor annoyance as the G700 was simply more precise. Even though Logitech has only opted for a single sensor for both X and Y, it is extremely precise and doesn’t lose tracking when the mouse is lifted which was a big problem with the R.A.T. 7.
The other thing that was extremely apparent is the new thumb and finger grip texture, which work very well. Even with an extended gaming session resulting in sweaty hands, not once did I misplace the my grip. If there is one thing which wasn’t perfect with this mouse, it was the battery life. I found that after only one 8-hour gaming marathon, the battery was edging towards empty. Thus, a swap for a higher capacity battery is highly recommended. On the positive side, where it is so easy to use this mouse in wired mode, this can be easily overlooked during extended use.
If there is one thing that Logitech is known for, it is making mice that work extremely well regardless of the environment or demands placed upon it. All those wonderful buttons and programmability really do make for some potent macro possibilities. The G700 was fantastic at everything from surfing to Photoshop to Excel. Best of all, it has enough buttons that you can set it up for multiple programs and not have to switch between profiles in order to use them.
Over the years, Logitech has defined, refined and even redefined what it means to be a gaming mouse. The Logitech G700 truly is a masterpiece of engineering. It really is the closest to perfection I have ever seen a mouse come. While it may not be as configurable as my Cyborg RAT, it more than makes up with its comfort.
I honestly thought it would take a while for me to even consider any other mice as my main rig’s gaming mouse after owning the R.A.T. 7. Yet here I am already getting ready to replace it with this new king of gaming mice. Make no mistake, the G700 is the new king and is probably going to be holding that lofty position for a long time to come. Even though it doesn’t have any way to customize its weight, it really is able to be both fast and precise at the same time. If you can afford the asking price, this is the gaming mouse to get.
Great Product Review for an even GREATER GAMING/MULTI-PURPOSE MOUSE!!!
I love my G700 for both gaming and productivity software, as well as web surfing. It is so versatile that I don’t remember how I did things before owning this mouse.
I primarily use my G700 in wired-mode, but for some games and when watching movies I will switch to the wireless-mode. I works great every time… Note: I do keep a spare fully charged battery on-hand for when I play a long game session, just in case the primary runs low. However, I will usually only have to plug the cable in instead of switching batteries, and this rarely happens.
* – The article above did a superb job of listing and detailing the benefits/features.
** – For extra emphasis: very comfortable, easily programmed profiles, very easy to change button functions per demand, and is both a wired/wireless mouse.
*** – It is such a great product that I have a spare (second G700 still in the box) just in case I lose my primary G700!
-_ No left-hand version for the “Lefty’s” out there.
-_ The Set-Point software window is not size adjustable and takes up about 2/3 of the screen when programming profiles. It is not a big issue, but it would be nice to shrink the window to 1/4 or 1/5 the pc screen for viewing a PDF game manual and a third window for Xpadder (keyboard emulator) in addition to the Set-Point window for the G700.
P.S. Curt and Kane are both correct in their comments regarding the number of buttons. There are 14-Buttons: 13-Fully Programmable Buttons and 1-Scroll Lock/Unlock Button (this is the 14th).
The use of a standard AA NiMH battery has tradeoffs. Compared to a Li-ion battery, you do get less battery life for the same weight. However, the big advantage of using a standard AA battery is that it’s quick and easy to swap out.
I already have a lot of Eneloop batteries and a couple of chargers, so I don’t find the short battery life to be too much of an annoyance. When the battery gets low, I just pause my game, pop out the old battery and drop it into the charger, put in a freshly charged battery, and carry on. I prefer this to having to plug a charging cable into the mouse.
And yes, I can confirm it does have 13 fully programmable buttons, though if you use multiple profiles you can pretty much expect to dedicate one to swtiching profiles. (I didn’t find the “switch profiles based on the program running feature to work well for me, though admittedly I didn’t try it for very long.)
Having multiple profile that can be switched quickly is fantastic. For non-gaming use I map the extra buttons to keys such as Enter, Esc and backspace which lets me do a lot of things one-handed or do them more quickly than by moving the mouse and pointing. Then I can quickly switch to my standard gaming profile when in game, and have separate profiles that give me things like arrow keys mapped to the mouse for games such as Fallout 3 where the mappings for certain parts of the game can’t be changed.
This is without question the best $70 I’ve ever spent on anything game-related, not to mention the best $70 I’ve spent on a mouse for any purpose.
The logitech G700 mouse still has a lot of problems about the battery:
1) with the cable inserted, it charges the battery and then stops.
If The day after I disconnect the cable, the battery shows 2 or 1 led.
solution: if the cable is connected, the mouse should check the battery every 6 hours or so and recharge if needed.
2) using a 2800mAh battery doesn’t seem to last any longer than a 1880mAh battery (and it should last double!).
That’s because the mouse charger doesn’t fully charge the battery and it doesn’t allow battery calibration (very easy to implement and I can tell you how).
solution: add to Setpoint the battery calibration utility. And/or allow to specify the battery capacity.
Final thoughts:I’m VERY disappointed by the wireless operation of this mouse due to the battery life and management.
This is a great mouse used in wired mode and in wireless mode it shows no lag even with the “normal gaming” power scheme.
But if logitech doesn’t solve these problems, I’m not going to suggest this mouse to anyone wanting a wireless device.
Just one error: Quote “While it technically has 13 buttons, one is more less dedicated to the scroll wheel control (ratchet vs. smooth)”…
Left, Right = 2,
The scroll wheel: Down, Left and Right = 3
Left side buttons = 4,
3 buttons on top to the left of the left button = 3
The button behind the “scroll wheel control” button (the profile button by default) = 1
That’s 13 real programmable buttons. The Scroll Wheel Mode button would be the 14th if it were to be considered.
P.S. Nice review. I love this G700!!!