Logitech G700 Review
- Good tracking / High Precision (5700dpi max, read further)
- Nano Receiver
- Good ergonomics: I personally like the G700's shape and feel. I don't think it's heavier than it needs to be for a solid, positive movement and I can use it for hours, even corded without strain.
- The 13 buttons can be programmed for 5 different profiles - Using Setpoint 5.44.5 works like a charm. The tactile feel of them is fine for my needs. I would prefer less of clicking noises using left / right and center mouse buttons.
- Finishing is great matte black - less cheesy than the G500 or other "gaming mice". Probably a Con for ppl that like showing off, but...
- User replaceable AA rechargeable Eneloop battery.
- You can charge it while you use it. The "wired" mode transition is seamless - at least with the drivers I've used - but some reviewers disagree on that. Setpoint 5.44.5 on Win 7 64bit never produced a freeze or loss of settings while hot-plugging the USB cable while the mouse was used.
- Matte finish easy to grip. Feels "different" than the normal rubber padded mice, but will probably last longer too. Grip is quite positive, no concerns.
- Includes USB extension cable for wireless receiver - more of a desktop user easement. Range is great for laptop use, works out to 3 feet / 1 meter easily, never had need for more.
- Big, not ideal for slipping it in your laptop's slim carrying messenger bag, but nothing terrible. <- actually I do carry it around in my slim messenger belkin, but that's me...
- Noisy clicks...I would prefer it more subtle for "stealth" gaming. Hard for someone to miss what you are doing with loud blazing clicks when in the heat of battle!
- Charge only via powered USB port (well, I wouldn't like to drag a docking station around, so, no biggie)
- Slightly elevated slope might be uncomfortable to some - definitely not a "claw"-grip. Works Ok with my middle-sized hands.
- Does not include a unifying nano-receiver (guess the "G series" nano provides faster response? nothing i can feel tho)
- Battery life is nothing to talk home about, but not terrible, and you can replace it almost on the fly (or hook the USB cable). On par or better with most high performance mice, that are tied to Li-Ion proprietary battery packs.
This review follows almost 3 weeks after the mouse has been purchased.
Main thoughts -
- Productivity Performance
Used the G700 in a variety of applications, mainly design programs and games. The 5 available profiles work a charm and you can program the driver to "sense" the application's .exe and switch profiles on the fly: switching between say - Autodesk Revit and SketchUp to Adobe Illustrator and back for copy-pasting etc, the software follows you switching profiles seamlessly, altering assigned macros for the thumb / side buttons. Each profile can have it's own DPI setting and DPI steps that you can then hard-set on the fly on the mouse. The profiles are stored on the mouse's internal mem-bank too, so you take those settings with you to use on multiple PCs.
- Gaming Performance
The real performance difference is in games tho, where you really feel the increase in precision despite the dpi used - I doubt that people can positively utilize more than 2000dpi on their mice, with me finding a limit close to the 1600dpi. Above that you cannot be precise enough for anything but laid back internet browsing.
I do play MMOs (EVE online), where the extra buttons can do macros etc just fine but precision is not that critical. In the more demanding FPS world, the mouse clearly shines. To be honest I've never had complains on the responsiveness of the VX Nano or the Microsoft's Mobile 4000, yet the G700 beats them on all surfaces. Almost any cheap cloth mouse-pad (used it on black and grey) did improve the feel of it over bare desktop surfaces.
Tracking while you snipe is great, and sensitivity is easily adjusted by the default keys left of your right index finger. You can customize the dpi switching to be assigned to any key, with +/- steps in independent keys or looping through the settings with just one key.
The "extra" G keys have a positive feel and I personally found them quite easy to find and identify just with touch. Unlike other reviewers, I did like the thumb keys and I can use them each and every time without missing or guessing. All of them work for both a slight "upward/in" movement of the thumb, or direct depression. Did not run into locking problems when using more than 2-3 buttons at a time (speaking on coms, using assigned macros and/or firing etc).
Response is great and you cannot tell between wired and wireless.
- Side status LEDs
3 triangle LEDs live on the left side of the G700. With 3x primary colors, indicate the profile in use in case you manually switch(orange - 5 steps), DPI used (Red, 5 steps) and battery life (Green, 3 steps, with a single Red coming on when battery is really low).
- More on the sensor's DPI rating
Remember tho that most "common" optical mice dance around the 800-1000 dpi range, and with today's screen real-estate (typical 1920x1080) and dual screen configs being common, many times you need to move a 800dpi mouse along your mouse-pad and even lift/return it for some more to go from one edge to the other. The software allows you to set 5 dpi steps for each profile, and I have none going above 3200 dpi (nor did the factory settings).
The mouse comes with a single Sanyo Eneloop battery, and typically lasts about 2 days of work/gaming. Keep in mind that I do use my computer at least 10 hours a day, so I am happy with that. Charging usually completes within 3-4 hours while in use. Never timed it tho. The "low battery" indicator does come up on your screen, but as other reviewers mentioned, it's too conservative and you do have at least a couple of hours - or more - of usage after the warning.
Personally I would prefer 2x AA batteries in parallel (like with the M705 marathon) for better battery life. Also keep in mind that despite the fact that the Eneloop is one of the highest quality NiMH batteries out there, their rated capacity is 1900-2000mAh, while most high capacity AA NiMH are rated around 2500-2700mAh. I tend to believe that the Eneloops would shine on low-drain, long battery life applications, something the G700 is clearly not. I don't have a spare 2700mAh (I use them in my flash units), but I believe the G700 would be better paired with such cells.
- Corded use and charging
Again, the transition from wireless to wired mod was seamless in my experience and the latest drivers.
The cord is not the softest around, but I never felt it "stiff" and uncomfortable as some reported. It's an ok cord. Not as soft as many silicon-skinned cords some mice used, but works fine for me.
The USB wire connector utilizes a micro-USB male plug on the G700's end. That means that any such cable could work for both using and charging the mouse. For the latter, probably any 5V mobile phone charger would work too, for those who desperately need an off-USB charging device (many PCs do power their USBs when in sleep mode, so charging is happening even when the machine is not "on"). Micro USB is supposed to be the EU standard for cell phone charging since 2010 (Apple, Nokia, Samsung, LG, Motorola etc among others agreed on using it universally) so more and more devices will provide compatible chargers.
- Why the G700? So many Mice out there!
As I was mostly on the move, I do appreciate wireless mice, and I've been spoiled by the nano-receiver on my Logitech VX Nano for more than 2 years now. The thing is simply amazingly versatile and quite fool-proof (not in a few occasions people had damaged the dongle, destroyed a USB port or both due to them protruding in the wrong place at a wrong time.
Since I've bought the VX nano, I've used a couple of mice on friends computers and/or tried some on mine. I did not fail to notice that the old generation Laser "848nm" sensor they VX Nano and most of the nano-receiver mice Logitech produced the last few years (V220, M505, M705) did lack in tracking precision, even against relatively cheaper competitors like the Microsoft Mobile 4000 mouse - a unit that if it wasn't for the extremely jerky/cheap feel of its wheel/center button would be almost perfect for the <$20 price many vendors sell it for.
Since I liked the Hyper-Fast scroll wheel in my VX nano, but I've hated the fact that the center mouse button was not on the wheel, the main contenders for replacing it where all full scale
Logitech mice, which provided all of:
* Hyper-scroll wheel + center mouse button with positive feel
* Better tracking than the VX nano
* Ideally wireless with nano-receiver.
* At least 2-3 programmable buttons, but not as badly placed as on the VX Nano.
* Not really expensive - I ended up buying on the high end of my budget but most competitive "gaming" mice offered less features for the same price.
The G700 was chosen over:
- The G500 - seemed a great mouse, but cheesy in appearance and not really cheaper in the long run especially since it's only wired.
- The Performance MX. Relatively better battery life, but not that better (still a high precision sensor with only one AA battery), not cheaper, less buttons (that many will not use anyways), with a unified nano receiver. I believe it would be a great alternative if it was actually cheaper. Has the "glass capable" dark field technology, but I never planned on using it on glass.
- G400/300 - only wired, cheap(er) feel, great tracking. Don't like the right side buttons on the G300.
Anywhere Mouse MX: All the pros of the VX nano, and all the cons too, but the 2 side buttons placement. Nothing a VX nano owner will actually want, unless you have to use it on glass and/or really need a unified receiver to use with a keyboard or something.
- M705 "Marathon" mouse: Did not promise better tracking, but would give great autonomy and a definitely better battery life. Unifying receiver, way better scroll wheel than the nano-mice - if you care for middle clicking...off center sensor etc where never annoyances for my game style.
6 month Update:
After 6 months with the G700, I have nothing more to say that it still feels a great buy. I use it daily for design/drafting and gaming. Battery life is mediocre, but will easily last 20 or so hours of use in my hands. The matte finishing still looks great, with only a hint of skin grease visible on the left button. G keys never missed a beat thus far. Wish it had a unifying receiver to be perfect (ended up getting a K series unified keyboard for my laptop and I get to use 2x USB ports just for input devices).
9 month Update:
Rock and solid in every department other than battery life. Tried an old GP 2700mAh and still the mouse needs to be plugged every other day the most - and I am not using it @ 1000 reports /sec for productivity tasks which is 90%+ of the hours it is used. Got used to it, but Logitech should definitely consider a 2x AA design for the next flagship mouse, even if they come up with reduced consumption components.