Logitech's high end gaming mice have looked pretty much the same for the past few years. It was a very comfortable design but you can't stick to one design forever. Logitech's newest product, the G9 Laser Mouse is quite a departure for them. Progress does require change and Logitech sure did change the shape of their mice with the G9. Does the big change yield to a great mouse?
Let's get to the laser engine first. What you have here is 3200 DPI of goodness and it's true 3200 DPI and not interpolated. The previous high for Logitech was 2000 DPI so Logitech's newest laser gets an increase of 38%. With the laser, you get the benefit of having the mouse work on more surfaces especially those that are a little reflective. The engine can report up to 1000 times per second and this option is adjustable. For the main guts of the operation, Logitech's G9 sports one very sensitive laser optical system.
Button wise, there are a total of 9 buttons onboard. You get two thumb buttons, two main buttons, two adjustment buttons, and the mouse wheel's button action. The mouse wheel is also directional so you can push it left or right giving you two more actions. The profile/DPI adjustment buttons are flush with the mouse so you don't accidentally press them during gameplay. Throughout my testing, I never accidentally changed my settings because the two buttons were out of the way. All the buttons respond well and had a solid feel when pressing. I was happy with the side buttons too since the shell interacts with the buttons the base and the side buttons didn't feel bad at all.
Some of the Logitech mice have an unratcheted wheel so it spins freely in both directions. While this feature is great for business applications, gamers need a ratcheted wheel so they can switch weapons easier by using the feedback produced by the scroll to know when the next weapon is chosen. The G9 Laser Mouse gives you the best of both worlds as there's a switch on the bottom that lets you go from one scrolling option to the other. As a developer and a gamer, I really enjoy this feature as I can switch between the two modes depending on what I am doing at that time. It's a breeze to go back and forth as the button on the bottom of the mouse clicks to let you know you've switched modes. I'm happy to see Logitech designed a system to let you choose the scrolling option as it gives the user the freedom to choose how they would like the mouse scroll to feel.
I've always thought about a design for a mouse that had interchangeable grips. With the Logitech G9 Laser Mouse, that idea has become a reality. As you can see from the pictures, the core of the mouse gets surrounded by a shell that can change the shape of the mouse to suit your needs. The shell locks into place with two spring loaded pins on the back bottom of the mouse. A button on the back of the mouse releases the pins and lets you pop out the grip. Included with the mouse is one smooth grip that's got a smaller surface area ideal for small hands or those that use their finger tips. A rougher wider grip is also supplied giving you two distinct styles. It's a unique design and one that I'm interested to see if it will succeed. Compared to the older Logitech mice, I found the G9 to be pretty comfortable for my hands. I liked both grips that came with the product. I think for the most part, people will find one that they enjoy and stick with it rather than changing them around. Hopefully, the pricing of new grips won't be too outrageous and I'm sure we'll get a few branded ones as well.
Migrating over from the G5, the G9 features a weight system consisting of 7 and 4 gram weights. Up to four of them can be placed in a housing that slides into a chamber in the back of the mouse. To remove you just push it in and the spring loaded compartment pops right out. I like the way the housing slides in from the back rather than underneath as I have had the weight housing pop out in my G5 a few times because the release was exposed. Since the grips cover the housing, you can't accidentally pop the weights out of this mouse.
Logitech implemented an LED on one of its keyboards and this time they are putting an LED on the mouse. Sitting just below the left mouse button and below the adjustment buttons, the LEDs indicate which profile you are on and they can be adjusted to a color of your choice. You have 204 color choices to choose from and you can preview them on the mouse before you set it. I have my different profiles set under a different color for the LED so I can easily tell which profile I have the mouse set at. It's a rather handy feature if you do use the profiles so you don't get confused as to which one you are switching to.
The software provided by Logitech lets you customize almost everything about the mouse. From buttons to DPI and polling rate, Logitech puts it all in your hands to adjust the mouse to your preference. All gamers are different and they have a wide variety of settings they like with their mice. Logitech has given the ability to really fine tune the mouse to how you want it. You can set the DPI on each independent axis so if you want to be able to scroll left and right faster than up and down or vice-versa you can do so. Horizontal scrolling via the mouse wheel's left and right motion can also have the speed set independently from the vertical scrolling. Not only can you setup what the button presses do but you can also create macros for buttons. If you rely on a sequence of key presses and delays function in a game, you can program that onto one of the buttons of your mouse which can be really convenient. Profiles are easily setup and managed via a nice drop down menu so you can know exactly which one you are adjusting.
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