Design & handling
This mouse is primarily aimed at demanding gamers who'll appreciate its nine buttons (not including the classic left/right click buttons and the clickable scroll wheel) and thee customisable profiles for fast access to all their favourite pre-programmed commands. Apart from gamers, the G700 will also be of interest to anyone looking for a very precise wireless mouse.
Thankfully, for once, Logitech has gone for a fairly subdued colour scheme with a matte black finish and a textured surface on the sides. We love it! However, we just can't understand why Logitech had to go spoil the otherwise flawless finish by sticking on a load of big, sticking-up plastic buttons. Although the G500 had fewer buttons, and these were still far from perfect, they were much better integrated into the mouse's body than these beasts. When we tested this mouse's WAF (Woman Approval Factor), the G700 didn't come off too well. All the women in our office liked the idea of a matte black mouse, but weren't so keen on the buttons. Actually, not many of the men in our office liked them either.
Let the tests begin!
The G700 is technically a wireless mouse, but a USB cable is supplied for use when the mouse is charging. We'd advise you to remember to charge the mouse on a regular basis, as using it with the cable is a much less comfortable experience. The G700 doesn't just magically turn into a wired mouse as soon as you hook up the charging cable—it feels heavy, clumsy, almost resistant to movement and is generally quite unpleasant to use. In fact, we found ourselves plugging in a replacement mouse while the G700 was charging.
All of the buttons can be assigned various functions via the driver, except the two buttons just before the scroll wheel. These (too big, to hard) are used to switch the dual-mode scroll wheel from freewheel mode to the click-round precision mode. This function is certainly no gimmick either, and it's even a feature that makes us generally prefer Logitech mice here at DigitalVersus. We regularly switch between the two modes depending on whether we need to navigate with speed (fast scrolling with no gradation) or precision (changing weapon in an FPS with click-round control). We loved this function so much that after testing this Logitech mouse it felt difficult to go back to using a 'regular' mouse.
By default, 'back' and 'forward' commands are assigned to the G4 and G5 buttons: the two lowest down buttons on the left-hand side of the mouse. We soon swapped these commands to the two buttons immediately above them (G6 and G7), which we found easier to access.
The buttons would have been much better if they were a little more discreet and a little smaller. However, we're still pleased to see that they aren't labelled in a bright, garish colour, keeping the overall design subtle. Phew! There's just no need for bright red numbers or triangles in all colours of the rainbow to help us find our way around a mouse. In any case, mice are generally designed to be used without looking at them. Enough singing the praises of subtle designs, let's just say the G700 does much better in this field than the G500.
The three lights on the side light up in three different colours and have three different meanings, showing either the battery level, the resolution currently selected or the profile activated (three profiles available).
We liked the mouse's general design. It's comfortable to use and is tall and long (12.5 cm long, in fact, although we wouldn't be opposed to seeing a mouse a little longer still, one or two extra centimetres to support the palm could be even more comfortable). The textured sides also make it easy to grip.
We asked Tristan François, our left-handed audio expert, to try holding it. He found that the G700 could actually be used by a left-hander, as the design isn't entirely incompatible. However, the location of the buttons is obviously a problem, as they've clearly been positioned for the comfort of right-handers.
The driver may be seriously ugly but it's full of options and settings. In the picture above, zone 1 shows the menu for selecting one of the three pre-defined profiles, each of which can be modified as much or as little as you like. Zone 2 shows a drop-down menu for selecting the number of resolution levels that can be activated while using the mouse, from 1 to 5, and from 200 to 5700 dpi. We chose four levels: 400/800/1200/1600. Zone 3 shows the frequency with which the mouse will communicate with the computer.
The frequency can be adjusted from 125 to 1000 Hz. This is a very important feature. At 125 Hz, the mouse communicates its precise location to the computer every 1/125 seconds, which is equivalent to every 8 ms. At 1000 Hz, it does so every 1 ms. In theory, at least, it would be best to select the highest possible frequency, but in practice, the highest frequencies can guzzle up processor power. The computer we used the test the G700 had an Intel Core 2 Duo E4500 processor clocked at 2.20 GHz, check out the CPU usage graph below.
At 125 Hz, CPU use is so low it's negligible. It remains moderate at 250 Hz but then peaks at 40% at 500 Hz and then 60% at 1000 Hz. Note that these results were recorded with a fast and intensive use of the mouse. At 1000 Hz the mouse is usually perfectly usable. However, if one of your games requires lots of very fast movements, we recommend you use a profile with a frequency set to 500 Hz maximum.
Supports movements of up to 5.5 metres per secondWhat separates the best mice from just very good mice is the sensor's ability to handle sharp acceleration or very fast, jerky, reflex-like movements. In video games, movements can easily reach speeds of around 3 metres per second, or even faster still.
- The slowest mice on the market can only handle movements of up to around 1.2 m/s, like the Apple Mighty Mouse.
- Mice designed for office-type use can sometimes cope with movements of up to 2.5 m/s (like the Logitech Performance MX).
- The Ikari Laser Mouse got a very respectable score of 3.5 m/s in our tests.
In total, we've tested sixteen fairly high-end mice's maximum movement speeds. Five came back with scores greater than or equal to 4 m/s. These were the Logitech G5, G500, G700 (5.5 m/s!), and the Razer Orochi and Abyssus.
It would be unrealistic to aim for for anything more than 5.5 m/s, as already at that speed our arm was moving so fast it felt like it was about to drop off. I'm sure I even saw smoke coming off the desk ...
- The sensor handles fast movements very well
- Completely customisable
- Loads of pre-programmable functions in the three different profiles
- Finally! A black, matte design and a subtle colour scheme
- Can be used wired or wireless / Dual-mode scroll wheel (freewheel or click-round)
- Buttons too big
- Very comprehensive driver (macros, profiles etc.), but which could do with a makeover
- Not very comfortable to use with the cable and heavy (145 g)
- Poor battery life: two days
- 5700 dpi is so fast it's useless
This is quite simply the best, most precise and most function-rich wireless mouse we've seen. However, it's not the most attractive model on the market. Although Logitech has come on leaps and bounds with its black matte finish, the buttons still amount to a fail on the manufacturer's part!