This week we're going to be taking a look at the newest mouse offering from PC peripheral giant Logitech, the G9 laser mouse.
The Hardware – Look ma, another G!
The G9 is a corded USB laser mouse with a 3200dpi. It features interchangeable grips, a custom weight tuning system, onboard memory, adjustable sensitivity, customizable LED colors, Polytetrafluoroethylene feet, and a MicroGear™ precision scroll wheel. Like all of G family of mice – the corded ones, anyway – the cord is a heavy duty braided one.
The Technology – Lasers! Pew Pew!
The Logitech G9 uses a 3200 dpi laser to track movement. This is pretty much the highest dpi laser engine out there right now, so it's pretty much the king of laser dpi. Like the G5, the G9 has two buttons set aside for switching dpi on the fly.
For a slightly more detailed explanation of dpi, and why you want a high one, check out my Razer Krait review.
The G9 has a few technological tricks up its sleeve to differentiate itself from the competition. Firstly, it features interchangeable grips. The G9 comes with two custom grips to start with, and there are plans to offer more in the future. (Sold separately, of course.) The first grip is the pre-installed “Wide Load” grip. It has a satin texture, and a similar shape to the Logitech Revolution mouse – wide with a thumb rest that juts out on the bottom left. The second grip is the “Precision” grip, which is a more compact grip, with a DryGrip finish – meant more for those users who use their fingertips to control the mouse. The grips are easy to switch – simply depress a button and lift - and the level of customization they offer now and in the future really adds to the value of this mouse.
Secondly, the G9 features LED lights to show you what level of dpi you are currently using. The unique aspect of these LEDs is that the Logitech SetPoint drivers allow you to change the color of these lights to a hue that you find pleasing. Now, the literature says you can select between hundreds of shades of color, but in reality the lights don't differentiate much between shades of the same color. There are a few distinct shades of each color of the rainbow, but choosing sea foam blue or aqua blue pretty much leaves the LEDs the exact same color. Still, even the number of distinct colors you can see the difference between is impressive. Certainly not much of a useful feature, but it adds a level of cool to be able to specify your own color lights.
Thirdly, the G9 uses a version of the weight tuning system that was popular on the G5 series of laser mice. The G9 requires you to remove the current grip to get to the weight cartridge, but that's less of a pain than it sounds. You can weigh the mouse down or lighten the load, depending on your preference. It's not a new feature, but it definitely adds yet another level to the degree with which you can customize the G9.
Fourthly, Logitech stole a page from the Razer play book and included onboard memory with the G9. Now you can unplug it from one PC and port it to another without losing your custom settings. Up to five custom profiles can be stored on the mouse and can be switched between by using the profile button on the underside of the mouse.
Lastly, the G9 features the MicroGear™ precision scroll wheel. Yet another thing that you can customize, the mouse wheel on the G9 can be used as a normal scroll wheel with the indentations that allow you to precisely scroll one unit, or you can press a button on the bottom of the mouse and set the wheel to frictionless scrolling – spin the wheel like you are on a game show, and it keeps going until you stop it or hit a Whammy. This works well for scrolling quickly through documents or lists of spells. The mouse wheel also depresses for a third mouse button, and allows for side to side scrolling.
Aside from its impressive list of customizable features, the G9 also has two side buttons for assigning game functions, or simply paging back and forth on the web. Kudos to Logitech for not paring that down to one button again.
Appearance – She may not look like much, but she's got it where it counts...
Honestly, whichever grip you have on the G9, it looks a bit strange. Perhaps because instead of the sleek cruiser profile we are used to seeing from modern mice, the G9 has more of a Millennium Falcon “What a piece of junk!” look to it. It actually looks like it is customizable, because it looks like a bunch of parts slapped together. Don't get me wrong, I don't hate the look, but it certainly is different.
The left button is clearly a separate piece, hanging out above the one piece rocker switch for the dpi level, which in turn is a separate piece above the LEDs. The rest of the main mouse body is one piece, with the exception of the wheel. Then you have the grip piece which is also noticeably a separate piece, as well as a different shade of black than the main body.
Performance – She'll make point five past lightspeed.
And I thought Razer mice were hard to control until you fiddled with the dpi and sensitivity. Sheesh! Once I dropped both down a bit, it was a breeze to flick my cursor around with accuracy.
I tested the G9 with some of my personal favorites: Lord of the Rings Online, World of Warcraft, and Guild Wars. Performance was exactly what you would expect from a high end gaming mouse: Flawless. The G9 glides around effortlessly with its Poly-blah-blah-blah feet, and it is ridiculously accurate. For those of you who play other games besides MMORPGs, I also tried the G9 with the newly released Team Fortress 2, and it works wonderfully for First Person Shooters.
My only problem came when I decided to try using the 3200 dpi by using the on the fly dpi switching during a game. My group laughed at me every time I moved, as I would just spin in circles endlessly. I had to lower the sensitivity considerably until 3200 dpi became usable.
Conclusion – She'll hold together. Hear me baby? Hold together...
As I stated in my Razer Copperhead review, there are now so many gaming mice on the market that it is hard to make a new one stand out. Logitech, however, achieved that end gloriously. The G9 is truly a unique mouse.
What I think of it:
Again, considering the glut of mice released nowadays, Logitech did a fantastic job of making the G9 stand out. The level of customization available on this mouse is truly awe inspiring. It's great to be able to fiddle with almost everything until you have just the right combination for your tastes. Combine that with one of the highest dpis available, excellent drivers, and the perfect number of buttons, and you come up with a winner.
Both grips are very usable, though I prefer the Wide Load grip. Honestly, I would rather have a grip that has a slightly higher “hump”, but I imagine that one will probably be available for purchase in the future, and the Wide Load will do me fine until then.
Who I think can benefit the most:
Need to upgrade from an old mouse? Want to try a new mouse? Just bored? This is the mouse that everyone can use for their MMORPG gaming – except the poor southpaws. With the only drawbacks being the high price and the slightly fugly look, this is a mouse for the masses.
You can't go wrong with a mouse that you can change almost every aspect of. This mouse would have been a 10 if it didn't look like something Han Solo cobbled together and the price was slightly lower.
I give the Logitech G9 9 Gs out of 10.