Wait, wait wait. I can already hear some of you screaming before I even start, so let me explain. Yes, I know that the G5 mouse has been out for a while. A long while. No, this isn't a review of that mouse. This is a review of the new Logitech G5 mouse. It looks different, has different specifications, and is basically a whole different mouse now. Why they didn't call it the G6, or the G5 Revision 2, or HEY-The-NEW-G5-WOW! Is beyond me. It's simply the G5.
Everybody get it? Are we all clear? Good. Moving on...
The Hardware - The new G5, not the same as the old G5
The G5 is a laser mouse with a USB connection. It features in-game DPI switching, an adjustable weight cartridge, dual thumb buttons, a 2000 DPI laser engine, polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) gaming feet, and a full speed, 1000 reports per second USB interface. The mouse wheel is also set up to allow not only up/down scrolling, but also left/right as well.
The Technology - Poly-tetris-what-its?
Does everybody remember what DPI stands for? Dots Per Inch? It's basically a measurement of how far your cursor moves on screen versus how far you have to physically move the mouse. The higher the DPI, the less you have to strain your wrist while looking around or clicking frantically on spells in the game.
For a more in-depth breakdown, check out the Razer Krait review here: http://www.mmorpg.com/showFeature.cfm/loadFeature/1178.
The G5 has a 2000 DPI laser engine. This means that for every inch you move the mouse, the cursor moves 2000 counts of movement on the screen. This is, of course, all depending on how you have filters like Sensitivity and Acceleration set up. The older version of the G5 also had a 2000 DPI laser engine.
On the new G5, however, the USB report rate has been increased from the 500 reports per second to 1000 RPS. This means the G5 can send all that sampled data from its laser sensors to the PC twice as fast.
Like its predecessor, the new G5 has two buttons located under the mouse wheel to allow you to switch the DPI on-the-fly. So, if you find yourself needing a high DPI to look around, but having difficulty using that same DPI to click on things, it's a snap to switch to a lower DPI. The drivers also allow you to set which DPIs you switch between, so if the default setup of 400, 800, 2000 isn't to your liking, you can change it. I set it to 800, 1600, and 2000 and find it works well for general MMORPG play at the middle setting.
The PTFE feet work much like all the other gaming mouse feet out there. They allow the mouse to glide along nice and smooth on your mousing surface. They are bit larger than normal mouse feet, but I'm not sure that really effects performance one way or the other.
Appearance - Does this color make me look fat?
The G5 now has a cool-looking blue/black cracked leather covering on the top, instead of the orange rusted silver look it used to have. It also now has two side buttons instead of one. Aside from those two differences, it is identical to the old G5: Same hump-back shape, same DPI indicator lights, same braided cord. Logitech knows they have a good thing, so they didn't mess with it much, which I think was the correct choice.
Performance - Here to kick butt and take names, and it forgot to bring a pen.
The G5 is just as zippy as ever, and it makes playing games easier on the wrist with its high DPI settings. It defaults to 800 DPI and uses the Windows sensitivity settings when the drivers are installed, so it was a breeze to set up and start using.
As I stated earlier, I set the mouse up with a middle DPI setting of 1600, as I find 800 to be a little too low for MMORPG play, but 2000 to be a bit high.
The G5 was very comfortable to use while playing for extended periods. I could move the cursor all over my 24" widescreen without straining my wrist, yet maintain enough control to click even the tiny default action buttons in Lord of the Rings Online.
The left and right buttons are fine, although I find they click a little too easily for my tastes. I would often find myself clicking things accidentally while moving the mouse through the UI. The middle mouse button is also a bit of a pain to click, because it wants to wobble from side to side instead of depress, yet it is unusually stiff when used as a mouse wheel. The side buttons are perfect, however. They are stiff enough so that you can rest your thumb on them without fear of accidentally depressing them, but they still click easily enough to use them when you want to. Also, the DPI buttons are a nice touch, and they are easy enough to get to, yet out of the way so they don't interfere with normal game play operations.
Conclusion - Gee, should I get a G5?
If you read my review of the Razer Krait, you know I am very picky about mice. In fact, I didn't like the original version of the G5. The removal of one side button and the slick material on the sides of the mouse kept it from achieving the same level of mouse greatness as the MX518.
What I think of it:
I still feel the sides of the mouse are too slick. Something about the the material causes my fingers to slide on it. However, the new textured top of the mouse adds a grip that was lacking on the former version, thus allowing me to maintain control of the mouse.
I love that they added another side button, and I still like the DPI switching buttons and the light that lets me know what DPI it is on.
The wheel having the ability to move side to side does make it hard to use as a third button, but I tend not to use it as such anyway.
All told, the G5 is a much better mouse for the revision, although it could still use some work.
Who I think can benefit the most:
If you already own a G5, it's probably not worth it to upgrade, unless you really have to have that extra side button.
If you are still playing with a non-optical or laser-mouse, you could definitely do worse than upgrading to a G5, although it is slightly on the expensive side for a mouse.
It's nice to know that hardware companies listen to their customers. Logitech heard the cry of gamers deprived of the second side button, and responded by not only replacing the button, but by beefing up the tech features as well. The G5 is not a bad mouse for your MMORPG needs by any stretch, but it could use another revision to replace the slippery sides and overly sensitive main buttons.
Overall, I give this mouse an 8 out of a possible 10.