Logitech G7 Cordless Laser Mouse Page: 1
Introduction

Logitech is a name synonymous with manufacturing everything from PC based sound systems through to gaming headsets, and attempting to intensify the aural/gaming pleasure of the user. In this day and age of competitive gaming, whether you're a league player or just a friendly LAN gamer with your friends on the weekend; the need for some sort of advantage over your opposition is imperative.

Logitech's latest incarnation of input device - the G7, has been touted as the tool to provide you with this advantage. Further, not only is the G7 reputed to perform well, but is stylish and unobtrusive to boot. With a new PC build underway, aimed squarely at being a high-end gaming rig, I decided to purchase the Logitech G7 to see how it would perform.

Specifications

The technical specifications of the Logitech G7 Cordless Laser Mouse were taken from Logitech's wesite, you can find additional information here

• Tracking Resolution: 2000 dpi
• Image Processing: 6.4 megapixels/second
• Max. Acceleration: 20g
• Max. Speed: 45—65 inches/second (depending on surface)
• USB Data Format: 16 bits/axis
• USB Report Rate: 500 reports/second
• Sleep Mode: Disabled
(Accessed 20th Aug 2006)

Package

With packaging that is testamant to Logitech's commitment to quality; the G7 is very securely packaged within a plastic bubble pack and covered with a stiff cardboard exterior to ensure that the risk of damage in transit, is minimised.

Logitech G7 box front Logitech G7 box rear

You will notice on both the front and back faces of the box that Logitech has attempted to tell you just how good the G7 is, and what its main features are. I myself, find the visual bombardment a little dated and tiring, and would much prefer that the manufacturer perhaps used the marketing funds a little better by omitting extraneous information and passing on a cost saving to the consumer instead.

Contents

Logitech list the contents of the package, both on their website and on documentation within the box itself. Listed below are the included contents:

• Logitech® G7 Laser Cordless Mouse
• 2 Li-Ion Battery Packs
• Charging Station
• USB Dongle
• CD with SetPoint™ software (Version 2.4a, most current version from Logitech's website is vers. 3.0.107)
• Installation Guide
• Three-year warranty

G7 package contents G7 contents


It's refreshing to see a manufacturer with faith in their product and providing a three (3) year warranty onto the consumer, it is a rare thing in this day and age. Also, the installation manual is quite comprehensive and easy to follow.



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G7 Installation manual

Included on the reverse side of the installation manual is a section on performance tips and helpful troubleshooting advice. Spanish, French and Portuguese translations are provided for those who are either multi-lingual or who are from non-English speaking backgrounds. Now lets take a closer look at the Logitech G7.

The Logitech G7 mouse

The author would like to draw to your attention, that for the purpose of this review, relevent pictorial content and comparisons between both the Logitech MX1000 and G7 mice will be made in order to assist the reader.

My first impressions of the G7 were that it felt considerably more solid and polished than the MX1000 build. It feels both lighter in weight and easier to manoeuvre than its older sibling. And for those readers who are familiar with Logitech's current lineup of laser mice, they will notice that the G7 is more of an MX1000/MX518 hybrid.

MX1000 and G7 comparison underside comparison

You can see from the included pictures above that the MX1000 certainly has a slightly larger footprint than the G7. The fluidity of movement of the G7 can only be explained by the inclusion of better contact material (Polytetraflouroethylene) on the mouse pads. It's nice to see that Logitech have discontinued with the somewhat 'tacky' paper based stickers of the MX1000 that could flake off, in favour of moulded logos.

The battery condition display has also received a makeover. In the top left picture you will see that the display has an orange effect added; this is actually the adjustable DPI status bar which is controlled 'on the fly', by pushing the two button directly below the scroll wheel. The G7 allows you to adjust mouse sensitivity without having to go into the Setpoint console...How cool is that? After being allowed to stand idle for around five (5) seconds, the DPI status bar then changes to show you the battery status in the usual Logitech flouro green colour.

You can see from the upper right hand pictures that the on/off button still resides on the undercarriage of the mouse (top right hand corner of mouse); but instead of having contact points for the charger cradle, it now has a rechargeable battery slot. This makes for a refreshing change from the MX1000, in that if the contacts were dirty or dust ridden, you'd have to clean the pole pieces before the battery would begin to charge. Logitech have given this plenty of thought, and as such, included two Lithium Ion (Li-ion) battery packs which don't retain charge memory to ensure your gaming experience is as unhindered as possible. Further, Logitech states that the batteries are good for 10 hours solid gaming before requiring a charge.

MX1000 and G7 side by side

You will also notice that the G7 has lost a button from the side. The button missing is actually used to flick through open tabs and make a selection courtesy of the included Setpoint software. To be honest, I never actually used this button anyway; but to those who do, they find this a little annoying. The above picture shows the distinct height difference between the two mice; those members with smaller hand span and fingers will love the G7 due to not having to stretch to access buttons.

One ergonomic feature that I felt Logitech should have retained when designing the G7 is the inclusion of the moulded rubber inserts on the side of the MX1000. Due to the glossy moulded finish of the G7, if you were to play with greasy or sweaty hands it becomes a little awkward to control due to finger slipping. Now that we've had a look at the mouse itself, let's look at the new charger.



Logitech G7 Cordless Laser Mouse Page: 3
The Charger

The quite radical changes to the G7's charging system, as opposed, to say the MX1000 are more than evident.

Side view of charger, wireless dongle and rechargeable batter G7 recharge setup and dongle
MX1000 and charger setup

One aspect of this charging system that I really like is that it doesn't require a dedicated power supply all of its own. All that's needed is to simply plug the USB adaptor straight into your motherboard and voila, it's powered. Those readers who frequent LAN's will appreciate this; there is nothing worse than having to battle for real estate in your power board.

The G7's wireless dongle is rated at 2.4Ghz, and during both gaming and general desktop work, I never experienced any lag or dropout. Although,I must admit I was a little unsure as to whether my D-LINK DI-624 wireless router would interfere with the performance.

When you need to recharge a battery it's a complete no-brainer. You cannot possibly insert the battery the wrong way and it inserts exactly the same way as in the mouse. When you want to remove the battery simply push the button on the lower right hand side of the charger. Kudos to Logitech for making the G7 idiot proof. Now let's take a quick look at the included software.

The Software

From my own personal experience, I have found some of the older Logitech Setpoint software to be a little buggy to say the least. It's satisfying to say that I haven't found this to be true with the G7 drivers.

Setpoint desktop console Setpoint console DPI adjustment

You can see from the included pictorial content above that the Setpoint console allows you to pretty well customise everything about your mouse. Some of the options available to you are:
  • Customising what buttons on the mouse perform a function;
  • Adjusting your mouse movement and speed;
  • Setting at what point you want to be warned of low battery power;
  • Checking the Logitech website for driver updates, and at what frequency, and
  • Setting up customised DPI settings for in-game play.

Setting up your advanced game settings is also a no-brainer affair, simply trial various X/Y resolution settings and then try them out in various gaming scenarios to see which ones you prefer via the buttons beneath the scroll wheel. Obviously for MS Windows based desktop work, the 2000 DPI setting is a little too vicious and the author suggests toning down the speed to a more controllable level. Now let's take a look and see how the G7 performs in real life gaming...



Logitech G7 Cordless Laser Mouse Page: 4
Test Setup

Even though the computer really has no major bearing on the performance of the G7, the testbed chosen for todays review includes:

Testing

The testing procedure for the Logitech G7 Cordless Laser mouse were conducted using real life gaming benchmarks. The games included in the testing were Valve Software's - Counter Strike Source (CS:S); ID Software's - Quake 4 and Infinity Ward's - Call Of Duty 2 (C.O.D 2). Other testing was conducted from within the Windows desktop environment in order to provide valid test results. Other associated variables to the tests, included:

Performance

The first thing I noticed is how insanely quick and fluid the G7 really was. On the maximum setting, the mouse pointer was both very fast and accurate. Not that I'm really an accomplished gamer of any sort, but I felt that the G7 complimented my skill level very nicely; and in the hands of an avid gamer, the G7 would be a very welcome tool within their arsenal.

I have read that some people find the Logitech G7 uncomfortable after a prolonged period of time; I found this not to be the case even after a solid 3 hour stint. The only gripe that I have is that if your hands are prone to sweating, you may find the polished moulded case slippery to hold.

Earlier on in the review I mentioned that the G7 was very maneuverable on the chosen playing surface. This is unequivocally due to the larger (Teflon) pads on the base of the mouse, and hence providing both non-slip and frictionless gaming pleasure. As opposed to the smaller plastic pads of MX1000.

The battery life, I must say is very respectable. After gaming for a solid three hours and performing other associated PC duties requiring a mouse, the battery life indicator had only lost one bar out of four. The G7 was then left overnight, and no further degradation to the battery health was noted. Now let's head over to the all important conclusion page to see how the Logitech G7 scored.



Logitech G7 Cordless Laser Mouse Page: 5
Conclusion

Well I must say that I'm thoroughly impressed by Logitech latest mouse offering. Sure, the colour scheme probably isn't to everyone's taste, and the G7 has a couple of minor faults. Actually they're probably more features that I prefer to see rather than faults, but it's certainly a top contender for your hard earned dollar.

The only real area I'd like to see Logitech perform a little better is with their pricing scheme; this mouse still retails in some large local stores for around AUS$175.00. I managed to pick it up for AUS$130.00 inc G.S.T, although I have seen it for as low as AUS$106.00 from online e-tailers. To many people, 175 'big ones' is a lot of money to invest in a cordless mouse, when a lower priced alternative with cord would probably suffice. And as I said at the beginning of the review, it'd be nice if Logitech could resist the urge to plaster excessive amounts of self-plugging on the outside of the box, and in turn pass the savings onto the consumer.

Many times I have heard traditionalist's use the excuse that corded mice are more responsive and better for gaming. The Logitech G7 quite literally blows that notion out of the water. There are absolutely no excuses for gamers and enthusiasts alike, not to adopt and upgrade to a cordless mouse, especially this one. Heck, I don't even miss my Logitech MX1000! Even though the G7 passed through the test with flying colours, I'm not going to award it the 'editors choice award' simply because of its price premium.

But if you're contemplating buying this mouse after reading the review, you'll be pleasantly surprised, and glad you did.

Pro's

+ Extremely fast and responsive
+ Comfortable for those gamers with smaller hands
+ Adjustable DPI levels 'on the fly'
+ No lag or dropouts
+ Reduced desktop clutter
+ 2 x Li-Ion batteries to ensure you never run out.

Con's

- Price
- Lack of rubberised moulding for grip.

Gamers choice award

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