Logitech G502 review: keep scrolling scrolling scrolling scrolling…

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Logitech’s G700 mouse is one of my all-time favourites. We gave it a solid 9 / 10 scoreline, and I espoused the belief that a wired-only version had the potential to be even greater, with a slimmer design and lighter weight if the batteries were shed. Today we’re going to see the reality of that belief, as we examine the Logitech G502 Proteus Core wired gaming mouse. It’s the most popular mouse on Amazon, so it should be good, right?

Thanks to ComputerAssistance.co.uk for providing the Logitech G502 sample.

 

Features

  • Personally tuned performance: fine tune the optical sensor for better accuracy, precision and responsiveness. A quick tuning process, and you’re battle-ready.
  • You control the weight and balance: Proteus Core comes with five 3.6g weights… add some or all, and arrange their positions for a mouse tailored to you.
  • 11 programmable buttons: Program each of the 11 buttons with your favourite game commands or macros.
  • In-game DPI shifting: Shift through five DPI settings, from 200 DPI to 12,000 DPI.
  • Gaming-grade dual-mode, hyper-fast scroll wheel: Choose whether you want click-to-click precision or hyper-fast scrolling.
  • Additional features:
    • Most accurate sensor on the market
    • 32-bit microcontroller
    • 3 on-board profiles
    • 1 ms report rate
    • Primary buttons rated to 20 million clicks
    • Mechanical microswitches
    • Improved keyplate design for better click feeling and performance
    • Braided cable with hook and loop cable tie
    • Sleep mode disabled
    • 3 DPI indicator LEDs
    • Rubber grips
    • Magnetic weight-cavity door
 

Design

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The G502 has a shape evocative of the G700, but shorter and slimmer. With the battery compartment gone, the mouse can be much leaner. Many of the same features from the G700 make the jump to the G502, including the awesome Infinite Scroll wheel. The mouse looks angry and modern, an edgy millennial. Diagonal lines abound, all rendered in shades of grey apart from a single line of blue trim.

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The top of the mouse has two angular main buttons extending out and ending in sharp points, with the 2D scroll wheel and two buttons tucked between. The nearest button to the wheel engages the Infinite Scroll behaviour, toggling a smooth gliding mode that keeps an energetic scroll going for nearly 30 seconds. Disable this, and you’re left with a more standard scroll wheel that provides comforting chunky noises at each step. The second button is marked G9, and is unsurprisingly the ninth remappable button on the mouse. By default, it changes between different software profiles.

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The left side contains the remaining buttons: G7 and G8 are positioned beside the left mouse button and adjust the mouse’s DPI, G6 is a ‘sniper mode’ button which changes the mouse’s DPI while held, G4 and G5 are side buttons bound to back and forward in Windows. The left side also contains a small section of triangular-textured grip and the blue-trimmed wing for your thumb to rest on.

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The right side has a textured grip only, and no other buttons or features. As you can see, it gets dirty pretty quickly.

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The bottom of the mouse has the usual components: four skates of varying sizes, an optical sensor surrounded by an additional hexagonal skate, some identifying information and the reinforced end to the USB cable. The cable itself is nicely braided for style and durability.

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What you might not notice on first glance is the removable cover here on the bottom. Pull down on the blue trim, and you’ll overpower the magnets that keep it in place. This exposes a compartment for weights, which come in a nice hexagonal container.

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There are five 3.6g weights to choose from, letting you add up to 18g of weight to the mouse in different configurations.

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Overall, the Logitech G502 has a aggressive shape and a typical gaming look that isn’t too garish. The black, gray and blue colour scheme is attractive enough, and works well with most other gaming peripherals. Functionally it’s as we would expect, with 11 buttons on the top or side, five skates, an optical sensor and that awesome Infinite Scroll wheel.

 

Software

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Now that we’ve seen the hardware, let’s look at the software side of the equation. It’s called Logitech Gaming Software (LGS), and it’s a unified solution for a range of Logitech keyboards, mice and headsets.

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For the G502, you can make all of the usual adjustments: you can change the DPI, reassign buttons to keyboard commands or macros, and you can calibrate the mouse for the surface you’re using. The macro editor is surprisingly poor, with no ability to modify macros after they’ve been recorded or change their delay. Considering how well Speedlink and SteelSeries manage this, it’s a disappointing omission.

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In general, getting around the software is a bit more trouble than you’d expect. There are transitions between each screen, and it takes more time than it should to actually find the right area, make a change and get back to your game.

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You’re unlikely to spend much time in the software after your initial setup period, but it’s still a disappointment when SteelSeries and even the little-known Speedlink have much leaner and intuitive software packages available.

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LGS is available for Windows and Mac, which is a nice touch for the Mac gamers out there.

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Overall, LGS is functional (and the key press heat map is fun, at least), but the software feels to be overly-engineered. I’d prefer a simpler application that provides the same functions without so many effects; Logitech need to step up their game here.

 

Testing

We tested the G502 for work and play for nearly two weeks, including long stints in Counter-Strike, Fallout 4 and Metal Gear Solid V: Phantom Pain.

In general, the G502 was up to the task. The clicky buttons and overall comfortable design worked well in each game that we tried, particularly in Counter-Strike and Fallout 4 where pinpoint accuracy is important if you don’t want to die to Terrorists / Deathclaws.

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With nine buttons on hand there are more than enough to map to some extra functions in-game; e.g. in Counter-Strike I used one for voice chat, one for selecting flash grenades, and one for smoke grenades. In Fallout 4, I had one buttons for V.A.T.S. and one for accessing the Pip-Boy. The infinite scroll was also fun and useful; fun to swap endlessly between weapons at spawn in Counter-Strike, and useful to zoom in quickly when using the binoculars in Metal Gear Solid V.

Above: What I’m referring to in the title of this review ;-)

A mouse that is good for gaming is usually more than sufficient for other tasks, like photo editing and surfing the web, and that was again the case here. The infinite scroll feature came in useful surprisingly often for quickly drilling into web pages, while the extra buttons were useful for automating some tasks… still, the macro portion of the software was a bit limiting compared to other mice.

The software is a little more swishy than that of Speedlink’s, but that just serves to increase the time you spend in the app, rather than allow for any novel functionality. I’d like to see Logitech move to a faster-loading and cleaner look in the future, as they’re being shown up by their competitors here.

 

Conclusion

The Logitech G502 is a strong gaming mouse from a big brand with few flaws; it’s no surprise that it’s the #1 mouse on Amazon right now. The G502 is well supported, works across a range of games and has all the features you could want. With a faster software package, the mouse really would be a perfect 10 / 10. Until then, I’m content to give it a 9 / 10 and the Editor’s Choice Award.

Pros

  • Myriad of clicky buttons
  • Infinite scroll wheel is awesome (and often useful)
  • Cool black, grey and blue colour scheme
  • Fairly comfortable (and visually interesting) shape
  • Sensible weighting system

Cons

  • Software package is generally slow and unintuitive, with underpowered macro editing

Score

score9

Links

Thanks to ComputerAssistance.co.uk for providing the Logitech G502 sample.

About William Judd

Editor-in-Chief for XSReviews. Find me @Expert_Will or on G+.

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