Hardware Review: Logitech G600
Hey everyone, I recently received the newly released G600 MMO mouse from Logitech and “stress” tested it extensively for about 3-4 weeks. I will give you a review of this mouse from the perspective of a MMO gamer.
Logitech G600 was released in early July of this year in order to accommodate the ever growing MMO market. It is not the first mouse of the type to emerge (the competitor Razer Naga was released in late 2009) but it is Logitech’s first MMO mouse product. The price tag for Logitech G600 is $79.99 USD, which is identical to Razer Naga’s current price tag.
The mouse has the standard 12 button left thumbgrid, the standard left and right mouse buttons and the scrollwheel left/right/click buttons. In addition to these features, there is also a button to switch between three modes (primary MMO, alternate MMO, generic gaming) and a G-shift button that make your 12 button thumbgrid into 24 buttons. That is an impressive army of buttons packed into one little mouse.
Why MMO mouse?
That is a common question a lot of people ask before they had their first MMO mouse. Are you going to be able to utilize the full 12 buttons? What advantages will it provide over a standard mouse?
Lets talk about the advantages. Like a lot of people, I was initially skeptical as well. There are a lot of new technology these days that have a lot of hype but little use in practice. The biggest difference I find is with MMOs that require a lot of movement. Take the two newest MMO released/about to be released for example, The Secret World and Guild Wars 2. Both games allow you to use abilities while on the move and there are a lot of boss mechanics that forces you dodge stuff while maintaining your standard rotation of abilities. Having a MMO mouse will allow you use abilities with your right hand while moving your character with your left hand on the WSAD keys. This way, you don’t need to stop to press a button on your keyboard to fire off an ability, you just keep on moving.
As for the 12 buttons, it comes with practice and depends on your hand. Take me for example, I have a your typical small female hand. I can reach the first 3 rows of 9 buttons fine but I have a bit of trouble reaching the last row as it bends my thumb a bit unnaturally. It is like playing the violin, there are some notes that you will have difficulty with initially but with enough practice you can use all buttons with ease.
Lastly, if you are playing MMOs that have a lot of abilities that you need to use and you struggle to find enough buttons on your keyboard for all of them, a MMO mouse will provide you with a whole set of buttons to use without having to resort to the awkward key combinations like ctrl/alt + button.
How does it look? Lets take a look starting from the box! The box is neatly packaged with a velcro button that allow you to open the front cover to reveal the mouse inside.
The mouse itself comes in two colors: pure black (the one I have) or white with black buttons. As you can see, the cable is super thick and fairly long, typical of a Logitech product.
I don’t have a Naga, but I have a Razer SWTOR mouse, which is a similar size, this picture allows you to see how it compares with its competition. They are about the same length, similar height, but the G600 has a different kind of curve (G600 is fat at the waist while the Naga is slim at the waist but fat below the waist!)
Here is a picture of the thumbgrid when it lights up.
The main thing to take note is the curvature on the thumbgrid and that is what makes the G600 really stands out. There are two curve centers, one focusing on the top 2 rows and the other on the bottom two rows. The curves are designed to direct your thumb towards the rest spot between G10/G13 and the G16/G19 keys. The little lines on G13 and G16 keys give you an idea of which two rows your thumbs are resting in between. As a former Naga user, I do like a thumbgrid here a bit better. It is easier to know which buttons you are about to press due to the curvature and your thumb get a rest spot when you are not pressing any buttons.
The G-shift key is the button to the right of the right mouse button. It is designed for your ring finger and give you an additional set of hotkeys on your thumbgrid when you press down on it. Depending on your finger’s flexibility, you may find it a bit difficult initially to get adjusted but should get better with practice. This button essentially converts the thumbgrid from a 12 button grid to a 24 button grid.
In addition to the thumbgrid and the G-shift button, the scrollwheel is also clickable (left, right, and down) and can be macro’ed to different key combinations. The left and right click are a bit tighter and require a bit more pressure to activate but can function as the back and forward buttons by default. The two little G8 and G7 buttons below the scrollwheel by default serve as a mode switcher/DPI switcher but can be reprogrammed to other functions as well.
G600 comes with three different modes that you can access on the fly via the mode switcher button. Each of the modes are indicated by different colors on the thumbgrid. By default, Primary MMO mode has the thumbgrid pointing to 1-= buttons on your keyboard while the Alternate MMO mode has the thumbgrid pointing to the buttons on the numpad. The third mode, Generic Gaming, is more focused on generic mouse usage and has buttons that allow rapid access to DPI shifts, back and forward buttons for internet browsing.
As someone with rather small hands, the G600 feels very comfortable on my palm and there are no wrist pain or finger exhaustion even after hours of clicking on the same buttons. The buttons are fairly responsive so you don’t need to apply too much pressure for the click to register. If you are worried about accidently activating the buttons by touching them, that is not a really a concern as you need a lot more pressure to activate the buttons. The mouse is a bit on the heavy side (about the same weight as my Logitech G500 with all weight cartridges, similar weight to my Razer) but glides smoothly so the weight wasn’t too noticeable.
The Inner Workings
The biggest gripe I had with my Razer is the software – the Razer software requires an internet connection and updates itself randomly (sometimes tab me out of a game just to install an update). Luckily after about a month using my G600, I never had an issue with the software.
Everything is customizable with the G600 software: you can reassign buttons, adjust colors etc. The mouse itself comes an onboard memory that allow you to store colors and basic keybind assignments for each of the three modes. In addition, there is an automatic game detection mode that utilizes the profiles saved on your computer where you can make more complex button assignments (i.e. macros) based on the game being launched in the background.
The On-board Memory does not store macros but you can use the Automatic Game Detection which has a macro creater by default and a lot more options such as text block and ventrilo functions.
The mouse itself come with four DPI sensitivity levels right out of the box 400, 1200, 2000, and 3200 but you can adjust the mouse to have any five DPI levels between 200 and 8200. The G shift button can also programmed to have a different DPI value when it is pressed down.
Lastly, the color for each of the three modes can be adjusted. The color selector is based on a RGB color system so you can be very specific in the colors you want to be displayed on the buttons. You can also make the buttons cycle through colors or pulse. The colors for all the buttons have to be identical.
Naga or G600?
This is a rather hard question and may just come down to personal preference as they are both priced similarly. The G600 is designed with Razer Naga in mind so it has to go above and beyond what the Naga has to offer in order to be a successful product. I do like the G600 thumbgrid a lot better and it is harder to misclick buttons due to the curvature on grid. The addition of the G-shift button also doubles the amount of buttons on the thumbgrid. I also like the fact that the G600 comes with three modes that you can easily switch on the fly without having to resort to the software. I personally have some issues with the Razer software but the Logitech software so far have not give me any trouble at all.
If you don’t care about all the extra features or the software, I recommend you go to a store and physically try them out. What it comes down to is ultimately how comfortable your hand feels on each mouse as you will be using them for years (hopefully).
The Naga has a 2 years warranty while the Logitech G600 has a 3 years warranty. I have dealt with Logitech warranty in the past and they are excellent in exchanging your mouse for a new one if you have any issues (havn’t had the need to contact Razer support yet).