When it comes to games on the computer, you can be sure that the mouse and the keyboard will come under close scrutiny, especially for those who are extremely serious about their gaming. Having the stock keyboard and mouse that ships with each computer just won’t do the trick for those who are aiming for perfection (pun not intended), as folks in that tier would do well to pick up a gaming-specific peripheral instead. Case in point, the Logitech G9 Laser Mouse that resides at the high end side of things from the Logitech stable where mice are concerned.
The Logitech G9 Laser Mouse has certainly drawn plenty of attention since it was released, with a spanking new 3200 DPI sensor bringing gaming to new levels. This is made possible without the help of software interpolation, which makes the entire gaming experience all the more smooth. First off, let us take a look at the hardware design of the Logitech G9. It comes in a rather awkward shape that takes some getting used to, but once you’ve spent enough time with it, it will feel like a comfortable pair of shoes – an important aspect to look at where gaming peripherals are concerned.
Opening up the box will reveal the Logitech G9 Laser Mouse, an alternate shell (one of the shells are already attached to the mouse itself), a box of weights, as well as a CD and a manual. There are a couple of shells to use – one of them offers a much smaller grip and has a somewhat similar texture to that of the Logitech G5. It is a bit rough to the touch for those who are unfamiliar with it, but there is a very good reason for that. The roughness of the shell makes it harder for you to experience a miscue, especially during those oh-so-crucial gaming moments where your hand tends to sweat more than usual. Removing the shell is pretty easy – all you need to do is press the button at the lower bottom part of the mouse and lift it up. You can replace that shell with the Wide Load version that is much wider and could prove to be a challenge to handle for those with smaller hands.
The Wide Load shell features a soft rubber finish that boasts an extra glide surface thanks to the larger thumb rest. I must say, the skates at the bottom of the mouse make it a breeze to use, be it for games or work. Gamers of all genres will definitely find the Logitech G9 a joy to use, and who am I to say the Wide Load shell is meant for office work only? It really boils down to the preference of the individual, as others with larger hands might prefer the smooth finish of the Wide Load shell, while others with smaller hands would lean towards the other shell. For those with even more petite hands, they can just use the G9 without any shell whatsoever – sounds perfect for those who travel frequently and work on-the-go. We all know how little space you have on a plane or train, so the smaller mouse footprint then would come in handy.
There are a fair number of buttons peppered on the mouse itself – you get to store up to five different gaming profiles on the mouse which can be programmed via the Logitech SetPoint software, and these profiles are selected via the Up and Down buttons which are easily accessible by your thumb. Naturally, pressing Up will see you progress to the next profile, while pressing Down does otherwise. You will be able to keep track of exactly which profile you’re on at the moment thanks to the LED display on the mouse. Let me digress for a bit – there is a whole gamut of colors to choose from for the LED display, so you can easily change it whenever you’re bored. Not exactly an important feature, but that bit of customization makes the mouse all the more personal.
Remember I mentioned earlier that the G9 has a maximum 3200 DPI setting? Well, like any other self-respecting gaming mouse, you can adjust the DPI setting on-the-fly by pressing the “+” and “-”buttons with your index finger. These buttons are accessible regardless of whether you use a shell or not. I am quite apprehensive when it comes to changing DPI settings, as I truly believe that the skill of a gamer doesn’t require such a feature in gaming peripherals to stay ahead. I remember back in the days of yore when all we had were 2-button mice, and there weren’t any interchangeable DPI settings on them. Using precise weapons like the railgun in Quake 2 and Quake 3 as well as the Crossbow in Half-Life certainly took a whole lot more skill as both sensitivity and DPI levels remained the same. With this newfangled feature, gamers could easily switch the DPI setting to much lower whenever they zoom in to snipe on an opponent these days – somehow I feel as though that is “cheating” in a sense. Ah well, I guess it all boils down to personal preference.
Now on to the weights – the weight compartment can be accessed only when there is no shell attached to the mouse. The weight compartment can hold up to four weights, and you have a field day finding the right weight combination with four 4g and four 7g weights to choose from. After playing with the weights for a bit, I decided not to use the weights as I found that it took a whole lot getting used to. After all, the lighter the mouse the better since my hand won’t experience fatigue faster than it should, especially during marathon gaming sessions.
When using the G9 for my games, I realized that 3200 DPI is way too high, especially since I am used to playing with extremely low sensitivity levels in games. RTS fans will probably find the high DPI count a boon as it allows them to access clicks much faster. When it comes to work (although I suspect you will probably use the G9 far more for leisure than work), the G9 performs admirably well, especially the MicroGear scroll wheel that can switch between the standard click mode to a free-wheel mode. The latter makes it a snap for fast scrolling of long documents, spreadsheets as well as Web pages. I didn’t use the free-wheel mode too often as I tend to miss the segment of a long document which I want to scroll to since even the lightest flick will bring me from the top of the page to the bottom. One gripe about the G9 would be switching between free-wheel and click modes – the button that switches both modes is located at the bottom of the mouse. It would be nice to see it accessible without having to turn your mouse upside down.
According to Logitech, the G9’s buttons are great for 8 million clicks, while its skates are good for 250km of use. Now that’s a long way to go before you purchase your next gaming mouse. You also gotta love the non-tangling cords, making life a whole lot easier especially when you pull open your mouse from your notebook bag or briefcase without having to wrestle with unnecessary tangles.
At $99.99 a pop, the Logitech G9 Laser Mouse offers a whole bunch of features that cater to the gamer – regardless of what genre they are involved in. Those who indulge in FPS and RTS titles will probably appreciate the G9’s features more, while MMORPGers ought to settle for something lesser. Should you pick it up? The answer really depends on which type of games you indulge in really. There are other gaming mice in the market from Saitek as well as Microsoft which offer the same DPI count, so if your allegiance lies with other companies mentioned, you could probably give this a pass.