The new G700 is the latest offering to Logitech’s G-series line of gaming peripherals that are intended for gamers who require a multitude of buttons, in depth programming options, and high performance technical specifications not usually found in a wireless mouse. It is optimized for MMO gaming use.
Let’s look at the G700 and it’s accessories in detail.
The G700 is housed in a black plastic shell which sports a very small, sand-like texture on the left and right gripping surfaces, while the top surface has a smooth, matte finish. The various programmable buttons and mode wheel switch are slick and glossy black plastic. The scroll wheel has a subtle metallic finish, with a horizontally ribbed, rubber traction ring in the middle.Just forward of the thumb are three tiny LEDs, which illuminate sequentially to indicate the selected profile (orange illumination), battery level (green illumination), and DPI setting (red illumintaion).
The front of the mouse features the USB charging port. This port is deeply recessed into the mouse, and is designed so the cable can be inserted by keeping the mouse and the bottom part of the cable connector flat on the table, for fast easy alignment. The connection has been quite secure in my experience, and I doubt my own typical gaming activities would see an accidental disconnection.
Conveniently, the USB charging cable can be connected while the mouse is being used, with no interruption. While the charging cable is connected, the G700 will also operate as a conventional wired USB mouse. An excellent design.
The USB wireless receiver is tiny, scarcely larger than the USB connector itself. Leaving this receiver plugged into a laptop during some mobility might be an option.
Two cables are provided with the G700, the USB charging cable and a USB extension cable for the wireless receiver. The charging cable, which also serves for wired mouse use, seems slightly heavier, and perhaps slightly less flexible, than typical mouse cable. The charging cable also includes a Velcro cable keeper which can slide along the length of the cable. I used this cable keeper to tie off my charging cable at a convenient length on my desktop.
The USB receiver extension cable has a molded end connector for sitting on the desktop or other surface, though it lacks enough mass to prevent the cable’s own weight from causing the connector to move or rotate.
The bottom surface of the mouse features the laser aperture, a color coded power switch, and the battery access door concealing a single AA size NiHM battery that is user replaceable, and a small storage port for the wireless USB receiver. Each of the four large, smooth gliding feet have a small indention along their inner edge, to allow removal for replacement.
How does the G700 compare to its competitors in specifications? Let’s examine and compare the features and specifications for the G700 and two other products in this category, the Razer Naga and the Cyborg R.A.T. 9 from Madcatz.
|DPI||Polling Rate||Tracking Speed||Wireless||MSRP (USD)|
|Logitech G700||13||200 to 5700||Up to 1000Hz||165 inches/sec||Both||$99.99|
|Razer Naga||9||Up to 5600||Up to 1000Hz||200 inches/sec||No||$79.99|
|Cyborg R.A.T. 9||5||25 to 5600||Up to 1000Hz||236 inches/sec||Yes||$129.99|
Logitech SetPoint Software
My retail package did not include a driver CD, instead directing me to the Logitech web site to download the latest version of the SetPoint software (version 6.15 for this review).
The SetPoint 6.15 software interface is quite similar to my Windows 7 OS interface. A left hand column has links to the primary settings pages, while the large scrolling pane to the right displays the appropriate graphics and controls for configuring the mouse.
The SetPoint software, and the G700 itself, organizes these settings into profiles. Selecting a profile in the SetPoint software is done via drop down menu at the top of the left hand column, which then displays an overview of all settings in the right hand pane. SetPoint allows the creation of multiple settings profiles, which are saved within the SetPoint software itself. These profiles can be imported and exported in .xml format from within the software.
A maximum of five profiles can be saved to the G700’s internal memory. SetPoint allows easy placement of a profile into the desired memory bank, and profiles in G700 memory can be re-ordered as desired. Worth noting is that one of the default profiles is called “General” and cannot be deleted or renamed from the G700’s internal memory. This “General” profile settings can be edited, and it can be placed in the desired memory bank, however.
I’ll briefly overview each of the configuration panes of the SetPoint software.
Basics – The name and description of each profile, which onboard memory bank this profile occupies, and lists of assigned applications for this profile.
Buttons – Straight forward button configuration. See details below.
Pointer – Settings for DPI sensitivity, choice of how many DPI steps are accessible (up to 5 steps, each level sensitivity is user adjustable in 100 DPI steps from 200 to 5700), pointer acceleration options, and Reporting Rates (incremented at 125, 200, 250, 333, 500, and 1000).
Scrolling – Vertical and horizontal scrolling speeds.
Battery – Shows current battery level, toggle for optional onscreen low battery notification, and the “Power Mode” (choices “Power Saver”, “Normal Gaming”, and “Maximum Gaming”) options.
Profile Manager – “Profile Switching” options (change profiles using a button on the mouse, or change profiles automatically using application detection). “Profile Manager” displays all created profiles, indicates which are stored in the G700 internal memory banks, and controls for creating new, importing/exporting, deleting, and duplicating profiles.
Macro Editor – Allows creating and saving macros which capture keyboard, mouse, and delay information. Options to minimize during recording, start/stop recording on selectable hotkey, and options for capturing single or multiple keystrokes.
Let’s look more closely at button configuration options.
Each of the G700 buttons can be selected from a list on the left, and a graphic will update to indicate the selected button. From a list on the right, assignable tasks can be chosen.
This list includes tasks I’ll organize into the following categories:
OS Related – Such as show desktop, document flip, copy, paste, undo, redo, maximize, and minimize, among others.
Media Related – Such as play/pause, fast forward, rewind, volume up/down, and mute, among others.
Convenience – Launch an application, open a browser to search (selectable search engines include Google, Bing, AOL, and Yahoo!, and selectable geographic location), and scrolling options such as “Auto Scroll” and “Universal Scroll”.
G700 Hardware – These kinds of tasks include checking battery level, switching between profiles, changing DPI sensitivity (with separate increase/decrease keys, or for profiles with only two DPI settings, a single key toggle), keystroke assignments (with modifier keys), the “Generic Button” tasks, and macros created in the Macro Editor.
Many of the programmable tasks operate as keystroke strings, such as “Show Desktop” (Windows Key + D), and “Copy” (Ctl + C), as well as keystroke assignments. Buttons programmed with these kinds of tasks did not require the SetPoint software to be installed, once programmed. I was even able to use the mouse on another computer with no installed software, and these kinds of programmed tasks still functioned correctly.
Macros that I created were saved to the G700 internal memory, and were functional (even with modifier keys and recorded delays) without the SetPoint software, and even when using another computer.
Other tasks DO require the SetPoint software to be installed for correct operation. These include tasks like horizontal scrolling, and even the standard “Back” and “Forward” task assignments if they have been assigned to buttons other than the default G4 and G5. Tasks assignments which are dependent on the SetPoint software are indicated in the task description.
Task assignments called “Generic Task 1” through “Generic Task 5” refer directly to the standard 5 mouse button functions (left, middle, and right click, along with forward and back). This is useful for virtually “swapping” the physical locations of the mouse buttons, and does allow functionality of “Forward” and “Back” buttons without SetPoint software installed (such as when visiting another computer) to interpret the “Forward” and “Back” task assignments.
One point worth mentioning, the physical primary mouse button (left of the scroll wheel) cannot have it’s action programmed to any task other than “Left Click”.