There’s a gaming, business or lifestyle device to suit everybody
Logitech G602 Wireless Gaming Mouse
This wireless gaming mouse offers 11 customisable buttons and a solid, comfortable grip
- Comfortable grip, with effective non-slip coatings
- Great precision and response
- 11 user-programmable buttons (left/right/middle, plus 8 custom)
- Excellent desktop software for customisation
- No support for little finger
- Thumb buttons aren’t as accessible as they could be
- Uses disposable batteries (2xAA)
An excellent FPS or RPG gaming mouse, if you don’t need hair-trigger response on the thumb buttons.
Price$ 109.95 (AUD)
Logitech’s latest wireless gaming mouse has 8 customisable extra buttons (11 buttons total) for those PC games that like to bind half the keys on the keyboard to various in-game functions.
It’s not quite at the level of the company’s G600 mouse, a 20-button affair aimed at macro-happy MMO players, but it still looks more like something you’d find in a jet fighter cockpit than next to your keyboard in the office. The G602 is a mouse for hardcore gamers, to whom gaming is hardcore-serious business.
Hardcore gamers have traditionally shunned the wireless mouse, for its lower responsivity and reliability compared to the traditional wired kind. This is certainly sensible if you’re talking about the sort of low-cost wireless peripherals you might use in the office, though that may be more a matter of design than any shortcoming of the wireless connection itself. However, it’s unclear whether wired gaming mouses have ever given given a true advantage over wireless, or if it’s all just perception.
In any event, wireless gaming mouses are losing some of that stigma and certainly becoming more common. It’s hard to automatically dismiss wireless PC peripherals when console gamers have been playing competitively online with wireless peripherals for about eight years now on the Xbox 360 and PS3.
I personally use two wired gaming mouses at home – the original Microsoft Sidewinder (which I maintain is one of the best gaming mouses produced), and the 19-button Razer Naga. Each has its advantages, but in my extensive real-world gaming tests, the G602 matched both for responsivity and reliability. It captured and reported every motion and button-click accurately, and without delay.
The mouse polls at 500Hz (position is sent to the PC 500 times per second), via a proprietary USB adapter that’s small enough to leave plugged in to any gaming laptop. For desktops, a short extension cable is included to bring the wireless adapter closer to the mouse on your desk.
If there is a competitive disadvantage to the wireless connection, it is not one I could detect as a gamer.
There is one logistical disadvantage: as a wireless mouse, the G602 requires batteries. Two AA batteries, to be precise. I don’t mind battery power when a single set is going to last a year or more, as many office-desktop setups often do. However, the G602 claims a maximum battery life of 1440 hours in ‘endurance mode’, or 250 hours in ‘performance mode’. The difference between the two is speed of response: for gaming, you definitely want the mouse in ‘performance mode’.
Let’s look at how those numbers might break down:
|Mode||Max battery life if used for:|
|4 hours/day||8 hours/day||24 hours/day|
|Performance||62 days||31 days||10 days|
|Endurance||360 days||180 days||60 days|
So, if you game for four hours every night, that’s only a couple of months battery life. If you’re on holiday and game all day, every day, you’d get a month or less. We didn’t test the G602 with aftermarket rechargeable batteries, but that might be a smart investment.
Construction & Comfort
With one small flaw, which we’ll get to in a minute, the G602 is wonderfully comfortable to hold.
In the right hand, that is. Left-handed gamers have never been well served in the peripherals department, and this is yet another example of right-handed privilege. As one of the privileged, I’m not going to complain too loudly, though it would be nice to see a left-handed version offered once in a while.
The G602 has a rough plastic finish on the sides and the rear of the palm rest, which provides excellent grip and control. The top of the palmrest is rubber, inset with ridges that enhance grip. The buttons are smooth plastic, but with a matte finish – not the popular piano-black finish that’s prone to fingerprints.
It fits perfectly in the palm – I have average-sized hands, but it would fit smaller hands as well. If you have particularly large hands, you might have less luck – the G602 isn’t very wide or tall, and the palm rest doesn’t extend all that far back. Like most gaming mouses, the box has a moulded plastic front that lets you feel the mouse through the packaging – if you’re worried about size, I’d suggest trying the G602 out in store before buying.
One small flaw is the lack of a little/pinkie-finger rest.
Instead of the usual small mouse feet, the G602 has four large pads at the front and sides, plus two narrower bracket-shaped pads around the optical sensor. It glides smoothly and rather quietly on fabric or solid mousepads – it also works well on wooden desks, but tracking in games was more accurate with the carefully-designed pattern of a gaming mousepad. Emphasis on the ‘gaming’ part. The novelty mouse pad with a picture of your cat might look cooler, but isn’t nearly as accurate.
You’ve got the three buttons every mouse has, plus eight extras.
The G602 is advertised as having ‘11 programmable controls’, but Logitech is using a common trick here. Yes, they’re all programmable, but the eleven includes the left and right mouse buttons, and the scroll wheel which acts as ‘middle button’. So, you’ve got the three buttons every mouse has, plus eight extras.
Read more: Roccat Kone Pure gaming mouse
The extra buttons are all located along the left-hand side of the mouse. The first six sit above the thumb-rest in two horizontal rows of three, and the other two are nestled into the front-left corner of the left mouse button. By default, those two buttons are used to control the on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment, from 250–2500 DPI. If you wish to use that feature, you really only have six extra buttons to play with.
I always find adjustable mouse sensitivity useful in shooters where you’ll switch between a ranged weapon like a rifle, to a close-quarters weapon like a shotgun. With the former, a lower DPI setting means you have to mouse the mouse a long way to change your aim – giving you finer control. With the latter, a higher DPI setting lets you turn rapidly at the cost of accuracy – perfect with a weapon that has a wide area of effect, such as the aforementioned shotgun.
I’ll admit that 2500 DPI isn’t really that high, when it comes to rapid aiming with minimal hand movement. I found it perfectly sufficient for my playstyle, though some hardcore FPS players may disagree.
When playing games like XCOM or The Sims, on the other hand, adjustable sensitivity might be completely useless, giving you a couple more programmable buttons to use for other purposes.
The six thumb-buttons are highly responsive, and the lower three are easy to press by rolling your thumb upward on the thumb-rest. If you’re dexterous enough – which the sort of gamers that buy specialist gaming mouses tend to be – then you can hit the front, middle or back button with different parts of your thumb, minimising unnecessary movement.
The top three buttons aren’t nearly so convenient – you have to lift your thumb completely off the thumb rest. It’s easy to distinguish the first button, but I found it harder to selectively press one or the other of the back two, using the heel of my thumb as I did with the bottom row.
The programmable thumb buttons are useful, but – though mechanically and electronically very responsive – they don’t provide a true hair-trigger response thanks to their slightly awkward placement. This makes them better suited for less time-critical actions such as changing weapons or dealing with items, than throwing a grenade or using a melee attack.
RPG and MMO gamers will certainly find them useful, but then again, an extra six buttons is nothing to the average MMO player.
All of Logitech’s current crop of gaming peripherals use the company’s “Logitech Gaming Software” for Windows, which allows great customisability and macro definition.
Though it’s possible to mix-and-match – I simultaneously use devices from Logitech, Microsoft and Razer – it’s very convenient if you have an all-Logitech setup, as you can manage it all from that single application. I have to manage key and mouse button assignments across three separate desktop apps, which can be a bit unwieldy.
It’s easy to set button functionality, either to mimic a single keypress or to perform some complex macro or function. You can also control the sensitivity levels available when using on-the-fly adjustment. It’s the glossiest and most consumer-friendly mouse driver we’ve seen: if you can install and play your PC game, you can probably configure the G602 without any trouble whatsoever.
Button profiles can be stored on the mouse itself, or in the software on the PC. The former is good if you share the same gaming mouse between multiple gaming PCs, but the latter allows you to link profiles to specific applications – so you can have one setup for each game or application you use the mouse with.
Logitech’s G602 is a wireless gaming mouse that – in my own experience at least – proved a fair match to any wired competitor I’ve tested.
The extra buttons are genuinely useful, though slightly better placement of the thumb buttons would have greatly increased their usefulness in certain fast-paced games. Though it wasn’t a problem for me, the 2500 DPI maximum sensitivity may also prove limiting in very fast-paced titles.
For AU$109.95/NZ$129.90, you’ll be getting a great gaming mouse – one that will never cause you to miss a shot because your aim was interrupted by a tug on the cable. Though it couldn’t replace the 18-button mouse I use in action-RPGs, I would happily replace the five-button mouse I use in ‘plain shooters’ with the G602. It would also work well in some of the more streamlined, less button-intensive RPGs of today, which were designed with consoles and not keyboards in mind.
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