Logitech G5 Laser Gaming Mouse

Logitech G5 Laser Mouse I’ve never really liked the Apple mice that I’ve gotten with my machines, and I usually try to get something a bit nicer, like a Logitech or even – *cough* – a Microsoft mouse. These 3rd-party devices feature more buttons with more customization, and better ease-of-use than dealing with the annoying touch-sensitivity of Apple’s recent offerings. Most of the time.

Compared…

I replaced my Logitech MX310 with a nice G5 Laser Mouse. When I looked at the box initially, I was surprised to see something pretty weird: the box copy said something about weights, and some kind of cartridge to place them in. What on earth could that be for? Well, that’s one of the key physical features of the mouse – the mouse is initially very light, and you add any combination of weights from the included tin into a plastic cartridge, which then “snaps” into place in a slot underneath the mouse. I have a minor dislike for the fact that it doesn’t have a “door” over that slot, but it’s not a big deal. It seems to be held in there fairly securely.

Custom Weight system

The weights are available in 1.7g and 4.5g measures. You’ll get 8 of each – so you can fill all eight slots in the cartridge with the same weight (make it really heavy or really light – your choice), or mix and match to find exactly the weight that works for you. This helps to allow you to customize the mouse to your liking. If you’re one of those hardcore gamer types, this could definitely help you in keeping the precise control you need to get that smug satisfaction of beating the foul-mouthed 13-year-old from Toledo.

Improved Build Quality – Doesn’t feel cheap like a Blackberry

I also love the nice build quality of the G5; it’s something new for Logitech, and it shows that they’re getting better. When you combine the solid feel of the mouse with the weights, it feels like a mouse that will last. There’s some nice textured feel to the mouse as well, not like the weird cheap feeling that my 310 had. My hope is that the paint job will last longer, but only time will tell. I’ve only had my 310 for a year, but after moderate use, the coloring has worn off of the plastic.

Software is Windows only

Now the bad news: on the box, I noticed that it only mentioned Windows. Logitech usually has decent support for OS X. But not this time. Since it is a gaming mouse, I guess we should expect that. The mouse still works, of course, and you can even use the nice horizontal scrolling (tilting the scroll wheel left and right), but the side buttons and clicking the scroll wheel does not work. Also, the advanced precision control of the laser, as well as speed customization aren’t configurable in OS X. The CD that comes with the mouse is useless in OS X.

Custom “speed” control

You can still control the “speed” of the mouse cursor with the buttons on the top face of the mouse, but I found them annoying, since it only speeds it up from my comfortable setting that I chose in System Preferences. However, it was useful when I was playing a few FPS games, because I could move my player a bit more quickly by bumping up the setting.

In a nutshell…

All in all, this mouse isn’t quite as useful to Mac users unless we boot into Windows. However, if you’re looking for a mouse that you can scroll with in four directions, adjust the speed, and has a nice build quality with customizable feel, then this mouse could work for you. It’s currently priced at $57 on Amazon, so I’d recommend at least trying to boot into Windows to get some use out of the extra buttons to get the most value from it; then, it’s sure to be an awesome mouse. At the very least, it serves as a nice alternative to the annoying (IMHO) Mighty Mouse.