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Logitech Prodigy Series REVIEW – A hit and miss line of gaming gear

by Eric Frederiksen | October 2, 2016October 2, 2016 12:00 pm PDT

Whether you’re a hardcore gamer or an office worker, Logitech has a whole line of products for you. But what if your kid’s a gamer? Or you’re building a budget PC and don’t have room for a mouse that cracks into the 3-digit range? Logitech didn’t have an official line for that – until now.

Logitech announced a keyboard, headset, and pair of mice a couple weeks ago, celebrating the unveiling at PAX West. We’ve been spending the last couple weeks with the trio, and we’re ready to break things down. Instead of posting three separate reviews, we’re going to hit all three options right here.

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The G403 Prodigy Wired and Wireless Mice (Wired $69.99/ Wireless $99.99)

Let’s talk about the mice first. These are the easiest recommendations of the bunch. If the G900 is Logitech’s racecar, the G403 is the sports car version, tuned and priced for the more money-conscious part of the market. A daily driver for performance minded gamers.

Both the wired and wireless G403 are sturdy, well built mice. The sides feature rubberized grips that are present without being too sticky or obvious. The tensioned mouse buttons have a short travel and a firm click. The wheel is light and uses a click-style scroll.

The G403 mice pull from the G900 the two core technologies powering the mouse – Logitech’s latest wireless radio in the case of the G403 wireless, and the PMW3366 optical sensor in both. Some of the customizability of the higher end mice comes across, too. You can tune the color of the Logitech G logo and the LED inside the mouse wheel. If you use the button located beneath the mouse wheel to adjust the mouse’s DPI, you can customize which DPI you’ll toggle between.

What it leaves behind is the luxury and ultra-high performance stuff. Where the G900 has removable buttons and an ambidextrous design, this is a right-handed mouse and the buttons can’t be moved around at all.

The adjustable weight is simpler, as well. A 10 gram circular token can be popped in or out of a secure compartment on the bottom of the mouse, rather than the individual weight adjustments seen in mice like the G502.

But really, with the wireless version at two-thirds the price and the wired model at half, it incorporates the important features. Fast wireless response and accurate mouse movement packed into a lightweight piece of hardware. It’s more expensive than other mid-range gaming mice, but it really does perform well.

While I love my G900, I’d be hard pressed to sell someone on it over the G403 unless they’re looking for the extra buttons and the G900’s metal scroll wheel. The G403 is a great mouse.

The only sticking point is the price. If it were a bit cheaper, it’d be very, very easy to recommend, but there are cheaper options out there. You’re getting top of the line performance, and the price still reflects that. It’s still that sports car I mentioned before.

The G231 Prodigy Headset ($69.99)

The G231 Prodigy Headset is right in the middle of the road. The idea sitting at the center of the Prodigy line is that it’s a starter set for gamers; something simple, durable, and effective.

The G231 fulfills its goals pretty well – it just doesn’t do much more.

It’s one of the lighter headsets on the market, and wearing it for long periods is comfortable. It doesn’t tend to move much either, thanks to a firm fit. They’re built out of slate grey plastic with blaze orange elements, and I have to admit – it’s a good looking headset. One interesting feature the team has added in favor of durability is that the fabric earcups are not only removable but washable as well.

While they were comfortable in general despite wearing glasses – often an issue with gaming headsets – the material the ear cups are built out squeaks against my frames anytime the two move against each other. Comfortable, but noisy.

The headset is compatible with PC, PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and mobile phones (at least the ones that still have audio jacks). It also comes with a converter to split it out into discrete headphone and microphone jacks for PC gamers with a slightly different setup.

The sound is pretty good. They’re not as loud as a proper pair of dedicated headphones, and there isn’t as much detail to the sound, but i didn’t have any issues with distortion.

So, they get the job done. If you pick up the G231 headset, it should last and do an admirable job in that time, but it’s not going to be one you write home about. There are cheaper headsets out there – even from logitech – that are going to be just as good or very close. With the G231 not exceeding in any way, it’s hard to recommend this one.

The G213 Keyboard ($69.99)

The G213 keyboard, on the other hand, is pretty disappointing. I’ll admit right now that I’ve been typing on a mechanical keyboard for months now, and I’m willing to admit that that’s part of it, but it’s definitely not all of it.

With that said, here goes:

Logitech’s G231 Prodigy Keyboard isn’t mechanical like so many other gaming keyboards these days. It’s a membrane-style keyboard, meaning that there’s essentially a sheet of rubber hidden under the keys that flexes when you push down a key, rather than a mechanical switch for each key.

The benefits of this are, first and foremost, it’s much cheaper to make, and has a lower price to match. Second, it’s spill resistant. That plays well into the idea of durability at the core of the Prodigy line. These are intended to be keyboards not just for adult gamers but for gamers who still have a bit of growing to do, and maybe aren’t as careful with their drinks and food as they should be (which also applies to some adult gamers, admittedly, but I’m trying to give you the benefit of the doubt, so don’t disappoint me).

Logitech has still managed to include the RGB lighting that goes along with the gaming line, though it’s not as detailed as the higher end gear. You can choose colors by groups of keys or choose animated lighting effects, but lighting by key isn’t an option.

The keyboard uses an “Optimized Gaming Matrix” to imitate the rollover of better keyboards, allowing 13 keys to be pressed at once.

In terms of ergonomics, it offers a built-in wrist-rest and can be raised to 2 or 8 degrees elevation for comfort.

I really hated typing on the G213 Prodigy.

It’s not just that it’s not mechanical, though. The keys did take more pressure to push down, but I also had moments where keys felt like they were catching while I typed and even squeaking against each other. I’m using it as I type this review and while it doesn’t happen constantly, it is an occasional concern.

At $69.99, skip the G213. As this is a starter keyboard, dropping the RGB lighting and putting a bit more time into nicer keys would’ve been appreciated. This keyboard just has too little to offer at its current price.

logitech-g231-keyboard

This new line seems to be a case of Logitech trying to create a need rather than fill one. The mouse is great, but the keyboard and headset aren’t as good as I expect from a manufacturer I generally trust with my peripherals. The whole set is a bit expensive, but the mouse is actually worth it. Seriously consider the G403 if you’re looking for a new mouse.


Eric Frederiksen

Eric Frederiksen has been a gamer since someone made the mistake of letting him play their Nintendo many years ago, pushing him to beg for his own,...

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