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Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum REVIEW – My favorite wireless mouse yet

by Eric Frederiksen | April 23, 2016April 23, 2016 7:00 am PST

Ask any hardcore gamer, whether they play shooters, fighting games, real time strategy, or MOBA games, if they have any preference between wired and wireless control in the heat of an intense match, and you’ll get one answer across the board – wired. The amount of lag on a wired controller, from moment to moment, can be nearly imperceptible, but those milliseconds add up over time, and those gamers will notice.

Logitech has been making wireless mice and gaming mice for a long time, though, and they think they have the situation nailed and have a mouse on offer they’re hoping will satisfy the hardcore gaming crowd: The G900 Chaos Spectrum Professional Grade Wired/Wireless Gaming Mouse.

I’ll give you a minute to finish chewing on that name.

That silly, overly complex and ultimately meaningless name is just about the only thing I didn’t like about this mouse, though. Everything else about it is absolutely premium and top of the line, from the build and responsiveness to the customization options and battery life.

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Let’s start with the build. This thing is light as hell. The mouse clocks in at 107 grams, making it the lightest wireless mouse around and lighter than even quite a few wired mice. That’s because Logitech has gone out of their way to find every option possible to reduce the weight on the mouse without cutting into the quality of the build. It feels a bit like a racecar, where every unnecessary bit of hardware has been removed.

The metal scroll wheel, for example, has been hollowed out to lower the weight of the wheel itself and the mouse overall.

Logitech also did away with the replaceable battery. Some people might find this displeasing, but using a lighter battery – a 720 mAh lithium polymer battery weighing 15 grams – means a lighter build with more integrated hardware, something we’ve seen seeing for years in the mobile phone market. The life of these smaller batteries, both on a single charge and over the lifetime of the hardware, as well as the charging speed, has been improved enough that it doesn’t feel to me like a sacrifice to have a battery that can’t be replaced. We’ll get more specifically into the life of this device’s battery a bit later.

Because it has to be recharged, there’s a port on the front of the mouse for a USB Micro cable. It’s a standard port, so any USB micro cable with a relatively small or normal-sized connector can be used to charge the mouse while you continue to use it, though Logitech has seen fit to customize the included cable as well.

Instead of just a USB micro port, there are a couple extra prongs. When you plug this cord in, those lock into place and give the cable a sturdier, more natural feel. It’s a nice compromise between a potentially sub-par experience from a standard cable and a frustrating experience caused by a proprietary one. Whether you use this cable or another one, as long as it’s a USB data cable it’ll not only charge the mouse, it’ll disable the wireless radios and allow the mouse to work as a wired device.

This cord also comes with a USB adapter allowing you to plug in the mouse’s receiver and keep it close to the mouse for even better connectivity, as well as an adapter that lets you plug the USB reciver directly into the USB micro cord. As an added bonus, this plug can be used for any USB 2.0 data device, with any USB micro cord, essentially turning any USB micro cord into a USB extension cord..

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Aside from the lightness, the mouse feels sturdy and well-engineered. The buttons have springs that lower the amount of “pre-click” pressing, giving them a tighter feel than a lot of mice. The rubberized grips give it a good feeling for long-term use.

One of the biggest complaints that come along with Logitech’s high end mice is addressed by the G900 as well. Most high-end mice from Logitech are distinctly right-handed. If a lefty version is available, it has to be special-ordered, but even that is usually not the case. The G900 is ambidextrous though, and Logitech has gone to great lengths to make it so without sacrificing functionality.

Instead of omitting the thumb buttons, you get to pick where you want them. The G900 comes with a little box that houses the few extra parts it comes with, and those parts let you configure it how you like. If you’re a lefty, you can put the thumb buttons on the right, or vice versa. Or you can have them on both sides if you have creepy spider hands, or neither if you like a simpler mousing experience.

The way this works is that, on each side, there are two spots for thumb buttons, each magnetized. This work similarly to the magnetized buttons on the Xbox Elite controller or on Logitech’s G930 gaming headset. The magnets are robust and when the button you’re applying gets close, the button snaps into place. If you didn’t know they could be pried off, you’d likely never realize. In addition to those magnetized buttons, there are lockout tabs that you can put in place of buttons so that you don’t have to have buttons where you don’t want them. Again, these integrate so well into the mouse that they feel like a part of the hardware, rather than something to snap on and off.

Of course, each of these buttons can be customized to do whatever you want.

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There are really only two parts I don’t like about the build of this mouse.

The first is how loose the scroll wheel is. When it’s in the clicky-scroll mode, it’s great, and I have no complaints. I switch between click scroll and endless scroll quite a bit, though, and it’s so loose that simply waving the mouse about in the air is enough to make the wheel scroll significantly. It feels looser than the non-hollowed versions of the wheel, and those were already pretty loose. Instead of leaving it in endless scroll, I find myself switching to endless, wheeling down, and then switching back.

Because of that, the location of the buttons that are set by default to switch the mouse DPS is the other problem I have with the mouse. They’re right below the button that switches the scroll wheel’s mode, making them easy to hit by accident. Because they can be configured, it’s not a huge problem, but it is something that bugged me during long use.

That built in battery I mentioned before is a pretty solid one. Logitech advertises 32 hours of life, and that seems pretty accurate to me. That estimate assumes you’ve disabled all of the lighting options the mouse has, though, so keep that in mind.

To that effect, though, Logitech has added some new bells and whistles to their gaming software. There’s now a battery assistant tab for the mouse. In this tab, you can not only see the percentage of life left, and how many hours that amounts to, you can see what different lighting configurations will offer in terms of battery life, watching the encounter increase as you turn stuff off.

The big elephant in the room, though, is latency. Here’s what Logitech has to say about that.

Logitech claims the G900’s signal strength is anywhere from 8 to 114 times stronger than competitive mice like the SteelSeries Sensei Wireless and the Razer Ouroboros. As interference is added by things like wireless routers and headsets, as well as microwaves and the like, that signal strength allows the mouse to maintain a sturdy, fast connection according to Logitech.

The result of this, they say, is extremely low click latency. In fact, Logitech says, the highest click latency of the G900 is lower than the lowest click latency of the competition’s wired mice, showing a maximum latency of 5.54 milliseconds on the G900 and a minimum on the SteelSeries Rival 3000 of 6.1 milliseconds, and 9.93 milliseconds on the Razer DeathAdder Chroma. Logitech makes similar claims of the motion latency.

There’s a limit to how far away you can be before that robustness becomes meaningless, but between the extension cable and the fact that, in general, PC gaming requires a pretty compact configuration, this isn’t going to be a problem for most. Logitech advertises a 10 meter range, and I wouldn’t be able to get that far from my computer without climbing a tree, so I’ll say that the distances I could test it and still see the computer seemed solid.

In an actual gaming situation, it does hold up as advertised. I spent some time shooting with it and then passed it off to a friend who plays MOBAs (and has complained about wireless mouse lag in the past), with good marks in both situations. It never felt like it was hampering my ability to be mediocre at FPS games.

While I’ve loved my time with the G502, the G900 is an easy replacement. It’s expensive, clocking in at a pretty vicious $149.99, but everything about the mouse is about as premium as you could get without starting to add in crazy space aged materials.

Aside from a few very minor complaints and a really dumb name, this is an excellent mouse. If you can afford it, it’s worth every penny.

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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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