I’ve been using the Logitech G502 for a couple of months now, and it’s incredible just how much of a positive impact it’s had on my playtime, but I was initially reluctant to
Because it retails for around $150, however, I was initially reluctant to actually take the plunge, particularly on a wireless mouse. The last time I was in the market for a gaming mice, the added latency of wireless peripherals made them much less appealing.
But after a few months of regular play with the G502, I can’t imagine going back. I’m tracking my targets better in Overwatch, landing more headshots in Apex Legends, and just generally having more fun as I play.
Cutting the cable
I had been using the same gaming mouse for years: a Logitech G9x that I’d bought in 2010 after my wireless G7 had finally given up the ghost.
My G9 still functions to this day, but the thing is a relic, and I have never really loved the way it looked or felt to play with.
For years, I’d been wanting to upgrade, but I told myself I’d wait to buy a new mouse until it was absolutely necessary. When I’d replaced my Logitech G7, it had been motivated by a malfunctioning left button after years of heavy use.
I figured it was only a matter of time until a similar hardware issue cropped up. But it never did; the Logitech G9x was a tank.
But over the last year or so, I’ve been growing more and more frustrated with the cord on my mouse, especially because I have very limited space in my small home for my gaming PC setup. Everything’s just generally cramped.
My mouse cord would frequently snag on other cables or the foot of my speaker, or it would coil itself up with just enough tension to pull my mouse in a certain direction whenever I let my hand up off of it.
These problems weren’t impossible to work around, but they amounted to minor annoyances that, over time, felt glaringly more egregious.
I knew it was time to replace it, and, having read that Logitech’s LIGHTSPEED wireless tech had all but eliminated concerns about latency, it felt like now was the time to finally cut the cable again.
I shopped around a lot before finally bringing home the G502. Logitech’s modern line of gaming mice includes a variety of expensive and well-reviewed mice in a number of different form factors, and I also looked at the latest offerings from Razer, Corsair, Red Dragon, and a few other brands I was less familiar with.
Frankly, I think I spent more time shopping around for the mouse than I did for my last car, and I kept telling myself that I was overthinking it.
On the other hand, I spend more time with my gaming mouse than I do with any other gaming peripheral. Most of my game time happens on my PC, and I really only ever plug a controller in for third-person action games.
I nearly picked up a Logitech G903, but I really wasn’t a fan of how it fit in my hands. I have a smaller grip than average, and the thing was borderline unwieldy to me.
Razer’s Mamba felt much more comfortable to use, but I’ve had negative experiences with their peripherals in the past, and I didn’t love the idea of gambling another $100+ away.
I finally got a chance to go hands on with the G502, and it checked just about every box for me.
Its design isn’t too garish, for one.. I mean, it looks like a gaming mouse, but its RGB lighting sections are kept to a relative minimum, and it’s got an understated but sleek matte black finish.
It also has a total of 8 programmable buttons, which feels about right to me. I’m not an MMO player, so I don’t really need a hundred macro keys at the touch of my thumb, but I do like mapping buttons like my quick melee attack and push-to-talk inputs to my mouse.
Most importantly, however, it felt right in my hands, especially when compared to the squatty feel of my previous mouse.
After using the mouse for just a single night of regular gaming, I discovered a number of improvements, including some that surprised me.
Included in the box are a handful of weights you can insert into the battery and/or the chassis of the mouse to give it some additional heft if you like. My G9x had a similar feature, so I more-or-less customized the weight of my new mouse to match that.
The mouse’s weight seems more important, though, without a cord. I was surprised to discover just how much drag I’d unconsciously become accustomed to before.
Just navigating my desktop with the mouse really illustrated the fact. For the first hour or so, I found myself clicking just down and to the left of icons and realized that I had been compensating for the G9’s cord, which pushed almost imperceptibly to the upper-right.
Without a wire to attach, there was literally next to no drag on the mouse at all except for whatever weight I’d implanted into it.
It didn’t take long to retrain my brain to stop fighting the phantom cord, and since then I’ve felt less fatigue on my hands after lengthy game sessions.
More importantly, I’ve found I’m much, much better at tracking my opponents in shooters. This became almost immediately apparent to me playing as D.Va and sniping as Ana (I main Support) in Overwatch.
I’m not saying that the mouse is enough to push me into the major leagues or even enough to get me from Gold to Platinum without some additional time and practice, but the difference is still definitely perceptible.
Despite the fact that the G502 feels like a good fit for my hands overall, it does seem to have been designed with a slightly larger grip in mind.
For example, there’s a programmable thumb button that is assigned as the “DPI Shift” button by default for quickly dropping the mouse’s sensitivity to a predetermined minimum to assist in moments when you need maximum precision.
The tip of my thumb rests just up against the button, close enough that I can push it without too much trouble if I rotate my wrist or apply a little extra pressure to my grip, but I suspect someone with larger hands would be able to rest the pad of their thumb comfortably against it.
Beyond that, my only real complaint about the Logitech G502 Lightspeed–aside from a technical issue I’ll describe further on–is that the skates of the mouse attract a ton of dust, and I have concerns about their longevity.
Despite keeping a microfiber cloth by my gaming PC that I use to dust the mouse pad before every session, the mouse skates manage to collect every single remaining particle of dust on the surface they roll over.
One skate on my first G502, prior to the replacement I’ll discuss later on in this review, actually started to peel away at one corner, and that was just a few weeks after unboxing.
They work great otherwise. The mouse positively soars over my hard surface mat, but I’m left wondering how long they’ll last.
PowerPlay Mat Mini-review
Speaking of that hard-surface mat, the G502 LIGHTSPEED supports Logitech’s PowerPlay system, which is a $120 upgrade atop the cost of the mouse itself.
At that price point, I was intrigued but unable to actually give the functionality a test. That is, until my wife surprised me with the mat for my birthday.
The PowerPlay Wireless Charging system is, on its own, a high-end gaming surface for your mouse. It includes both a cloth and a hard mouse pad that sets atop the soft, rubbery base.
It’s big, too! At 12.64” x 13.54”, it’s larger than the Corsair mat I picked up a couple years ago, which had already been an upgrade for me at the time.
That base plugs into your PC via USB, and a Logitech logo on the power base is illuminated with RGB LEDs that you can customize using Logitech’s free app.
|Logitech G502 LIGHTSPEED Review|
|– Cutting the cord feels so good||– Expensive|
|– Compatibility with PowerPlay system eliminates the need to ever plug the mouse in or swap the battery||– A defect with the left mouse button cropped up within just a few weeks of use|
|– Sleek and comfortable design|
Combined with a mouse that supports PowerPlay, however, and the mat turns into something a little more magical. The power base doubles as a wireless receiver in your mat, placing the receiver mere inches from your wireless mouse at any given time.
More importantly, the entire mat acts as one massive wireless charging surface. You simply swap out the removable battery in the mouse for the one included with the PowerPlay system.
And that’s it: no more dead batteries mid-game; no more frantically trying to plug your USB cable between respawns.
Combined with the LIGHTSPEED wireless tech, which Logitech advertises grants the mouse an incredibly low input latency of just 1 millisecond, the PowerPlay system eliminates virtually every reservation I had about going wireless with the G502 LIGHTSPEED.
Experience with Logitech Support
My concerns about cutting the cable sufficiently assuaged, I was tickled pink with my new mouse and fully prepared to write an unblemished review for it with my one complaint being, perhaps, that the whole setup is prohibitively expensive.
That is, until I ran into a familiar hardware defect. My Logitech G502 started double-clicking.
Just as my G7 had done so many years ago, the left mouse button began double-clicking on its own with a regular cadence. Unlike with my G7, which had seen years of constant use, the G502 was only a few weeks old.
A quick search through Logitech’s support forum suggested this was a common ailment, but I’ll admit that I was shocked and even a little disillusioned. It’s a brand-name I’ve long associated with high-quality gear, and this was easily the largest financial investment I’d made into a gaming peripheral in, well, maybe ever.
I contacted Logitech’s support team by phone, and the rep sent me instructions for qualifying the mouse for replacement. I ultimately had to capture footage of myself clicking the mouse on a website that detected double-clicks.
It was an irritating experience. Surely Logitech knew this was a common issue. Surely they’d be willing to bend over backwards to assure me of the quality of this very expensive product.
I submitted the video and waited 24 hours for a response.
In the meantime, I’d hooked the G9x back up, and suddenly my $120 PowerPlay system was little more than a very large, very overpriced piece of plastic.
At least it had RGB lighting, I guess.
After 24 hours without a response, I called Logitech support again and inquired about the status of my ticket. They let me know that the rep I’d worked with had already ordered a replacement be sent to my home, which helped to calm my anxiety about the whole ordeal.
My impatience aside, the support team was great. I got the replacement mouse less than a week later, and the overall experience was a positive one.
But I can’t help but wonder how long this one will last me before the issue crops up again. And I can’t help but worry that the issue may not crop up again until after the warranty has expired.
Since getting the replacement G502 LIGHTSPEED, I’ve quickly fallen back in love with the mouse.
It’s a delight to use as I game, particularly when coupled with the PowerPlay mat.
The whole system feels like a modern technological marvel, and I periodically look down at the mouse and remind myself how easy it is to take that for granted.
It’s having a positive impact on my in-game performances as well. Even the most elaborately customized piece of gaming tech can’t replace practice and hard work, but what the G502 LIGHTSPEED has done is eliminated most if not all the physical barriers that were in my way as I played.
Sure, it’s expensive, but eliminating wire drag and snags has been absolutely worth it.