Is there more that a gaming mouse can do, other than work?
#TechWithAaron is here to find out if that is possible with the Logitech G903 Lightspeed.
But first, fair warning to all before I get on with my review: there are two versions of the Logitech G903 floating around in the market. The confusing thing is that BOTH ARE CALLED LIGHTSPEED mouse’s, so if this is the first time you’re buying a Logitech Gaming Mouse, be careful!
What are the Differences between the Old and Newer Logitech G903 Mouse?
First, a little tech nugget: A wireless mouse (of today’s make) relies on a optical sensor and laser (either red, or infrared/invisible) to track your mouse movement. So, There is the older version of the Logitech G903 with the PMW3366 sensor (which is a great sensor, but very power hungry).
Then, there is also a newer G903 Mouse with Logitech’s new HERO sensor that is just as good in terms of tracking, but much more power efficient.
The problem is because of the very similar naming convention (And box design! As you can see above!) some sellers (especially Carousell ones) are “cheating” users.
Even the website design on Logitech Singapore’s Website looks far too similar (to my tastes) for both mouses. See below:
To me, the similarities in the naming of both products can easily become misleading as there is a very key difference between the older G903 with the PMW3366 sensor, and the one with the HERO sensor: And that is, the battery life. The older version with the PMW3365 sensor lasts for about 24 hours of continuous usage with the LED light on, and 32 Hours if the LED light is used.
Meanwhile the newer G903 with the HERO sensor lasts a WHOPPING 140 HOURS with lights on, and 190 Hours if the lights are off.
So if you really feel like buying a Logitech G903, HOLD your breath, Read the product descriptions and check out the fine print very carefully. Don’t be the next “swaku” that bought the older version – it’s not worth it.
I’ll also take this opportunity to voice my view about the very misleading situation: Personally, I’m quite pissed as I really got duped with Logitech’s strange naming convention. In August (when I happened to be looking for a new mouse, and bought this one), the HERO version was already released to reviewers for reviewing, but the actual product was not released to Singapore. And because of Logitech’s confusing naming, I bought the wrong version off Carousell. #DamnIt! So do take my mistakes as a learning opportunity – Don’t buy the wrong version too.
Anyway, back to reviewing this mouse – which so far, has been pretty good!
Source of product: Bought over Carousell, Brand new in Box from a person without receipt in July, who supposedly got it from Sim Lim Square. (I know it is brand new as I Personally unwrapped the plastic covering the box, and the contents were all new.) Take note that, understandably, the local Logitech distributor will not honour warranty for such products. However, what irks me is that Logitech FAILS to protect such products under warranty, even if using the production date as reference. So if you’re buying a used mouse, take note of this point too.
As stated earlier, my version of the G903 is the one with the PMW3366 Sensor. The specifications are :
- 11 (!) Buttons with on-board memory (to remember saved macros/key assignments) – The 11 Button count includes the 2 side buttons for the left and right respectively, the left, middle and right click, as well as the 2 “DPI Shift” buttons which are easy to access.
- Sensor: PMW3366 (A pretty old but well respected sensor)
- Resolution: 200 – 12,000 dpi
- Zero smoothing/acceleration/filtering
- 1000 reports per second (Although for daily work usage, i don’t feel a diffference, even when using the slowest response rate of 125 per second)
- POWERPLAY compatible – if you don’t mind paying about $150 for your wireless gaming mat
- LIGHTSYNC RGB: 2 zones (The G button and DPI Lights)
- Mechanical Button Tensioning System
- Weight: 110g (not exactly light, especially if you compare it to the Logtiech G Pro wireless). But the weight is definitely manageable, and the mouse never felt heavy in my usage
What you get in the box are: Apart from the obvious (the mouse, the Receiver and the instruction manual), Logitech also throws in a long cloth type USB Cable that seems quite flexible (Good if you intend to use this as a wired mouse), a extension adapter (so you can put the receiver as close to the mouse as possible). But there’s more…
See the small box with the “G” Logo above? Logitech also throws in a small accessories case with the optional 10 gram additional weight (if you prefer a heavier mouse), as well as optional side buttons which you can equip the mouse with. Alternatively, there are button covers to cover the left or right side buttons up, if you don’t like your mouse to have too many buttons.
These optional buttons may look like cheap plastic, but they magnetically snap on to the mouse very well and never dropped out accidentally from my mouse – Unless I accidentally dropped the mouse from a height (i.e. the table I’m working on).
All official purchases (with a valid receipt) will also have 2 years local warranty
Anyway, back to this mouse. Is it any good?
Personally I’d give it a 4/5.
My Use case:
I don’t game. As a busy Business Student, I have far too many projects and assignments to work on, and I like to streamline my workflow whenever it’s feasible to do so (so I can use my time to play more guitar XD). Before this mouse, I used a Logitech M585, and I liked the ability of being able to customize the 2 side buttons on the M585 to do the copy/paste function (this makes it easier for me to create notes), but I soon felt 2 customizable buttons wasn’t enough. I wanted more side buttons – So here comes the G903!
There are a few things I like about the G903 Lightspeed:
- The G903 has 2 side buttons on both sides, all of which are pretty accesible. There are 2 side buttons each on the left and right, All customizable by Logitech G Software. That was the main reason why I got this mouse for working on. When using it, I have easy access on 2 side buttons on the left, with the top right side button also within reach. I just need to move my hand a little to access the lower right side button. Awesome as now I can Copy, Paste, Take a screenshot etc all with a simple click of a mouse button.
- DPI is easy to “shift” up and down via the 2 small triangle buttons below the scroll wheel – which is Great as I love to use my mouse for work on HIGH DPI settings, but when others try to use my mouse, they usually can’t stand it (Even though I use it “only” at 1400-1800 dpi, it usually Moves around way too fast for many people’s liking). These DPI Shift buttons can also be customized to handle keyboard shortcuts too, except that I haven’t found an extra function to pair that with just yet
- The Infinite scrollwheel sounds like a silly thing to have, but once you get used to it, there’s no going back.Seriously, I thought the infinite scrollwheel was just another gimmick I wouldn’t use often – but trust me, once you get used to it, You can’t go back to a normal one. I have tried “going back” to a Logitech G Pro Wireless (More on my experience in another review), but I missed the infinite scroll very quickly. It really makes scrolling through reports and long spreadsheets that much easier.
- Programmable buttons with on board memory: You can save your controls on the mouse and it will work even when plugged into another computer without Logitech’s Software. Very useful as while it sounds basic, not every mouse can do that (the Logitech M585 can’t handle programmable buttons – You need Logitech Options software to do this). The only caveat is that you need to set this up this on board profile manually in the Logitech G Gaming Software, as the software does not automatically change the on-board memory when you customize the keys. The software prefers to keep these configurations native on your computer only by default.
What I Don’t like about this mouse
- The Battery life is not good– for me, it lasted about 4 days of normal usage for me with lights on 40% of the time (I use the Audio Visualizer at half brightness). Well, for a gaming mouse, that may be reasonable to some – but not to me as I’m used to the super long battery life of the Logitech M585 (It’s touted to have a 2 year battery life with a single AA battery – in fact, I haven’t changed the battery in those even after 8 months).
- The lower profile of the mouse needs some getting used to (at least, coming from a Logitech M585). In the first couple of weeks, I found this mouse very tiring to use as I was very used to the “higher” contour shape of the M585, so I ended up doing a claw grip on the mouse. I disliked the lower profile so much, that I ended up buying a G Pro Wireless (to consider switching to). However, I gave this thing a last chance, and after some adaptations on how I used the mouse (Simply by “tucking in” the mouse closer in to my palm), it’s actually pretty good!
- The sensor isn’t good at reflective surfaces like Glass. Perhaps a normal trait with most gaming mouse, the mouse just performs terribly on reflective surfaces like glass and shiny metal. So if you absolutely need to use this mouse on such surfaces, invest in a good mousemat, or avoid this mouse altogether.
- The lightshow just isn’t captivating enough. The Simple pulsing or flashing G Logo doesn’t quite cut it for me. Fortunately you can set the DPI lighting to light up as well in sync with the G logo, but it isn’t “the best” at being a flashy mouse.
I prefer the side lights and glowing scroll wheel of the Razer Lancehad and Mamba wireless – Personally the razer logo just seems to look better with glowing lights than the simple G logo on a logitech. So if you’re captivated by beautiful lights (and don’t need the infinite scroll function), Consider either Razer ones.
However, Overall the G903 Lightspeed works well for me. Once I got used to the mouse, I Quickly started to like the mouse most of the time – other than the fact that I could have better spent my money if I had been more careful when reading the G903 boxes to get the right mouse (i.e. the G903 with the Hero Sensor). With this mouse, I feel a little more productive – I can breeze through documents and research papers much more easily, and thanks to the customizable side buttons and infinite scroll, I get to breeze through documents quite quickly. So, I’d say it’s money well spent if you’re looking for a mouse to increase your productivity.
Pricing and Availability:
The G903 Lightspeed (with the PMW3366 sensor) is mostly being phased out, BUT you can get it from Hachi.Tech for just $149. It’s RRP is $249. However, even at the offer price, I’d recommend topping up and buy the HERO version. Because the battery life upgrade on the HERO Version is simply too good to ignore…plus, one more reason:
Most of the online community would tell you to Beware and avoid the G903 Lightspeed (with the PMW3366 Sensor) like a plaque – Many people that have been using the older version of the G903 Lightspeed have voiced that they encounter a problem of unintentional double-clicks, within less than a year of usage. Just google “Logitech G903 Double clicking” and you’d be flooded with many complaints. Basically, when affected users are doing a single left-click with their G903 mouse, the G903 mouse would register it as a double click. Too many have complained that even after going through the warranty process to get a new mouse, the new mouse eventually suffers from the same double-clicking problems.
While I have not faced this issue in the past 4-5 months of usage, This has been a big concern for me since I Don’t have a warranty for this mouse (I can’t get the original receipt from my seller), and Logitech Support would not honour warranty on devices without a valid receipt. Which means if my mouse starts double clicking, I’ll have to put on my engineer hat and try to fix it with aftermarket switches (i.e. replacement buttons for the left/right click). I’m so concerned that I have already bought the parts so I can fix mine immediately when this happens….
Thus, if you plan on getting the Logitech G903, just top up and get yourself the HERO sensor version. I’d expect that Logitech would have fixed this problem with the newer model.