Just Delivered: Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum Wireless Ambidextrous Mouse

Subject: General Tech | March 24, 2016 - 03:00 AM |
Tagged: wireless, mouse, logitech g, logitech, g900, chaos spectrum

While attending GDC last week and catching up on the world of VR that will be in our laps this spring and summer, I spent some time with Logitech to learn about the company's latest in gaming hardware. We already told you about the G610 keyboards using Cherry keyswitches but today Logitech is revealing a brand new wireless gaming mouse. 

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First, I know that a lot of gamers, both those in the professional spaces and those that strive to that level of competition, are going to have concerns about this being a wireless mouse. Logitech believes and has convincing evidence that they have built the best and fastest wireless implementation of any option on the market today. I'll go over some of their testing below, but first let's dive into the mouse itself.

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Much to the delight of left handed users and anyone looking for a ambidextrous mouse, the G900 Chaos Spectrum is built for you! The design is balanced on both sides and even has a unique button configuration to permit thumb use for both lefties and righties. I have been mousing with it for the last three days, and as a right handed user, am completely comfortable with the design. As the name implies, the G logo on the mouse is completely controllable with RGB LEDs through the Logitech Gaming Software suite.

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On the bottom of the G900 you'll find the on/off switch and sync button. Logitech tells us that you will be able to get at least 24 hours of continuous use out of a single charge of the mouse, 32 hours if you turn off lighting, and charge time is going to be around 2 hours. That's actually very good battery life for a high performance sensor like the PMW3366!

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On the front is a micro USB port used for charging, which I'll touch on in a minute. The buttons on the G900 are unique as well, using a new mechanical pivot button design. Logitech claims they were built for "crisp, clean clicks". With the pivot point moved back towards the center of the mouse, engineers were able to reduce the travel distances between the buttons and switches and keep the amount of force required for the click to a minimum. 

Continue reading our first look at the Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum!!

The scroll wheel supports both notched and free spin and is very responsive...he says as he accidentally scrolls down his page while attempting to write this story.

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Along the back of the mouse you find an ample rear end capable of supporting your palm for long, comfortable gaming sessions. 

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The two buttons behind the scroll wheel and its accompanying speed switch set the DPI of the mouse on demand, with a set of three LEDs to indicate which setting you are on currently. 

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In the box with the G900 comes a set of interesting accessories, the first of which is a lengthy USB cable to go from your PC to your desk. It serves two purposes - it allows you to move the wireless receiver to your desk, closer to the mouse, but also allows you to plug the mouse in when the battery gets low.

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The arms on either side of the micro USB connector make this cable useless for most other devices but help guide and give support to the connection to the G900. This relieves stress on the connector when using the mouse while plugged in.

Speaking of that - when you plug it in, it actually becomes a wired mouse, showing up to the system as such. The LGS suite recognizes it immediately, applies the same embedded macros and settings, and you're off and gaming again within a couple of seconds. 

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Logitech includes a micro USB to full size USB adapter in the box as well, allowing you to plug in your G900 wireless receiver to the cable on the top of your desk when running in wireless mode. If the battery gets low you just disconnect the adapter and wireless dongle and plug that cable into your mouse - done.

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Another interesting feature to aid in the ambidextrous nature of the G900 is the ability to customize either side with buttons...or no buttons. Here you see the right side of my mouse with a plate that makes sure I don't accidentally activate any buttons on that side with my pinky. 

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But that cover is removeable, only held in by magnets, showing a pair of switches that can be used.

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And here I have installed two additional buttons labeled G6 and G7 that I can assign to any function in the LGS that I'd like. Logitech supplies two blank panels and four buttons, so you can choose to have NO side buttons, two or four. It's a pretty great addition for a mouse meant to cater to as many users as possible.

Wireless Performance

I promised you details on Logitech's claims of the G900 being the best wireless gaming mouse in the industry. Though we didn't do testing on this ourselves, Logitech has gone into great detail with both the competition and the testing methodology which leads me to believe they are prepared for any challenges from outside companies.

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The first claim to bat down: latency. Logitech claims that G900 in its wireless state has an average click latency of just 4.36 ms, which is actually BETTER than the wired latency of mice like the SteelSeries Rival 300 and the Death Adder Chroma.

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How is that possible? A combination of the controller logic, cycle rates and other parts of the hardware are at work, though Logitech wouldn't give me much more detail. They did tell me all testing was done with only the Windows driver installed, no custom suites from any any parties.

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Another test Logitech ran was on RF interference, measuring the accuracy of mouse movements with interference from Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and more. The mice were put on a jogger (think of a mouse wheel but for...mice) and the accuracy was compared.

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The G900 shows nearly identical runs from a wired state, to wireless without interference, to wireless with interference.

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One popular wireless competitor, the Razer Mamba 2015 does well in wired and wireless without interference modes, but once Logitech introduces outside signals that might be created by other devices in vicenity, things go awry. 

Initial Thoughts

I have only been able to spend a couple of days with the mouse, but so far I think the G900 lives up to its claims of being the best wireless gaming mouse on the market. It's light, easy to adjust and will offer an ambidextrous option that people have been pining at for some time.

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It's not cheap though - the G900 will retail for $149 when it goes on sale next week. That's competitive in the space but definitely not the low end of the spectrum. I plan on spending more time with Logitech's new Chaos Spectrum to come to a more thorough conclusion - stay tuned!

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March 24, 2016 | 07:54 AM - Posted by Chaitanya Shukla

I don't understand why these manufacturers still insist on using that micro USB connector. Also basically it seems like LogiCrap copied Roccat's concept of buttons being customizable to users taste. Also that 150$ price tag is too high for Logicrap device.

March 24, 2016 | 10:46 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

What would you use rather than the micro USB? I think the idea is that you will always have access to that cable should you need to charge in an emergency. It's why not many phones have switched to Type-C yet.

March 24, 2016 | 11:23 AM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

Type-C would've definitely been the way to go, the main gripe about all of these wireless Logitech devices like mice and headphones is trying to plug in the micro-USB to charge them.

At least with the mice, they connectors are angled/stylized enough to make it a no-brainer, but a much more elegant solution would've been to have a charging cradle, magnetized or USB-C solution.

Such a shame, they basically kept the status quo with a wired tether charger and didn't even bother with upgrading to Type-C. Sure they can say not enough cables, but even the included micro USB is so proprietary/stylized its enough to want to always have the cable with the mouse.

In a year or two, this mouse is going to look awfully dated, I guess that's when we get the G900s?

March 24, 2016 | 12:23 PM - Posted by Chaitanya Shukla

MicroUSB connector is far too fragile for long use. either the connector breaks or its gets weak to the point that it start loosing contacts with cable. I know USB Type C has its issues(faulty cables) but from future proofing point of view USB type C would have been a better choice. Also if I ever get a wireless mouse it would much rather be a Mionix Concept PX which has inductive charging. I dont why its not released yet but atleast they were innovating unlike this thing of the past.
http://mionix.net/concepts/concept-px/

March 24, 2016 | 02:36 PM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

Logitech implemented support arms on the side of the connector to avoid that concern.

March 25, 2016 | 01:32 PM - Posted by Chaitanya Shukla

Still those "support arms" won't help if the actual connector on the mouse itself is loose. Right now I have old Samsung phone which uses micro USB and the connector is loose to the point that while charging now it simply doesnt complete the connection without some fiddling about. Another thing like many others have mentioned this mouse doesnt have a user replaceable battery which means when the battery goes bad(if users can spot a bad battery venting gas which eventually leads to explosion or fire) then it will have to be sent to service centre. And from my last 12 years of experience with this brand, the staff at their service centre can be summed up in following words: Arrogant, irresponsible fuctard Conmen. I have been reading similar complaints regarding service of LogiCrap from US which means those 150$ spent on the mouse are going to go down the drain after few months of double clicking.

February 17, 2017 | 08:56 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

Clueless because the arms on the port stop it getting loose in the first place.
Misinformed because the battery IS user replaceable if you have got some skill.
Drama queen about venting gas and explosions.

March 27, 2016 | 12:48 PM - Posted by Penteract (not verified)

You know,, Corsair has a reputation for reliability but I've has 4 out of 4 of their devices fail on me. Logitech, on the other hand, has produced more devices I've used over the last 2 decades that work well and are reliable.

March 24, 2016 | 10:13 AM - Posted by Warmon6 (not verified)

Hmm..... just seams like my Logitech G700s...

just slightly higher DPI sensor, rbg lights, you can use it in both hands, and a much, much higher price.

Beyond that, it the same...

Wireless and Wire data connection, rechargeable while on wire, programmable macros, ect...

The one big negative in my book is the fact there isn't a replaceable battery. Something I do like im my G700s as I could swap out to a higher capacity rechargeable battery if I wanted to.

March 24, 2016 | 10:47 AM - Posted by Ryan Shrout

I kind of agree there - would have liked to see a replaceable battery. But you'd have to make design changes for it, obviously. 

But I do think the better sensor, RGB, ambidextrous-ness of the mouse makes it quite different than the G700s.

March 24, 2016 | 08:29 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I have a G700, and being able to inexpensively replace the battery is a nice feature. Having a wireless mouse won't do you much good if the thing stops holding a charge. Not that that's a common problem with most devices.

March 25, 2016 | 12:01 PM - Posted by LogitechG_Chris

NiMH batteries are much heavier than LiPol with similar capacity and have a much less linear discharge curve, making reading remaining charge much less accurate. So in the interest of light weight and accurate battery readings, we went with LiPol. Given that the warranty is 2 years and typical users will charge once a week, it was determined to be a much better overall experience.

Also, I'm required by company policy to identify myself as a Logitech employee, which is kind of odd when I'm replying to someone I know and who should be able to verify my identity via the account's email address.

March 24, 2016 | 11:34 AM - Posted by chizow (not verified)

G900 looks like an attempt to go back to their wireless gaming glory days, MX700 and G7, which it looks like in terms of form and probably feel.

But it seems to go backwards in a lot of ways as well. I don't really understand why companies will compromise their designs so much for that 10% of the world's population that are left-handed...

Other companies have done a much better job of managing ambidextrous users, like G.Skill of all companies with a mouse that allows you to replace entire 1/3rd wings of the mouse to give you landing spots for your ring/pinky and shorter side for the thumb. You can also control the width of the wing as well.

Also, that middle section seems super busy and generally those keys are hard to access. You effectively lose 2 keys at the index finger compared go the awesome G502 and even previous Logitech mice I've mentioned like the MX700 and G7.

I guess at the end of the day with peripherals like these, there is no perfect design to please everyone, but this mouse is so much disappointment imo. A wireless version of the G502 would've been the closest thing to perfection for me right now, and the G900 is certainly far from that.

A charging cradle would also be nice on their premium devices like mice and headsets, because in the end its just too cumbersome to plug/unplug the mouse so I just use them wired, which is why I use the G502 now with a mouse bungie.

March 24, 2016 | 08:33 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

The G700/G700s is pretty much a wireless G502. I agree wholeheartedly about the ambidextrous design. Why would you pay such a high premium for a mouse that doesn't fit like a glove? It doesn't make sense.

Is the grip good enough?

Yes, but you can say that about most mice, and most of those aren't $150.00 MSRP.

March 26, 2016 | 01:59 PM - Posted by Chizow (not verified)

Having owned both the G700 and G502 I disagree, the mice feel very different in the hand where the G700 has a more aggressive slope more suitable for claw grippers while the g502 is flatter and feels more like the G9 which is more friendly to both claw and palm grippers.

The thumb buttons are also vastly better on the g502 and even the rmb and lmb buttons with their angled buttons are much better than the flush buttons on the G700. Actually all the buttons are vastly better with a mechanical click rather than a spongy feel.

Basically the g502 is an upgrade over the g700 in every way except wireless capability, so obviously the g700 isn't just a wireless g502.

March 24, 2016 | 11:37 AM - Posted by Dr_Orgo

I would be interested in seeing tests of the click latency. I think AnandTech had some detailed latency testing for mice a while ago. The Logitech conducted comparison tests can't be trusted on their own for obvious reasons. Their results probably are correct, but it makes sense to verify them.

Wired vs wireless. Wired mice are just better for a stationary PC. A properly setup wired mouse has very very little drag from the cable while still having a wide movement range. The lack of battery makes them lighter. They also never need to be charged, ever. I'm not against Logitech making a wireless mouse, but wired will continue to be better until battery tech advances significantly.

March 24, 2016 | 12:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

All of the mouse companies are obviously trying to come up with unique brand styling, but that's such a highly subjective field that I wish they'd stop. Personally I think this mouse is hideous. Naturally there's bound to be someone out there who is attracted by the looks, but if Logitech just made a normal looking mouse as they used to we could both be interested.

March 24, 2016 | 12:54 PM - Posted by Geoff Peterson (not verified)

I'm about due for a new mouse as my G700 is wearing out. I'm not sure this is the answer though. The build quality of mice is so poor by all manufacturers it seems. I guess these things are built to be disposable.

March 24, 2016 | 05:12 PM - Posted by Esso (not verified)

Thanks for the showcase Ryan!

I miss the button from the MX 500/510 days that is above the scroll wheel. All these buttons behind the scroll wheel don't work for my regular, human fingers... insert humorous meme for illustration. I'm sure part of the reason to have them there is so that they are not easily hit should they be used for DPI adjustment, but it's not my thing, I'm too old for that jazz.

Shoutout to the Roccat Kone+ for including said button as well.

March 24, 2016 | 06:26 PM - Posted by razor512

Where do you go for replacement batteries?
Li-ion batteries have a limited set of charge cycles before they become completely unreliable, furthermore, they also lose capacity with each charge cycle.

March 24, 2016 | 08:25 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

I'd be down for a right handed version.

March 25, 2016 | 03:49 PM - Posted by Master Chen (not verified)

1. Mionix Naos 7000.
2. I won.
3. No, your "argument" is NOT valid anymore.

March 26, 2016 | 01:31 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

FINALLY! An ambidextrous gaming mouse with free spin mouse wheel.

March 26, 2016 | 09:04 PM - Posted by Anonymous (not verified)

This is an excellent native ad. Great work Ryan. Well executed. I'm sure most people didn't suspect a thing. In the future though, try using fewer exclamation points. You went a bit overboard.

I also liked how you gently engaged the first few critical comments; subtly defending the product while at the same time not directly disparaging the commenters, then disengaging knowing that most people don't read past the first few comments.

March 27, 2016 | 06:24 PM - Posted by DaKrawnik

You should know the difference between a quick look and a review by now.

March 27, 2016 | 06:21 PM - Posted by DaKrawnik

Here's a demo of the mouse in action:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EYKlyK4UIec

July 26, 2016 | 12:22 PM - Posted by Eugene (not verified)

i just found that Logitech released new mouse g900 and decided to compare it to my g700s.

my current G700s is the third Logitech mouse and it is the third because no alternatives to me more over im pretty happy with the quality.

so, i have pretty big palm 19-20 cm.
before the g700s i had Logitech MX revolution, was using it for years until my charging dock stopped connecting well to the mouse and actually it is inconvenient to stop playing or working when you need charge it, but its ok, old mouse old dock but one day i realized that now i have to charge it twice per day or in case of gaming few times per day ...

so i call the local logitech official service with the request to change the built-in accumulator, then i asked the official online service on their site and in both cases i was told that mouse is outdated and older than 3 years so they dont have any accums for it anymore ...

so when i saw g700s i fall in love.
1) it is BIG as i need for my palm (no alternatives from widely available brands in retail, but for kind of exotic im not ready to pay 30+ usd for just delivery of mouse )
2) it can be charged by the wire without docks
3) it has standard replaceable battery !!! this mouse could live longer than just 3 years warranty ...
4) its pretty heavy as i love, i love to feel the mouse in my hand.

after i saw g900 i was unpleasantly surprised. g900 in my opinion is a step back from g700s.
1) again built in accumulator ?!!! i will never return to this, no ways
2) where is buttons ? this is still gaming mouse or it is to work in ms word ?

i read here that micro-usb not reliable ... i dont know im using it for over 3 years, every day, 10 hrs per day, so im charging it minimum once in 2 days, everything is good ... actually ive changed 3 usb cables, but inside mouse connector is good.

next thing is about DPI ... 8,200 not enough ? you need 12,000 ? are you kidding ? what are you playing in ? i was never using more than 4,000

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