Pros: Latency is excellent for a wireless mouse, Build quality is top-notch, Battery life is amazing, No prediction or acceleration
Cons: Malfunction speeds leave a lot to be desired, Shape can get uncomfortable over extended periods of gaming, Extremely heavy even with one battery
The Logitech G602 is a fascinating mouse. In this modern day of gaudy, LED-filled gaming peripherals, its more subtle design and lack of focus on obscenely high DPI counts is both surprising and refreshing. Back when I had a small desk, I was attracted to the idea of a wireless mouse, as I had very little space to work with and most wired mice I had used with said desk would get in the way. Since I had a Best Buy gift card at the time, I was able to grab the G602 for the low price of 2.00. For that price, I'm more than content with the product I received, but would the story be different if I had paid full price? Well, let's get into it.
SHAPE, BUILD QUALITY, AND FEATURES
When you first unbox the G602, you'll receive the mouse (duh), documentation, two AA batteries, a wireless receiver, and a USB extender.
The mouse itself looks very nice. The While not as subtle as your average office mouse, it's far more understated than most gaming mice on the market today. It features six "G-Keys" on the side and two on the left mouse button, which can be programmed to suit a variety of functions, such as on-the-fly DPI shifting, keyboard commands, and more. Personally, I found the side buttons to be far more useful for web browsing than in games. I was able to bind forward/back, refresh, Alt+Tab, and Printscreen to them without issue. In-game, the most I used was one button for push-to-talk. The first four buttons were easy to get to with the grip I use, but the two in the back were much more difficult to reach. It never became a chore for me, but I can imagine it being a bit of an issue for players who would like to use them in-game, though your grip style may affect this. I also found the two keys on the left mouse button to be useless for games. Taking my finger off the left mouse button to push them felt more like a hindrance than help. That said, they were fine for casual desktop use when bound to certain functions.
As for the USB extender, I have a theory as to why it was included in the package. Wireless mice, in general, will lose tracking at short distances and tracking performance could become erratic as the mouse gets farther from the receiver. I would imagine that the extender fixes these issues by allowing you to put the receiver closer to your mouse, thus eliminating any issues with distance. For the six or so months I used the mouse, I always had the receiver in the extender and placed on the desk. It performed well and without issue.
Two switches can be found on the top and underside of the product. The top switch allows you to toggle between "performance" and "endurance" mode. The only differences between these modes is that "performance mode," indicated by a blue LED, will allow you to change your latency from 125hz to 250 or 500hz via the software driver available on Logitech's website. "Endurance" mode, indicated by a green LED, locks the mouse at 125hz to save battery life. With both batteries installed, Logitech claims that "performance" mode gives you 250 hours of continuous use, while "endurance" gives you 1440 hours of continuous use. While I can't attest to this 100%, I will say I've only had to change the batteries in the mouse once during the three months I've had it, so I don't have much reason to assume they're lying. Keep in mind that, while this is very impressive for a gaming mouse, you cannot use this mouse in wired mode or recharge it. You'll have to use rechargeable AAs if you want to recharge the batteries.
Now for the shape. Easily the most disappointing aspect of the G602 for me is its shape - which is almost perfect. My hands aren't massive, but my fingers are very long, so finding a mouse that I could grip comfortably without having my fingers hang of the edge of the primary buttons has been an issue for me. With the G602, I find that my fingers still hang over the edges, but to a much lesser degree than with most other mice. The thumb rest annoyed me as well, as I like to keep my thumb on the mousepad for better control. I also found the G602 to be an extremely heavy mouse, weighing in at 152g with both batteries installed. While you can take one of the batteries out, this causes uneven weight distribution, which bothered me even more than the increased weight with both batteries in. It also cuts battery life in half, so I ended up leaving both batteries in. But the worst part about the mouse chassis for me wasn't the shape - it was the material. There's a very rough coating Logitech used for the sides of the mouse, which I found to occasionally wear at my skin and cause discomfort during long sessions of Counter-Strike. It wasn't an issue while casually browsing, but was very noticeable in-game.
I would be lying if I said the shape was completely awful, though. One of my favorite design choices Logitech made for the G602 was to make the right mouse button longer than the left. Since both my middle and ring finger are longer than my index finger (as I would assume is the case for most folks), I was able to more comfortable place my fingers on the buttons. As I mentioned earlier, this mouse doesn't cause my fingers to hang off the edges of the primary buttons as much as other mice, and I firmly believe this is the reason why. The rubbery material where my palm rests on the back end of the mouse is very comfortable as well and didn't cause my hand to slip from sweat buildup. In addition, the left and right mouse buttons are separated from the rest of the body, which made them feel much better than mice with the buttons attached to the top part of the chassis. Since grip is very much a subjective matter, I would urge those interested to try it for themselves. I can see it working very well for a lot of people.
Another plus about the G602 is Logitech's gaming software. It's lightweight and offers lots of options for customizing your mouse, such as binding macros and other functions to the buttons and giving notifications about battery life. It also tells whether your mouse is set to "performance" or "endurance" mode.
From the main screen, pictured above, you can set the mouse to operate with settings saved to the internal memory or to use profiles stored on the computer. If you frequently travel with your mouse or prefer to uninstall the driver after configuration, this should prove useful. When operating off of internal memory, the customization options are a bit more limited than when set to the mode allowing the mouse to use profiles on your PC or Mac.
In internal memory mode, you can set functions to the buttons and customize your DPI, but only in increments of 250. You can also switch acceleration on or off. But when you switch to profiles stored on the computer, things become a bit more interesting. You can adjust the DPI in increments of 50 instead of 250 and have the software scan for games installed on your computer, and when you launch one, the software will automatically switch to the profile set to that specific game. If the scanner doesn't detect one of your games, you can add the program to a manually created profile, which will serve the same purpose as the pre-made Logitech profiles. This allows you to create multiple configurations for all your games and not have to use up a button for switching between them. A separate window has been devoted to this. Since the internal memory mode doesn't allow for such functionality, there are only two windows within the software for customization in that mode in comparison.
I have hesitation in saying that the G602 is the best wireless gaming mouse on the market. Many folks claim this to be true, as the sensor features zero hardware acceleration and works far better on cloth surfaces. Just about every other wireless gaming mouse available at the moment uses laser illuminated sensors, which are far more picky about the surface they use and have slight hardware acceleration that cannot be turned off or disabled. That sounds pretty bad to a lot of folks, so why would I hesitate in calling the G602 the best wireless gaming mouse you can buy? Well, the perfect control speed of the sensor used in the G602 (known as AM010) is incredibly low. So low, in fact, that I made it malfunction multiple times in-game and even a few times while browsing the net. While Entous is not the most accurate representation of sensor performance, it shows results that match this claim:
Steelseries QcK Test
Steelseries 4HD Test
While I do agree that the perfect tracking speeds seemed lower on the 4HD, it's worth noting that the cursor doesn't go as crazy when the malfunction speed is reached on the 4HD as opposed to the QcK. On the QcK, my cursor would fly all over the place when I exeeded the perfect tracking speed, but on the 4HD, it seemed to jitter slightly and then stop dead in its tracks. This is why I feel as though other wireless gaming mice utilizing laser technology could be preferred to the G602 by some users. Neither the G602's AM010 implementation, nor the A9500 and A9800s in other mice are perfect, but you'll get far better perfect tracking speeds on the laser mice. If you use a high sensitivity, this won't be an issue for you. But for low-sensitivity gamers, you'll have to trade low perfect tracking for acceleration or vice-versa. At the end of the day, it's up to the buyer which sensor will be more tolerable for him/her. This goes for mousepads as well. One pad didn't perform better than the other in my test, so I'd simply recommend pairing the G602 the one that you feel is best. Personally, I'd choose a laser over this implementation of the AM010 for gaming, as the frequent malfunctions caused by the sensor are far more unbearable than acceleration for me.
Not all is lost, however. There are some very good things to speak of regarding the overall performance. The polling rate seemed to be relatively stable and on-par with most wired mice at the same settings. Cursor feel is good. I don't really like to touch on things like Frame-Implicated Delay (smoothing) because due to lack of testing methods and software, there's no way to objectively prove my opinion of the way the sensor feels. It's truly one of the most controversial topics surrounding mice right now. All I can say is that, when it's not malfunctioning, the G602's implementation of the AM010 feels fine to me. No crippling prediction, excessive lag, or intrusive hardware acceleration is present. The paint tests also showed good results. Tracking felt very consistent on almost every DPI step. Jitter is noticeable at 2500DPI on the QcK, but the 4HD seemed to do much better and tracked almost identically at every DPI step.
The Logitech G602 is a very..."okay" as a mouse designed for gaming. The sensor performance is "okay," the shape is "okay," and the features are "okay." But that's what bothers me about the G602. It seems like Logitech tried to hit every single demographic by cramming as many things as they could onto the mouse. Side buttons for the MMO crowd, stable wireless performance and long battery life for the wireless fans, and an acceleration-free sensor for the FPS players. But by not focusing on one demographic and trying to appeal to everyone, the G602 ends up as a jack of all trades and master of none. It makes me wonder how the G602 would have turned out if it was designed differently. So who is this mouse for, anyways?
Surprisingly, I think it's best as an MX Performance Mouse successor.
I mentioned earlier in the review that I found the G-Keys on the sides and top of the mouse extremely useful for web browsing and general desktop tasks. That, to me, is where the strength of the G602 lies. It's sensor isn't good enough for low-sensitivity FPS gaming, and it may not have enough side buttons for some MMO gamers, but being able to lower DPI on-the-fly and program lots of commands to the side buttons could be a major plus for folks who work in Photoshop or similar programs. The MX Performance Mouse offered this kind of functionality as well via SetPoint. With an ergonomic shape and extensive customization, the G602 feels like the natural evolution of the MX Performance Mouse, and I would highly recommend it to folks who would find use in it's myriad customization and large amount of buttons. I'd also recommend it to high-sensitivity gamers who want zero hardware acceleration and wireless functionality. Personally, I've replaced the G602 with a Steelseries Rival on my desktop, but continue to use and enjoy it on my laptop. So while the G602 may be just "okay" for gaming, its incredible for nearly everything else.