Logitech G603 and G613 – LIGHTSPEED wireless mouse and mechanical keyboard (review)

Logitech G series is for serious gamers and others, like me, who understand that gaming technology, especially mechanical key switches and Hero optical mice sensors, can add a new productivity dimension to office work too.

Logitech’s new Lightspeed G603 mouse and G613 keyboard thoroughly dispel the myth that wireless input devices are too slow for gaming. I venture that they are not only technically brilliant but offer more flexibility than the corded variety.

The days of dirty mouse balls, overly sensitive laser sensors and recently better optical sensors are now outclassed by Logitech’s new 4th generation Hero Sensor. In short, it uses IR LED technology via two focused lenses to deliver accurate and consistent performance across the entire DPI range, with zero smoothing, filtering or pixel rounding from 200 to 12,000 DPI. It will flawlessly track at up to 408.9 inches per second and 40G acceleration.

It is approximately three times more efficient and four times faster than a comparable optical sensor. Put another way it is ten times more sensitive than your average laser mouse. It also allows for better energy management – 500 hours of non-stop gaming (Hi mode) or up to 1400 hours business use (Lo mode) on two AA batteries.

While the mouse design favours right-handed use, it is very comfortable for a leftie too. The six programmable buttons including on-the-fly DPI shifting through up to five sensitivity settings. LGS allows configuration of macros, sequences of clicks and keystrokes to simplify in-game actions and quickly execute complex tasks. Onboard memory records the parameters for further use.

In office use (Lo) is was great – no mouse mat required even on glass – and programmable buttons allow you to assign apps to them.

In gaming mode (Hi) it was brilliantly fast bettering a Steel Series corded mouse in critical areas such as precision and response.

Roamer-G mechanical switches beat the hell out of membrane key switches (G613)

Until recently Cherry had the mechanical key switch market to itself making Black, Red, Blue and Brown versions (and all sorts of variations) – let me explain

  • Black is a full linear 60g key press – needs more force and a full 4mm press to actuate. Great for thumping gamers and ham-fisted typists who want to press the key down fully to avoid accidental key presses. It produces an audible click.
  • Red is a full linear 45g – but uses less force to get there. No tactile bump. No click.
  • Brown has a two-stage 45g keypress – designed for typing and gaming with a soft tactile bump at mid-stroke meaning you only need to press half way (2mm) to activate. It is the quietest of the four types – no audible click.
  • Blue has a two-stage 55g press – as per Brown (2mm), and an audible click.

Mechanical key switches are not cheap – let’s just say that the cost is around $1.50 each and you need up to 104 per keyboard hence the high cost compared to a membrane at a few cents.

Logitech claims its Roamer-G switches, developed in its lab in Lausanne Switzerland, offer 25% faster actuation than Cherry MX Brown. That is because it has a 1.5mm throw and 45g actuation pressure and as a journalist, not a gamer, it blows the MX-brown out of the water for typing speed and comfort.

They are designed for 70 million presses (MX is 50 million) and at an average of five characters per word that means 14,000,000 words or around 14,000 typical Gadget Guy articles! Considering that I used to wear out three to four membrane keyboards each year, you can see why durable and robust mechanical keyboards are so important to gamers and typists. I suspect this keyboard will outlast me!

My opinion – I think Cherry MX set the standard and Roamer-G takes that to greater heights, hell it is a quantum leap.

Lightspeed – the key to lag-free performance

Lightspeed refers to the secret “end to end” technology that gets lag – key press or mouse movement delay – to below 1ms. You need to use the supplied USB dongle and enable Lightspeed instead of Bluetooth. So far it supports the G613 keyboard and the new G603/703/903 wireless mice.

The app – Logitech Gaming Software Windows only

It is a 117.3MB download, so you expect it to do a lot – and it does.

You can program the extra column of G keys and define parameters for the Game Mode (which disables specific keys during gameplay). It also sets up unique profiles for each game you play. Since there is no backlighting, setting up individual profiles isn’t that vital, but if you use a lot of games that require different macros, it can be useful.

A gamer comments

“I punish mice and keyboards and have been using mechanical corded ones for years. This Lightspeed wireless is not a gimmick – it is very fast and responsive.

The larger keyboard gives me the flexibility to play sitting on a couch in front of a big screen. The Roamer-G keys are good – a nice feel and not as hard as the MX Black I use but I miss the distinct click. Its heavy but comfortable. I could see myself being better with this.

I like the Game Mode toggle switch. Slide it to the right to activate Game Mode, which disables the Windows, Menu, and FN keys to prevent interruptions when you strike the wrong key during full-on gaming.

The mouse is excellent and not an ugly monster like so many other gaming mice. My only issue was that it exhibited a small lift error (when you lift the mouse off the surface) but nothing to worry about.”

Specifications – Logitech G603 mouse

  • Comfortable for left or right-handed use
  • Amazing speed – Lightspeed
  • Very precise without being “finicky” or skipping
  • Long life – PTFE (Teflon) sliders rated for 250 km and buttons for 20 million presses
  • Weight: 137.5g
  • Windows, Mac, Chrome and Android
  • Hi mode needs Lightspeed USB dongle, and Lo mode can use Bluetooth or the dongle

Pros – G603 Mouse

  • Nice feel
  • Delivers all it promises

Cons

  • None really – perhaps a little heavy

Price:

$129.95 from EB Games

Specifications – Logitech G613 mechanical keyboard

  • LIGHTSPEED sub 1ms via the USB receiver
  • Bluetooth for office use
  • Supports Windows, MacOS, Android and Chrome
  • Roamer-G mechanical key switches rated for 70 million key presses
  • Actuation distance: 1.5mm
  • Total keypress distance: 3mm
  • Actuation force: 45g
  • Dimensions/Weight: 478 (W) x 216 (D) x 33m (height) x 1.46kg
  • Battery: 2 x AA for up to 18 months use
  • Download: LGS software for Lightspeed only

Pros – G613 keyboard

  • Wireless is as fast as wired – no lag
  • One of the best productivity (typing) keyboards too with full Qwerty layout, separate numeric keypad, Windows key, and full complement of function and page control keys
  • Roamer G mechanical keys are a delight to use
  • Additional six programmable G keys and discrete multimedia control keys
  • Up to 18 months on 2 AA batteries
  • Love the integrated palm rest
  • Logitech quality – built to last

Cons

  • Very big and heavy
  • Not backlit – no bling!
  • Fairly sombre black colour

Price: $169.95 but shop around and you could save about 20%.

Summary

Logitech has proven that wireless Lightspeed mice and mechanical keyboards are up to the gamers high expectations. These products are outstanding in an office as well.

If you are interested in a corded Logitech G610 mechanical keyboard, read the review here.

Rating

Overall: out 5
Features: 5 out of 5 – dedicated programmable keys are
Value for money: 4 out of 5 – I can see where the money goes
Performance: 5 out of 5 – Lightspeed gives <1ms lag
Ease of use: 5 out of 5 – plug and play, easy software customisation
Design: 4 out of 5 – well-made and durable

Price

G603 – $129.95
G613 – $169.95 – value for what you get.

Sold mainly via dedicated games shops like EB Games.