I usually have a Microsoft Bluetooth mouse connected to my Surface Pro 4, and it’s frustrating how much I have to shake it to get it to connect and start things up. Must wireless mouses necessarily be slow? Indeed, not, as demonstrated by the Logitech G703 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse
Clearly Logitech keeps its gaming devices and productivity devices as entirely separate things, even though the gadgets often perform the same basic function. If you go to Logitech website you’ll search for the G703 in vain if you look under mouses. You’ll have to click on the Logitech G logo at the top left to get to the gaming site, and there you’ll find the fancy gaming keyboards, headsets and, of course, mice.
The G703 is second from the top of the Logitech gaming heap. As the name indicates, it’s wireless. But it’s also wired. That’s because it is powered in a very different way to most wireless mouses. Two very different ways.
Wireless mouses typically just use a regular disposable AA battery for power and often compete on the basis of how long it will last – often more than a year. The G703 uses a modest rechargeable battery. The Logitech Gaming Software app gives an estimation of how long it will last. That depends on the settings, as we’ll see. It is certainly not more than a year, nor a month, nor even a week. But more than enough for a gaming session.
You see, the trick here is that it comes with a detachable cable – it’s a nice, cloth bound one and at 1.83 metres, a decent length. There’s USB at one end and Micro-B USB at the other. The Micro-B end has a kind of stabilising spade around it. When it’s plugged into the mouse, it moves very little.
You can use the mouse like that, plugged into the computer as though it were wired. It’s flexible and fast that way. Or you can use it that way for an hour or two until its charged up, then pull the plug. You leave the computer end plugged in, and plug the Micro-B USB end into the included Micro-B USB adaptor, into the other end of which you’ve plugged the tiny Logitech USB adaptor, which is of course also included.
That adaptor looks like a standard Logitech “Unifying” adaptor, but appears to use different technology in order to ensure the higher speed introduced with Logitech’s G900 Chaos Spectrum mouse. It’s rated at a 1ms report rate. That is, it can track at a thousand times a second.
But back to power. The other way of using it makes it permanently wireless, never having to be plugged in. For that you’ll need to buy the Logitech PowerPlay Wireless Charging System. This is a 321 by 344mm mouse pad which wirelessly charges compatible mice in use on its surface. Only the G703 and the more expensive G903 mice work with it. That’ll cost you $199.95. But it provides both an optimised gaming surface and freedom from ever charging (or putting batteries in) your mouse.
In addition to the standard left and right buttons and scroll wheel (which is also pressable, of course), there’s a small button on top just aft of the scroll wheel and two more on the left side. Apart from the left and right buttons, they can all be assigned to other functions, from a range of mouse functions, keystrokes or even multiple keystrokes via the keystroke recorder. Amongst the mouse functions are the kinds of things you might expect, like scrolling or replicating the standard clicks, things seemingly unrelated but convenient like changing the sound volume or playing and pausing, and very mouse specific things such as shifting the dots per inch resolution of the mouse, or switching between the three sensitivity, report rate and button assignment profiles you can use.
Also, if you aren’t a fan of extra buttons, you can just make the ones you don’t want “Unassigned” so that they do nothing.
All those things, along with the lighting in the scroll bar and Logitech “G” logo (you can choose the colour), the dots per inch sensitivity level and the “report rate” – the number of times per second the mouse reports its status to the computer – are adjusted using the Logitech Gaming Software. That’s the same software that you use for Logitech’s gaming keyboards, Brio webcam and headsets. It brings up relevant control pages for all detected compatible Logitech equipment.
I’ve got to say that this alone provides a fairly strong impetus for going with this one brand for as much as possible. It’s powerful software, fairly consistent across functions, and doesn’t seem to interfere with anything else.