The Logitech G604 ($100) brings back a lot of memories for me. Back on March 3, 2014, my Logitech G600 review went live on Tom's Guide, marking the very first time I ever reviewed a gaming mouse. And looking back, it's pretty incredible to see how far the industry has come in five years.
From a wired model chock-full of more buttons than the average gamer could use, we now have a wireless peripheral with a textured palm rest, two kinds of connectivity and a month of uptime from a single AA battery. (We also had the Logitech G602 in the interim, to which the G604 bears more than a passing resemblance.) Gaming mice have come a long way, and comparing the G604 to the G600 presents a great distillation of how and why.
The mouse isn't perfect, of course: A $100 mouse should probably have RGB lighting and a rechargeable battery, and the thumb buttons require a fairly involved learning curve to use correctly. But if you play massively-multiplayer online (MMOs), multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) games or other genres where you need a ton of commands at the tip of your thumb, the G604 is one of your better options.
The basic design of the G604 hasn't changed that much since the G602. It's still an ergonomic right-handed mouse, with a protruding thumb rest and six small thumb buttons. Now, however, you get an all-black chassis with textured rests for your palm and thumb. Two buttons next to the left-click adjust dots-per-inch (DPI) sensitivity up and down, and the scroll wheel clicks in three directions. There are also two buttons in the center that adjust scroll wheel tension and wireless connectivity. (You can switch between a USB dongle and Bluetooth.)
Otherwise, the mouse is still comfortable to hold, and perhaps a little friendlier to claw-grip players than to their palm-grip counterparts. The thumb buttons are also much better than before, with easy-to-click protrusions rather than tiny prisms. Differentiating the buttons, even without looking, is pretty easy, which is good for players in the midst of a demanding skill rotation.
One major difference between the G602 and the G604 is that the latter can connect via both USB dongle and Bluetooth. What's more: You can switch between the two with a single button press. This means that you can connect the G604 to your gaming rig via USB, then instantaneously switch over to a Bluetooth connection for a laptop or mobile device.
Furthermore, the G604's battery life is much longer via Bluetooth, so you could even switch back-and-forth between the two for productivity and gaming if you really want to maximize your charge.
Beyond that, the G604 runs on Logitech's G Hub software, which continues to be a robust service. Since the device has no RGB lighting, the majority of options involve DPI settings (maximum 16,000) and programming buttons. You have a lot of button options, including Logitech's handy G-Shift functionality, which opens up a whole secondary set of mouse commands. This essentially gives you an extra six to eight buttons, depending on just how hardcore you want to be.
My only complaint about G Hub is that it's a little mercurial about auto-switching profiles. I programmed a very elaborate set of button commands for MMO Final Fantasy XIV, only to find myself furiously clicking to no effect while I got mauled by a battalion of imperial soldiers. The G Hub software refused to automatically switch from my desktop profile when I launched the game — and would automatically switch back to the desktop setting even when I manually selected the FFXIV profile. There are ways to fix this (using the mouse's five onboard profiles is one potential solution), but it was an extremely costly lesson.
Another mild criticism of the G604 is that it uses a single AA battery for 240 hours of USB wireless life, or 5.5 months on Bluetooth. (Both claims are extremely hard to test, as we've had the mouse for only about a week.) The battery life itself is great, but using disposable batteries in a high-end peripheral feels a little bit dated and wasteful. You could always invest in a set of rechargeable AA batteries, of course, but it would have been much easier to recharge a lithium-ion battery every once in a while.
The G604 plays well across the board. Surprisingly, the six small thumb buttons won me over, even though I expected that I'd find them too hard to differentiate from one another. I tested the peripheral with Overwatch, Age of Mythology: Extended Edition, GreedFall and Final Fantasy XIV, paying special attention to the last title, since it requires the most extra buttons.
In FFXIV, I play as a Gladiator, meaning that I use a variety of skills that build on one another for extra damage and/or protection. Mapping them all to the thumb buttons meant I could pay closer attention to what was happening onscreen, without running my hand up and down the keyboard trying to figure out the best time to use my skills. With the six thumb buttons — which all felt different enough to place without looking — I could use my six most common skills whenever I wanted, leaving my left hand free to use for more situational techniques, such as stuns and interrupts.
The mouse also works fine for other skills. In Age of Mythology, a real-time strategy game, it's easy enough to assign common buildings and control groups to the thumb buttons while you can do the same with special skills in Overwatch and GreedFall. The corollary here is that you don't really need all the extra buttons for most genres. (If you want a more streamlined wireless Logitech mouse, there's always the G703.)
Gaming mice have come a long way since 2014, and so has the G600 line. The G604 is an attractive midpoint between sleek design and sheer number of buttons. It's a little expensive (the G602 was $80 when it debuted, and now you can get it quite cheaply), and using disposable batteries doesn't feel quite right for what is otherwise such a premium mouse. But the G604 sets out to give MMO players a tool that won't let them down, and delivers fully on its premise.
As far as MMO mice go, I still prefer the Razer Naga Trinity ($100), which offers swappable side panels and RGB lighting. However, that model is wired, so you'll have to decide how much wireless connectivity is worth to you. If it's worth $100, then the G604 is a solid bet.