The best gaming mice put as little distance as possible between you and the game you're playing. The Logitech G500s is a deceptively simple peripheral that delivers a best-in-class experience by giving gamers precisely what they need, and nothing superfluous. This mouse offers a comfortable design, robust software and customizable features for an aggressive price, making it our top pick as an all-purpose gaming mouse.
The G500s resembles most other recent Logitech mice: It's gray and relatively short, with textured pads for both the thumb and outermost fingers. The thumb rest is a perfect shape for both palm and claw grips, and the right and left mouse buttons are curved, giving the device an even arc. We're not sure if Logitech could have designed a more comfortable mouse.
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The G500s boasts 10 programmable buttons: left and right mouse buttons, a scroll wheel that clicks three ways, three thumb buttons and two buttons on the far left that control dots-per-inch (DPI) sensitivity by default. Each button feels distinct, and the third thumb button, nestled in between the two more prominent ones, is a nice touch. This allows for an extra button without compromising the feel of the first two.
If you want a lighter or heavier feel, the G500s can accommodate you. A button on the bottom of the mouse ejects a canister with six chambers to hold weights. Twelve weights come with the mouse: six 1.7-gram weights, and six 4.5-gram weights.
We have two quibbles with the device's physical design. The first is the scroll wheel, which shares the same problematic functionality as other Logitech scroll wheels: By default, the wheel scrolls without much friction, almost indefinitely. Users can press a button to make it feel more like a traditional scroll wheel, but even then, it feels somewhat loose and imprecise.
Additionally, although the two DPI buttons are not hard to reach, they require that the user take his or her finger off the left mouse button. In the middle of a competitive multiplayer match, this could be deadly. It would be impossible, for example, to lower DPI and shoot an enemy with a sniper rifle simultaneously.
Despite these concerns, the G500s is easy to hold and manipulate, and possesses a manageable number of buttons in convenient locations.
Like other modern Logitech mice, the G500s makes use of the Logitech Gaming Software package. The software is deep and customizable. Although it takes a little time to learn all of the ins and outs, an experienced user can do just about anything with the downloadable Logitech Gaming Software, from assigning individual keystrokes to controlling media to creating complex macros.
One of the best aspects of the Logitech software is its ability to recognize the games installed on your PC and help you program game-specific profiles. For example, if the software finds "BioShock Infinite" on your system, it will automatically apply your specialized profile when you launch the game, and replace generic keys (e.g., spacebar) with specific in-game commands (e.g., Jump/Sky-Line Attach).
Users can also program up to five custom DPI settings between 200 and 8,200. First-person-shooter (FPS) fans, in particular, will be pleased to know that the G500s can also separate X- and Y-axis DPI, giving you more precision when aiming through iron sights.
The Logitech Gaming Software found most, but not all, of our installed games automatically. For those we had to program manually, downloading the profiles and linking them with game shortcuts was still very simple, but required a few extra steps.
The G500s generally sells itself as either an FPS mouse or an all-purpose gaming mouse. In our tests, we found that it works well in either case. After linking our profiles with our four standard test games ("BioShock Infinite," "StarCraft II," "Batman: Arkham City" and "World of Warcraft"), we found that the games all played well and benefited from the extra buttons.
Even the DPI adjustment buttons proved more useful than we initially anticipated. In a game like "StarCraft II" or "World of Warcraft," it's not necessary to constantly change DPI. We were able to pick a single, convenient DPI and repurpose the buttons for additional commands, which freed up our hands to focus on keyboard commands.
The G500s was accurate and precise for all the genres tested. We had no trouble firing a gun, controlling armies, sneaking up behind enemies or casting magic spells, depending on the game. The mouse's intuitive design also means that our hand never slipped from where it needed to be.
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Z-axis tracking and liftoff were also excellent. Lifting and replacing the mouse caused almost no cursor movement. We could lift the mouse about a millimeter in any direction before it stopped responding — better than some comparable mice, and worse than others.
The Logitech G500s is nearly perfect. This gaming mouse embraces smart design choices at every avenue, and provides an experience that is neither minimalist nor ornate, but balanced in every sense. The G500s may not be the ideal mouse for every consumer and every genre, but it's pretty close. Unless you're a high-level massively multiplayer online gamer and need a plethora of thumb buttons, you'd be wise to consider the G500s in your search for a gaming mouse.
Laser Depth: 1 mm
DPI: 200 – 8,200
Size: 127 x 83 x 44 mm
Weight: 164 g (Adjustable)
Grip Type: Palm/Claw