Mice designed for massively multiplayer online (MMO) games are often unwieldy beasts. They boast more buttons than a player can use easily, and have almost no versatility for use in non-MMO games.
The Logitech G700s ($99.99) is an MMO mouse that deftly sidesteps all of these problems. Despite a few noticeable shortcomings, the G700s has a lot to offer mid-level MMO players, without compromising other genres.
The G700s is, far and away, one of the most comfortable mice that we've reviewed. The mouse's textured, grooved thumb-rest fit our thumb perfectly. The mouse's shape fit our hand almost flawlessly when we played with either a palm or claw grip.
The G700s also offers nearly ideal support for any hand size, but left-handed users are out of luck: The mouse is only available in a right-hand configuration.
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It would be easy to get overwhelmed by the G700s' 13 buttons, but Logitech did a good job of spacing them out. In addition to the left- and right-mouse buttons, there are four thumb buttons, three more for the index finger and one beneath the scroll wheel. The scroll wheel itself clicks in three directions.
But this wheel is the G700s' biggest weakness; unbelievably sensitive, it offers no resistance whatsoever. You'll scroll all over the place while trying to left- and right-click, until you learn to keep your fingers away from the scroll wheel. This is obnoxious enough when surfing the Web or writing documents, but can be absolutely devastating in the middle of a pitched online battle.
There is a button that changes the frictionless scroll wheel to a regular, notched one. However, this button is extremely easy to hit while attempting to change dots-per-inch (DPI) sensitivity, as the two buttons are right next to one another.
The extra buttons are useful, but come with their own set of caveats. The thumb buttons are distinct and easy to reach, yet without an audible click, they feel mushy and unsatisfying. The index-finger buttons are much sturdier, but the bottom two buttons feel almost identical.
The programmable button in the center of the G700s lies directly below a very similar button that controls the scroll wheel sensitivity. We hit this button over and over by accident, when we had intended instead to bring up a quest log in "World of Warcraft" or grab an item in "BioShock Infinite."
The G700s excels in comfort, but could have offered much better usability.
Like other modern Logitech gaming mice, the G700s runs on the Logitech Gaming Software program. Not quite as simple as the comparable Razer Synapse system, this software is still straightforward and robust.
The G700s supports 10 separate profiles: five stored on the mouse and five stored on a computer. You can import and export your favorite profiles online or simply keep them stored on the peripheral. In addition, you can switch between profiles by using the Logitech software or by programming a button to do it.
One of the best features of the G700s is its ability to download game profiles. The Logitech software can download profiles for major games such as "StarCraft II" or "Borderlands," and automatically switch your mouse profile when the game launches. You'll still have to program the buttons yourself, but the profiles will give you options such as Build or Attack-Move rather than just listing the B or A keys.
The game-linking feature does have one notable flaw, however: It doesn't work very well with "World of Warcraft." For a mouse that sells itself as an MMO peripheral, overlooking the most popular MMO on the market is problematic.
When we installed the Logitech software, it recognized most of the games on our system and downloaded the appropriate files. However, we had to download the "World of Warcraft" profile and assign a profile picture to it manually. Even then, it was a struggle to get "World of Warcraft" to recognize the profile, as the standard game shortcut did not properly link profile and game.
The program's launcher interfered with the game's recognition of the profile, and we had to change the shortcut for the game manually. This is not difficult for anyone tech-savvy enough to purchase an MMO mouse, but it's still an unwanted annoyance, compared to how easy setting up other profiles was.
Beyond that, you can set the DPI to anywhere between 200 and 8,200 in order to customize the mouse's tracking speed. You can even program multiple DPI settings within a single profile. This capability can be useful when switching guns in a first-person shooter, or switching from base management to offensive warfare in a real-time strategy.
Making a wireless mouse just as responsive as its wired counterparts has traditionally been very difficult, but the G700s succeeds as both a wired and a wireless peripheral. We found the mouse to be responsive, precise and accurate, whether we were working with everyday software or playing games. The only exception, as discussed above, is the fiddly scroll wheel, which gets in the way of everything.
In "BioShock Infinite," we had more than enough buttons to jump, crouch, pick up items and switch weapons. Changing DPI on the fly was also helpful when mowing enemies down with a machine gun or picking them off strategically with a pistol.
The G700s worked similarly well with both "Batman: Arkham City" and "StarCraft II." Its 13 buttons were just enough to program our most useful commands without completely cluttering the mouse. Gliding around as the Caped Crusader or controlling Terran armies against their Zerg foes were also simple tasks.
Once we got it configured properly, "World of Warcraft" also worked well, but the G700s is not an ideal choice for playing at high levels. Thirteen buttons are simply not enough for 10 frequently accessed skills plus a quest log, a character sheet, an inventory and whatever else a player wants to keep close at hand. Logitech's other MMO mouse, the G600, might make a better choice.
The G700s has respectable liftoff range and z-axis tracking. Lifting it forward or to the left a few millimeters does not affect performance, although tilting it back or to the right will stop it dead. Picking up the mouse and placing it back down will move the cursor somewhat, but this is not usually a huge concern in MMOs.
While not as useful to diehard online gamers as an MMO mouse that has more buttons, the G700s strikes an admirable balance between versatility and MMO-specific utility. The peripheral is supremely comfortable, and works in both a wired and wireless configuration for just about any game under the sun.
Lefties are out of luck, but semi-serious MMO fans of the dextral persuasion would be wise to check this peripheral out.
Laser Depth: 2 mm
DPI: 200 – 8,200
Size: 121 x 83 x 42 mm
Weight: 152 grams
Grip Type: Palm/Claw