Impressive quality and attention to detail – Kyle Lunau
SUMMARY: Impressive quality and attention to detail – congrats to Logitech for making the best PC racing system I have ever seen.
The number of PC input devices being brought to market these days is mind boggling, with manufacturers creating products tailored towards gamers and professionals doing design work. With this growing market in mind, Logitech has released the G25.
The G25 isn’t just a wheel and pedals; it also includes a first-of-its-kind 6-speed gated shifter and control center. With genuine leather and stainless steel construction and a price tag of $349.99 CAD, it is obvious that Logitech is targeting the racing simulation fan. My question is if the G25 is fun to use even if you just like to play more casual racing games such as Need For Speed. That being said, let’s get to the review
Now let’s open this sucker! The inside of the box is well organized and the big pieces are wrapped in plastic.
In the box is the wheel, shifter module, pedals, power adapter, power cable, installation guide, software CD, and a copy of the rFactor demo.
First let’s have a look at the shifter – it has a leather wrapped knob, 8 buttons, a 4-way D-pad, and selector for sequential or stick shift mode.
On the bottom of the stick shift is the 3-part, hand tightened desk mount, plus 2 threaded holes so that you can bolt the wheel to the desk.
Next up is the pedals, which as you can see look like genuine aluminum racing pedals. Now some of you may be thinking, “Hey – what’s the third pedal for?” Others among you may be saying “It’s about time!”. The third pedal is for the clutch, which in conjunction with the gated shifter, makes for the most realistic manual transmission gaming experience possible.
The heel rest has a grippy texture that helps to keep your feet in place during an 8-hour session of Need For Speed
From the back you can see the red cylinders that support the pedals and allow them to move in a realistic motion.
The pedals as well as the shifter hook into the bottom of the wheel using these connectors.
The bottom of the pedals has a number of interesting features…
….like the threaded holes for hard-mounting…
…and an advanced carpet grip system.
Finally there is the wheel itself, which is constructed from real metal and hand-stitched leather – just remember that you aren’t driving a REAL Ferrari! The wheel features two buttons up front making for convenient control of NOS and/or hand brake in many racing games.
From the back you can better see the two paddle shifters that you can use if stick shifting isn’t your style (or if the game your playing doesn’t support stick shifting).
On the underside of the wheel are the two hook-ups for the shifter and pedals and the USB cable and power connections, plus grooves to route the cables out the back of the wheel in an orderly fashion.
There is one male and one female connection so there is no way you can fry the G25 by plugging something in wrong.
You can run the longer cables around the center post to size them to you needs. No unnecessary cable mess here!
The wheel uses a similar mounting system to the shifter to ensure that it doesn’t shift around during an intense race.
Moving on we have the manual which is VERY comprehensive.
It includes a diagram showing exactly how to set up and use the G25.
Setting up the G25 is quite easy. First you want to clear space for all of the pieces – the wheel, shifter and pedals. Next you need to figure out where all the cables are going to go. Then you mount the components, plug them in and load up the software. Logitech’s software is very easy to use and allows you change things like button assignments, axis’ and force feedback settings according to the game you are playing.
Using the G25 provided me with the most realistic driving I have ever experienced. Not only does the real leather and metal accents contribute to the experience, but so does the excellent force feedback system, the 900 degrees of wheel rotation, the six speed stick and clutch petal – the list goes on and on.
Playing rFactor and NFS: Carbon gave me a taste of what the G25 is capable of and I was very impressed. The use of the 6-speed shifter was great in both games and made them feel very realistic. None of the components shifted once during drift sessions in NFS (which makes for some very speedy hand and feet movements). The only negative point I encountered was that I was running right through the wheel’s rotation limiter, which was set at 180 degrees for NFS during drift sessions. This made control a bit awkward in these events but the limiter held strong in more conventional race types.
Bottom Line: The G25 gives you the most realistic driving experience you can get (short of a full motion simulator).
- Real leather and metal construction
- Excellent force feedback
- 900 degree rotation
- 6 speed gated shifter AND clutch petal
- Sequential paddle shifting as well (makes two manual shifting possibilities)
- Plethora of buttons
- Good clamp system
- Adjustable force feedback, axis’ and rotational settings
- Hard-mount options
- Carpet grip on the pedals
- Looks and feels like it was taken straight out of a race car
- Supports PC and PS2
- A little expensive ($299.99 USD) but you do get what you pay for
- Rotation limiter can be overrun (but only in some cases)
Going into this review I knew that the G25 was going to be something special. Just having a look at the spec sheet let’s you know that this wheel is something different, and boy it is! No detail has been overlooked and Logitech has officially raised the bar on racing wheels.
Having owned two racing wheel/pedal sets in the past, I can safely say that the G25 is in a completely different league than competing products – if you can afford the price difference, it is definitely money well spent. One more thing is that if you own a PS2 and need a wheel for the Gran Turismo series or any other racing game, you will be happy to know that the G25 can be used with the PS2 (without the separate shifter, though).
Overall Logitech has impressed me again with their quality and attention to detail – congrats to Logitech for making the best PC racing system I have ever seen.