Table of Contents
At the end of last year we saw the Logitech G933 Wireless Gaming Headset review grace our front page. Today we have the opportunity to see the newest gaming mouse in the Logitech lineup, the G900 Chaos Spectrum Wireless. With some lofty claims of faster response and more precision than other gaming mice, even wired gaming mice, the G900 has an impressive spec sheet. Following the performance found in the G933, I’m inclined to believe Logitech could pull off the feats they claim. Enough banter, let’s tear in to this thing!
Specifications and Features
Wow, where do I start on this spec sheet? Should it be at the 12,000 dpi optical sensor, the 1 ms wired or wireless response time, or the class leading 3.80 oz (lack of) weight for the G900? No matter where you begin, this mouse is top of the line. Looking through the rest of the table there is an impressive battery life, low friction PTFE feet, RGB lighting, and a variable number of programmable buttons. A lot of the specifications, and features, we see today are from the entire product development for the G900 being in-house at Logitech; engineering, manufacturing, etc.
The specifications and features below come directly from the Logitech website.
|Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum Specifications|
|DPI Range||200 – 12,000 dpi|
|Sensor Type||Optical – PMW3366|
|Programmable Buttons||6 to 11|
|Max Polling Rate||1000 Hz (1 ms) Wired or Wireless|
|Wireless Type||Custom 2.4GHz|
|Feet Type||PTFE – Friction: 0.11 μ (k) and 0.17 μ (s)|
|Dimensions||5.12″ x 2.64″ x 1.57″ (130 mm x 67 mm x 40 mm)|
|Weight||3.80 oz (107 g)|
|LED Color||Programmable RGB – 16.8 million colors|
|Battery Life||Default Lighting: 24 hours – No Lighting: 32 hours|
I’ll leave most of the features table for you to read, but there are a few points I want to hit here. Again, we see the sensor and raw performance (dpi, polling rate) featured regardless of wired or wireless usage. One huge advantage here, in terms of performance, there is no acceleration or smoothing applied to the sensor through Logitech’s Delta Zero technology! There is also no pixel rounding and resolution can be set in 5 dpi increments.
The G900 has been designed for ultimate weight reduction. Multiple PCBs instead of a large single PCB allow for a very precise center of mass and a skeleton frame design. Also the spoke style of the scroll wheel (47% lighter than the G502 wheel), an integrated battery, and a few small tweaks further reduce the weight. There are many high-end, wired gaming mice which weigh more than the Chaos Spectrum. For reference other wireless gaming mice weigh in as follows; SteelSeries Sensei Wireless – 113g, Razer Mamba – 131g, Razer Ouroboros – 133g.
Speaking more to the battery, and the amount of time it is able to provide, it should also be very durable. The battery is a lithium polymer design and is rated for 800-1000 full charge/discharge cycles.
To all you lefties out there, have you ever had your best mouse option only come in a right hand design? Fear no longer, Logitech solved this dilemma with the G900. It is completely ambidextrous, allowing customization of the side button configuration.
Remember how I mentioned the skeleton frame and multiple PCBs? The weight reduction wasn’t the only reason for this design. Logitech is utilizing a new mechanical pivot design to give even force to click across the whole mouse button and a consistent actuation distance.
The package we see today is simple, I like it. A sleeve covers the box holding everything. On the front of the sleeve a brand, model, and picture are all we see. On the back of the sleeve are a few brief specifications. Logitech has successfully utilized the “less is more” philosophy here because the lack of extraneous details really catches your eye. There is a hanger on the top for a brick and mortar store to display the G900.
Removing the sleeve we see the theme continue, a black box with a blue Logitech G logo remain behind. Lifting the lid off of the box we are immediately shown the G900, not the accessories. It is nestled safely in the cardboard support.
Lifting the mouse and its support we immediately find the brief manual. There isn’t much for a manual to detail though, this is a mouse after all. Removing said manual, we find the accessories for the G900. The cable is nicely wrapped without any sharp bends. A case holds the rest of the accessories. Opening up said case we find the side blanks, wireless receiver, and USB adapter; I’ll detail these shortly.
In the left picture below we get some context for the side blanks above. One blank replaces two side buttons, this is why there are a variable number of programmable buttons. The side blanks attach around where the buttons go. The case above doubles as a holder for the side buttons as well. When in use, the side buttons are held on individually through the use of magnets. See the screw in the middle of the button and the silver dots on the mouse? There’s your attachment point.
The USB cable included is high-quality, braided, and has a unique interface to the mouse. Using a braided cable reduces friction when the mouse is wired, while also adding an aesthetic appeal. The interface with the mouse involves a micro-USB connection and a molded plastic housing, while the other end is full sized USB which would connect to your PC in the USB port. This housing has two prongs which slide into the mouse and provide additional support for the micro-USB connection, preventing strain on the connection.
Looking next at the two pictures below we find the wireless adapter and the cable adapter to allow use of the wireless adapter on the end of the micro-USB cable. This gadget allows you to place the wireless adapter on your desk instead of on the back of your PC. A great benefit if you take your mouse with you often.
The Logitech G900 Chaos Spectrum
Finally, an up close look at the G900. No, folks, those aren’t mirrored images. This really is a fully ambidextrous, high-end gaming mouse! In the first pair of pictures you can easily see all the buttons on the mouse. A few things to mention, and reiterate, are the spoke design of the tilting scroll wheel and the hyperscroll button and the main buttons (with newly designed mechanical pivot) right up front on the mouse. Of course, down the sides, we see the removable buttons again.
Looking at the back sides of the mouse there isn’t too much more to see. Behind the wheel and buttons there we find three stripes, these actually light up to let you know what profile is active. The color of these three lights can be controlled along with the G logo in the main body of the mouse. There are a few grooves in the back of the mouse for added grip as well.
Here is a look at the mouse with first the side blank and second the side buttons installed. The buttons are low profile, but are contoured in a way you’ll know which to press. Then we see a look at the bottom of the mouse. Two V-shaped feet around the sensor help sweep dust, etc. away from the sensor opening. In total there are six feet and, as mentioned earlier, they are made of PTFE. The on/off switch is also located on the bottom of the mouse. Notice, due to the integrated battery, there is no removable plate on the bottom of the G900.
Here’s a GIF showing a few examples of the many colors you can configure with Logitech Gaming Software on the G900.
Here is a look at the Logitech Gaming Software. Anyone who has used a device from the Logitech G lineup is likely familiar with this software already. The first slideshow contains the main screen, the performance settings, and the button configuration screen. On the main screen you can change whether the settings are controlled by the mouse or by the driver. In the performance settings you find controls for the DPI (which can have up to five levels set on one profile), polling rate, and advanced settings. On the button configuration you can configure the action of every button on the G900, here is also where you tell the mouse/driver how many side buttons you wish to have active.
Like any high-end gaming peripheral these days the G900 has RGB LED controls. These are set on the screen below. Effects for the LEDs include breathing and cycling through the RGB spectrum, these effects have brightness/speed controls as well. Any color can be used through the color chooser, or you can use a preset color. The battery life screen shows how much battery is left and many mA your current settings will use and it will also estimate the battery life at said settings.
The other features of LGS for the G900 include surface tuning and heat mapping. The surface tuning allows calibration of the mouse sensor for any surface you are using it on. Calibration is simple, as shown below. Your in-use surface profile is highlighted on the left in blue. Heat maps allow you to see what buttons are used most, I ran a quick test to show off how the colors appear. These colors can also be chosen at the top right side. The last screenshot here shows some of the high-level advanced settings available on the G900.
The G900 took some getting used to coming from using a G700 for the last three years. It is shorter and much lighter. After about a week of using it, the mouse felt normal. After two weeks, it felt like home. Just in daily usage I can tell the sensor is much more precise than what I was accustomed to, in gaming movements are quick and crisp. I’m a hybrid of a claw and palm grip yet had no issues with fitment in my hand, which is almost 7″ from the start of my palm to the tip of my middle finger.
Adjustability here is a huge plus, as I prefer ambidextrous mice. Not because I use them left handed, but because I like symmetrical layouts with buttons available on both sides.
Wireless signal was never an issue for me, I sit very close to my router, and was easily reaching 30+ feet without drops.
Logitech’s Performance Test Results
Note, these results are not my testing, they come directly from Logitech due to the required equipment.
Data is ProofAt Logitech G we use world class testing facilities often designed and build by Logitech engineers to design and validate our cutting edge products and technologies. When the tool or testing methodology doesn’t exist, we create it. Unlike many of our competitors, we spend a lot of time perfecting not only the technology to make great experiences, but also the tools to make sure those experiences are the best they possibly can be. We will discuss the tools and data used by our engineers in our Lausanne, Switzerland design and engineering facility to prove the G900 Chaos Spectrum is miles ahead of the competition in many ways.
Wireless Technology and RF RobustnessWireless is the future. Since the dawn of the information age man has being trying to cut the cord. Gaming is no different but has one very critical focus: performance. If the performance is sacrificed then gamers will choose the cable over the less optimal experience. With the wireless advancements used in G900 Chaos Spectrum, our wireless is now faster than even the competitions wired. Not only is it faster, but the wireless technology used is very robust and less susceptible to perturbation from the myriad sources of interference in today’s world.
G900 Signal Strength vs CompetitionFirst we will measure the strength of the wireless signal being produced by the G900 and compare to the competition’s wireless mice. In the world of wireless, a stronger signal means a more robust connection. We measure the strength of the radio signal as the mouse turns on a platter 360°. Keep in mind that the dB (decibel) scale is logarithmic which means the difference between a few dB can be very large!
When looking at Figure 8, the important thing to notice is not only does the G900 have a much higher signal strength than the competition (over 100 times stronger than Ouroboros), but the consistency is much higher as the mouse is rotated 360°. This means that no matter which direction the signal is going to the receiver, the experience will be the same. NOTE: (dBm) or decibel-milliwatt is an electrical power unit in decibels (dB), referenced to 1 milliwatt (mW).
RF Link RobustnessWhen testing the connection of a wireless mouse, we also test the ability to reject outside noise due to the extreme level of interference produced by wireless modems, cell phones and much more. Using our RF testing facility located inside an anechoic chamber we artificially simulate the influence of radio waves and other sources of signal perturbation to test the robustness of the wireless connection. We will look at how the G900 compares to the top competition of wireless gaming mice. G900 is so robust that users do not need to be worried about outside signals disrupting the extremely fast connection of G900, even at a LAN party or tournament.We set up the test by putting the mouse on a jogger that moves the mouse in circles. The receiver is set at a standard distance of 130 cm from the mouse at the same height as the mouse. We then fire 3 different interference signals at the mouse to simulate busy environments. Wifi 802.11 g/n: Sweep on channels 1 / 3 / 5 / 7 / 9 / 11 / 13. Bluetooth class 2: Hopping in ACL DM5 mode. Proprietary signals (Logitech and competitors): sweep in GFSK modulation between 2.400 GHz and 2.483 GHz (1 MHz step).
Click Latency MeasurementTo test the latency of the exact moment the electrical impulse is sent from the switch in a mouse to the USB event on the microcontroller we take a few steps to make this as exact as possible. First we modify the mouse to take an electrical lead off of the actual switch to be able to compare the exact moment of click to when the event hits the PC. Then we send the electrical signal to an adapter to make it readable by the Tag Heuer HL440 professional timing unit. This data is then sent to a PC where we can analyze. We are comparing how fast the entire mouse system is capable of interpreting the input from the gamer and then sending the signal to the game.Even the difference between 2-4ms can mean an entire frame when playing competitively at high frame rates. Gamers want the fastest input possible and at Logitech G we want to get out of the way and let the gamer focus on their passion. The best way to do this is to know your mouse is the fastest. The G900 Chaos Spectrum is faster than the top competition’s wireless mice. In the following image we will see a graphical representation of how the click latency is measured and a look at the resulting data.
Sensor Motion LatencyMotion latency is just as important as click latency and is part of the total package of performance. We test motion latency similar to click latency but simply put both mice on a moving turn table to simulate movement. Both mice are given sensor input at exactly the same time and the output of either mouse is sent to the same testing PC to analyze the data.
Well, personally, I think this testing data speaks for itself. The G900 is simply fast. It is meant to change what people think of when they hear “wireless” and “gaming” in the same sentence and I believe this is the mouse to do it.
Clearly wireless signal will not be an issue, as shown in the perturbation and anechoic testing. Input lag is also not an issue, as shown in the testing utilizing an external timing unit.
In the end we have a super light, low latency, long battery, incredibly precise gaming mouse. The performance is solid, it is made to fit (theoretically) anyone’s hand, and it has pretty lights. The only potential con I could see is hand fitment, it is possible this mouse could be a touch on the short side for a few people, but I highly doubt it. Logitech gave what everyone could ask for, and more, in the G900.
Now, pricing. All these features, design enhancements, and performance gains don’t come without a price. The MSRP is $149.99, which is what I find at all e-tailers currently. Even so, if you’re looking at top-end equipment, you should expect to pay top-end prices. I’m calling this Overclockers Approved!