In our most recent product review, we looked at the Logitech G502 Proteus Core and compared it to two of Logitech's most popular mice in history, the G5 and G9x. The G502 came away the clear winner in a number of ways, including balance, hand feel, smoothness, and customization options. But that was an easy one for the G502 to win. So we decided to take the next obvious step: pit the G502 against some of its most worthy competitors in the gaming arena, Razer, Corsair, EVGA, and G.Skill. And while we were at it, why not throw in a bunch of keyboards to add a little excitement? We were going to need to be using a keyboard to test our mice after all!
Logitech may be the oldest and largest peripherals manufacturer (it currently commands over 50% of the peripherals market!), but it certainly doesn't have a lock on the gaming market. Let's introduce the competition one by one. Logitech's best-known competitor is Razer, a company that came out of nowhere in late 1990s, establishing itself as the go-to source for stylish and creatively-named gaming gear. Razer built its considerable reputation on mice, keyboards, and headsets, but has since expanded into various other markets, including gaming laptops, webcams, and even smart watches(!).
Another well-known competitor is Corsair, one of the most respected memory manufacturers in the business. In the early 2010s, Corsair decided to leverage its substantial street cred among gamers by introducing a line of gaming peripherals. It's now one of the biggest names in the market, and happens to be the very largest client of Cherry, the vaunted Germany-based vendor of mechanical switches. In fact, many of Cherry's most innovative product releases debut in Corsair peripherals, including its first RGB switches in 2014 and its "Silent" Black and Red switches in late 2015. If you want the latest and greatest Cherry has to offer, it's likely you'll be getting it from Corsair.
EVGA is the largest vendor of Nvidia-based graphics chips in the U.S., and has dipped its toe into other markets where its gaming credentials carry some weight. While it hasn't been overly successful in the motherboard business, it's met with tremendous success in the power supply business, where it's now among the most respected names and largest suppliers of high-end PSUs. As for peripherals, EVGA has been very cautious, releasing only gaming mice so far. Our guess is that unless its mouse business really takes off, EVGA will end up sticking more to PC components in the future, but only time will tell.
Finally, we come to G.Skill. It's probably the smallest and least-well-known of the manufacturers on our list, but it's got a huge following in the RAM business, where it markets by far the most aggressive memory products of any vendor out there, targeting gaming and overclocking enthusiasts. Like Corsair, it's decided to move from a very niche market to the bigger world of PC peripherals. Whether it will enjoy Corsair's good fortune in the market remains to be seen.
Now, a word on how this comparison came together. We've been purchasing gaming peripherals at retail for over a year, with the intention of doing one-off reviews. But it quickly became apparent that to help our readers really make sense of the market, a broad product shootout would be ideal.
In an effort to round out the field, we asked several manufacturers if they wanted to send samples for review, and only Logitech responded in time, with the G502 mouse and G410 keyboard you'll be learning about shortly, as well as the stellar G933 Artemis Spectrum Wireless Headset, shown at left, which we'll actually be reviewing separately. We considered including headsets in this roundup, but it just ended up being a bit too much to cover at once. If you don't already have a gaming headset, we recommend you seriously consider the G933... not to ruin the surprise or anything, but it's become our personal go-to headset for all gaming and media needs, and our co-reviewer Alex thought they were so awesome that he's ready to pony up for a set himself!
In the end, we ended up with five mice and four keyboard to put through their paces. Without further ado, let's turn to the lineup for this shootout...