ProsFantastic performance; shape provides an ideal compromise for most users; great weight, sensitivity, and scroll customization options
ConsRough bottom surface and poorly distributed feet lead to drag; "sniper" button easily hit by mistake
Computer mouse reviews can be tricky to write. So much about the mousing experience comes down to how a mouse fits a users hand. And that comes down not just to size, but to shape as well. Each mouse manufacturer has developed its own particular and unique designs to cater to specific users. And among all manufacturers, one stands above the rest, at least in terms of volume: Logitech. Frankly, if you're shopping for a new mouse, it's nearly impossible to miss Logitech's many offerings. Of these, G502 Proteus Core is likely the one that has garnered the most attention of late, both due to its high-end specs and its eye-catching design.
In choosing to review the G502, we decided it didn't really make sense to review it in a vacuum. Instead, this will be a review of three generations of the Logitech G, demonstrating how Logitech has modified its designs to match the changing consensus on the ideal grip. The two other mice featured in this article are among the most popular mice of the past 10 years: the vaunted G5 released in 2005, and the G9x released in 2012. You can see the G5, G9x, and G502 below:
The G502 is currently Logitech's highest-end wired "gaming" mouse, just a notch below its most expensive mousing products. It has a retail price of $79.99 (although it's always discounted below that), and directly competes with a number of wired gaming mice in the same price range. As we'll discuss below, it strikes a very fine balance between the G5 and G9x, and improves on both in numerous ways. In the process, it will likely suit an even greatest number of users than either of the older models, even if it's far from perfect.
Description and Features
To arrive at what we consider to be a very good compromise in terms of shape, Logitech backtracked a bit in terms of what it had done with the revolutionary G9x, providing many of its contours, but with an overall shape reminiscent of the G5.
To the casual observer, the old G5 would probably pass for a bog-standard mouse today, if it weren't for the funky coloring. It's a bit bulbous, with a rounded shape evoking popular but long-discontinued general-purpose mice like the Microsoft Intellimouse. It encourages the user to rest the entire hand on the mouse, which is very relaxing, but doesn't necessarily lend itself to precision control.
The G9x really pushed gaming mouse design in a new direction, with an almost entirely flat top, a wide stance, and noticeable contours to engage the fingers and thumb. The G502 brings back the overall profile of the G5, but with the G9x's pronounced contours. Of the three, the G502 is our favorite, in part because the hybrid palm/claw grip it encourages suits us the best.
To give readers a bit more context for the discussion of grip, which we consider the key distinguishing feature of any mouse, we've put together a compendium of photos below, illustrating what we believe to be the ideal grip type for each of these mouse designs. The G502 on the right won't allow you to rest your whole hand on it (unless you have much smaller hands than we do!), but it does offer a more relaxed position than the short, flat G9x. Ultimately, we think mice should have a pronounced curvature on the top surface, because the human hand is rounded when gripping. It just makes sense. That inevitably means the mouse has to be a bit bulkier, as it adds what is essentially vertical dead space. Previous attempts at foisting a hockey puck-shaped mouse on users failed miserably, however, and it's something mouse designers really ought to keep in mind.
The Palm Grip of the G5, The Claw Grip of the G9x, and the Hybrid Palm/Claw Grip of the G502