ProsMind-blowing battery life; excellent wireless performance; fantastic price
ConsNo RGB lighting; heavy when using two AA batteries; no side grips
We should be upfront about the fact that we're not going to put Logitech's battery life claims to the test in this review. It just wouldn't be feasible, because even in the worst case scenario (high-performance mode with one AA battery), Logitech claims the G603 will last 250 hours. Suffice it to say that we've found all of Logitech's battery life claims to be accurate in the past, and we don't suspect that the company is "faking it" this time around. We averaged around 25 hours on our G403 with a mix of uses before needing a charge. With the G603, we can roll all day in "lo" mode and get essentially infinite battery life, or switch into hi-power mode and still get a minimum of 10x that, if Logitech is to be believed. But how does it play when you're really pushing it?
We tested the G603 over the course of a week, using it for word processing, Photoshop, browing the web, and of course gaming. Note that all of our testing was done with one AA battery, as we found the mouse a bit too sluggish with two. The G603 never let us down, either through batteries running out (which will take at least another few months of constant use!), or by lagging during our work or gaming sessions. Both of these traits come down to a combination of the sensor and the wireless system. Based on our back-to-back testing versus the G403, we have no reason to believe that the G603's new HERO sensor is any less responsive than the Pixart PMW3366 used in the G403 (as well as Logitech's latest $100+ mice, the G703 and ultra-high-end G903). The other variable in the equation is the wireless protocol, and here Logitech has rolled out a new name, Lightspeed, for what we believe is actually existing tech. Having carefully reviewed the specs, we're pretty confident that nothing has actually changed since 2016. Logitech clearly did a great job on the tech when it was first introduced in the G900 in the Spring of 2016 and then in the G403 a few months later, but it didn't have a name that marketers could get excited about. Lightspeed is what allows the G403 and G900 to offer about twice the battery life of the competition while offering wired-class performance. Now the move to the HERO sensor unlocked another 10-fold increase in battery life with no performance degradation - talk about progress!
There were just two weaknesses we identified in the G603's design that keep it from being our pick for the best gaming mouse on the market. First are its slick sides. Unlike the G403, and practically all of the G603's ~$70 competition, including the Roccat Kone EMP, the Corsair Glaive, and the brand-new Razer Basilisk, the G603 does not feature rubberized grips. We assume this was a cost-cutting move, although some may argue that rubberized side panels wear out too quickly. Whatever the reason behind this change, there's no doubt that it leads to a less positive connection between user and mouse. The second weakness was more subtle, but noticeable when testing the G403 and G603 back-to-back. Rather than having independent hinged buttons like its older cousin, the G603 has buttons that are simply an extension of the top shell. This isn't the only mouse to utilize this design, and in fact both the Roccat Kone and Corsair Glaive are similar in that regard. But when you test two identically-shaped mice, with identical switches inside, the fact that the buttons make a difference becomes clear. The G603's clicks were just a bit less immediate, and felt heavier under the fingertip that the G403's. Again, this is subtle, and it certainly hasn't sunk Logitech's competitors, but it is a drawback.
We've made no secret of the fact that we thought the Logitech G403 was the best mouse ever released when it hit the market in September 2016. It's the one we've chosen as our daily driver ever since then, even though we've had a whole lot of other high-performance mice available to us. The G403 had just two weaknesses: its RGB effects were lame, and it lasted only around 25-30 hours in real-world use.
Well, the G603 changes the equation entirely. Yes, we might have been a bit rough on it in this review, but that's because it promised the world. And in reality, the G603 is everything that the average PC user who also happens to like gaming could want in a mouse. It's not perfect, but it's pretty darn close, and it makes us wonder whether consumers will still be snapping up all the RGB-lit wired gaming mice being peddled by Logitech's competitors at the same pricepoint once they realize they've been blinded by the light and chained to their desks. Indeed, Logitech has thankfully given up on trying to run a cruise ship-worth of lights off of batteries, while massively improving the sensor to extend battery life by a minimum of 10x to make a wireless gaming mouse for the masses.
We named the G403 "The One" last year, the wireless mouse that gamers had been waiting for since the dawn of the PC gaming era. Well, the G603 is "The Only." It's the only mouse we think anyone in the midrange market should even consider, whether their primary use is gaming, work, or just surfing around. The G603 is ultra-light, ultra-responsive, and ultra-comfortable, and being wireless, it's positively tangle-free. The fact that it sports ultra-long battery life just means you can focus on all of its other great traits without worrying about when the fun times will end. If only Logitech hasn't dropped the G403's excellent rubber grips - perhaps we'll see them make a return in a future revision of the G603.
The Logitech G603 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse will be available from Amazon for $69.99 shipped upon its release in late-September 2017. Once it ships, the G603 will be an obvious pick for our Peripherals Buyer's Guide, which we update on a quarterly basis.