Today’s review focuses on the mid-range product offering of Logitech’s ‘G’ range of mice – the G400S – which is a newer revision of the now end-of-line G400. Logitech revamped their whole mouse line-up earlier this year, and as it’s approaching Christmas, could the G400S be an ideal present for someone you know? Let’s find out!
A little bit about Logitech:
Focused on innovation and quality, Logitech designs personal peripherals to help people enjoy a better experience with the digital world. We started in 1981 with mice, which (new at the time) provided a more intuitive way of interacting with a personal computer. We became the worldwide leader in computer mice, and have reinvented the mouse in dozens of ways to match the evolving needs of PC and laptop users.
With products sold in almost every country in the world, Logitech’s leadership in innovation now encompasses a wide variety of personal peripherals (both cordless and corded), with special emphasis on products for PC navigation, gaming, Internet communications, digital music and home-entertainment control.
- Resolution: 200 – 4000 dots per inch (dpi)
- Image processing: 5.8 megapixels/second
- Max. acceleration: 25G
- Max. speed: up to 70-140 inches (4.06 meters)/second
- USB report rate: Up to 1000 reports/second
- Sleep mode: disabled
- Dynamic coefficient of friction: .09 µ (k)
- Static coefficient of friction: .14 µ (s)
- Total weight: 133 grams
- Cord: 15 grams
- Buttons (Left / Right / Third): 20 million clicks
- Feet: 250 kilometers
- Part Number: 910-003426
- Warranty Information: 3-year Limited hardware warranty
From the specs we can see that the G400s hits all the right notes with a ~4000DPi and a 1000Hz polling rate. Logitech’s new series of mice also have what they call ‘Delta Zero’ technology which is an LED illuminted sensor to maintain a more dependable level of feedback to the sensor rather than traditional lighting method. Add to this the 20 million click capable buttons backed by legendary Logitech after sales service and the G400s is seriously appealing – so let’s take a closer look!
First up we’ve got the outer packaging of the G400s.
The internals of the packaging are tucked away behind a magnetised door which is always nice as it allows anyone considering the G400s can get a good look at it if they plan on checking it out in the flesh. The mouse section itself is held in tight by the natural pressure of the packaging as well as a liberal length of selotape. There’s no reason you should expect the G400s to turn up on your doorstep in pieces if you order one.
The whole wedge section you can see below comes out as one with all the accessories and manuals compactly tucked away inside.
Once the goodies are brought out of the packaging.
As you can see there isn’t much by way of extras. You get the mouse, manual and warranty information. Bonus point for not wasting resources on one time, and most likely redundant, driver disc.
Below you can see the 3 DPI buttons in the order up, down, and default – top to bottom.
Sad to see the right-side of the mouse go untouched here either for more buttons or perhaps the backwards or forwards button on this side instead.
The default forwards/backwards buttons.
Sadly the cable isn’t braided but instead finished in standard fare plastic sleeve. A bit disappointing on any gaming mouse, less one that costs £50.
First impressions of the mouse is that it comfortable, certainly, and perhaps skewed more towards a claw-like grip due to the compact design. It’s as lightweight but doesn’t feel cheap and the design isn’t over-bearing and king of unique in that it isn’t red and black. Obviously the lack of ‘extra’ buttons is due to the G400s FPS focus and there’s nothing on a first inspection to suggest it won’t fit this role perfectly.
That’s the hardware sorted, let’s take a look at the software!
I hit an initial, and rather crucial, road bump when testing the G440s and it’s software suite during my review. The G400s’ software at time of writing does not support Windows 8.1 at all. The screencaps and testing was done on a Windows 8 laptop, however.
Once installing the drivers from Logitech’s website you’re greeted with this immensely slick splash page with all the high-level goodies to customise.
Clicking on the mouse zooms in to the head and opens up tabs for each button so you can tweak away. Logitech also include this rather ingenious ‘game scanner’ which essentially saves you having to switch through game profiles manually, instead, the Logitech suite will load up a given profile once it detects the executable is running.
Of course the default buttons can be changed to whatever you want – including the scroll wheel click – be it macros, system functions, or key strokes and words.
The mouse sensitivity page is typically run of the mill although the ability to limit the amount of sensitivity levels available is something i’ve not see often. The ability to combine this with per-profile settings means you can limit your FPS sensitivity to three settings but retain five levels for an RTS for extra quick panning and it will all be switched by the software. Switching to the editor supplied with the G400s we are still treated to the same functional and stylish interface.
I haven’t captured every option as the list is self explanatory for the most part, but in the picture above you can see that there’s the option to apply a keystroke to a button of choice on the moose.
Below is a capture of the ‘Text Block’ which essentially lets you store key words, phrases and probably even a small story as the the capacity for this feature is huge.
Lastly the Ventrilo option here is nice but obviously is reliant on you using Ventrilo to begin with so this functionality will be lost on some.
The software is easily one of the best, if not the best that i’ve used with a mouse it looks great both aesthetically and functionally and is a genuinely powerful tool. Again, the lack of compatibility with Windows 8.1 is poor, especially when the Hotkeys tab is there to make the desktop environment a more swift experience, although macro and function execution handled by the mouse couldn’t be better.
Logitech’s software is solid where the the OS allows and with that in mind let’s see how the software and hardware combine in the performance section.
The Logitech G400s’ bare-bones performance is just what you’d expect from gaming mouse, less a Logitech one, at the competitive £50 bracket. It handles great and click response from all buttons is snappy but it doesn’t feel cheap. The wasted space on the right-side of the mouse is a shame, but button placement of those you will be using mostly is comfortable. Using the G400s without the software on my Windows 8.1 machine performed fine. There was still some sensitivity adjustment offered up with Windows’ own drivers and the default buttons worked as they should (namely backwards and forward fulfilling the backwards and forward functions).
The light-weight build was great for moving and the optical sensor tracked great across two mouse surfaces I tried – one being Logitech’s own G440 ‘hard’ surface and a typical rubber/foam one from Razer – and it never felt that it’s pick-up wasn’t 100% or un-responsive. Plug-and-play functionality was to be expected and usage in the desktop environment was perfectly fine. The default DPI settings didn’t hinder usage on a 1440p monitor, either.
Game performance was superb in Battlefield 4 (BF4) and League of Legends (LoL). Firstly with BF4, general game mechanics were fine without the G400s software installed and the nice tactile response from the key mouse buttons was satisfying during melee attacks, aiming down the sights and double-tapping. In terms of exploiting the G400s to it’s potential, not having total customisation of sensitivity levels in Windows 8.1 meant I couldn’t work with my usual spectrum of sensitivity levels making sniping a massive turn-off during my time with the G400s as I just wasn’t at the same advantage i’ve had with other mice.
Moving onto LoL, again, general game performance was brilliant. Panning and getting the pointer in position for skillshots was all flawless and responsive. Assigning my ‘ping’ to the backwards/forwards buttons yielded the same satisfying feedback upon pressing as it was in BF4, and having the ability to assign keywords and phrases is a massive boon to any MOBA as communication can genuinely turn the tide of a bad game. On the other hand, if you’re running on Windows 8.1 you lose this substantial advantageous feature as it stands at the minute.
The performance of the G400s is really something else, it’s just a shame that such a powerful software suite is locked out if you’re on Microsoft’s latest OS and as a victim of it’s own success, it feels although you’ve had a key button removed from the mouse with no access to the software.
Blistering performance aside, it’s time to wrap up today’s review in the conclusion.
At £50 the Logitech G400s is in the competitive of the peripheral market where people are looking to get as much as they can for their money without a niche focus on wireless, built-in batterys or fancy construction materials. You’re buying into the Logitech eco-system with a solid all rounder backed by the best software suite i’ve come across during my time reviewing peripherals.
The mouse itself performs great – with and without – Logitech’s software, but it really shines if you’re fire it up, let it find your games and go tweaking away. No one, really, want’s a barrage of profiles open to them to customise, let alone switch through them. Logitech, however, offer to do all the heavy lifting for you with the G400s and I feel like this is sold short in terms of their package. The mouse forgoes a braided cable, laser sensor and to a less important extent, weights, to tie in a solid software package instead and you feel Logitech have priced their product accordingly.
Conversely, the software package is wasted on anyone who is running Windows 8.1 which is a shame as much as it is infuriating. As an anecdotal as it is, Steam suggests ~20% of users are on Windows 8, all of which, are free to upgrade to 8.1 which has been near universally lauded as must have upgrade – that is a lot of gamers. On top of this Battlefield 4 has just launched with reports of performance benefits in Windows 8/8.1 over Windows 7, and LoL is also insanely popular yet the G400s software doesn’t currently work on Microsoft’s latest OS.
To conclude, the G400s is probably not only he best mouse i’ve used at £50, it also has the best software. For most people considering a new mouse, it should definitely be worth your time to look at it. The optical sensor, lack of braided cable and lack of weights aren’t really black marks against it I don’t personally feel, but if they’re things important to you then bear in mind not considering the G400s will cost you Logitech’s brilliant software offerings – Windows 8.1 aside – although it’s likely Logitech will have this sorted sooner, rather than later although it does bring it’s value down as it stands.
To build upon my impressions from the G400s, i’ve decided it’s worthy of the Editors Choice award.
If you’re on Windows 8.1 you may not currently get the full suite, but everyone else should consider this top performing and top value mouse.