A real user review (instead of marketing hype). As a programmer I am a high performance desktop user and have found that having a gaming grade mouse and good keyboard really boosts my productivity and happiness.
Sadly the left click on my beloved G7 died. I do click B1 a lot (8 Million times if you believe the specs) and this is the second mouse that I have simply worn out (the other was a 5 button BTC optical which I actually replaced the micro switch on and still have). I did have a go at replacing the micro switch on the G7 but the soldering on the stacked boards was just too fine for my manual solder sucker and I should have taken it to work where we have a vacuum solder sucker…
Anyway I was due for a new mouse and keyboard and I needed to take this seriously as I have had some niggles with my wrists @ up to 16 hours a day with this gear, comfort and performance are very important.
Smallest to biggest: G7 -> G700 -> M950.
This really is the crunch point for the M950, it’s big and heavy. Quite simply do not get the M950 unless you have properly big hands. Actually the G700 is better in every way and is in no way small if you are after a full size desktop mouse, it’s size allows me to palm the G700 a little more than the G7 so that should be a little better on my wrist.
The G7 was nice, with good shape and rubber grip where needed.
The M950 was very comfortable to hold and just point, but due to it’s sheer size and over done ergonomics was just not quite right for my hand in full use.
The G700 is a perfect blend of ergonomics and functional button placement, the grip area has a finely roughened surface which feels great.
The G7 was a nimble gaming mouse as indicated by the carbon fibre and lithium ion battery while the G700 is a only a little heavier and has higher laser resolution and more buttons so wins overall. The M950 is very heavy and the darkfield laser is a little too smooth and has a pointer acceleration that I did not really like, the weight and resulting friction also made the mouse harder to move against my mouse pad. The M950 is like a great big soft lounge chair and I don’t code from a sofa.
No doubt Logitech makes some good products and I’m always happy to buy them because I know that they will just work and are very likely to work well with GNU/Linux despite the lack of official support. However in my quest I did investigate their entire range and several other brands, the Razer Mamba and yet to be released Naga Epic featured highly along with the R.A.T 9.
Scroll, Tilt and Middle Click
For me the lack of tilt wheel on the Razers was a problem but if you absolutely hate tilt wheels then perhaps go for one of these. The tilt , middle click and scroll on the G700 is way better than both the G7 and M950 and I can’t really see it getting in the way if you just don’t want to use it. The M950 has the novel thumb rest button mapped to B2 which seems nice but is just all in the wrong place and does not make up for the lack of being able to reach the real middle button due to the height of this beast. Also the M950 analogue tilt was all just too hard to activate. The G7 required a certain flick technique to use the tilt as a back/forward in web pages lest you end up 5 pages back instead of just 1 No such problems on the G700: I can accurately use the middle click even with the wheel in free running mode (very important as this pastes code in GNU/Linux) and the tilt can go back to doing what it should do (scroll left/right) since there are 4 buttons very nicely placed near the resting thumb to use as back/forward/up/enter as you wish.
Cord (on a wireless?)
The one thing that I really wish Logitech had not copied from Razer is the “Dual mode wired/wireless functionality” the wireless operation of the G7 worked flawlessly for me and I fully expect the G700 to be the same! Then why would I want to add a cord to the damn thing after I paid $50 more for wireless! Although the cord on the G700 is much better than the M950 and has a guided supporting slot so if you are actually going to use this mouse tethered it does feel just like a normal corded mouse. But really I feel Logitech screwed up here and on the battery choice. The only justification that I can see for this is at a really big LAN party, has anyone found the wireless on the G7 or G700 to be less than perfect? If so perhaps Logitech should have invested more on improving it even further. What about an induction charging mouse pad with the receiver built in?
The 2 x hot swap lithium ion batteries of the G7 were the prime reason that I bought the G7 in first place so the G700 is actually a down grade here as it uses a NiMH AA and is not as hot swappable. I have already upgraded the supplied 2000mAh to an Energiser 2500mAh (which lasts a day) and can see myself charging and swapping these instead of using the cord which wastes another USB port. The G7 shared one USB port for the receiver and charger but did have the odd issue with over current on the USB port. The only other mouse I noticed with a lithium ion battery is the Cyborg R.A.T 9 which looks very promising but is yet to be widely available. The most interesting feature of the R.A.T 9 is the adjustable shell allowing for many different hand sizes. Being a Mad Catz product I am a little wary of the quality but would be willing to give it a fair go if someone got the urge to send me one as they are putting a lot of effort into the marketing with some nifty videos.
Profiles and Dpi
The G700′s on-board profile and dpi switching really leaves the M950 behind, the G7 had three levels of dpi while the G700 has 5 levels or a 2 stage high/low depending on the profile selected.
For more detail on the G700 profiles see this post:
Logitech G700 mouse in Debian GNU/Linux
Let me know if I have left anything out but the G700 is proving to be a very productive and comfortable mouse.