Nov 132010

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.

Size Matters
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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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.

Gavin Kromhout:

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  7 Responses to “Logitech G7, G700, Performance MX (M950) and Razer Mamba, Nagga Epic and Cybord R.A.T 9”

  1. Hi, did you ever get the opportunity to see which of the two tracks better on varied surfaces, such as, arm of a chair, duvet etc, I know you said “you don’t code from the sofa” but thought you may have tried out of interests sake.
    I have a G7, have had a G5 and they are both appalling on cloth type surfaces compared to my MX518 and deathadder, which are both non-laser sensors….wires annoy me, but trying to control a spastic cursor is worse

  2. Hi Gerard,

    Yes indeed, I may not code from a sofa but I do have my desktop hooked up to the TV and Hifi for movies and music. My sofa arm is a microfibre and both my old G7 and new G700 perform just as well as the ‘dark laser’ of the M950 in initial testing. In fact I couldn’t tell any differences on any of the surfaces in my lounge or kitchen. The G700 even works on my glass sliding door which is vertical and 6m away but admittedly fairly dirty ๐Ÿ™‚ For me it had more to do with the surface being firm and smooth than the type of cloth but it certainly seems like “your mileage may vary”.

  3. Thanks for your prompt reply.

  4. Hi. I have the razer mamba mouse! and when i plug it in and start the computer it says usb over curent! how did u fix this? and if i plug it in close to another usb cable the other item stop working.. plz help

  5. Hi Joakim,

    Unfortunately this is very likely a motherboard issue, some don’t supply enough current and share that with multiple ports. I have had to turn the PC off and pull the power cable for 5 minutes to allow the over current protection to reset in the past.

    Try to test the mouse on another PC and if it works there then the motherboard is the problem. Also try re-arranging which ports are used by high power peripherals. Another option is to buy a POWERED usb hub.

  6. A bit late here, but I just purchased a RAT 9 after having owned two G7s and I am disappointed with it.

    The battery is a real pain to take out of both the mouse and docking station, neither has a release button like the G7 had.

    The mouse sleeps after a fairly short period of time, requiring you to click a button on the mouse, not just move it. Presumably this is to save battery life, but it seems to have a shorter battery life than the G7, which didn’t require a click to wake it up.

    It also seems to get hair and dust stuck in the laser recess much more easily than the G7. It happens about once a day with the RAT 9, and only happened once or twice a month with the G7.

    Those are the bad things, otherwise it is a fairly decent mouse if you don’t compare it to the G7. A bit heavier, even with all the weights removed, but some people like that. The extra buttons are nice, only one side button on the G7 was definitely a flaw. I liked the removable USB receiver for the G7 even though I didn’t use it much.

    Overall I’m just disappointed that they didn’t take the best features of the G7 and incorporate them into the RAT 9, they could have made an amazing mouse.

  7. Hi Colin,

    Thanks for the post, I guess I’ll stop wishing for a RAT 9 demo unit.

    After some 4 months usage, the only thing that really bothers me on the G700 is the battery. As it stands the G700 appears to be the best mouse on the market, if it had the G7 lithium ion quick swap batteries then it would be perfect in my eyes.

    You would really love the 4! thumb buttons on the G700.

    My desktop is a silly contrast in battery life, I have the k750 solar keyboard which *never* needs batteries or recharging and then I have the G700 which needs to be plugged in or battery changed every couple of days…

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