Great sensor; classic shape; quick-switch dual-mode scroll wheel.
Requires software to change profiles; expensive; too many thumb buttons.
At first glance, Logitech’s new G500 mouse looks like yesterday’s model. Its chassis is almost identical to the classic G5, which was in turn a slight redesign of the MX510/518 series. The G500 takes the classic hump design of the MX510/518 and updates the sensor with one similar to the sensor used in the newer G9x line of mice. That’s very nice.
When we say the same laser sensor as the G9x , we really mean that Logitech included an ever-so-slightly upgraded version of the G9x’s sensor. The G500’s adjustable sensor lets you select a setting from 200–5,700dpi, while the G9x limits you to 200–5,000dpi. This isn’t really a significant upgrade, as even the 5,000dpi setting is unplayable outside the small subset of games that let you set an incredibly low sensitivity. Still, we love the silky-smooth action of this mouse.
With five programmable buttons, plus the clicky mouse-wheel, there are plenty of options for the button-crazed gamer. We’re not necessarily fans of the triple thumb-button cluster, though; it sacrifices simplicity and the ability to instantly know which button you’re pressing for an extra button that we rarely use. Still, players of macro-friendly games—like RTSes and World of Warcraft—will find that it’s simple to program, although getting the timing perfect can be tricky. We absolutely love that the switch that alternates the mouse wheel between its detente-less smooth scroll setting and the more traditional one-click stop setting is squarely front and center—on top of the mouse, directly below the scroll wheel. However, its placement does mean that it’s possible to accidently click should you lose your grip.
Like the other G-series mice from Logitech, the G500 includes a weight tray, allowing you to customize the weight of your mouse in increments of 2g or 5g. Additionally, like the G9 and G9x, you can store profiles containing everything from button assignments to dpi and mouse polling settings on the mouse. This lets you utilize your custom profiles on whatever computer you’re playing on. This is perfect for LAN parties, where you may or may not be competing on a computer you built. While you can save multiple profiles on the G500, you can’t manually switch between them on the mouse itself. It’s a minor feature, but something we liked with the G9-series mice. We were able to set as many as five different sensitivity settings in the Logitech control panel app, but we couldn’t access more than three in our tests with the actual hardware. Which three could we use? No idea, the mouse simply tells you whether you’re using the slow, medium, or fast setting, without displaying the actual dpi setting you’re using.
Where does that leave the G500? While we love the classic shape of the G500, we miss the G9-series’ ability to switch between profiles using just the mouse. If you absolutely detest the shape and interchangeable bodies of the G9 mice, this is an acceptable rodent. However, if you can adjust to the G9x, it’s a superior product.