Logitech G903 Wireless review: A dynamic duo
- Apex predator gaming mouse works flawlessly with power mat.
- Both perform well in intense, high-stress situations.
- Configurable buttons (both physically and in LGS).
- Designed to turn heads and are RGB sync-able.
Could be better
- Mat charging takes an age.
- LGS has some bugs.
- Overwolf software needs work.
A living room solution for 4K gaming.
Let's appease the purists right out of the gate. If you exist on the bleeding edge of competitive PC gaming you don't do it in your living room. You have a dedicated batcave, a dedicated batcomputer and a desk with a monitor geared towards the lowest latency possible. That said, any gamer shy of elite MLG standards will no doubt have been lured out into the more social parts of their house, probably due to a large 4K TV. This article is intended for those walkers-between-worlds.
If you've hooked up your rig to a 4K or regular HD screen that's bigger than Texas, the obvious problems are three-fold. Unless you want a light-induced seizure you need to sit well back beyond mouse wire distance. Then you're probably going to want a means to keep your mouse constantly powered and ready to go for 20+ hour gaming sessions. Nobody wants to do the “find new batteries scramble” when the battle royale reads: 10 players remaining.
I think I've found the solution to all of those couch-user conundrums by using two Logitech products that co-operate better than Tango and Cash. Together, the Logitech G903 Wireless Mouse and the Logitech G PowerPlay Wireless Charging System have preserved the butt groove in my lounge like never before. I'm at borderline bedsore levels right now. It's glorious.
The mouse, sans house
Let's get a quick, gamer-focussed review of the G903 out of the way, starting with its svelte design. Whether boxed or set free, there's never a time when the G903 looks anything less than a class act. This is a charcoal black, complex-looking cyborg mouse that's bristling with buttons, faux vent lines under the flanks and aggressively angled cutaways and fins in the areas outside of a normal person's hand grip. If you didn't know this object was a mouse you'd just assume a Decepticon lost a toe.
It's a pleaser of hands just as much as eyeballs, too. With a slight hourglass shape that's perfect either for righties or lefties, the G903 can adequately suit the needs of both palm gripping mouse users or “claw” folk who laugh in the face of carpal tunnel syndrome. Extra points must go to Logitech for allowing the two thumb button ports on either side to be configured however we wish. Its standard configuration has two buttons placed side-by-side on the left, but you can easily detach and switch those across to the right. The power-mad can even go nuts and install a total of four.
Speaking of customisation, along with the central ridge of the unit you have a dedicated button that alters the nature of the mouse wheel – you can have a chunkier cog-like set-up for sure-footed weapon switching or a frictionless free-flow style for unhindered window scrolling. Complementing this are two buttons that can quickly increase or decrease the DPI of your mouse (with visual feedback given in three LEDs). Having five settings at your fingertips beats the hell out of digging through option menus to make speed adjustments via sliders.
Flip this cyberpunk tortoise on its back and you have more doodads to mess with. The G903 can remember five onboard profiles and there's a button here to cycle through these (thereby removing the need to install Logitech software on any foreign gaming machine you want to use). There's also a button to turn off wireless functionality, presumably because you're about to hook in the lovely braided cord that spears into the top of the unit (think: a micro USB with additional, stability-increasing prongs that look like they belong on a Waynetech grappling hook).
Lastly, you'll notice a puck-like chamber that can house either a supplied weight (adds 10g onto the standard 110 g) or a PowerCore unit (not supplied with the mouse) that will be used to enable PowerPlay mat functionality. And, for all the peacocks out there, Logitech has included a programmable RGB lit logo near where your palm goes. You can even sync its discotheque pulsing to the illuminated parts of the PowerPlay mat (or a wide range of other Logitech peripherals).
Performance and taking it to the mat
How does the G903 perform on the battlefield? It's basically the best gaming mouse I've ever used in my life up until this point. The optical sensor in this thing (the much-lauded Pixart PMW 3366) proves to be flawlessly reliable in even the most clutch moments of PUBG. I figured that only time and practice could yield me better results in games, but I almost immediately witnessed a competitive edge form with this thing. Talent can only take you so far – at some point, you're going to need a tool like this to help take you to the next level.
I remember being mightily impressed when I sampled a friend's G900 (a G903 forebear that was released in mid-2016) but that unit has been thoroughly eclipsed by its grandchild here. I'll admit that I scoffed at the “LIGHTSPEED” buzzword on the box until I physically witnessed this wireless mouse outperform every other supposedly superior wired offering I've collected in my tech reviewing travels.
This is all to be expected when the G903's maximum sensitivity is 12,000 dots per inch, its polling rate is 1000 Hz and a bunch of Logitech boffins have iterated on the G900's already impressive innards. I won't throw the borax at you, but the scienticians have managed to isolate and stamp out any possible cause of motion and click latency. This sort of performance, combined with being unfettered by a wire, makes for a heavenly gaming experience.
And there's no reason for your love affair with this wireless mouse to be a series of short dates. On its own the G903 can hold a full day of battery charge (add 10 more hours if you turn off the Christmas lights) and you can also keep it perpetually powered if you harness the electromagnetic resonance field of a PowerPlay pad. Providing you slapped the PowerCore puck into the underneath of the G903, you need only rest it on this sexy 34.2 x 27.9 cm mat to make it pull in a constant electrical current.
I need to curb your enthusiasm a tad here. If you need to get the G903 (or the supported G703 mouse) up to 100% charge quickly, there are much better ways. The PowerPlay offers low-boil charging that will take a good 14 hours to get the internal battery of your mouse up to full juice. Best use the USB cable if you're on a time limit. The PowerPlay comes with the exact same wire as the G903, which means you can quickly detach it and plug it into the mouse. Also, you can piggyback into the USB receiver dongle of the G903 to ensure using these two products in tandem ties up the one port instead of two.
The clever design continues when you factor in the changeable surfaces of the PowerPlay. For the asking price, you're getting the base unit plus two different mat types that can slot right in with little fuss. You could go with the rigid variant that will work ok for a lap or a cloth version that's better suited to desktop work. If neither of those work for you the PowerPlay (unofficially) plays nicely with other mousepads. You can BYO your old favourite, like a security blanket for your wrist.
The unique partnership of the Logitech G903 and PowerPlay will continue to impress when you see them working in the Logitech Gaming Software (LGS). After a short, painless install you'll get an intuitive on-screen representation of both devices and the tweaking can begin in earnest.
You can tinker with the G903's fancy RGB lighting, sync it to pulse in concert with any other Logitech peripherals you own and fine tune your DPI sensitivity. Reassigning buttons is a cinch, too, thanks to a UI that splays open the mouse to let you easily configure up to five profiles.
However, it's not all sunshine and RGB rainbows with the LGS. At the time of writing it has a bug that causes the UI window to draw incredibly small on any display set above 1080p. This turns important information into fine-print, or bunches key functions on top of one another. Having to drop from 4K to HD every time I want to mess with the G903 is a pain in the butt.
There are also a few problems with the bundled-in Overwolf software. The basic idea of it is to conflate the RGB lights of the G903 and the PowerPlay with your in-game action. That sounds great on paper but I found this program to be more trouble than it was worth. One or two games got permanently stuck on a particular colour or wigged out in other ways. Only an unplug could fix it. An uninstall followed soon after. Yeah. Avoid.
Fixable software issues aside, there's simply no faulting the dynamic duo that is the Logitech G903 and the PowerPlay. The mouse, while expensive, is a get-what-you-pay-for proposition that is the current model-to-beat in my mind. The house this mouse can inhabit, while also expensive, is a stylish, comfortable convenience that allows you to basically use the best gaming mouse in the world in its wireless state forever. I couldn't recommend this combo more highly.
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Logitech G903 Wireless Gaming Mouse
- Connection Type
- Wired/Wireless (USB)
- USB Report Rate
- 1000 Mhz (Min 1ms)
- DPI (Min/Max)
- Min: 200 / Max 12000
- PMW 3366
- Type Optical
- Max acceleration
- >40 G
- Max tracking speed
- >400 IPS
- Onboard Memory
- 5 profiles (max)
- Indicator Lights (LED)
- G-logo: Selectable colour (RGB)
- Number of Buttons
- Profile toggle
- Hyperscroll toggle
- Other Features
- Removable side buttons, 10g optional weight
- Battery Details
- Type: Rechargeable
- 13 x 6.7 x 4 cm
- 110 g
- Battery Life
- 32 hours (no light); 24 hours (default lighting)
- Cable Length
- 1.8 metres
- Main Buttons 50 million clicks
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