Logitech’s new wireless mouse charging system has seen the company edge even closer to making wired gaming mice obsolete, but its appeal might be limited by its price tag.
With the promise of delivering “infinite power”, the Logitech G PowerPlay Wireless Charging System uses electromagnetic resonance that allows it to charge one of Logitech’s two new gaming mice even while they are in use.
The PowerPlay system itself comprises of a large but thin base which connects to a PC using a braided USB cable. Logitech includes two 27.5cm x 32.0cm mouse pads – a soft cloth version as well as a harder pad – that are then placed on top of the base.
Since it has an integrated receiver, the base can pair directly to Logitech’s new G903 or G703 mice, which means an additional dongle doesn’t need to be connected.
Side-by-side, the new G903 clearly stands out as a stronger example of a ‘gaming mouse’ with its 11 programmable buttons, unique appearance and bright LED ‘G’ logo that lights up when in operation.
The G903 is designed for both right and left handed users with extra buttons that can be added to the right side of the mouse. Settings can be saved on to the mouse’s onboard memory, and sensitivity can be quickly adjusted between five different settings.
In comparison, the G703 has a more traditional mouse appearance, while still incorporating six programmable buttons. It lacks the ambidextrous design of the G903, but does feature onboard memory, programmable sensitivity and customisable RGB lighting on the ‘G’ logo as well as the scroll wheel.
The mice are able to charge wirelessly using the small circular Powercore module that comes with the PowerPlay system. This clicks in underneath the mouse, and can be swapped out for a 10g removeable weight for users who want a bit more heft on top of the G703’s 107g and G903’s 110g.
In practice, the PowerPlay system works exactly as intended. Right after putting mouse to pad, charging starts and continues for as long as the two are in contact.
The battery will usually creep up a few percent points each hour during typical gaming use, which won’t be much of an issue since the mouse will always be charging. This does speed up significantly when the mouse is not in use.
New ‘Lightspeed’ technology is key to the wireless charging system and both new gaming mice, which Logitech says offers speeds that are as fast, or faster, than competing wired gaming mice.
In practice, the performance of both mice does seem to back up Logitech’s claims. I didn’t notice any of the issues or quirks that sometimes affect wireless mice, and my overall gaming experience supported Logitech’s claims that the mice are ‘lag-free’.
Logitech also includes a USB cable for wired operation and charging as well as a USB nano receiver.
Both feature a 1-millisecond report rate, as well as a resolution of 200-12,000 DPI. This sensitivity can be quickly adjusted between five different settings, which are set up using Logitech Gaming Software.
I did experience a few minor problems with the software which needs to be installed to take full advantage of all the customisation options, but overall it works okay for adjusting different settings and things like changing the LED lighting.
As someone who generally doesn’t delve too deeply into PC gaming peripherals, the custom lighting on the mice is definitely an interesting novelty.
The G903, G703, and PowerPlay mouse pad, along with a range of other Logitech G gear, can all be synchronised to display one colour from a choice of 16.8 million, or cycled through multiple colours. Integration with Overwolf can even allow some some games to control the lighting.
These lighting effects do take their toll on battery life, which Logitech says is 32 hours with no lighting or 24 hours with the default lighting. Most users will be charging the mouse constantly through PowerPlay anyway, so this isn’t much of an issue.
Arguably the biggest issue of the PowerPlay system is its price. If you could pick up a PowerPlay kit for a slight premium on a typical gaming mouse, it’d be a highly desirable alternative and a fairly easy recommendation, especially for anyone keen on convenience.
However, you’ll need to throw down $199.95 for the PowerPlay system alone, plus add another $149.95 for the G703 or $249.95 for the G903.
Logitech’s PowerPlay system and accompanying G703 or G903 deliver just about the best wireless gaming mouse experience available on the market.
Whether the convenience of not having to worry about your wireless mouse’s battery is worth $400 dollars or more is up to interpretation.