Among consitituents of the PC master race, one of the most contentious hardware purchases remains the wireless gaming mouse. The pitch is attractive — super precise aiming and high report rates without the need to drag a heavy cable around — but often clashes with what a battery can actually offer. A regular daily gaming habit means your batteries will likely need a recharge before the week is out, a problem that makes most PC gamers nervous about a mid-game conk-out.
Logitech claims to have a solution to this dilemma in their G603 Lightspeed Wireless Gaming Mouse. If Logi’s marketing spiel is to be believed, the G603 is capable of delivering 500 hours of continuous gaming on a single pair of AA’s. If you aren’t gaming, that number skyrockets up to a staggering 1400 hours. We’re talking about a wireless gaming mouse that can potentially survive on a single charge for months. Can the G603 back up this rather audacious claim?
Aesthetically, you’ll probably have a hard time distinguishing the G603 from the G703. Like a lot of Logitech products, there’s very little in the way of personality here — this is a mouse that doesn’t care for bells and whistles, it has no time for flashing lights or alien spacecraft design. This is, of course, a function of its needing to conserve battery life — you can’t have all these ridiculous extras draining valuable charge and so out they go.
Lefties, sadly, need not apply as it’s a mouse that’s the sculpt is quite clearly for right-handed users with a pair of thumb-buttons along the left-side and a palm slope on the right.
The top side sports a scroll wheel beneath which lies a small nub button that defaults to DPI switching. The left and right click feel solid and have a nice resonant click to them for feedback. Those who prefer a softer touch for feathering the trigger in FPS titles may find them a bit too stiff for their liking but in every other respect I found them to be more than adequate.
The case itself is magnetised, beneath which lies the AA slots and a spot to store the USB receiver when you’re on the go The mouse also works with Bluetooth if your computer supports it, but you’ll really only be able to put to everyday use this way. Gaming over Bluetooth remains a recipe for frustration and input lag.
The G603 uses the same Logitech Gaming Software its other peripherals adhere to and is happy to run the same features as the G703. Through the software you can check the battery life, whether you’re in Performance or Endurance mode and if you have a set of DPI profiles loaded onto the mouse’s minuscule internal storage. You can also spend time customising your button layout if you have a preferred setup, and the tools for doing so are quite robust, but without any Razer-esque lights to play around with there’s not much else you can do with the software.
The first mouse in company’s kit to boast the new High Efficiency Rated Optical (or HERO) sensor, Logi has been hard at work on the tech for a few years with the goal of getting comparable performance to their high-end cabled gaming mice and slashing the power draw down to nothing.
The sensor will get you anywhere up to 12,000 DPI with no smoothing or filtering. The 1ms response time means you’re rewarded with constant and precise control. From shooters to Civ VI, there was no point where I felt like the mouse’s performance was anything less than extremely tight.
It might feel like I’m heaping praise on the G603 but there is a downside, and its the one that comes with any mouse that takes AA batteries — it’s heavy. Here’s the thing though, on playing around with it I discovered that the mouse works just fun while running on a single AA battery. Doing so will get you down to about 104 grams which is well and truly light enough.
So the big question surrounding this mouse is “Does Logitech’s ridiculous 500 hour battery life claim actually hold water?” I haven’t had the mouse anywhere near long enough to comment but in the two weeks since I took delivery of it, I’ve used the mouse for both games and work all day, every single day. In that time, the battery monitor in the Logi app hasn’t reported any battery drain whatsoever. What’s more, these findings come from my single-battery setup. If one thing is clear, this is a mouse with an absolutely bonkers amount of battery life.
It’s still not an easy decision to pick a wireless gaming mouse over a corded one but the G603 appears to be the closest example yet of being able to have your cake and eat it too. It’s fast, its accurate and the battery life is so long that weekly recharges are a thing of the past. If you’re one of those players with no axe to grind against wireless peripherals, this is the mouse to consider.
Score: 8.5 out of 10
Highlights: Strong performance; Epic battery life; Customisable
Lowlights: Very little personality; Right-handers only
Price: $129.95 AUD RRP
Reviewed using a retail sample provided by the manufacturer.