Logitech has been producing peripherals for some time now, but what they've lacked is a concrete "this is for enthusiasts" brand identity. Ordinarily a vendor producing a specific "gaming" brand is met with eyerolls and rightfully so, but Logitech's gaming peripherals have sort of floated in their expansive product lineup with only the "G" prefix to really distinguish them. What we're looking at today is a push towards a very concrete, very distinct branding that will make Logitech's gamer oriented products much more readily identifiable.

As far as the refresh itself goes, we'll start with the quartet of mice being released. These are essentially refreshes of many of their existing mice with new skins and more importantly, newer and better hardware under the hood. The new versions all see an "s" suffix added to the model numbers, but with them we get better switches and sensors across the board.


Clockwise from the top left: G100s, G400s, G700s, G500s.

Other than the upgraded internals, Logitech deliberately hewed very closely to the existing designs in terms of both materials and feel. Their attitude was "If it ain't broke, don't break it," and while my first inclination might be to chide them on being lazy, the reality is that I agree. These mice (especially the G500) were nigh perfect on their initial release, so there's little reason to mess with success. I will note that I'm not a huge fan of the new visual design, though. MSRP for these mice will be $39 for the G100s, $59 for the G400s, $69 for the G500s, and $99 for the G700s wired/wireless combo mouse.

Next on the agenda are Logitech's new keyboards, but I have a slightly harder time getting excited about these.


The Logitech G19s (top) and G510s (bottom).

These keyboards are straight up new products. Both feature completely color-configurable full-keyboard backlighting and Logitech's GamePanel LCDs. The GamePanels have apparently been pretty popular on their existing keyboards, and Logitech isn't really messing with success with these new keyboards. Instead they've improved durability by using hydrophobic coatings on the palm rest while double-coating the keys for improved longevity. That said, Logitech went with the RGB color-configurable backlighting as opposed to mechanical key switches, so these are still membrane keyboards. If you're like me, that's a bit of a disappointment.

The G19s has a full color LCD GamePanel and actually has an external power brick that allows it to use a single USB 2.0 connection while offering two powered USB 2.0 ports, the backlighting, and the panel. MSRP is set for $199.

The G510s is only slightly cut down; instead of the powered USB 2.0 ports, you get integrated USB audio that toggles on when you plug headphones and a microphone into it. I'm actually pretty keen on that as opposed to using a passthrough, as it makes Windows' clunky audio switching more tolerable. MSRP is set for $119.

Finally, Logitech is releasing two new headsets, both of which I found surprisingly comfortable. Finding a good gaming headset can be difficult for people who wear glasses (or even over-ear headphones in general), but the grip of the new headsets, the G430 and G230, was remarkably gentle while still being secure. Both headsets feature a noise-cancelling microphone. The more expensive G430 (at $79) sports 7.1 surround sound and includes a removable USB audio dongle, meaning you can opt to use it as a basic pair of headphones if you're so inclined. Meanwhile, the more affordable G230 (at $59) foregoes these accoutrements, instead offering basic stereo sound.

Common to all of these products, Logitech is unifying device drivers under one piece of software (something some of their competitors still lack), all but the G430 are Mac compatible (though there's no reason you can't remove the USB dongle and use the G430 as a basic headset on a Mac.) Availability is scheduled for the beginning of April 2013 in the United States, and May 2013 in Europe.

Update: The keyboards are apparently refreshes as well. I'd say if it ain't broke don't fix it (like the mice), but I suspect there will be room for improvement with these. We'll see when the review units arrive!

POST A COMMENT

57 Comments

View All Comments

  • 07Galford007 - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - link

    @ghm3 / everyone,

    Maybe this will help if you're looking to buy one of these mice mentioned in the comments. I guess you can say I've 'collected' a few mice- I have a G700, a G9x, and a R.A.T. 7 among others.

    I'd vote them in that order from most favorite to least. The G700 is my all time favorite mouse. I like how you can charge and play and it feels nice and ergonomic to me - I use more of a claw technique. I also like how it has a lot of buttons on the top and sides. I use for extra functions in games like BF3 (spotting, etc).

    I like the G9x as well - it's fairly ergonomic and light, but the G700 won me over due to having more buttons. Seems like a silly thing but it makes a difference. It's definitely a great back up mouse for me.

    Finally, the R.A.T. 7 is a cool looking mouse and I thought I'd enjoy theadjustable feature, but I didn't end up enjoying the mouse as much as I thought I would. One you adjust it, the mouse loses it's 'charm' in that regard. Also, I know that you can customize the weight but it still feels very heavy to me. Finally, the thumb side wall is pretty much vertical so I find it difficult to pick up / move the mouse around precisely compared to the G9x and G700.

    Let me know if you guys have any other questions and I'll try to answer them as best as I can. Thanks.
    Reply
  • M@gius - Friday, March 22, 2013 - link

    Word of warning if you choose a R.A.T.. I moved to one after my G700 buttons went haywire and Logitech gave me the runaround (to their defense I could not find my receipt or date of purchase anywhere). In any case, I thought I was up to a change and picked up a R.A.T. 9.

    On the good, while tt takes some getting used to, once you do it can be sweet.

    On the bad, the sensor has a tough, rubberized, cover that picks up lint and any small particles on your desk better than any vacuum cleaner will. You will find out how much when your cursor starts jumping erratically around the screen or suddenly it simply won't move at all in some random direction. It is a BIG annoyance but once you clean it you are back in business.

    Battery life is plain ridiculous. I think the fault lies on the sleep modes for the mice rather than the battery, although it could easily use an expanded battery.,Not an issue of course if you pick anything else but a R.A.T. 9. Switching batteries is easy enough but it can be a pain if you don't notice it is dying in the middle of a gaming sessions. I've opted to change the battery every time I sit down to play even if it still has some charge left.

    Adjustments work for the most part, but some, like the thumb angle cannot deal with a strong grip. I adjusted mine for an open grip (and liked the change) but no matter how much I tighten the screw I can push the thumb support back in.

    Just keep those bits in mind if you decide to go for a R.A.T. unit. I would say the one that annoys me the most is the rubber lint magnet. If they change this in the new units its golden.
    Reply
  • 07Galford007 - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - link

    M@gius,

    Sorry to hear that your G700 went haywire. I switched from a R.A.T. 7 to a G700 and it's been great so far after several months. Definitely my favorite mouse. I mentioned it in a comment above.
    Reply
  • 07Galford007 - Tuesday, March 26, 2013 - link

    I'm fine with the 'if it ain't broke don't fix it' mentality. I have a G27 and although it's been out for a few years, I don't know how they would update it much without doing something crazy like slapping paint or decals on it (please don't let them do that). Reply
  • silenceisgolden - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - link

    Does the G430 headset have 7.1 plugs for if you don't want to use the USB audio? Reply
  • mchart - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - link

    Surround headsets such as these use Dolby Headphone to achieve surround, which is ideal for a headphone. If it has analog plugs it'll be just stereo/mic. Reply
  • Dustin Sklavos - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - link

    Correct, just stereo and mic. Reply
  • Skidmarks - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - link

    For me Logitech used to be the 'go to' brand for peripherals. For the past couple of years they haven't brought out any product that would would make me consider them again. Reply
  • mchart - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - link

    It is of my opinion that they don't need to. They only need to make minor improvements every once and a while to their current products. If it's not broke then don't fix it as they say, and the G5/G500 design for mice is one of the longest lasting and most popular besides Microsoft's Intellimouse. Reply
  • ghm3 - Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - link

    IMO that's simply because other companies sprouted up (Razer, Corsair, SteelSeries,etc.) making high quality components too, not because Logitech no longer makes good peripherals. Other companies makes flashier stuff that gets more attention, but that's pretty much their entire business; Logitech's PC peripheral lineup is just a small part of what they make so they don't focus as much on the bleeding edge stuff. Reply

Log in

Don't have an account? Sign up now