Logitech G600 MMO Gaming Mouse
Some of you readers may be balking at the idea of a button-loaded MMO mouse. After all, it doesn’t seem to make sense to have more buttons than fingers you can count. Yet, Logitech has answered to a niche group of gamers and has now unleashed the G600 to conquer the deepest dungeons and the most distant galaxies. This is a gaming mouse to fulfill the needs of the most hardcore of MMO gamers.
We’ve seen MMO mice before. In-fact, the G600 with its twelve thumb buttons appears to be heavily inspired by the Razer Naga! It then only seems inevitable to answer the following question by the end of this review: is the G600 as good as or better than the Razer Naga?
The big highlight of the G600 is 20 programmable buttons: 12 thumb buttons backlight by RGB LEDs, three primary finger buttons, and a scroll wheel with tilt buttons. In addition are onboard memory that can hold three profiles and an 8200 DPI laser sensor. The G600 can be found for $64.62 shipped at Amazon and also comes in white.
Logitech G600 Features and Specifications:
- 20 MMO-tuned buttons: Three primary buttons. Twelve thumb buttons. A clickable scroll wheel that tilts. DPI and profile switching.
- Light it up your way: The thumb panel’s RBG illumination is fully customizable with over 16 million possible combinations. Set colors pulse on and off, or configure them to continuously change.
- Onboard brains: The three memory profiles are stored onboard so can access all your button, tracking, and lighting color information on any computer with no software required.
- 8200 DPI laser sensor
- 4.7 x 3 x 1.5 inches (LxWxH) and 4.7 ounces
- 3-year warranty
The box has a front flap that can be pulled open revealing the G600 behind a plastic shell. The packaging is rather clever as the box has to be disassembled almost like a puzzle to release the contents. I would much rather cut through small pieces of tape and unfold cardboard rather than struggle with hard plastic clamshell packaging.
The rest of the package’s contents are found underneath the mouse. Much like the Logitech G710+’s contents, the G600 package only comes with the product itself, a quick start manual, and a hazard warning. No driver CD is included, which is rather surprising because the mouse’s 20 programmable buttons and profiles can only be configured with the Logitech Game Software. I don’t imagine that is a huge obstacle to download the driver software from Logitech’s website, but I can’t help but feel that the G600’s package is incomplete. The product details on the box do inform us that the G600 is fully functional without the use of the driver software thanks to its onboard memory. We will cover the mouse software on another page of this review, but let’s first take a closer look at the mouse.
Looking Closer at the Logitech G600
The dimensions are 4.7 x 3 x 1.5 inches (LxWxH) and the G600 weighs 4.7 ounces. The G600 is slightly wider than most other gaming mice, but the third finger button should make the reason apparent. That third finger button can be creatively useful.
The mouse is powder coated to give a stealthy matte black finish. However, during testing, I transported the G600 in a carry bag with other computer peripherals and scratched that powder down to the smooth plastic. Our review sample now has what looks like a permanent grease mark and is quite disappointing to look at. Even though the photographs in this review were taken before I scratched the G600, a few dings can still be seen in the powder coating in the close-up image above.
The G600’s ergonomics are more interesting than the images suggest. Looking from the rear, it would seem that the mouse is almost rectilinear and sloping, coupled by the fact that butt end looks like it was sliced off. However, when viewed from the top, a more triangular figure can be outlined and the G600 is appropriately more pyramidal than it is boxy.
While such a form does heavily favor the palm hold, it is possible to hold this mouse in claw grip. In-fact, doing the latter is the best way to use all 12 thumb buttons. However, I found that friction and the mouse’s bulkiness make the G600 difficult to control when using the claw grip. It was much easier to leverage the mouse with a palm grip and compromise by using 6 of the thumb buttons.
The G600’s braided USB cord measures at roughly 6 feet long and terminates at a USB plug. A reusable Velcro cable tie is included on the cord.
The scroll wheel is textured and has a silent roll. Next to the scroll wheel towards the center of the top surface are two macro buttons. These buttons are not backlit.
Large plastic feet help the mouse to glide on surfaces. Also visible in the above image is the 8200 DPI laser sensor which can track on most surfaces except for glass.
That’s 12 thumb buttons right there and is the only part of the mouse that is backlit. Needless to say, I find myself using at three buttons most of the time. The thumb buttons are well engineered. They aren’t soft enough where an entire thumb resting on the array will press buttons unintentionally, but not hard enough where repeated pressing a button with the tip of the thumb becomes tiring.
The thumb button backlight is fairly bright and can easily be seen across a well-lit room. The mouse software can adjust the brightness and even turn off the backlight.
The default macro command for the third finger button is either Ctrl key or DPI Shift, the latter which will be explained in more detail on the following page. Users can also resort to creative programming of this button include melee attacks, scoping, web browser page refresh, or push-to-talk.
Next, lets look at Logitech's unifying G-series driver, the Logitech Game Software.
Logitech Game Software
Users should note the G600 does not come with a driver CD. Instead, the latest version of the Logitech Game Software has to be downloaded from Logitech’s support website. Logitech’s Setpoint software, used by some of Logitech’s non-gaming products, cannot configure the G600.
The Logitech Game Software’s graphical interface is fairly intuitive to navigate. Glowing visual cues direct the user’s attention to the programmable functions. Pop-up tooltips give concise explanations in-case a little more information is needed.
Available on the home tab is the option to switch between the profiles stored onboard the G600 and profiles stored on the computer. The onboard memory can store only three profiles can be stored on and the macro functions are limited to simple hotkeys. However, unlike the Razer Naga 2012 and its driver software, Synapse 2.0, the G600’s onboard profiles do not require the host computer to have the Logitech Game Software installed! Thus, users can preprogram the G600 on their own computer for use on another computer without being more invasive than is necessary.
The 20 buttons can each be assigned macro functions. Clicking a section of the colored wheel switches to another profile. Each game can have three profiles and each profile can have its own set of assigned macro functions. Logitech G-series keyboards can also have a macro key assigned to cycle between G600 profiles.
The macro options available for the onboard profiles are limited to “Mouse function” and “Keystroke.” Users wanting to use more advanced macros have to use the computer stored profiles.
Computer stored macro options include keystrokes, key combinations, hotkeys, opening programs, and advanced mouse functions, such as toggling DPI settings. “DPI shift” is a macro function that changes the DPI while the button is held. That DPI level can be defined in the Mouse Pointer Settings tab.
Unique to the G600 is “G-Shift”, which acts as the G600’s own pseudo-modifier key and can be assigned to a button on the G600 or Logitech G-series keyboard macro key. Holding down a button with G-Shift assigned will function similarly to holding down a modifier on the keyboard such as Shift, Ctrl, and Alt. Instead however, G-Shift swaps between two user defined sets. Demonstrating this is the default profile; with the 12 thumb buttons mapped as the numpad, pressing the G-Shift assigned button will shift to Num Lock numpad assignments. Thus, using G-Shift can effectively double the number of programmed macros on the G600.
The Mouse Pointer Settings tab allows users to change the report rate and the DPI sensitivity. DPI levels can be defined and one of those levels can be designated for DPI Shift and will be an orange tick mark. Each profile can optionally have its own set of levels and sensitivity.
The thumb button backlight can be illuminated with one of 16 million colors at a steady glow or a pulse. Either the palette or the swatches can be used to define that color. The backlight can be cycled through a rainbow of colors as well. The rate of the pulsing color or speed of the rainbow cycling can be adjusted with a scroll bar. Brightness can be adjusted and the backlight can even be completely turned off. Each onboard profile and game profile can have its own lighting scheme.
Using the G600 & Conclusion
The G600 isn’t very attractive as a result of Logitech emphasizing ergonomics and function over aesthetics. I wouldn’t call the Razer Naga attractive either with its own waffle of buttons, or really any other MMO mice such as the Corsair M90 and the Mad Catz M.M.O. 7. The G600 just looks weird, but for all the right reasons.
However, creating a specialized form means that the G600’s ergonomics cannot suit everyone. The ergonomics don’t favor a claw grip or fingertip hold, but keeping the thumb raised and pointed makes it possible to quickly access several rows of thumb buttons. The problem with the ergonomics in this situation is that the mouse’s center of gravity will be underneath the unsupported fingers. If the surface has enough friction, controlling the mouse becomes a clumsy affair. Additionally, the usefulness of the 12 thumb buttons becomes a matter of compromises. Logitech has chosen to outdo the amount of buttons of other MMO mice to the point that there may be too many for the user to comfortably use.
As is with the case of most of Logitech’s ergonomic designs, the G600 is most comfortable to those using a palm hold. Logitech’s design goal here I assume is comfort - perhaps an assumption that MMO gamers tend to play in long sessions. Unfortunately, this doesn’t mesh perfectly with the large number of thumb buttons. To illustrate in words, I hold my thumb so close that I can usually only use the three forward-most buttons at my thumb-tip and essentially “waste” the other nine. The rest of the story is more positive. The sloping outline of the mouse makes resting whatever finger is on the third primary bottom comfortable and the tall "dome" supports the ball of the hand during those long sessions. While this makes the G600 very good for hours of grinding, spell spamming, and even office work, this makes for poor performance with intense action games. The mouse’s width, weight, and tall palm support makes it harder to leverage precision for shooters or hammer lots of clicking for real-time strategy games.
Despite all this, I like the G600. While it’s not particularly great at any one thing due to its specialized design, its strongest suit is for casual gaming, some office work, and of course MMOs. The ergonomics favor long use and while I only find myself using three thumb buttons, that’s enough for a few frequently used spells and as media keys (previous, play/pause, and next) outside of gaming. The thumb buttons aren’t too soft or too hard to press and they aren’t overly intrusive. The customizable LED lights are a welcome cosmetic extra on top of a very functional mouse. While the Razer Naga 2012 does have a customizable shell, the G600 has a more accommodating ergonomic shape. This is on top of multicolor backlit thumb buttons and onboard memory, the latter which is sorely missing on the newest version of the Naga. A 3-year warranty and a $64.62 shipped price at Amazon places this mouse well in line with its competition. I can confidently say that the G600 is as good as the respectable Naga and those looking to buy an MMO mouse should find equal satisfaction with either.
Legit Bottom Line: The Logitech G600 is decently specialized for its purpose and not all gamers will like that. However, the G600 is a well-built MMO mouse and is versatile enough for even casual use.