It's no small secret we're fans of Logitech's G5, and so it was with alarm that we noticed stock dwindling, and with trepidation that we heard of a successor. Thankfully, there's nothing to fear — unless you're a lefty, in which case you've once again been left out in the cold.
At first glance the Logitech G500 retains a near identical form factor to the G5, and for the most part feels almost the same. The thumb rest has been flanged out slightly more, and more smoothly becomes part of the base. The laser has moved from mid body higher towards the front, the textured black surface feels a little more grippy, the scroll wheel has been updated and a few other buttons and minor tweaks have crept in. Still, if your G5 is on its last legs, this is a near perfect swap-in: it even retains the little custom weight cachet underneath the mouse should you wish to add a little more heft to your movement.
A few things have been shifted around — the on-the-fly DPI switching buttons are now along the left edge of the mouse, which after a period of adjustment, is better than the previous solution of placing them under the scroll wheel. Instead, you'll find a single button there that switches the scroll wheel between detents and spinning freely — and spin freely it does, a not particularly ambitious flick of the finger can send it spinning for around 12 seconds. In fact, it's perfectly easy to spin the wheel fast enough to freak out your system with too much input, causing it to beep repeatedly in complaint. Fortunately, in reality you should never have to spin this much.
The back and forward buttons on the lip of the thumb rest have been redesigned again, and it's possible to determine only by touch which is which. They still don't quite hit the mark for comfort though — Microsoft has offered the best version of this with its SideWinder X8, and we've yet to see it matched.
All of the redesigned elements, G5 2007 refresh vs. G500. (Credit: Logitech)
Underneath these buttons is another, which by default is assigned the charming moniker of "Generic Button" — what we'd usually assume would be assigned as execute macro. Thankfully it can be assigned as this, or indeed almost anything, as Logitech's SetPoint software allows a high level of configurability for pretty much every button.
As is all the rage these days, it stores all the settings in profiles, of which you can keep several, but can only store one on the mouse itself. These can either be switched to manually, or when a specific application is launched, allowing you to create a custom config per application if you like.