With the potential to go out of date before you actually buy it, the new G5 Special Edition mouse boasts a "skin" based on the Battlefield 2142 game. This new edition adds no extra functionality -- only pretty pictures -- for an added premium of AU$20.
However, on our recent visit to an EB Games store, the Special Edition version was the same price as the original -- AU$129. So, if your local EB is matching the price it could be more worthwhile.
The G5 is an evolution of the original MX500, which boasted an ergonomic design with two thumb buttons and numerous scroll buttons. This design has been distilled for both the G7 and G5. The mouse feels good in the hand and all the buttons are well placed for easy access.
The colour scheme is mostly the traditional silver and black, while the standout is the faceplate which features a montage from the Electronic Arts game Battlefield 2142. A great game, but is this a good mouse?
There have been some modifications on the original MX500/MX510 design. The mouse now uses a laser instead of an LED which means it's now capable of resolutions up to 2000dpi (up from 800dpi). And the buttons have had a tweaking too -- with the forward and back buttons replaced with one back button.
Also of interest is the set of buttons below the scroll wheel -- it adjusts the sensitivity of the mouse on the fly. While this is helpful for gamers, it's also means graphic designers and artists can adjust the amount of control they need when working with fine detail or need to cover large areas quickly.
The lowest setting (400dpi) means that large mouse movements translate to slow ones, while the 2000dpi setting makes every movement go incredibly fast.
Unlike the G7, the G5 includes a card which you can load up with weights to customize the heft of the mouse. People used to the light feel of most mice may not choose to use it at all, while hardcore gamers may prefer to use it at its heaviest setting for more control.
To customise the mouse even further, the G5 ships with Logitech's SetPoint software, which lets you change the functions of buttons within Windows and games alike, as well as add further levels of dpi sensitivity.
The G5 itself has been around for over a year, but the original version had one problem which could only be fixed with a firmware update: it couldn't read on reflective or dark surfaces. This is problematic for gamers as several specialty mousing surfaces are both...
Most people wouldn't think of buying a black mousepad made of glass, but for gamers products such as the Icemat can give them the edge. The reason these mats are popular -- apart from looking cool -- is that they reduce the amount of friction between the mouse and the table. This makes the mouse more sensitive to smaller movements, and essentially upgrades its performance.
So, would the new G5 experience the same problems? First we tried the mouse on a purple Icemat 2nd Edition mat to see if we could make the laser freak out. And the answer is ... (drumroll please) ... no. The combination of the silky smooth surface and the mouse was excellent.
If you're looking to buy a gaming mouse like the G5 it's well worth investing in a dedicated surface like the Icemat as well. Though the Icemat is not recommended in cramped spaces as it's quite large and raised.
Next we tried the G5 on a black leather surface, and unsurprisingly it worked well there too. So, all of the bugs appear to be ironed out which makes this G5 Special Edition ready to use, and deadly accurate, straight out of the box.
On pure economic terms, the Logitech G5 Laser Mouse -- Battlefield 2142 Special Edition is a poor investment. If you already own a G5, G7 or even an MX518 there is no compelling reason to buy this mouse. However, if you're a Battlefield fanboy, or happen to know one, this is the best Christmas gift ever.
N.B. Since this review was written, Logitech have advised us that the mouse should now be available through most IT outlets.