Sure, you've heard of a 20-sided die, but what about a 20-button mouse? Logitech's G600 MMO Gaming Mouse features a score of buttons that can be can programmed to work with popular games such as "Guild Wars 2" and "Star Wars: The Old Republic." In addition, the $79.99 mouse has switchable DPI and three onboard memory profiles. But are all those buttons handy or a handful?
Click to EnlargeThe G600 is intimidating at first glance. Thanks to its deep, swooping vertical grooves and asymmetrical shape, the 4.6 x 2.9 x 1.6-inch, 3.98-ounce device looks more like the guidance system for an interstellar vehicle than a computer accessory.
Our ring, middle and index fingers fit easily into the G600's black matte plastic grooves while our palm rested comfortably on the mouse's base. The right side of the mouse sports a rubberized finish with a honeycomb pattern, ensuring our pinky had a firm grip. The left side of the G600 is higher than the right, making room for the 12 backlit buttons embedded in the glossy black plastic thumb panel. The top features a small black matte scroll wheel made of soft-touch plastic and a pair of buttons, one of which activates the mouse's alternative command functions.
A small gray G600 logo sits on the rear while a larger Logitech insignia resides on the bottom above the laser sensor. We're also fans of the 6.5-foot black braided fabric cord. It's more durable than a plastic cord and gives the mouse a touch of sophistication.
Click to EnlargeThe G600 has a whopping 20 buttons that can be customized for your fragging, questing or fighting pleasure. Twelve of the buttons, numbered G9-G20, are located along the left of the mouse in a 4-by-3 grid. However, the buttons are small and lack the spacing of the Razer Naga's thumb panel. This led to us pressing the wrong button, which put us on the business end of a head or gut shot far too many times.
Two buttons rest below the clickable, tiltable scroll wheel. There are also three primary buttons cleverly hidden in the top panels of the mouse: The traditional left and right buttons are complemented by a third button that rests under your ring finger. All of the buttons and panels delivered strong, springy feedback. But if you feel like you can use a few more options, you can hit the G-Shift button below the scroll wheel, which activates the buttons' secondary functions.
Click to EnlargeSetting up macros and profiles can be incredibly simple or complex, according to your preferred level of customization. The mouse has three profiles where gamers can store all their lighting and button preferences. This really comes in handy when you're using the mouse with multiple PCs. However, it would have been nice if Logitech could have included the Logitech Gaming Software on the mouse, instead of making us download it from its site.
Once we downloaded Logitech's software, we were almost overwhelmed by the all the choices. Automatic Game Detection enables the mouse to use game profiles stored on the computer. Amazingly, the software already recognized 248 titles, including "Assassin's Creed," "Mass Effect" and the "Rainbow Six" series.
We chose the "Borderlands 2" profile and tweaked button commands to fit our gameplay, placing weapons, health and eagle vision commands among the top six buttons on the left of the mouse. Assigning macros was simple -- just drag and drop the command over to the corresponding button. When we were done, we saved and began gleefully blasting Bullymongs and Psychos. Gamers can also add custom commands by entering single or multiple keystrokes, depending on the desired action.
The G600 can also be used for more mundane productivity tasks with a few button changes. Logitech's software is configured to perform Windows commands such as Copy, Paste, Show Desktop and Close Window. There are also seven multimedia commands (Play/Pause, Stop, Previous Track, Next Track, Volume Up, Volume Down and Mute) that can be mapped to the button.
Click to EnlargeWhen we plugged the Logitech G600 into an Alienware M17x R4, the thumb panel buttons immediately began to glow, rotating between deep greens, blues, reds and purples, similar to the M17x's customizable backlit keyboard. Our favorite feature of the Logitech software was the ability to customize the color of these buttons. The software only has two effects (Pulse and Cycle lighting), but you can create a wide variety of colors to give the G600 some flair. Better yet, you can assign colors to specific game profiles to give each title its own unique look.
The Logitech gaming software also let us toggle pointer settings including DPI (Dots Per Inch), Sensitivity Levels, Report Rate and acceleration speed.
Click to EnlargeAs we played "Borderlands 2" and "Guild Wars 2," the G600 skated as smoothly across our desk as Apolo Ohno. Switching DPI on the fly allowed us to kick things into overdrive, zipping our aiming reticle over the field to quickly lay down cover fire with the assault rifle. We ramped down dpi for more precision shots with our sniper rifle.
The top six buttons on the left side of mouse were easy to reach. Reaching the bottom six, however, was like trying to scratch a hard-to-reach itch. We compensated for this by mapping some our least-used functions to these buttons. We had a much easier time hitting all the buttons on the Razer Naga. We were able to play "Borderlands 2" for more than three hours without so much as a cramp.
Click to EnlargeThe Logitech G600 MMO Gaming Mouse crams a lot of power into a relatively small package. For $79.99, gamers get a highly customizable piece of hardware. Gamers can spend hours creating custom macro loadouts and color profiles. The adjustable DPI delivered speed and precision while the 20 buttons made saving the world a whole lot easier. We prefer the Razer Naga, which offers customizable side panels, larger, snappy buttons and unlimited profiles for the same price. Overall, the G600 is a very good choice for fans of MMO-style games such as "World of Warcraft" or "Star Wars: The Old Republic," but FPS fans might want something better suited to their play style.