About a year ago, Logitech released the G900 Chaos Spectrum wireless gaming mouse, which earned nearly unanimous praise as the best wireless mouse you can buy. This year it’s back with the G903 (See it on Amazon), a nearly identical remake that exists primarily to provide support for the company’s new POWERPLAY mouse pad. That’s right, this is the G900 all over again, only this time you can buy a $100 mouse pad that will charge your mouse while you use it so you never have to plug it in, or dock it, or swap batteries. And it’s still the best gaming mouse you can buy, with or without a wire.
Design and Features
The charcoal black mouse has a slick futuristic look with cutaways and fins that recall the design of a modern Lamborghini or maybe the Ford GT. Fortunately, none of that flash gets in the way of a comfortable grip. The mid-profile design is suitable for either a claw or palm grip, but those with especially large hands will be most comfortable with a claw grip. I didn’t find any way to hold it that seemed uncomfortable.
Those who are left-handed, or just prefer to use both sides of the mice, will appreciate Logitech’s customizable side buttons. There are spaces for two buttons on both the left and right side of the mouse. The default configuration has two buttons on the left and a flat cover on the right in a right-handed configuration. But you can pop off that cover and snap in buttons, replacing the left-side buttons with a cover, and now it’s a mouse for lefties. Or, if you really just love buttons, snap in all four side buttons! The software fully supports left, right, and both-side button configurations. In fact, if you find you don’t like thumb buttons at all, you can take them off entirely—there’s an option in the software for that, too.
The customizable side buttons snap on with magnets.
Along the top of the mouse are two small buttons meant to raise or lower the mouse DPI settings, and of course you can customize them as you like. The scroll wheel can be clicked down, left, and right, and has a pleasing rubbery knurled feel. A button on top switches the scroll wheel from a firm style with obvious detents to a freely scrolling mode that acts like a flywheel. That’s not useful in a lot of games, but it’s surprisingly delightful in desktop activities like scrolling long web pages or scrubbing through video editing software.
With the press of a button you can switch between a clicky or free-spinning wheel.
Around the bottom you’ll find a switch to turn the wireless receiver on or off, a button to toggle through the on-board stored profiles (you can have up to 5), and a round coin-shaped disc. That’s just a blank cover where you’ll snap on the POWERCORE module if you buy the POWERPLAY mat, or you can add on a small 10g weight if you don’t.
In the front is the micro-USB port used for charging. The included cable has a funny-looking connector that is pretty easy to plug in, and it locks in securely enough that it won’t fall out in heated gaming sessions. When the mouse isn’t plugged in, you can plug the wireless receiver into the cable with the little USB extension dongle. Or, just take the tiny receiver out and plug it into a USB port on your PC and leave it there.
At only 110 grams, the G903 is pretty light for a wireless mouse, but I didn’t really feel like the 10g weight made all that much of a difference. Still, if you’re especially sensitive about that sort of thing, it’s nice to have the option of adding a bit more heft to it.
Of course, no high-end gaming mouse is complete without some glowing RGB lights, and Logitech has you covered there. The G logo on the back and the three small battery level lights in the center light up, and can be set to any color you choose, or made to pulse or cycle through colors. Games can control the LED lights with Overwolf, an optional third-party program that integrates with Logitech’s software to work with all its G-series gaming products. And of course, if you have multiple light-up Logitech G series products, you can set their lighting to sync up if you want.
All of Logitech’s gaming peripherals—mice, keyboards, headsets, webcams—are controlled through a single Logitech Gaming Software app. If you have a bunch of Logitech gear, it’s nice to have everything in one place. It’s fast and relatively compact, so it won’t suck away precious CPU or memory resources from your games.
Logitech gives you plenty of control over the G903’s functions. You can choose to use on-board memory, storing up to 5 profiles for button assignments or macros, sensitivity, and lighting, or you can use the PC-based solution that stores per-game profiles that can automatically change your mouse settings as soon as you launch the game. And you can switch between these two modes at any time.
When setting button configurations, you can re-map every function except the up and down scrolling of the mouse wheel and the left and right mouse buttons. You can swap those for left-handed operation, but you can’t change their function. There are four button layouts: no buttons, two buttons on the left, two buttons on the right, or buttons on the left and right. It’s great to see an ambidextrous mouse that gives you the option of using buttons on the opposite side from your thumb or not.
The side buttons, mouse wheel clicks, and DPI adjustment buttons can each be set to one of 22 different mouse functions, or any keystroke or key combo, or a detailed programmable macro.
You can set up to five DPI sensitivity levels from 200 to 12,000. I love having the ability to adjust how many different DPI settings my mouse will store, because I don’t have any use for five. I prefer just two levels, one for fast movement and one for precise aiming. Kudos for Logitech for letting me drop down to just two levels if I want to.
The software gives you the ability to tune the mouse movement to different surfaces, and there’s a marked difference between the sensitivity and accuracy when using the presets for a hard or a soft surface, so you’ll want to pick the right setting for your preferred mouse pad.
Logitech’s gaming software syncs with your phone, too, through something called Arx Control. You grab the app for your iPhone or Android, sync with your PC, and then you can adjust mouse functions or monitor PC stats (CPU utilization, RAM usage, that sort of thing) from your phone. It can appreciate that you might want to do this stuff without leaving your game, but I don’t find it very useful. Looking down to fiddle with my phone isn’t any less hassle than ALT-Tabbing out of my game. If you don’t like it, you can easily ignore it.
Gaming Performance and Battery Life
Simply put, this is the best gaming mouse I’ve ever used. It is not completely without flaws, but I’ve yet to use another mouse, wired or wireless, that I enjoy more.
Great gaming performance starts with the sensor. The Pixart PMW 3366 used in the G903 is a favorite among the enthusiast mouse community, and for good reason. It tracked perfectly for me always, desktop use or gaming, and picked up the slightest movements with no smoothing or interpolation. If I wanted to snap-turn in PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds with a quick flick, the mouse tracked exactly as I moved, matching acceleration perfectly and stopping precisely when I stopped the mouse. Clicking on tiny precise interface elements in a games like Civilization VI or RimWorld felt natural and easy. My Overwatch aim has never been better.
Logitech uses mechanical pivot hinges for its main left and right mouse buttons that are different from what you find in most mice. They push down on Omron switches, and they feel great— they have just the right button travel and a fast return rate, with a satisfying click and not too much tension. The switches are similar to those in the G900, but are now rated for a lifespan of 50 million clicks instead of 20 million.
The G903 uses the same wireless technology as the G900, which Logitech has now branded LIGHTSPEED. Its optimizations extend far beyond simply polling the mouse at 1000 Hz. Logitech has worked to minimize every other source of latency, from the mouse electronics to the wireless radios. Logitech has a mountain of charts and testing data to show that the click latency, motion latency, and movement accuracy are at least as good as the best wired gaming mice. I have no way to independently verify its figures, but I can tell you that after using it, I believe it. The feeling of immediacy and direct manipulation with the G903 is absolutely on par with the best wired gaming mice I’ve ever used. In hours of gaming, I have experienced exactly zero moments where I felt a top-quality wired mouse would feel better.
Depending on your configuration, battery life can range from about 22 to 32 hours. Turning off the LEDs buys you several more hours of battery life, and you also can shave off a few milliamps by lowering the polling rate from 1,000Hz. That only gives you another hour or so, and probably isn’t worth it. The software’s battery page has a nifty display estimating how much power will be used by your current settings and how long a full charge will last, and it seems pretty accurate. Using the mouse for at least 10-12 hours a day, I went two days before I had to charge it. You get a notification in Windows and flashing battery level lights on the mouse to warn you when the battery gets low, with plenty of time left to finish your game session before plugging in.
The single biggest downside to this mouse is that if you want to charge it, you have to plug it in. There’s no handy dock to plop it on, and no removable batteries to swap out. It takes less than two hours to fully charge, but still, plugging in the cable every two or three days is an extra annoyance I’d rather not deal with.
The fact that wireless gaming mice don’t last very long on a single charge is not unique to Logitech. But Logitech is unique in having an elegant solution that allows you to ignore charging entirely: the POWERPLAY system.
The POWERPLAY System
The G903 and G703 are the first Logitech mice to support its new POWERPLAY technology. It’s a mousepad that integrates wireless charging and a wireless receiver. You plug your mouse cable into the pad, then snap a small coin-shaped POWERCORE module into the bottom of the mouse.
Just like that, you can forget about charging your mouse. You now have a wireless mouse you never have to plug in, put on a stand, or swap out the battery for. It’s really kind of miraculous.
The POWERPLAY surface is a good size, about 13.5 by 11 inches: big enough for serious mouse movement without being absurdly large. It comes with two surfaces to place on top (hard or soft) depending on your preference. Logitech does not officially support other mouse surfaces, but any other mouse surface should work fine without disrupting the wireless charging system, as long as it’s fairly thin and has no metal in it. I tried two other thin mouse pads, one from SteelSeries and one from Razer, and both worked fine. You’ll want one that roughly matches the dimensions of the base, though, or it could get uncomfortable to mouse around near the edges. The base itself is rubbery and grippy enough not to slide around on your desk or to let the mouse surface move around.
Charging with the POWERPLAY is a little weird. While using the mouse, I noticed no change in charge at all. I used it for two hours and the charge hovered at exactly 60%, never climbing or falling. While gaming, the pad charges just fast enough to keep the mouse supplied with as much power as it uses. But leave it alone in the middle of the pad and walk away for a few hours, and it charges up, albeit still quite slowly. Plugging the mouse into the cable directly is the only way to juice up at a reasonable rate.
But that hardly matters. The whole point is to use your wireless mouse as you would a wired mouse—just walk away without ever thinking about batteries—the POWERPLAY system accomplishes that. So what if it takes two days to charge up using the pad? The charge never goes down, so you’re effectively on infinite wireless mode.
Note that the POWERCORE module is only required for charging. If you pop it out, the mouse still works fine in wired or wireless mode. It just doesn’t charge via the POWERPLAY pad. It doesn’t add much weight either: about 5 grams.
I was a little worried that I would knock the mouse into the wireless receiver in a heated Overwatch match or something, but it never happened. If you find the receiver module to be in an inconvenient position, know that the base is designed to work just fine turned 90 degrees to place the receiver in the upper-right.
Unfortunately, the POWERPLAY system is $99.99, which is a lot to ask when you just forked over $149.99 for a badass wireless gaming mouse. If you really want to use the G903 to its fullest though, you want the charging pad too.
The Logitech G903 Wireless Gaming Mouse has an MSRP of $149, and since it just recently launched that’s the same price it is sold for online. For now, there are no discounts to be found:
- See the Logitech G903 on Amazon
This is the best gaming mouse on the market. It’s wireless but performs as well as any wired gaming mouse. It’s lightweight for a wireless mouse, customizable, has great software, and a comfortable design. Sadly, like most wireless gaming mice, you’ll have to plug in every few days to charge up unless you spend another $100 on the POWERPLAY mouse pad. But if you do, you’ve entered mouse nirvana.