Logitech G502 Lightspeed Review

One of Logitech's most-loved designs returns.

Gaming is always evolving. As technology and expertise improves, there's room to return to what worked before, to see how it can be recast and remixed for modern audiences. Way back in 2014, Logitech offered a more premium upgrade to its MX518 gaming mouse in the form of the angular G502 Proteus Core. In the heyday of "gaming equipment" hardware design the G502 fit right in, but it was also damn near perfect. Your hand fit right around it, with your thumb sliding into the thumb grip. The left and right mouse buttons were tactile and clicky, there was a host of other programmable buttons without becoming the odd G600, and the metal scroll wheel offered either satisfying click or a smooth roll.

The Logitech G502 Lightspeed, fresh out of the box. | Mike Williams/USG, Logitech

Logitech revisited the design in 2016 with the G502 Proteus Spectrum, which changed little except for the additional of RGB lighting. In 2018, Logitech released the G502 HERO, which added the HERO 16K sensor in the place of the old PWM3366 sensor. Now, the company is back again with the G502 Lightspeed, cramming a Lightspeed wireless receiver into the familiar shell.

Fans absolutely loved this mouse in its earlier incarnations, but I admit my tastes have shifted across the years. For me, this was a look at whether an evolved classic and an evolved Mike Williams would have a good experience together.

It's amazing how much this new mouse feels like the G502 Proteus Spectrum. To make this work, Logitech didn't just add the new technology into the shell. They had to essentially reengineer one of their current mice into the older design. This means that the G502 Lightspeed is actually lighter than the G502 HERO and G502 Proteus Spectrum. Both of those mice came in at 121 g, with an additional 18 g of metal weights that could be added. The G502 Lightspeed arrives on the scene at only 114 g. You'd think that Logitech would want to offer weights to match the heft of the older mouse, but the Lightspeed only comes with 16 g of metal weights: two 4 g weights, and four 2 g weights.

There's also a new power switch on the bottom of the mouse because it's now fully wireless, unlike the previous wired versions. There is a microUSB cable included in the box, though it's not the weird old USB claw that Logitech G used to have on wireless mice. Instead, it's a brick standard USB cable - you could probably use any old USB cable. Logitech has the mouse rated for 48 hours of continuous use with the RGB lighting, and 48 hours with it off. What is wonderfully useful is the quick charge: a five minute charge offers 2.5 hours of play. That's nice for a quick top-up.

But why would you live like that when you can join the future? There's a magnetic rocking cover on the G502 Lightspeed, which hides the wireless receiver slot and can be replaced with Powerplay wireless charging mat puck. As someone who spends a lot of time on the PC, the Powerplay mat is quite possibly the best hardware improvement Logitech G has brought to the table, so the G502 Lightspeed automatically becomes above average due to the inclusion.

If you've used the G502 Hero, you know partially what to expect here as the Lightespeed performs largely the same in terms of overall tracking. The difference here is you're rocking a wireless mouse with that same performance! And if you have a Powerplay mat, you never have to plug it in.

The Logitech G502 Lightspeed next to the Pro Wireless. | Mike Williams/USG, Logitech

My issue is one of personal evolution; I currently prefer the Pro Wireless mouse. It contains most of the same technology as the G502 Lightspeed, but in a more understated and subtle shell. I'm on my PC for work and gaming purposes, and the Pro Wireless is simply a mouse that feels like it lives in both worlds. (The lighter weight of the G502 Lightspeed didn't both me, because the Pro Wireless is a clean 80g.)

What the G502 Lightspeed has over the Pro Wireless is the more ergonomic shape and plethora of programmable buttons. Both mice retail for $149.99. I've had no issues whatsoever with the Pro Wireless in terms of performance, it's just a matter of if you prefer that G502 design instead. These mice are two sides of the same coin, whether you prefer a clean high-end luxury car like a Lexus or the version with all the aftermarket customizations. I'd hazard a number of players are in the latter category. So, I can recommend the new G502 Lightspeed, even if it's not necessarily the mouse for me anymore.

Tagged with Hardware, Logitech, PC, Reviews.

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