While at SxSW last month, EBongo and I stopped and spent some time going over the Logitech G-series lineup for 2016. Since the con floor really isn't the best place to get a good impression of an input device, I asked Logitech if they'd be willing to ship me a G502 Proteus Spectrum that I could use for review. I've spent a week with it, and now I'm ready to pass my verdict! Is the G502 Proteus Spectrum worthy of your monster gaming rig? Let's find out in my G502 Proteus Spectrum review!
Full Disclosure As I mentioned above, Logitech met with us at SxSW, and they provided the G502 Proteus Spectrum to me at no cost for my review. They are unable to influence my opinion in any way - they don't pay me, and can't change this article.
I've owned a lot of gaming mice over the years. Over most of my gaming history I've used Logitech mice. They tend to be built like tanks - I have been using the same Logitech MX518 for probably a decade now. It's comfortable, it does what I need it to, and it rarely gets in the way. A decade is a long time for technology, though, and the improvements made in those intervening years really show in the G502.
Most of the "02" line from Logitech share similar design DNA. The shared traits tend to include an extended thumb rest on the left side of the mouse, as well as reprogrammable DPI adjustment buttons built into the left side of the left mouse button.
The G502 Proteus Spectrum is a direct followup to the G502 Proteus Core. Both are higher end wired gaming mice loaded with features. In addition to the standard left, right, and center buttons, mouse wheel, and back and forward buttons, there are a number of gaming-specific enhancements.
One thing I noticed and appreciated right off the bat is how responsive the left and right mouse buttons are. They take very little force to actuate, and bounce back very quickly. Compared to my ancient MX518, I feel like I can click much faster, which is going to be a godsend in high-intensity FPS games.
The G502 models feature three thumb buttons (back and forward where you'd probably expect them, plus a third programmable button near the front). The mouse wheel can be clicked sideways to scroll left or right, and it has two scroll modes. One is a more smooth, free scrolling analog mode that gives you a lot more control over acceleration and precision. The other is a more standard, digital, clicky mode that is better for when you're using the scroll wheel to bind keys. There's a physical toggle switch below the mouse wheel that swaps modes.
Another interesting feature is the adjustable weights. The G502 mice come with a magnetic cover on their underside, which when removed has space for up to 5 weights, each 3.6g. Without any weights, the mouse is surprisingly light. I found that I prefer having some weight under my palm, so I placed two of the weights there and have been happy.
So far, this is all old news - the G502 Proteus Core did all of this already. The one major difference between the G502 Proteus Core and the G502 Proteus Spectrum is the RGB LED support. RGB mania is sweeping the Logitech G-series, and the Proteus Spectrum is Logitech's flagship push into RGB mice. The RGB LED in the G502 Proteus Spectrum is high quality, bringing very rich and deep color to the mouse. Even at low brightness settings, I didn't see any flicker, which is often a problem with cheaper or improperly wired RGB LEDs.
Controlling the RGB LED brings us to Logitech's Gaming Software app. In my opinion, Logitech has always had the best input device software, and the current iteration of Logitech's Gaming Software is no exception. The Protus Spectrum can do a few neat tricks with its RGB LED - It can cycle through all of the possible colors, or it can do a pulsing, breathing effect in a single color. You can also set the "Lighting Effect" to Off to have it stay a solid color, which is my preference.
The Logitech Gaming Software also lets you do all the things you'd expect from previous Logitech gaming mice. You can customize all the mouse buttons, for instance. There are also saved profiles that can be set on the mouse in case you take it from one computer to another that might not have the Logitech software installed. Additionally, there are options for tuning the mouse to a particular surface, although I honestly have no idea what difference that makes. You can also spend some time optimizing your button layouts with the "heat map" function.
If you've got more than one Logitech device with RGB LEDs, you can sync them together if you so desire. This locks the other devices into the same profile as the G502, for a consistent desktop look. Obviously, this matters most to people who have heavily invested in Logitech mice, keyboards, and headsets.