Mouse And Keyboard Buyer’s Guide - Dual Wielding (Part 2)

9/4/2013 11:26:48 AM

Logitech G500s

Evolutionary, not revolutionary

Price: $80

The G500s is Logitech’s latest version of its highly successful mid-range gaming mouse, the G500. The button placement is basically identical, with four thumb buttons, a couple under your pointer and a single dpi swapper/scroll wheel lock. As expected, Logitech’s excellent scroll wheel is present and accounted for; not only does it scroll left and right, but it can also be unlocked into a free-spinning mode for web page scrolling.

Logitech G500s

Logitech G500s

The major upgrade is invisible, with the use of a new Avago S9808, sensor. Rated up to 8200 DPI, it’s the equal of the best in the market, an impressive accomplishment at this price point. Other than this it’s business as usual, including the once-innovative weight tray.

At the same price as our beloved SteelSeries Sensei, unfortunately the G500s doesn’t do anything exciting enough to get our nod. It might have more features on paper, but in the all-important feel-test, comes second best to the Sensei.

Logitech G500s specs

·         Logitech Scroll Wheel

·         8200 DPI sensor

·         Weight tray

·         Almost identical to G500

Verdict: 7/10

We wish Logitech had done a full refresh, rather than just stick a new sensor inside each of its gaming mice.

Logitech G700s

Here comes another one…

Price: $120

Unlike the G500s, the G700 remains one of the top mice on the market, so we’re happier to see this refresh even though it suffers from the same lack of change of its little bro.

Logitech promises a 1ms response time for this wireless mouse, but we still highly recommend sticking with the USB cable for the ultimate in smooth panning. 13 programmable buttons are close to the maximum that builders can squeeze into a mouse. Setting these up via Logitech’s new config software is a breeze, and there are incredibly deep macro options for those who want to cheat – oops, gain an advantage.

Logitech G700s

Logitech G700s

So far, so identical to the G700, but in the crucial sensor area the G700s steps up to the plate. The same Avago S9808 sensor found in the G500s is featured here. It might not be cheap, but with plenty of buttons, the option of wireless play and an industry leading sensor, the G700s remains one of the market’s most desirable mice, even if it is nearly identical to its predecessor.

Logitech G700s specs

·         8200 DPI sensor

·         Wireless

·         Rechargeable battery included

·         Wireless

·         Rather heavy

·         Button placement isn’t perfect

Verdict: 9/10

Same killer features, shiny new sensor. The G700s remains one of the most feature-rich mice.

Razer Orbweaver

The gaming keyboard redefined

Price: $120

Considering keyboards are designed for inputting characters into a computer, and not moving virtual bodies around virtual spaces, it’s surprising there aren’t more devices like the Orbweaver. It sits under your left hand, totally replacing the keyboard. Some users will probably use the 16 keys that sit at your fingertips to simply replicate WASD keys, but they’d be missing the true potential of the Orbweaver.

Razer Orbweaver

Razer Orbweaver

There’s a thumb-stick that can do the job equally as well, yet requires the use of just a single digit. This in turn frees up all four of your left hand fingers to operate the keyboard while you’re moving, turning you into an upwardly mobile killing machine. It takes several days to get accustomed to, but you’ll soon be throwing frags while dolphin diving over fences.

Unfortunately, the lack of a keyboard means you can’t really type messages, but with VOIP commonplace in most PC games, that’s an issue that is easy to ignore.

Razer Orbweaver specs

·         Frees up four fingers

·         Super comfortable

·         No trolling text chat

·         More expensive than a keyboard

·         Right handers only

Verdict: 9/10

Finally, there’s a viable alternative to the keyboard, custom-built to deliver even more control.

Razer Ouroboros

The transformer of mice

Price: $125

This has got to be the first mouse we’ve ever used that necessitated the reading of the manual first. With more sliding panels and folding sections that an Autobot, it’s built to be stretched and shaped into the perfect receptacle for your mouse hand. That includes lefties, as it’s ambidextrous, a rarity among premium mice.

Tucked away inside is a single rechargeable AA battery, as the Ouroboros can be run in wireless mode. Once again we hear grand claims about zero latency, and once again we recommend you ignore them entirely – cabled is the only way to guarantee totally smooth panning with your mouse.

Razer Ouroboros

Razer Ouroboros

At heart of this rodent is a potent 8200 DPI sensor, and a nice touch is the ability to calibrate it to your given mouse surface. If you’re looking for a mouse that fits like a glove no matter what kind of stance you prefer, and has a high performance sensor within, the Ouroboros does the job, albeit at the highest end of the pricing scale.

Razer Ouroboros specs

·         Excellent sensor

·         Highly customizable ergonomics smooth glide pads

·         Very angular design

·         Expensive

Verdict: 9/10

Perfect for even the most deformed hands, mice don’t get any more customizable than this.

Roccat Isku

Bigger is not always better

Price: $72

You’re going need a desk the size of a football filed to fit this behemoth. The giant wrist-rest isn’t detachable, so there’s no way to slim it down.

Roccat Isku

Roccat Isku

We’re not surprised by the use of a membrane behind the keys based on the low price, but that doesn’t make it any more disappointing. Having said that, there might be PC gamers out there who prefer these mediocre input mechanisms. A nice touch we’d like to see mirrored on other keyboards are the three extra buttons under the space bar, within easy reach of your thumb. These can be used to talk with a Roccat mouse, lowering the DPI while a button is depressed. Thirteen additional buttons can be used to record macros or control your media player, but the top rows are way out of reach of your normal hand position.

The price is right, and it’s not an abomination, but with so many other excellent keyboards on the market, we can’t see why you’d decide to let your fingers call the Isku home.

Roccat Isku specs

·         Affordable

·         Three thumb buttons

·         Comfy wrist-rest

·         Absolutely massive

·         Membrane keyboard

·         All plastic construction

Verdict: 7/10

Only recommended if you prefer membrane over mechanical, and have the desk space to spare

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