With a long line of fantastic product releases, the Logitech G series of gaming peripherals have amassed quite a following in the gaming community. The company’s G502 Proteus Core was universally praised as one of the best gaming mice around, and earlier this year the company released a refreshed version called the G502 Proteus Spectrum.
What Is It?
As the product name indicates, there is virtually no difference between the G502 Proteus Core and the new G502 Proteus Spectrum – save for the introduction of RGB lighting capable of 16.8 million colours.
That isn’t exactly a bad thing, of course. It means the Proteus Spectrum retains the G502’s design and ergonomics, as well as the fantastic hardware underneath. There’s the same Pixart PMW3366 optical sensor with a maximum 12,000DPI, the same Omron mechanical switches under the mouse buttons, and the same hugely impressive build quality.
Is It Any Good?
Do a quick Google search for “best gaming mouse” and chances are, you’ll find the G502 listed within the top 3 in any list, and that’s not by coincidence. The G502 Proteus Spectrum is impressive right out of the box, with textured rubber at all the right places, and a striking combination of shiny and matte plastic in an elongated design.
The mouse comes with a braided cable for extra durability, and each of the two main mouse buttons are rated for 20 million clicks. Speaking of which, there’s a total of 11 buttons all strategically located around the mouse, from the standard side buttons to the DPI Up/Down buttons at the extreme left of the left mouse button.
In my time using the mouse, I found myself rarely making full use of the buttons at my disposal – both in normal usage and in gaming, where I usually only dabble in FPS games.
But what leaves a lasting impression is the scroll wheel. G502 users will know what I mean here: the scroll wheel is easily the best on any mouse any of use have ever used. The metal wheel has two scrolling speeds (normal and free-scrolling, which removes the “bump” resistance) which can be easily toggled via one of the buttons behind the wheel.
In day to day use, the G502 does its job without a fuss, and because of the ergonomics, it is very comfortable to use over long stretches compared to ambidextrous mice. In gaming, those who play MOBAs like Dota 2 will really enjoy the Proteus Spectrum – there’s plenty of buttons for binding to specific actions, and are saved locally within the mouse.
You can configure the mouse even further via the Logitech Gaming Software (LGS). Easily one of the most user-friendly customisation software around, LGS lets you customise virtually all software aspects of the mouse, from saving multiple DPI settings, setting up per-game user profiles that activates when you launch the game, and some other cool stuff like saving heat maps of how often you clicked the mouse buttons in one session.
And of course, with the new RGB lighting, you can now configure all kinds of lighting effects to illuminate the mouse. There are several default modes that cycle through the spectrum, or you can also customise your own.
According to Logitech, the G502 Proteus Spectrum’s sensor has been “pre-tuned” to work best on the company’s G240 and G440 mouse mats for maximum accuracy. While we can’t disprove that, I faced no issues with tracking performance, acceleration, prediction, or any form of sensor-related issues when using two different mouse mats that aren’t from Logitech.
While the mouse’s base 168g weight is rather heavy to begin with, Logitech even supplies five 3.6g tuning weights which can be placed inside the mouse should you require the mouse to be just the right weight.
Even though I’ve used this mouse for about a month, with some pretty intense after-hours gaming sessions, the Proteus Spectrum held up extremely well, with only minor oil stains making a mark on the mouse – which can be easily wiped away. It says a lot as well that we also have a G502 Proteus Core in the office for over a year, and that too does not look like it’s been thoroughly abused in our Dota 2 and CS:GO marathons.
Logitech’s legendary durability lives on in the G502 Proteus Spectrum, even if the reduced 2-year warranty is a surprise (though that is likely more to do with the RGB lighting than the mouse itself).
The Bad Stuff. Tell Me.
One of the most striking things about the G502 Proteus Spectrum is its weight. At 168g (121g without cable), this mouse is undeniably heavy even without its tuning weights. It is not as apparent when using this mouse in normal tasks, or even when using it for Dota 2 sessions, but there is a reason why few professional FPS gamers play with this mouse.
I take my CS:GO sessions pretty seriously, and the G502 feels immediately heavy when I first started using it. Within half an hour of fast flicks at 400DPI, my right arm actually began tiring – something I’ve never encountered before in CS:GO.
Another aspect I didn’t quite enjoy is the third side button on the mouse. By default, it is the “DPI Shift” button, which apparently helps FPS gamers to temporarily lower the mouse DPI when the button is held down. Pro gamers don’t use this feature, since snipers in FPS games usually flick their mouse – muscle memory, not a DPI shift button, works best in these situations.
Worse is when you accidentally press it when you’re quickly flicking the mouse around. As some of my heatmap screenshots will show, I’ve accidentally hit the button quite a number of times in my test sessions using the mouse. The button’s position of being right where the tip of the right thumb is also makes it less comfortable in day-to-day use.
Perhaps the most disappointing aspect isn’t even with the mouse at all. In the US, the G502 Proteus Spectrum replaces the G502 Proteus Core, retailing for the same $80 (about RM310) price tag. In Malaysia, the G502 Proteus Core remains priced at RM279, but the G502 Proteus Spectrum is selling for a premium at RM369.
Should I Buy It?
All things considered, the Logitech G502 Proteus Spectrum remains a fantastic mouse, both for gaming and day-to-day use. The primary mouse buttons are deliciously clicky, the textured rubber sides makes the mouse grippy despite its size, and really, that scroll wheel is something else.
That said, this mouse is perhaps too heavy for FPS gamers, where a comfortable weight would be around or under 100g – the G502 weighs 168g.
Of course, all these apply to the more affordable Proteus Core model too. If you’re not big on RGB lighting, the G502 Proteus Core is a more logical choice.
My issues with the mouse are likely due to my grip type, which is a claw-fingertip hybrid. It may not be suited for the G502’s elongated profile, so it’s best to those who are interested in the mouse to try it out in store first before investing in one.
Given the durability of Logitech mice, it may be some time before you can invest in another mouse.