Logitech G502 gaming mouse offers adjustable weight

My 14 year old came to me last week with a dead mouse in his hands. No, not a rodent. So I gave him my gaming mouse, which left me looking for a new one. I've found it, and it's from Logitech - it's called the G502 Proteus Core.

I've long been a fan of Logitech's mice because their design fits my hand so well. I used a Logitech wireless mouse for almost a decade before it finally crossed the Rainbow Bridge.

The right-handed G502 melds the ergonomic sense you'd expect from Logitech with the current aesthetic common to gaming mouse — angular, aggressive, weaponized. If the "Tumbler" Batmobile from Christopher Nolan's Batman movies had a mouse, this is what it would look like.

G502 front

Getting the G502 out of the box, it's extraordinarily light — feels almost flimsy, truth be told — 4.3 ounces (121 grams). That's because Logitech actually lets you customize the mass and balance of the mouse by including five 3.6 gram (0.13 ounce) weights which you can install in spaces around the the bottom of the mouse, underneath an easily-removable panel. The USB cable is braided, to help prevent it from tangling and knotting.

G502 weights

The G502 measures 5.2 x 2.95 x 1.57 inches (132 x 75 x 40 mm), making it comfortable for my hand — I wear a medium-sized glove. When gaming with it, I'm moderately more comfortable using a palm grip with the G502 than I am using a claw grip, though that may be because I tend to grab the mouse further back. Your mileage may vary. The primary and secondary mouse buttons are quite long, about half the length of the mouse overall, and are quite responsive all the way down to their base, so the mouse should be able to work well for different kinds of grips and different kinds of games.

The G502 sports no shortage of programmable buttons and controls: 11, all told. A dedicated button below the solid metal scroll wheel either locks the wheel so it ratchets audibly as you turn it, or freewheels.

I have to say that to look at the mouse in its packaging or in its web site, you'd have no idea that it's Mac-compatible. Any USB mouse is Mac-compatible, but Logitech makes Mac driver software too — excellent driver software. Maybe it was an oversight, or maybe support for the G502 was only offered after the product was already released. I really don't know. But I do know it's supported now.

Logitech Gaming Software

The "Logitech Gaming Software" installs as a menu item accessible from your Mac's menu bar. The software not only affects how the G502's buttons and controls work but also which profile you're using. You can store up to three profiles, which you can tell the mouse to switch through using a mode switch on the mouse itself. And the mouse has built-in memory, so you can store configuration info on it or use the computer if you prefer.

Other features of the software include sensor dot per inch sensitivity levels (adjustable from 200 to 12,000 DPI), with up to five levels that can be switched on the fly using buttons on the mouse; you can also alter the mouse's sensor to adjust for different surfaces.

The software includes a surface tuning feature that lets you calibrate the mouse on whatever surface you're going to be using; Logitech has included a couple of its own (the G240 cloth gaming mouse pad and G440 hard pad).

You can even adjust some of the more gimmicky stuff of the mouse, like how much lighting is sent to the glowing logo, and whether the DPI lighting markers stay on all time. The software also handles firmware updates on the mouse (yes, even mice get firmware updates these days, it seems).

The weight system in the G502 is potentially handy if you want to customize the mass of your mouse. I like a bit of heft to my mice so I just loaded it up and forgot about it. Fully loaded, the mouse weighs about 5.9 ounces (168 grams); hefty, but not ungainly.

The good

  • Customizable weight adjustment
  • Terrific software
  • Lots of programmable buttons and controls

The bad

  • Somewhat kitschy design
  • You wouldn't know it's Mac-compatible

The bottom line

The G502 is a solid gaming mouse contender from Logitech with really great software. I'm trying not to read too much into Logitech's decision not to sell this to Mac users; it's clear that their software engineers get it, even if their marketing department doesn't.

Peter Cohen