Resolution: 200 – 12,000 dpi
Max. acceleration: >40G*
Max. speed: >300 ips*
Weight: 168 grams (mouse plus cable)
Weight: 121 grams (mouse only)
Open up Google, type in “gaming mouse” and you’ll be greeted by a slew of products, a daunting sight for many people who really just want the best bang for their money. It’s worse when you consider how easy it is to be duped simply by the bigger numbers that companies love to talk about. The Proteus Core is using it’s extremely high DPI as a way to lure in customers, but the good news is that even if you fall victim to the pretty numbers, this is a damn good mouse.
Let’s talk ergonomics and comfort. The first thing that struck me about the Proteus Core when handling it is that it’s quite a narrow, low mouse and it sports relatively substantial drop-off in height on the right-hand side, which when combined with the lack of support for ring and pinky fingers left my digits trailing slightly on the mat. Indeed, as a palm-grip user trailing fingers is a complaint I’ve levelled at many mice over the years, but in this instance it’s a little worse due to the narrowness of the Core, and thus personally I would have liked a slightly wider design with resting area for my digits, such as the Logitech G602 that I reviewed recently. Those who prefer palm-grip and have large hands might find the Proteus Core a little troublesome. To the left is curved wing for your thumb which not only provides a comfortable rest but also features a nice soft plastic coating for extra grip, as does the opposite side. To finish off we have a soft touch plastic coating on the back of the mouse.
The end result is…okay. It’s certainly not an uncomfortable mouse to use, and not once did I suffer cramp, but it’s also far from the comfiest that I’ve ever had the pleasure of using. It’s decidedly average. Not great, not bad. Just good. However, one aspect I do love is the tunable weight system. Packed into a tiny case of their own is six weights, each of which clocks in at 3.6g. These can be slotted into the bottom of the Proteus Core, raising the mouse’s default weight from 121g up to a maximum of 139g. Furthermore the weights can be placed in a variety of different positions so that you can get the balance just right. Personally I’m a fan of quite hefty mice, so I’ve got all of the weights packed into the bottom, although for shooters I tend to take a couple out.
Left-handed people take note; there appears to be no plans for a left-handed version of the Proteus Core currently.
Aesthetically I find it to be rather a nice looking mouse. It doesn’t look over-designed like a lot of gaming mice do, but also has enough going on to make it interesting. The single LED Logitech symbol and blue highlight on the left adds a nice finishing touch to it, although there’s oddly no ability to change the color of the light, instead you can only turn it on or off. Due to the fact that red is the only color that doesn’t affect your night vision I have my keyboard set to a soft red illumination, and the fact that I can’t customise the Proteus Core to match irks me just a little.
All told the Proteus sports a total of 11 programmable buttons, which should be enough for all but the most die-hard of MMO fans, and of course macros can be assigned to each using the Logitech software. Aside from the standard left and right mouse clicks there’s two buttons residing on the left-hand side that fall perfectly under the thumb. Further along from this resides a button which when held changes the DPI to a preset of your choice, which is handy for dropping the mouse’s speed mid-game for accurate sniping, although to reach it requires you to shift your hand in a way that doesn’t feel entirely natural when using palm grip. On the top left of the mouse are two buttons, one that decreases DPI and another that increases it, both within easy reach, allowing for quick changes during a session. Located roughly at the centre of the top of the mouse is a final programmable button which can do whatever you wish. Obviously its placement makes it rather awkward to reach, however, so it’s usually best used for switching profiles.
As for the scroll wheel it also sports left and right tilt as well as the standard forward and back spin. Located just behind it is a button which, when clicked, removes all friction from the wheel, allowing it to spin freely for when you’re merely surfing the web and reducing it to complete silence in the process. It’s a neat idea, but in practice I found the wheel to be overly sensitive in this mode. I’d often move it down just a touch, and it would respond by moving the webpage down a notch, then moving it up two or even three.
In terms of build quality there’s not much to find to fault. The cable is braided, which is not something I’m usually fond of, but in this case it’s very flexible and should be durable. There is a slight wobble on the scroll-wheel, but it’s far from serious and you’ll barely notice it. Otherwise the mouse feels sturdy and very well-built, with Logitech claiming that the main left and right mouse buttons have a lifespan of 20-million clocks each.
Right, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty topic of performance, starting with the elephant in the room, the 12,000DPI sensor that lies at the very centre of the Proteus Core, which Logitech claim is the most accurate on the market. It is, to put it bluntly, a PR departments wet dream and largely useless in everyday life. While it’s nice to own a mouse that boasts such a substantial number, 12,000DPI is simply overkill. Indeed, I was barely able to use even a fraction of that number for gaming or any other purpose. Testing the mouse on a larger screen boasting a higher resolution allowed me to raise the DPI further, but even then I was barely putting a dent in the total available. It’s feasible, I suppose, that someone with a large 4k monitor may be able to make use of the Proteus’ massive DPI, but since I’m lacking such a thing I can neither confirm nor deny this. What I can confirm is that the sensor provides absolutely superb tracking and precision. Logitech claim it has a tracking speed of 7.6M/, and no matter how much I attempted to, I could not get the mouse to falter. There appears to be absolutely zero jitter or acceleration problems, either.
At the danger of sounding like a broken record, having mentioned this in mouse reviews before, at this sort of level of performance it’s impossible to actually declare one mouse better than another from a human perspective. By delving into various software suites I could compare the Proteus Core with other mice, but if the differences are unnoticeable during normal use then it’s almost a future excersise.I simply can’t find anything to fault with the sensor from my use of the mouse. Its flawless, which if course meant that I inevitably had to concede that it was my own lack of talent getting me killed in shooters. Thanks for that, Logitech.
As one would really expect the Core is plug and play, so you can just connect the USB cord and get going, but to access full functionality you’ll need to head online and download the Logitech gaming software. Once you’ve got it running it’s a doddle to use, with a simple user interface that feels intuitive. From here you can of course reprogram each button and craft macros in order to command vast armies at the touch of a button, or, perhaps more likely, spout some insult about someone’s mum with minimal effort.
One feature of the Logitech software that I love is that it can scan your computer and detect which games you have installed, and then automatically creates profiles for them. Furthermore it then gives you a list of the in-game commands which you can simply drag over to your desired button and drop. So, for instance, in the Skyrim profile you can simply drag the “shout” command from the side-bar and program it to one of the thumb buttons. It’s a great idea, however the system only detected four games out of my entire library of 45+ currently installed titles. Games, and any other program, can be added manually, but the software won’t automatically detect and present you with a list of in-game specific commands. You can then assign commands as you please from an extensive selection that includes multiple keystrokes, text blocks, shortcuts and more.
Another solid feature worth mentioning is surface scanning. When activated you’ll be asked to create a figure of eight with your mouse covering the normal surface area you use, and once completed the Logitech software will calibrate the settings in order to get the best performance out of the mouse. It didn’t make a huge difference in my case since I tend to use cloth surfaces and don’t have a variety of other types lying around for testing, but it’s still a useful feature, especially for people who use metal surfaces.
Logitech continue to create superb products with the Proteus Core. While it has a few flaws it’s impossible to argue with its technical performance, easily rivalling any mouse I’ve tested before.
+ Impeccable performance.
+ Looks rather nice.
+ Solid software.
+ Weight tuning.
– Game detection doesn’t work all that well.
– No LED customisation.
– Not the comfiest.
The Verdict: 4.5/5 – Great, bordering on awesome.
There’s a lot of really great mice on the market, and Logitech have successfully added another one to the pile, but this one sits right around the top.