Although it had terrific performance, especially for its low price, the G302 Daedalus Prime from Logitech wasn’t a mouse I had much love for personally, mostly because it was an uncomfortable beast for those like myself who use a palm grip, and felt a little too cheap. From a more objective standpoint, however, the G302 was a damn good choice for a lot of people, and didn’t break the bank like so many other gaming mice on the market Cue the G303 Daedalus Apex, a direct sequel from Logitech and yet another strong performer which has managed to solve one of my two major gripes about the G302.
As somebody who tends to use a standard palm grip the Apex is far from being a comfortable mouse to use. The sharply angled sides don’t allow the fingers to rest nicely along the mouse, and the short rear means the back of your hand sits heavily on the desk rather than being supported. There’s no wings for the fingers to rest in, either, nor any textured material for extra grip. Everything makes vastly more sense when swapping over to different styles of grip, though. Personally I ended up utilising two fingers on the top and my thumb and pinky holding the sides while the palm of my hovered above the Apex, a modified version of the claw grip. Even then, though, the pointy sides of the Apex don’t make much sense from a comfort point of view.
What does make sense is the pure performance, which is impressive. Marketing for the Apex throws around the 12,000DPI top-end quite a lot to impress folk, but it’s mostly useless number since anything even nearly that high sends the cursor blasting around the screen like a clown on pure caffeine. Tossing aside the ability to send your mouse into DPI hyperspace the snappily named PMW3366 optical sensor is awesome, both incredibly accurate and seemingly capable of dealing with fastest movements I could possibly muster before my entire arm ripped free of my torso. The lower end of the scale is 200DPI. Let’s face it, though; these days we rarely get a lemon when it comes to sensors, and while it’s always lovely to see raw performance increases the truth is that most people will never feel or notice the difference. All that needs to be said is that the sensor did not once let me down or skip a beat – it was nothing short of outstanding. On top of that the spring-loaded, free-floating left and right-click buttons feel lovely, having a minimal amount of travel, the design aiming for outright speed and achieving that goal beautifully. While they have just enough tension to ensure accidental clicks don’t happen the left and right primary buttons require minimal pressure to activate and a satisfying click to boot. To put it simply they feel awesome. There’s two thumb buttons located on the left side of the mouse, and speaking of that this seems a good time to point out that while it does sport an asymetrical design the placement of the thumb buttons on the left mean this mouse is for right-handed people only. Moving on we come to the scroll wheel which has distinctive notches and very light resistance, which is great for quickly zooming in during a game or even for navigating web-pages, but isn’t so great when precision is called for. Finally there’s the DPI switch which lets you jump between a total of five preset DPI settings, all of which can be modified using the Logitech software.
I’ve talked about the Logitech software before, and there’s not a whole lot to discuss anyway. It’s incredibly easy to navigate, and using it you can even set up the mouse for specific surfaces, plus adjust all the usual things like polling rate and the like. You can also store up to three profiles on the mouse itself. Jobs a good ‘un, then, except for one irritation which is the software doesn’t seem to detect new Logitech devices that get plugged in. Since I already use a Logitech keyboard and mouse the software was installed on my computer, and for it to register the G303 I had to reinstall it.
The build quality is pretty damn solid, too. The previous G302 felt a little…cheap, the plastic shell creaking and groaning a little if squeezed, but the G303 is absolutely solid. There’s no give in the shell, and each of the buttons feels lovely to click as we’ve chatted about. That’s coupled with a nice 127g (cord included) weight which was light enough to flick around yet heavy enough to suit my own tastes. The G302 was a little prone to the sides lifting away from the mouse mat when being moved quickly, but the G303 has no such issues. Another small change is that the G303 sports a braided cable instead of the rubber one previously used, which means it doesn’t tend to rub as badly on the desk or mat, making for slightly less resistance. Having said that the cable is quite heavy for a braided and thus does have a habit of lying flat along the desk or mouse mat, creating a small amount of drag. Nothing either a mouse bungee or piece of well-placed tape can’t solve, though.
Another improvement over the previous G302 is the ability to modify the mouse’s lighting so that you can have more than just a blue glow. You can now opt to have the mouse light up in 16.8 million shades, plus set it to pulse, stay on permanently or just turn the light show off altogether. This compliments the simple but pleasing design of the Apex. It won’t turn many heads, but I for one quite enjoy the straightforward aesthetic. It’s nice to see something a little more profile than the standard “gaming” devices that do the rounds.
The big question is exactly what the G303 is supposed to be. The G302 was marketed as a mouse for MOBAs and the low price tag supported that, offering some serious performance without the wallet-breaking to go with it. The G303 isn’t being advertised as being for MOBA players, and then there’s the slightly increased price which nets you an even better sensor in return. It’s a good upgrade, certainly, but not one that’s actually worth getting rid of the G302 and replacing it with the G303. However, the increased accuracy and tracking at speed does make it pretty effective at dealing with shooters, so if you’re claw-grip user with a love for guns this could just be the right mouse for you, if you can accept the less than stellar ergonomics.
There’s no getting around the fact that from a personal standpoint the G303 simply isn’t for me, though. Performance counts for a lot, but even it can’t overcome the G303’s lack of comfort for this palm-gripper, which I swear isn’t a euphemism. If Logitech rounded those edges a smidge it would be a far nicer mouse to hold in the hand, but as it stands those angles serve only to restrict it to alternate methods of grip and thereby also restricts the market. But if you are one of those strange, alien, freaky-deaky people who use claw-grip or such then the G303 may just be the perfect mouse for you, though its unusual erganomics means I would seriously recommend finding a way of holding one in your hand before handing over the cash. It packs some seriously kick-ass performance in its well-built shell and has stupidly satisfying left and right mouse buttons, all for a decent price. Not bad, Logitech.