Logitech G502 Proteus Core Review
So by now you've probably read Mike's review of the G402 Hyperion Fury, a mouse which I own (and love) but have not used in a month because Logitech loaned us a demo unit of its bigger brother: the G502 Proteus Core. Now it's going to be difficult to review the G502 without constantly comparing it to its sibling, because the two were obviously designed in tandem, with the G502 positioned as the premium SKU while the G402 was aimed at the masses. This is evident when you look at the RRP — the G502 is priced at SGD 99, which is significantly more expensive than the G402's SGD 65 RRP. Ergo this review will attempt to answer the question: is the G502 worth the extra dosh?
it looks 50% more Protoss-ish than the G402… and now you can't unsee it.
But first, let's get the formalities out of the way. The Logitech G502 Proteus Core — another mouthful of a name — is the hero offer for Logitech's current generation of wired gaming mice. Like the G402, it has a sleek "TRON-like" design, but with slightly more aggressive styling details. (Personally I think it looks 50% more Protoss-ish than the G402… and now you can't unsee it.) Having used both the G402 and G502 extensively, I can assure you that the G502 has the same comfortable ergonomic design as that of the G402 that would suit right-handed palm grip (ftw) and finger grip users. It also has that same button on the left that allows for on-the-fly dpi switching. Some FPS players might find it useful, but even if you don't use the feature you can reassign the button to do something else. I ended up rebinding it to the "search" command while playing Dragon Age: Inquisition — in the course of my 120 hour playthrough it saw a LOT of use.
But that's where the similarities end.
Whereas the marketing material on Logitech's website emphasizes the G402's speed, the G502's claim to fame is its tunable nature. (It may be worth noting that the G502 lacks the "Fusion Engine" found in the G402, which results in a lower theoretical max speed of >300 inches per second versus the G402's >500 IPS. This isn't a glaring omission however, since you'd need superhuman arms to even approach those speeds.)
Both the G402 and the G502 can be configured using Logitech's proprietary software (which by the way, is superb), but the G502 has a wider range of customization options available to the user. For example, the G502 allows you to save three different mouse DPI and poll rate setting profiles. Should you so desire, you can quickly switch between these three profiles using the mouse's on-the-fly DPI switching button. I personally found no use for the two extra profiles and disabled the switching feature. Using the Logitech software you can also calibrate your G502's sensor for your surface of choice. The software already comes preloaded with profiles for Logitech's G240 and G440 gaming mouse pads, but following the onscreen prompts I was able to quickly add a new custom profile for my Razer Destructor 2 surface. Very cool.
I found the braided cable alone to be almost worth the price difference, but your mileage may vary.
The G502's party piece however comes in the form of physical customization. Included in the box are five individual removable 3.8g tuning weights that fit snugly in a hidden compartment under the G502's chassis. These allow you to change the weight and weight distribution of the mouse — a little too fiddly for my tastes, but I can definitely see how some power users could appreciate this feature.
Other premium product differentiators between the G402 and G502 can be found in the little details. The G502 uses a cable with soft braided housing, which is a vast improvement over the G402's stiff rubber-housed cable. The G402's cable is my only real complaint about an otherwise great mouse; after 2 months of heavy use I still haven't been able to properly season it so it doesn't impede my mouse movement. The G502 also has 11 customizable button inputs (three more than the G402) thanks to the aforementioned mouse profile switching button and a tilting scroll wheel. Unless you're in the market for a MMO or MOBA mouse, that should be plenty for the average gamer.
And that scroll wheel! Oh man, let me tell you about that scroll wheel. The G402's rubberized single-axis scroll wheel is functional, but it's got nothing on the cool metallic tilt wheel on the G502. This wheel feels solid and substantial, and makes satisfying mechanical clicks as it scrolls. Should you find the clicks too loud, you can even switch the wheel to silent mode that eschews any audible or tactile feedback (albeit trading off some precision) at the press of a button. My PC is in the bedroom, and this came in handy on more than one occasion when I was working while my wife was still asleep.
So we come to the big question. Is the G502 worth the $34 more than you would expect to pay for a G402? Well, it really depends on your mouse usage patterns and how much you value the extra features and improvements. Personally I found the braided cable alone to be almost worth the price difference, but your mileage may vary. At $99, the Logitech G502 is very competitively priced against its less feature-laden competitors in the same class, but I can't help but feel that it may end up a victim of its sibling's success, because at $65, the G402 is a steal.