Peripheral manufacturers such as Logitech, Razer and Thrustmaster have to provide new technologies to help get a competitive edge in the professional gaming scene. Any sort of lag or hiccup during a player’s experience will look bad so a lot of the time players will blame their equipment. Keyboards, mice and controllers can all have hiccups. The goal is to provide the best experience possible, while bringing new innovations to peripherals and also including a convenience factor. Logitech has looked to do this with its new Powerplay Wireless Charging System. This device allows for different options of gameplay while most importantly, keeping the two compatible mice charged. These two mice are the G703 and G903, both wireless mice that all feature the same technology, but just differ in physical features. Logitech sent Hardcore Gamer over a setup with these devices included for a review.
Starting with the initial Powerplay WCS, this mouse pad, while rather large, features a charging hub much like people who would charge their phones wirelessly. Speaking with Logitech recently, they mentioned the difference between the wireless phone chargers and the Powerplay is that the mouse can be positioned anywhere on the pad and it will charge versus a phone being in a specific spot on its hub. The Powerplay also incorporates Lightspeed Wireless Technology for pro-grade wireless connectivity that is faster than many wired gaming devices. It comes with two surfaces, a cloth surface and the G440 hard surface. The soft surface is comfortable and responsive while the hard is sleek and precision-focused. These two surface literally stack on the base as there is no freeplay or worry that it will slide off. The wireless base features a rubber texture.
The default setup without the Logitech software came off slow, but once the software was downloaded, players can choose which surface and it quickly adapts. They can even add a different surface in the options. For such a large pad, minimal movement is needed to move the cursor, but there will be no worries that you’ll run off the edge of the mouse. Desk space is needed for this device. From there, profiles can be customized for the hardcore players, and this includes the lighting on the device. The wireless receiver and mouse all illuminate colors and this can be adjusted with specific effects in the software. The pad provides power to the device while playing and also charges the device over time. In a charging test, the mice charged much faster with no lights being illuminated and is fairly slow charging if using the lights. Adjusting the brightness can help with this as well.
The technology involves inserting a magnet battery underneath the mouse. Leaving devices plugged in for long periods of times, such as laptops, tablets or phones, can eventually reduce battery life. Only time will tell what the longevity of these batteries will be. Players also have the choice to remove the batteries altogether and not use the pad for charging. Instead, inserting a small weight for performance purposes into the replacement cap where the battery goes on the actual mouse. Both mice give a decent amount of options to cater to the specific gamer’s needs.
There isn’t a performance difference between the G703 and G903 mice. Both incorporate the Lightspeed 2.4 GHz wireless technology and the PMW3366 advanced gaming sensor. They feature 12,000 DPI, zero smoothing and over 400 IPS. These technologies are all used by e-sports pros and gaming enthusiasts. They both also include on-board memory to save your setups for taking the mice on-the-go. Each mouse is equipped with a flexible USB cable and a wireless adapter (the G903 adapter comes in a cool little case with additional buttons). However, having some sort of storage for the small adapter would have been nice, but devices engineered like this are designed for a specific experience. The G703 features comfort with five buttons and a scroll wheels. Both mice illuminate the Logitech G logo as well as the scroll wheel. These mice are both extremely light but the battery and weight keep the momentum proper.
What you get when paying for the G903 is some depth. The G903 is a little bulkier and looks a bit more mean than the G703. The most important aspect is the ability to interchange side-buttons to accommodate left-handed players. The G703 is strictly geared towards traditional portability, but the G903 allows for players who struggle with that to set this mouse up the way they feel fit. The scroll wheel has a button for a free-flowing option, so there is no clicking between movements. The only issue I encountered with this was that some times the momentum will cause scrolling to go too far. The matte finish on the plastic isn’t nearly as comfortable as the G703, but the G903 is geared more for hardcore gaming purposes. Players can adjust DPI settings from within the Logitech software and adjust these settings on-the-fly with two buttons on the top. There are three light indicators to let you know what setting you’ve chosen.
Testing these two mice on Total War: Warhammer II and Battlefield 3, the response was equal as both mice truly have the same technology. Exploring the screen and adjusting views on-the-fly in Total War was seemless and easy. Zooming in and panning around provided an excellent option for the G903 to change up DPI settings from the mouse. Using these mice were so smooth that it was held back by the keyboard controls from the game. Playing Battlefield 3 still allowed for precise aiming, but of course the G903 had a few more options up its sleeve. Remove the scroll wheel lock and being able to adjust the DPI settings again actually proved more important when playing a FPS.
While the G903 has improved customization options as it appeases to left-handed players, I can’t get over the fact of just how good the G703 feels. The comfort, look and response of the G703 is amazing and worth the price at $99. I can’t remember the last time I stepped away and missed playing a RTS simply because of how the mouse felt. The G903 retails for $149, gets the improved buttons and the same technology, but is geared to be light, responsive and purely for gaming. It may be worth it to shell out the extra $50 for those who require the options or are left-handed and play better that way, but the G703 is a great choice as a gaming mouse. Lastly, the technology behind the Powerplay is innovative as the trend of evolving gaming peripherals continues in an upward direction. Depending on how much RGB customization you have, it can take a while to fully charge the mice. The mice had a charge of under 20% out of the box, and with the G903 sitting all night, it was at 94%. In most cases, you will be playing while using (which could be an issue down the road with battery life), plus there are sleep modes. Most importantly, the response time is perfect if there was any doubts about using wireless for competitive gaming.