Getting over the stigma of wireless peripherals has been one of the most difficult transitions for me this year. As an old school PC gamer, I’ve always used wired mice, keyboards, and headsets due to the fear of uneven latency or batteries running low at an inconvenient moment. Thankfully, neither of those have to be an issue anymore with two new technological advancements from Logitech: Lightspeed and Powerplay. The Lightspeed wireless technology has greatly improved connectivity while the Powerplay removes the need to charge wireless mice.
In previous reviews, I discussed the Lightspeed technology with the G603 wireless mouse and G613 wireless keyboard. Therefore, this review will focus on the Powerplay technology and the two compatible mice: the G903 and G703.
The Logitech Powerplay is a wireless charging system and mousepad that allows you to choose a cloth or hard gaming surface. Each unit comes with both the cloth and hard surface overlays, so they can be changed out at any time. It also works with other mouse pads, as long as there isn’t anything in them that might interfere with the signal.
The charging unit itself is 12.6 x 13.5 inches and the depth will depend on which type of material is chosen. Being larger than a traditional mouse pad but smaller than something like the G860 XL, I found the Powerplay to be perfect middle ground. I never found myself needing more surface area or that it took up too much room on my desk. The double thickness caused by stacking another mouse pad on top of the charging unit does take some getting used to but it’s not uncomfortable.
Setting up the Logitech Powerplay is a breeze. All you have to do is plug the 6-foot cable into a USB port and make sure your Logitech Gaming Software is updated. After that, turn on one of the compatible mice and pair it through the Logitech software. The mouse is wirelessly connected via the Powerplay, which means it doesn’t need to use an additional USB slot.
Two things I noticed immediately were how slow the Powerplay actually charges and that the mouse never stays at 100 percent charge. The second point is actually a benefit because it allows the battery to cycle between 85 and 95 percent charge. If a rechargeable device remains plugged in at 100 percent it can wear down the battery life.
To address the other point, the Powerplay isn’t meant as a quick-charge system. The G903 and G703 can be quickly charged by directly plugging them in to a USB port, but the Powerplay is designed to prevent a need to charge during active use. I’ve put the system through extended use over the last month and my charge has never dropped below 85 percent during heavy activity.
Without the Powerplay, the G903 will last approximately 24 hours. This should be enough time for any quick trips without the charging station, and in a worst case scenario both mice can still work wired. If you need to use either mice without the Powerplay on a daily basis, the easiest solution would be to set them on the Powerplay overnight and they should be charged by morning.
Currently, one of the biggest issues with the Powerplay is that it only works with two mice. Thankfully, both of those mice are excellent and hopefully we’ll see some additional models in the future. The design for the G703 is one of Logitech’s staples, which can also be seen on the G403 and G603 models. It’s a simple, yet effective configuration that delivers performance without trying to be fancy about it. You can read a detailed review of the G603 here to get an idea of what to expect with the G703 (with the exception of not using batteries).
On the other hand, the G903 comes with all the bells and whistles you could ever want. For starters, it’s completely ambidextrous, and it manages to do so without sacrificing comfort or function. The G903 offers tremendous control with its 11 programmable buttons including: two on the right and left side that can be removed, DPI shift, hyperscroll toggle, profile toggle, and multiple wheel tilt buttons.
With the Logitech Gaming Software, the DPI, lighting, and button profiles can be customized. There’s also surface tuning to maximize sensor accuracy and the option to track button input analysis through a key press heat map. If you need to use the G903 somewhere that doesn’t have the Logitech software installed then there’s still the option to store profile information in the mouse itself, and those profiles can be easily toggled through a button on the bottom.
As far as performance goes, the G903 is top of the line. It uses the PMW3366 optical sensor, which is one of the best on the market, and has zero smoother, filtering or acceleration between 200-12,000 DPI. That means there’s no artificial input or delay between your actions and what the mouse tracks on screen.
Not only are the sensors incredibly accurate but the mouse buttons are super responsive. The G903 uses a metal spring tensioning system and metal pivot hinges in the left and right mouse buttons. This allows clicks to feel cleaner, be more responsive, and allow for more rapid use.
Finally, the physical design and shape of the G903 is comfortable and ergonomic. Despite being an ambidextrous mouse, it doesn’t feel like any compromises were made as a right-handed gamer. As far as size and weight goes, the G903 sits in the middle of the field. At 110 grams, it’s obviously larger and heavier than something like the Logitech Pro Gaming Mouse (83 grams), but it’s still considerably lighter than the G600 (133 grams). However, if you want something on the heavier side, it does come with a 10 gram removable weight.
The Logitech Powerplay is one of the coolest innovations when it comes to mouse pads or wireless peripherals. That comes off as an odd thing to say, but having the ability to actively charge a wireless mouse, without plugging it in, is awesome. The biggest downfalls are its exclusivity and price tag. If you are going to pick up the Powerplay, I highly suggest also grabbing the G903. It’s not that the G703 is bad but if you’re already spending that kind of money another $50 makes a huge upgrade.
The Logitech Powerplay and G703 are currently available (separately) for $99.99 while the G903 retails at $149.99.
+Never have to manually charge or replace batteries again
+The G903 is one of the best mice on the market
+Multiple surface options
-Only works with two mice
-High price tagRelated: Hardware, Logitech G, Logitech G903, Review, Tech