Logitech G502 X review: two clicks forward, one scroll back
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Statistically, there’s a good chance you clicked onto this page with a Logitech G502 mouse. Between its Proteus Spectrum and refreshed Hero models, the G502 has sold boatloads, and was voted as RPS readers’ favourite gaming mouse in both 2019 and 2021. Not undeservedly either, as it’s sat atop our best gaming mouse rankings for years. Making more drastic improvements to it wouldn’t therefore seem like a pressing priority, but Logitech have had a crack regardless with the new G502 X series.
There’s a trio of redesigned rodents in this family: the standard G502 X I’ve got on review here, the wireless G502 X Lightspeed, and the G502 X Plus, which is essentially the G502 X Lightspeed with added RGB lighting. Since prices max out at £150 / $160 for the G502 X Plus, the two Lightspeed-equipped mice could be less expensive alternatives to Razer’s new DeathAdder V3 Pro and Basilisk V3 Pro – but as the cheapest and most direct successor the G502 Hero, it’s the G502 X that’s likely to see the most desk action. Does it deserve to?
Having swooshed the G502 X around as my main mouse for a few days, I will say almost every design change on it is a positive one. The long, sloping shape still works well for palm and finger grips alike, and you still get integrated side grips and a generous thumb rest, but it’s all a little more refined. A little more, dare I say, grown up. Gone are the go-faster silver highlights, and the middle section – where the scroll wheel, DPI switch and freewheel/ratcheted scroll switch all live – now sits flush with the left-and right-click buttons. It looks cleaner, and leaves fewer nooks for dust and grime to build up in. Good stuff.
A more overtly practical upgrade is the reworked DPI clutch, which (by default) lowers the sensitivity for more precise movements while held. Rather than keeping it as a fixed button, the G502 X has a detachable L-shaped cap: slot it in with the extended section facing towards you, and it becomes much easier to reach with your thumb. Turn it around so that it faces away, and the button is still there if you need it, but there’s less chance of brushing it by accident. Or, if you’ve no need of the clutch (and don’t want to reprogramme it to do something different, as you can do with all 11 inputs), you can simply replace the cap with a plain cover to effectively disable it.
Flexibility and customisation have always been strengths of button-stuffed gaming mice like previous G502s and the Razer Basilisk series, so it’s good to see Logitech taking that further. And, unlike the Basilisk V2’s similar click-on thumb button, the G502 X’s clutch attachment is not at all prone to pinging off.
In-game performance is flawless, as could be expected given this mouse uses the same Logitech 25K sensor as the G502 Hero, and there are other tweaks that (again, mostly) make it marginally more comfortable and satisfying to have under your fingers. Chief among these is the new optical-mechanical switch design: I can’t honestly say this makes the left/right clickers feel faster than those on older G502 variants, as is usually the given reason for optical switch tech, but they do somehow feel more solid and finely-crafted.
The G502 X is also a lot lighter than the G502 Hero and Proteus Spectrum ever were, even if you removed all of the latter versions’ optional weights. This new model is 89g (or 3.1 of Her Majesty’s ounces), so it’s not a true lightweight mouse, but that’s a shedding of over 30g. Take it from someone who’s owned and operated a Proteus Spectrum since 2017, that difference in overall agility is immediately noticeable, and in my book, worth the loss of the repositionable weights system.
Honestly, the G502 X would be a great example of improving on a classic, were it not for one other change: the scroll wheel. I hate it. Specifically I hate the scratchy, crunchy, overly resistant feel it has in ratcheted mode, where an excessive devotion to tactility has left the wheel both borderline uncomfortable to use and way, way too loud.
Good scroll wheels should have a little finger-bump to each roll, to be sure, as this is what lets you make precise spins. But ideally, this should feel less like trying to roll a filing cabinet through a foot-deep pile of crisps and more like the clean yet substantial clickiness of rotating the bezel on a nice watch. Razer mice understand this. SteelSeries mice understand this. Asus mice understand this, sometimes. The G502 X does not understand this, so although the wheel does have an improved, rubber-lined grip, compared to the G502 design it’s downright grating.
This teensy plastic circle is – with genuine regret – enough to spoil the G502 X for me, in spite of its many and varied successes elsewhere. Yes, if you can live with a clacky scroll wheel then you’ll find loads to like besides, and £70 / $80 isn’t an unfair ask for such a modern and well-appointed gaming mouse. But mine will be going firmly back in its box and staying there, no matter how many surveys it tops.