Like many people out there, I’ve been prone to making bad decisions every once in a while. One of those decisions was not pulling out of a Blackjack game where I had doubled my money (I proceeded to lose the rest of it). The other was buying a string of crappy peripherals up until I had my first taste of goodness, courtesy of the Steelseries Sensei RAW. Ever since, I’ve been eager to get into more mouse reviews to see how things differ among all the best brands and today I’m looking at Logitech’s G402 Hyperion Fury, one of the most advanced mice I’ve had the pleasure to hold in a long time.
My thanks go out to Craving Novity and Logitech South Africa for supplying this review item.
The G402 comes in a very nondescript box that I won’t dwell on for too long because it was clearly a review unit that I’d received – it wasn’t a fully packaged product by the time it arrived at my doorstep, so all the little manuals and stickers and niceties I usually receive in the box with peripherals weren’t there. The packaging is rather sturdy, though, so at no point would you need to worry about the mouse arriving intact and undamaged should you order it online.
The G402 Hyperion Fury is currently available through many retailers at an average price of about R750. Takealot’s pricing is spot on with that price point (Rebel Tech is cheaper, Raru tends to the average as well) , while others like local brick and mortar stores may be a little more expensive. The benefit there is that you can get a feel for the mouse first, which I feel is necessary because this is the first Logitech mouse I’ve ever used that polarises opinions. In a good way, mind you, but more on that later.
A rival to, well… the Rival!
Behold, the G402! Logitech’s been taking some notes from its contemporaries because this is a completely new design, drawn from scratch. Some similarities could be drawn to mice like the Razer Mamba, the Microsoft Sidewinder and the Logitech G9x, but this is a different feel altogether. The chassis is a mixture of a powdercoat matte finish (not rubberised) and glossy plastic panels, which will attract all the fingerprints and greasemarks in the world. However, as these gloss elements don’t adorn the mouse itself, those issues aren’t that noticeable.
This is also not an ambidextrous mouse. Though the G402 sits in the middle of the price gap occupied by a few ambidextrous mice like the Steelseries Sensei RAW and the Gigabyte Krypton Dual, the G402 instead competes with the Steelseries Rival, the Corsair Vengeance M95, the ASUS Strix Claw, the Genius GX Gila, the Razer DeathAdder 2013 and the Cooler Master CM Reaper Storm. That’s quite a lot of foes to keep an eye on.
Moving to the front of the mouse, it’s clearly only designed to be used with the right hand. The mouse slants off to the right gently in the palm area, while it tapers off pretty steepy as it extends forward by your fingers. There no risk of accidentally clicking the extra buttons by the left trigger, as the switches have to be pressed in with outward pressure to the edge.
Even if your trigger finger lies in that small groove between the two sets of buttons, the actuation force of the trigger buttons is higher, so you’d need to be intentionally pressing them to get them to click. The switches for the left and right triggers are apparently Omrons, though I don’t know if they are custom-designed or off-the-shelf parts that Logitech selected. Either way, clicks are quick and painless and make very little sound. The scroll wheel has a slight nib to the inner track for grip, although it is not a free-moving scroll wheel. FPS players and Excel warriors take note of that.
The right-side of the mouse is pretty bare. There’s only a gloss insert halving the body and the area where your ring and pinky finger rest is rubberised, with some extruding nibs for better grip. Unlike the rubber that was added for cheaper mice like the G300, this doesn’t react as quickly to hands that may be sweaty or greasy and I wish more mouse manufacturers used this kind of rubber for their thumb and pinky grips.
With that said, though, there’s no platform for your pinky finger to rest on. Either you’re keeping a fairly claw-like grip on the mouse to retain control with all your fingers, or you’re letting your pinky finger drag along your mouse mat’s surface. If you have something that’s roughly hewn, like the Steelseries 9HD Pro, this may end in burn marks for you, or at the least some minor skin irritation.
The palm area is just as nondescript with some of the gloss plastic winding its way there and a “G”-series logo, which is lit up with a blue LED that has some lighting effects that can be configured in the mouse drivers. Most of the time your palm is off the surface of your mouse mat, which is good for things like quick wrist flicks and panning around in-game. If you have a more relaxed hand position like me, though, your palm mostly hugs the back of the mouse and stays on the mouse mat.
I don’t think that detracts from useability significantly, as the mouse is clearly designed to encourage resting your entire hand on it.
Looking at the rear profile, the mouse is somewhat flat at the top and more symmetrical as you move to the rear. Here you can see where the thumb rests and how high the DPI Shift is from the mouse’s surface.
Overall, the G402 boasts eight buttons available to users, with six of these being configurable in the Logitech Gaming Software and only the left and right triggers able to swap places with each other. Unlike some other mice, all of the functions work without the drivers installed and things like profiles and custom button commands are stored on the internal memory. Setting up the G402 is effectively a once-off thing. The DPI indicator LEDs aren’t light up by default, you have to go into the driver software and set these manually. A maximum of four DPI profiles are available by default, although I didn’t test what the limits where for that particular function.
Although the G402 is comfortable to hold and use, I didn’t get much use out of the DPI Shift button that lowers DPI temporarily because my regular computer is in pieces and I’m not able to play many games on my netbook. You have to be using a palm grip to reach it comfortably, as a claw grip requires you to lift up your thumb from the mouse’s surface because sliding it along the matte surface isn’t a smooth action. I’m being nit-picky here, but claw grip gamers are very particular with their mice and how they feel. Overall, I still have no complaints for my personal play style.
Flipping the mouse over reveals four teflon feet and rubberised grips underneath with nibs, with another two smaller sets of feet on either side of the optical sensor. I’m not sure why those were needed – better agility? Dust and dirt protection for the optical lens? I don’t know. What I do know is that it’s a mission to keep the edges of the teflon feet clean. Dirt packs up in the wedges (clearly seen in the photo above by the Logitech branding) and every month or so, using a soft cloth to dislodge the dirt may be needed. It isn’t something that all mice suffer from and I may be the only person in the world who actually looks the the bottom of a mouse critically, so I won’t take points off for this.
One thing I am curious about is if Logitech will be selling replacement teflon feet, or if they’ll be able to offer different kinds of mouse feet for different pad surfaces. GAMDIAS shipped replacement feet in the packaging for the ZEUS eSport, so clearly its something that may benefit gamers intending to take ownership of the mouse for a long time.
A note on the Fusion Engine in the G402
While there are other mice coming out and already released by Logitech that have better or more capable sensors and optics, the G402 comes with a sensor that some would consider mid-range. The range of tracking is between 200 and 4000 dpi, so it’s about the same capability as my Steelseries Sensei RAW. Where it differs is the mouse is paired up with something called the Fusion Engine. Inside the Gaming Software, you can navigate to the Fusion Engine tab and turn it off. Moving the mouse around shows how many IPS, or images per second, the sensor has tracked with your movement. I was never able to get over 97IPS in my testing, but then my mouse mat is actually small and doesn’t allow for long sweeps of my arm.
Turning the Fusion Engine on activates an integrated accelerometer and gyroscope that is driven by the single-core Cortex A-7 processor also inside. When tracking your movement, optical sensors can keep up with you to a certain limit, and after you exceed their tracking speed they have no idea where you’ve actually moved the mouse on the mousepad – i.e. there’s no point of reference for the sensor’s software to draw from.
What the Fusion Engine does is use the gyroscope to detect which direction you’ve moved the mouse in and the accelerometer measures the speed of your movement and the duration of the movement. It relays that information to the processor in real-time. The sensor takes the measurements in conjunction with the sensor’s readings and estimates with almost 100% accuracy where your hand has moved the mouse to. It is very difficult to overwhelm the mouse thanks to the Fusion Engine and it’s always on, so the benefit is always there, but you won’t notice it until you compare it to another mouse on the same mat with the same kind of movements.
Does this actually help gamers stay precise? I’m not sure. I’m not a competitive FPS player and I don’t play many strategy games professionally either. However, movements like sweeps and wrist-flicks are common for twitch shooters like Battlefield 4 or Call of Duty: Advanced Warfare, so having a mouse that’s always aware of your position in-game and in the real world without necessarily only feeding that data to your CPU at specific polling intervals may give you the competitive edge you’ve been looking for.
If you’re a Counter-Strike player, you’ll already be familiar with the fact that the game rewards training yourself to snap-aim to targets rather than aim down the sight whenever you want to take someone down. The Fusion Engine definitely helped my muscle memory in Killing Floor, so there’s something for you lot to take note of there.
A look at Logitech’s Gaming Software
On the front landing page of the Gaming Software, Logitech offers you a choice of two options, which will determine how you use the G402 and whether you want it to be a more portable peripheral or not. You can toggle the switch to choose between setting up the mouse and storing those settings on the on-board memory, or on files saved on the computer. One allows the mouse to work the same way no matter what machine it’s being used on, while the other customises it for this particular machine. Choose wisely.
Clicking on the first menu option takes you to the pointer settings page. It’s mostly self-explanatory and very easy to navigate. You can set the polling rate to as low as 125Hz and it looks like you can have up to six DPI sensitivity levels. The lowest setting is 240dpi, despite the sensor being able to register 200dpi. The orange indicator is the DPI level that the mouse drops to when using the DPI shift key.
Clicking any of the programmable buttons and hitting the “Edit” command gives you this drop-down list of preset functions it can perform. Handy.
Any of the keys can also set off a key combination of your choice. The multikey macro function is the same thing, only this isn’t able to be launched by your keyboard unless you have a Logitech G-series keyboard plugged in. All macros, at least with my experience, have to be launched with the mouse.
The lighting options are simple and easy to set up. The sleep timer function was useful, as I normally have to switch off the LEDs on my keyboard or unplug my ZEUS before going to bed.
I don’t get much information out of heatmap indicators, but the functionality is there. Aside from RTS players, who actually benefits from this? I’m interested to know, so put your thoughts in the comments below this article.
The options menu for the software itself is interesting. I didn’t turn on enhanced graphics, so I’m not sure what that would do beyond pretty-fy the software more. What games out there are able to control the illumination? It seems like a pointless feature to me, as the LEDs only have one colour and only one of them isn’t actually used to indicate anything. The G402 tab allows for firmware updates direct form the internet and the social media tab, well… I tend to avoid social media, but apparently there’s a Twitter link in there to keep up with Logitech’s activities online.
Options for profiles on the mouse or computer are well laid-out. Since you can have as many profiles as you like if you keep the settings stored on the computer instead of the mouse, I found this option to add value to the package. You can also have a persistent profile, which always stays on no matter what application you’re running. I’m not sure why one wouldn’t set the profile to be the default instead, but perhaps one day you just want to override everything by changing just one setting.
Profile cycling while still in an application or game is also useful. If you’re playing a game where you’ve customised key layouts for different characters or classes, this could come in handy because you don’t have to exit the game and manually switch profiles inside the Gaming Software.
Finally, an overview of the profiling options. More profiles for games are being added to the software every so often and if I’m not mistaken, these all save into separate files, so theoretically sharing custom profiles for specific games or downloading a profile from one of your favourite celebrity gamers would be possible. Making the file with all your saved profiles available and synced through a service like Dropbox would also be possible. Good on Logitech for giving gamers the choice there.
800 x 600 Resolution? Where are all my textures?
My netbook is a lowly Acer Aspire One based on the Intel Celeron 847, a 1.1GHz dual-core based on Sandy Bridge. It doesn’t do very well for games and even offline it has issues running games like Unreal Tournament 2004, or anything slightly approaching a modern game like Need for Speed Underground 2. That said, I managed to get Killing Floor up and running on the Intel HD embedded graphics, but I had to set everything so low. How low can I go? Not enough for 30fps stable, that’s for sure.
Despite my hardware woes, things still ran as well as could be expected. The zombies can overwhelm you easily in the game if you’re not constantly moving and watching your back, so panning around the game was easy with the G402. I don’t play with the highest sensitivity possible for most mice, but the G402 held its own quite well and I had no problems with overshoot or sensitivity. Because my play style in Killing Floor is better suited to melee and automatic weapons, I don’t need a lot of agility for attacking the zombies, but I do need to get out of corners and tight corridors quickly.
Even with some framerate issues, playing with 3 bots on some small maps in Unreal Tournament 2004 was a breeze. Arena shooters reward quick wrist flicks and the ability to snap-to-aim and master jumping and movement mechanics, as most of the maps allow players to get very close and intimate with each other and you need to avoid flak cannons and rockets spraying damage everywhere. I’m not a very good player, but I can enjoy what UT2K4 and others like it have to offer, though I confess to aspiring to beat Chippit in our Friday night tournaments that we have online with other NAG forumites and staff writers.
But seeing as how my regular rig was out of commission for now, I wasn’t able to test out other scenarios. Setting the polling rate to 1000Hz on my netbook doesn’t yield much of a benefit because the CPU is too slow and needs those extra cycles to run the games I’m playing. I couldn’t test how the Fusion Engine helps with something like Civilisation V because it wouldn’t run at all. I’m quite sure that the G402 is capable in every kind of test you can imagine subjecting it to, but I couldn’t mount a comprehensive assessment on my hardware. Although…
Spank the Monkey rewarded me greatly. Surprisingly, that’s not the highest score in the game. I have no idea how others do it.
I usually have some part of the review where I discuss the niggles of the mouse and what I found wrong and what could be changed and to be honest.. I couldn’t think of anything I’d really want to change about the G402’s performance. Its a solid mouse and I couldn’t overwhelm it even with my most desperate attempts to escape those bloody invisible Husks in Killing Floor, or sending that monkey to the moon. It simply had no hiccups whatsoever and that is rare, since the only other mouse that gave me the same feeling was the Sensei RAW, which I actually went out and bought after reviewing it on NAG Online.
If you’re a serious or even semi-serious FPS player, this should definitely be on your short-list of peripherals.
My only criticism of the G402 is the lack of a resting place for my pinky finger. I had a similar problem with the Sensei RAW and the GAMDIAS ZEUS, which I now use as my daily driver, solves this issue by having one. I developed slight sensitivity in my pinky finger while reviewing the Steelseries 9HD Pro and I’d really like to avoid that in the future. Having a rest for a pinky finger would go a long way to solving any comfort issues with this mouse.
As far as the packaging goes, I’d like for Logitech to bundle a driver CD with their peripherals once more. I know that it’s a cost issue for the company, but once I had the mouse plugged in, I had to download the drivers from the support website, which only properly worked for me once I used Internet Explorer (Lord Gaben help us!). Logitech needs to work on those issues, which are admittedly minor, before people who aren’t as tech-savvy can get everything running without issue.
Overall, the G402 is a class act from a peripherals manufacturer who is getting back into their A-game and I look forward to seeing what Logitech comes up with next. The software was easy to use and not bloated and it didn’t affect my boot times to any large degree. The Fusion Engine definitely has promise for tournament use and at no point in time in my testing was I ever able to overwhelm it.
If anyone claims to, they most certainly must be superhuman.