I need to write a new post - it's been too long!
So I got a new mouse a few weeks ago. My old trusty Basic Microsoft Optical mouse was still chugging along just fine after a couple years of abuse, but the buttons were getting a little loose. So I decided it was time for an upgrade. After a little research, I settled on the Logitech G9x Laser Gaming mouse. Now, along with my Das Keyboard, I have an embarrassing amount of money invested into my input devices. I'll try to hit on most of the pros and cons.
I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with it. It has two interchangeable shells to better fit your hand. I've been using the fatter of the two. I feel like I have too much of a "claw" grip on the mouse when I use the smaller shell, which ends up tiring my hand, but on the other hand (no pun intended,) the left outer edge of the bigger shell sort of scrapes on my mousepad as I pick up the mouse at an angle to drag it back over to the left. (You know, when you've veered too far to the right on your mouse pad and you need to pick the mouse up and bring it back to center.) The effect is not terrible, but it's something that my old mouse didn't do. I just need to train myself to pick my mouse up at a flatter angle when I need to move it around the mousepad.
The two buttons on the side are something else I was not accustomed to, but I've already grown fond of them. I always used to steer clear of any mouse that had extra buttons. I used to just want a left button, a right button, and a mousewheel and that's it. I just knew that I would always be accidentally hitting any extra buttons. Well, it just takes a little getting used to and you learn to like them. I very rarely hit them on accident. They are amazingly handy for web browsing, as I use that back button a lot. I already can't believe that I used to drag my pointer up to the browser's back button every time I wanted to move back a page. That said, going back in my web browser is pretty much all I've used the side buttons for so far.
The scroll wheel is probably my least favorite thing about this mouse. It does have a hardware toggle button on the bottom of the mouse for if you want the wheel to scroll smoothly, or if you want that "bump bump bump" feeling as you scroll it. Well, I'm one of those people that definitely needs the bumps/tactile feedback, so you click this little "microgear" button on the bottom of the mouse and there it is. However, the middle mouse button (pushing down on the mouse wheel) is extremely difficult. In fact it takes so much force to depress the middle mouse button, that you can pretty much forget about precisely pointing at something small on the screen and middle-clicking it without the wheel or the entire mouse moving, or both. I don't know if disengaging the microgear would make that any better. It doesn't matter, because I can't have my scroll wheel being all loosey goosey anyway. Maybe it'll loosen up over time, as my keyboard has. Also, the wheel has left and right play too... see those little arrows on the sides of the mousewheel? Yeah, that sucks. Ironically it's not hard at all to accidentally actuate the left or right action. I have no use for that. I do accidentally hit those all the time, which interrupts the middle-click scroll if you're one of those people that like to middle-click on a page and then pull the pointer down to scroll down the page. Luckily, with the configuration software I was able to map those left and right actions to do nothing... which leads me to:
The software. I'm a minimalist, at least when it comes to my computer. I'm one of those people who almost never has icons on their desktop. That means I do not want to install more software on my computer and have another useless system tray icon sitting down there just to be able to configure my bloody mouse. However, there are some things that you can only do with that proprietary software, such as change the LED colors (I changed mine from red to blue to match my keyboard and monitor,) and re-map all those non-standard buttons. But luckily, all your configuration changes are saved inside the mouse, so once you've got it set up how you like it, you can uninstall the software for good. Even unplugging the mouse and using it on a different computer doesn't reset the custom settings. Furthermore, if you have internet access, the mouse's basic functionality is plug and play as Windows can automatically download a G9x driver from Windows Update.
The mouse also comes with this tin full of 4-gram and 7-gram weights. There is a slide-out tray inside the mouse that you can actually fit these weights into in various configurations to precisely give your mouse the weight that you desire. Now maybe I'm just not pro enough to really realize the benefit of this, but it just doesn't really make much difference to me. My hand seems to be able to adjust just fine to whatever weight the mouse is. However, I could see how weights could mitigate that overcompensation you get in games when you try to react quickly. The jury is still out on this feature.
Now, I want to talk about the thing that really makes the mouse awesome. It's the DPI switch just under the left mouse button. Having the ability to increase and decrease the sensitivity on the fly has basically added a whole new dimension for me, particularly in certain games. Imagine a game of Battlefield 3 where you can slow your mouse down to the precision of a surgeon's scalpel when scoped in, and then bring it back up to speed when you zoom out and go back to running around, all without ever taking your eyes off the game? It's pretty amazing. You may not all agree on all the design decisions employed by this mouse, but all mouse manufacturers should take note of this great feature.