Only gamers can understand the need for a good mouse. Most people can settle for whatever falls out the box with their PC, but we know those are no good. We know that to get gaming perfection, you need something that's fast, accurate, smooth and adaptable. Whether you're playing Team Fortress 2 and switching between classes or playing a traditional deathmatch shooter like Unreal Tournament 3, you need to know your mouse can adapt to your needs.
And, for a long time, Logitech's G5 was just such a mouse. Beautifully crafted and balanced, it has long been a favourite in the gaming fraternity and stood as an example of what a gaming mouse ought to be like. However, all good things have their time and given that we first reviewed the G5 as long ago as October 2005, a successor has been long in offing. Today should prove cause celebration then, because we're looking at that successor, the eagerly awaited Logitech G9 Laser Mouse.
Immediately it's obvious that the G9 is quite a departure from the G5. Unlike that and the disappointing Microsoft SideWinder, it's shorter and far more compact. But this isn't the real talking point, it's the use of two interchangeable grips, a 'wide load' grip and a 'precision' grip.
Initially, we were somewhat sceptical about this idea, but in reality it makes perfect sense. We've written before about the problems of people's differing grips, with some preferring to hold the mouse in their palm and others with their fingertips. With a typical design certain mice just favour one technique over the other, but the choice of grips with the G9 solves this problem.
Take the wide load grip, which as the name suggests is slightly wider and larger. This is moulded perfectly for those who like to grip the mouse with their whole hand, with a slightly exaggerated rear end to help support the palm and a softer touch to make prolonged use comfortable. Conversely, the smaller Precision grip is ideally suited to fingertip gamers, with the more tactile texture providing a more confident control over the mouse.
Some may argue that you'll choose one and discard the other and that this makes the exercise pointless, but one can't help but think this view is rather short sighted. If a good gaming mouse needs to be adaptable, what better example is there than this? Moreover, although this may be the case with many it's difficult to assert precisely what people will do - I for one use the precision grip for gaming and the more comfortable wide load grip for desktop use.