It isn’t every day that we get a selection of new gaming mice from a single company within a relatively short time. Logitech upgraded their line of G-series gaming mice, starting with the G100s, which I reviewed awhile back and really liked. The G400s is the next step up, but it isn’t quite the step up in quality that I expected considering just how good the G100s was, especially for the price.
The G400s is a more advanced mouse in every way: it has more buttons, a more powerful optical laser, and offers more hardware and software features. Yet for all that “more”, the experience is surprisingly lessened by the overall lack of quality and finish. It’s actually surprising: the $40 mouse is better than the more advanced $60 one.
While the general mouse design is nearly identical, the G400s is not an ambidextrous mouse, if only because the two thumb buttons are made for righties. They are clicky and feel good to use, but every other non-primary button is tiny and feels awful in regular use. That accounts for half of the eight programmable buttons, including the middle mouse button, which is too tepid and doesn’t have enough click to feel like it was properly pressed. The scroll wheel isn’t Logitech’s frictionless scroll wheel — one of the best reasons to own any Logitech mouse, gaming or otherwise — but at the same time it feels cheap, akin to Microsoft’s decade-plus old Explorer 3.0 mouse. I would have expected such a cheap feeling scroll wheel from a $20 mouse.
Let’s get back to the other three programmable buttons. They’re cute, and fit better on a smartphone or in a garbage bin than on a high-grade gaming mouse. For their default functions (increase/decrease DPI rating, switch window), they’re barely good enough. For anything else you could imagine (such as, and forgive me if I sound unreasonable, gaming) these buttons are pitiful. They are poorly placed, have no give, are mushy, and are better left forgotten.
Tracking is excellent, as good as the G100s and the G500s above it, though that’s the least I would expect. The cable is thin and cheap feeling; identical to the G100s but from a more expensive mouse like this not what I’d expect to see. The thumb buttons, which feel great, are only partially well-placed. Depending on your grip style, you’ll either have no problem because you have your hand going to the front end of the mouse, or the forward button will be just out of reach. My own lazy-man’s grip made it uncomfortable to press the forward button.
In effect, less than half of the mouse buttons are worth pressing. The scroll wheel doesn’t just feel cheap, it is cheap. The cool features that the G400s has are all available on the G100s, such as a hydrophobic coating, or on the G500s such as additional programmable buttons, a significantly higher DPI rating, a higher 1MHz report rate, and even more.
The worst thing about the G400s is that everything about it makes no sense. It’s an abysmally cheap mouse stuck in between two really great mice from Logitech. The G100s is a really great mouse that belies the “low-end” title it’s price point carries, and the G500s, which I’ll have a review of this week, is a high-quality mouse that’s only $10 more than the G400s. So what gives? The only assumption I can make is that Logitech decided that they could make more money on the G400s by lower standards and a lower price point, a fair business decision but a quality control nightmare.
If you’re in the market for a gaming mouse, avoid the G400s. It is a mediocre gaming mouse at best, and a real fall from form for Logitech at the worst. There are countless competitive mice that you can get, plenty of which are generations older and yet still far better. Or you can spend $10 more and get the infinitely better G500s.