When I first reviewed the original G502 Proteus Core from Logitech, I was blown away. I called it the greatest mouse I had ever used, and it continued to be my go-to mouse whenever I wasn't testing something else for a long, long time. As it turned out, the gaming market shared my view of the G502. It went on to become the best-selling gaming mouse around, even inspiring its own subreddit.
Now, the best gaming mouse you can buy has gotten better with the addition of customizable RGB lighting and the inclusion of the latest and greatest Logitech technology. The G502 Proteus Spectrum doesn't change much from its predecessor -- but why would it? The new model comes in at the same price, $79.99 on Newegg.com, and will fully replace the Proteus Core. I've had a chance to use the new G502 as my office and gaming mouse for a week now, and can assure you there's no reason at all to doubt the Spectrum's ability to replicate the original's success.
The G502 is a mostly black and grey mouse recognizable via its angular buttons and metal scrollwheel. It fits into Logitech G's current futuristic/robotic design aesthetic, seen in other products like their G910 Orion Spark keyboard and the G633 Artemis Spectrum headset.
The only change in the visual design of the Spectrum vs. the original Core is the removal of the blue stripe along the edge of the thumb rest. That change makes sense, as blue won't always go well with the customizable lighting colors the G502 is now capable of displaying.
The G502 offers a great combination of aggressive and subtle styling. It doesn't scream "gaming mouse" at an obnoxiously high volume, but the dramatic angles on the main buttons, which jut out almost like twin fangs, aren't something you're going to see on a typical office mouse.
The RGB lighting on the Spectrum is bright and the colors are vivid, though this isn't really the mouse for you if showing off your RGBs is a high priority. The only portions that light up are the G logo and the hash marks that indicate your current profile/DPI setting, and the whole lighting experience is a lot less dazzling than what you see on something like the Razer Mamba Chroma.
The new G502 continues to offer my single favorite feature on any gaming mouse I've ever tried: a metal wheel capable of infinite (or "high speed") scroll in which the wheel spins freely. You can switch between traditional and infinite scrolling with the click of a button just below the wheel, and the whole package of wheel functionality on the G502 manages to make scrolling an intensely satisfying tactile experience. Add in the fact that the metal wheel usually remains notably cool to the touch, and you have a feature that I am shocked more peripheral companies haven't stolen.
The 502 sports on-the-fly DPI switching and 11 programmable buttons that can be loaded up with your favorite commands or macros via Logitech's software. It doesn't offer enough buttons to work as an MMO mouse, but with a large button in the "sniper" spot under your thumb and five other extra buttons within easy reach (though two of those are mapped to DPI adjustments by default) it likely provides enough options for any non-MMO gamers out there.
Using Logitech's software you can "tune" your mouse to whatever surface you'll be using it on most often, whether a mousepad or your desk. Though average users aren't likely to notice much of an accuracy difference when using the mouse on a surface it's been "tuned" for, die-hard aim fanatics out there will undoubtedly appreciate the option.
The G502 also includes a braided cable and optional additional weights, which can be added to the bottom of the mouse via a nifty door held closed by a strong magnet. In a nice touch the weights continue the angular aesthetic of the mouse, rather than simply being the rounded blocks you see in many weight-adjustable mice.
Comfort & Performance
The G502 has a smooth surface on its top and textured rubber grips on either side. The smooth top means the mouse is fairly sweat resistant and remains comfortable for long periods of time, while the sides provide traction to ensure things don't get too slippery.
For those that appreciate a good thumb-rest in a mouse, the G502 offers what might be the best in the business. It has a generous inward scoop to it that should ensure your thumb never has to drag along your mouse pad.
Logitech has long been famous for their high-quality mouse sensors, and the G502 is no exception. It has the latest Logitech G Delta Zero optical senor technology and the company's most responsive optical sensor. I used the mouse with a variety of games, from fast-paced shooters to precise strategy titles, and never found it anything less than perfect and reliable in terms of performance. And for extreme DPI fans out there, the G502 can clock in at anywhere from 200 to 12,000, so you should be able to find a sweet spot (or five swappable-on-the-fly sweet spots) somewhere in that range.