Logitech has a new gaming mouse, and that gaming mouse has an edgy name to go with its ridiculous new 12,000 DPI sensor: Proteus Core. Logitech's G502 Proteus Core is the successor to the G500s, which is just a year old. Logitech calls the 12,000 DPI sensor, "the world's most powerful and accurate sensor," and say that it's a brand new design that no other mouse on the market has.
High DPI doesn't say much about sensor quality—most gamers use a DPI setting in the low thousands, and no one can realistically control a mouse at 12,000 DPI—but Logitech claims the sensor has "zero acceleration, zero smoothing or filtering, and zero pixel rounding." Those are all magic words to hardcore gamers worried about mouse acceleration throwing off their aim. The Proteus Core's big new feature is the ability to calibrate the sensor on different surfaces to optimize tracking and lift-off distance.
Logitech's gaming mouse drivers for the Proteus Core include a tab called "Surface Tuning" that can hold a number of custom surface settings. Adding a new setting takes about ten seconds—you move the mouse around the surface in a circle while the sensor takes samples, then give it a moment to analyze the data and apply your new settings.
The mouse can store its surface data in internal memory, along with the usual selection of programmable macros and profiles. Logitech's drivers also support switching mouse profiles based on specific applications or games.
The familiar palm grip hump of the G500s, the G500, and even the classic MX518 is still visible in the Proteus Core's design. But Logitech's given it an angular makeover, with separated left- and right-click keyplates, more triangular buttons on the left side, and more defined thumb and pinky grips with a textured rubber coating. The mushy rubber scroll wheel has been replaced by a larger metal scroll wheel, which can switch between notched and free scrolling. The wheel still clicks side-to-side.
Logitech has also redesigned the G500s' weight customization system. Its previous tray design moved the mouse's center of gravity too high off its surface, so the new 3.6 gram weights fit into a thin well in the bottom of the mouse. Choosing where to place some or all of the five weights can slightly change the Proteus Core's center of balance.
At 145 grams without any added weights, the Proteus Core is on the heavy side. The Razer Deathadder 2013 weighs 105 grams, and some gaming mice weigh considerably less. After a day of hands-on with the Proteus Core, I think its rubber side grips and large metal scroll wheel are big improvements on the G500s' dated design. Despite its weight, the mouse slides well on a hard pad thanks to two large feet. I prefer the responsiveness of light mice over heavy ones, but the Proteus Core doesn't feel prohibitively heavy.
Logitech's new sensor is by far the most interesting and important component of the G502. 12,000 DPI is an almost meaningless number, but Logitech is also promising the ability to track at 300 inches per second, faster than you'll ever realistically move your mouse. If the mouse tracking stays perfectly accurate up to that speed (this metric is often referred to as malfunction speed) without exhibiting any positive or negative acceleration, Logitech's new sensor will delight even the pickiest mouse enthusiasts.
The Logitech Proteus Core goes on sale in April in the US and Europe for $80, about $30 more than the G500s currently costs on Amazon in the US.