One of the potential downsides to gaming with a wireless mouse is that the battery might die at the most inopportune time. There have been various workarounds, such as detachable cables and swappable batteries, but Logitech's new "Powerplay" charging system—basically a wireless charging pad—aims to solve the problem by providing a continuous charge at all times.
Logitech claims (opens in new tab) its proprietary wireless charging technology took more than four years to develop. The reason Logitech built its own wireless charging standard instead of going with one that is already established is because its Powerplay system covers the entire surface of the mouse pad, according to what Logitech told The Verge (opens in new tab). That is also what makes it unique from Corsair's Qi-based Project Zeus concept, which limits wireless charging to one corner of the pad.
"Recent advances in wireless charging technology have made it easy for nearly anyone to keep their mobile phone topped off without plugging in. We’ve studied technologies like this, but determined they had characteristics that weren’t ideal for gaming. Specifically, they require very precise placement due to their small field sizes, and are unable to deliver charge while the device is moving. And they’re usually kind of thick—up to 1-2cm in some cases," (opens in new tab).
Users can flip the top portion of the Powerplay mat for a smooth or hard surface. Either way, there is an electromagnetic energy field that goes through and is captured by a small module on the underside of a compatible gaming mouse. Logitech says this system can ceep charging even through high-speed flicks shots and while lifting and repositioning the rodent.
To kick things off, Logitech outfitted its G900 and G403 wireless mice with "Lightspeed" wireless receivers and rebranded them as the (opens in new tab) and (opens in new tab), respectively. Both feature upgraded microswitches that are rated to deliver 50 million clicks, up from 20 million clicks in the original models.
Of course, charging is not the only concern gamers have with wireless mice, there is also the issue of lag. We have not found that to be an issue with some wireless mice, including our in that category. As it pertains to the G903 and G703, Logitech is advertising a 1ms report rate, "gaming grade" performance, and "lag-free" responsiveness from these rodents.
Beyond the upgraded switches and Lightspeed integration, the G903 and G703 are virtually the same as their predecessors. Both are available now—the G903 costs $150 and the G703 runs $100.
We're anxious to put Logitech's claims to the test. Assuming that lag is not a problem and that the Powerplay system can keep compatible mice charged even while gaming, as Logitech says it can, it would be difficult to go back to using wireless mice the old fashioned way.