In 2016, Logitech built a mouse called the Pro marketed at pro gamers, and everyone who aspired to be like the pros by using the same equipment. And from the pro gamers I've talked to, the design fit the ideal: it's small and light, crucial factors for shooter players who want a lively skate across their mousepad, and has only two thumb buttons—more complexity is likely to just get in the way. Now, if you cut the cord off the Pro and put it side-by-side with the new G305, it would be hard to tell which is which. But inside the G305 is a newer, more efficient sensor, and a AA battery—it's wireless, but still manages to weigh in at a hair under 100 grams.
The G305, out this May, is a $60 mouse, around the same price as a ton of great wired mice, like the Steelseries Sensei and the Razer Deathadder Elite. And that makes it roughly half the price of Logitech's high-end wireless gaming mouse and similar Razer models. After spending a few hours using the G305, I think it's an exciting piece of hardware. It's no replacement for Logitech's high-end G903, the best wireless gaming mouse, but it also isn't trying to be. It's trying to deliver a high-class sensor and great battery life at a much lower price, and it nails that goal.
Here are the important details: the G305 uses an ambidextrous design, but only has thumb buttons on its left side. A small button on top, beneath the left- and right-click, acts as a DPI switcher by default, though all the buttons are programmable as usual through Logitech's software. It weighs 99 grams with a standard AA battery installed (or slightly less with a lighter rechargeable AA).
The sensor, which Logitech calls the Hero, scales up to 12,000 CPI with no smoothing or other issues, just like its previous sensor champion the PMW 3366. The big difference is the Hero is in the neighborhood of about 10 times more efficient.
Logitech says battery life with a typical AA battery will hit 250 hours on the default "high" performance setting, which runs at a 1000 Hz (1ms) polling rate. Switch over to the "low" performance mode, which drops that polling rate to 125 Hz, and it'll last for months.
From my time using the G305, I think the near-identical design to the Pro will please anyone who likes a dead simple gaming mouse. The thumb buttons are small and nicely clicky, and the plastic scroll wheel scrolls with a precision ideal for cycling weapons in a first person shooter. The left- and right-click also feel just as clicky as they should. Logitech made a point of designing the plastic housing of the battery chamber, which lifts off the top of the mouse, as a separate piece from the primary mouse buttons. That keeps their plastic more reliably locked in place, with a better click mechanism, than they'd otherwise have.
What the G305 lacks are the features you'd expect from a more expensive mouse. I much prefer the G903's slightly larger and more contoured body, with thumb grooves that offer a better grip and larger thumb buttons. The G903 has a metal scroll wheel that can spin freely or in notched mode, nice options for gaming and web browsing. And no mouse on the planet has a better click feel than the G903's unusual metal pivot bar mechanism. The G305 is also a touch small for my hand, so it's not going to become my go-to desk mate.
But I think it is going to become my go-to travel mouse. I love that the design includes a little slot under the shell for the wireless receiver. That's pretty common in wireless mice, but more often in office models than gaming mice. I appreciate that the G305's design doesn't compromise click performance to allow for that lift-off top. Between that design element and the Hero sensor, the G305 offers the kind of gaming performance I expect at home in a mouse that's super easy to travel with. And given the battery life, I won't worry about running out of juice.
The G305 still isn't as cheap as the bargain bin wireless mice on Amazon, but it crushes them on performance, build quality and ergonomics—and at half the cost of most wireless gaming mice, it's making it easier to cut the cord.