Ask any hardcore gamer about his or her gaming hardware and you’re likely hear a mention or two of the Logitech MX518. The Logitech MX518 is a legendary gaming-spec mouse and it shares the same glory as the other legends – Logitech MX310, the Microsoft Intellimouse 1.1 and Razer’s Deathadder. It has been successful in the Indian market. If you’re looking for a mouse that’s priced under Rs. 1,400, you’re most likely to be recommended a Logitech MX518. Ask us, and we’ll tell you the same thing. The original MX518 1600dpi mouse was brilliant and Logitech quietly respawned as a 1800 DPI version later. 

A very similar look to that of the MX518

A very similar look to that of the MX518

Now, they have a new one and it’s not called the MX518, anymore. Logitech calls it the G400, like the G500, which was a laser mouse and although priced a lot more than the MX518, was a very popular pointing device for gamers. Though closer to the G500 in its naming convention, it’s much more like the MX518. Even the box says ‘The NEW MX518’. If the MX518 was already a good mouse, how much better could Logitech have made it?

Design

The G400 looks exactly like the MX518 except for a few (very few) changes. The glossy surface on the top with the dented metal optical illusion print is replaced with a sober plain, dark grey top. Button placements are exactly the same. There are the two directional keys on the left, two DPI switches one before and one behind the scroll wheel. 

Large mouse feet to help glide

Large mouse feet to help glide

The weight, feel and the size of the G400 isn’t a lot different. For someone like me who’s used the MX518 for four years (and it hasn’t really gone bad, except for some worn out paint), it feels almost exactly the same in hand. It’s got the same level of comfort as the MX518.There are a few changes, though. The cable on the G400 for example, is thinner than the one on the MX518. The feel of the clicks also is slightly different. As compared to the Razer mice and specifically, the Lachesis, the Imperator, the click feels firmer. If you use your mouse roughly, the G400 should take abuse well. The Razer mice in comparison have a much lighter, delicate click. The scroll wheel also has a more resistive feel to it. The feet are the same large ones you'd find on the newer Logitech MX518.

Features

The big addition that Logitech has made to the G400 is to the sensor. What was initially a 1600, then 1800 dpi sensor, is now a 3600 dpi sensor. It’s still an optical sensor, though. The G500 used a laser sensor. Another major change that will be recognized by serious gamers is the refresh rate. While the old MX518 was limited to 125 Hz refresh rates, it could be bumped up to 500 Hz using tools to get a more responsive experience. The G400 supports 1000 Hz out of the box. You can, of course, switch between 125, 500 and 1000 Hz refresh rates through the drivers.

Key and profile assignments

Key and profile assignments

Speaking of drivers, Logitech has given it a major facelift, as well. The drivers are simplistic and have a very minimal interface. Multiple DPI profiles can be set and each one can be altered to your liking. The Logitech MX518 drivers were pretty bad in comparison. It was bulky, slow and even the simplest of tasks seemed like a chore. The ones for the G400 are much better in many aspects.

Performance

The Logitech G400 performs flawlessly on all surfaces. We tried it on a solid mat such as the Razer eXactMat, as well a cloth surface made by Steelseries. We saw absolutely no instances of skipping or the mouse sliding around randomly. We tried a round of games, everything from a single player title such as Crysis 2 to a more fun Team Fortress 2, to a slightly more competitive Counter Strike: Source. The mouse performs without a glitch. You can choose to use the mouse without the drivers, but if you want to get the perfect customised sensitivity settings, you’ll need to play around with the sensor DPI settings, which means you’ll need the drivers.

DPI setting adjustments

DPI setting adjustments

One of the things you notice is that even though the G400 has a larger resolution sensor, it’s still pretty useless for most users who tend to play with either 800 DPI or 1600 DPI. Any more, and you’ll need to make even more adjustments to the in-game sensitivity settings.

Standard button layout

Standard button layout

The scroll could have been slightly smoother. Currently, if you use the scroll to switch weapons, you might find it not extremely smooth. The responsiveness even at 1000Hz doesn’t feel as quick as it does on say a Razer Imperator. Liftoff issues are minimal, as well.

Verdict

The G400 is a solid piece of equipment, but the MX518 already was that. The G400 has a few changes that make it an even more lethal machine. If you already own a MX518, you’re likely to be left unimpressed.

G400 - is it a worthy successor to the MX518?

G400 – Is it a worthy successor to the MX518?

If the G400 is as sturdy in the long run as the MX518, you can expect it to last a good couple of years before the click buttons start giving any issues. There are no serious glitches either that will hinder your gameplay. The product isn't officially available in India yet, but in the US, it's priced at $49.99 (approximately Rs. 2,500). At that price, it's definitely a good bit more than the MX518 and closer to the Razer DeathAdder. If you use an MX518, this shouldn't be on your wishlist. If you're looking for a sturdy mouse for around Rs. 2,500, this is one worth considering.

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