Logitech G13 Review


Tech Monkey
Logitech has for a long time made mice, keyboard and an assortment other devices but game pads? I was very skeptical to get this device when I first heard about, however I was in the market to replace my N52 TE from Belkin. I was a huge fan of the original N52 but the N52 TE was a failure on every level when it came to the software. The lack of customer support from Belkin told me to move as soon as I possibly could and when I saw the G13, I was cautiously optimistic, let’s face it Logitech doesn’t have the best track record for software either.

There were many thing's I thought when I first saw it but one in particular stuck out, the macro options were almost limitless, there are 24 buttons not including the joystick, which can be setup for 4 more buttons so a total of 28, then you have 3 different profiles phew how to keep track of it all? This feature drew me to the G13 and will help you manage your key configurations as well, it is the ability to setup custom colors on the M1, M2 and M3 modes. An example I have comes from personal experience while playing Counter Strike Source and if you’re unfamiliar you have two different sides, with different weapons that are assigned to different numbers for easy buying. I sat there and figured out which macro's I will need for Counter Terrorist and Terrorist so I made CT Blue on M1 and T Red on M2. The colors helped me quickly identify if I had chosen the wrong M# if I got the wrong weapon, this also came in handy with other games such as MMO’s for combat and just regular travel. This isn’t something I had previous experience with but I knew it was something that was very effective and again out shined other devices of it's kind.

The comfort level for me was perfect, this may not be the case for every one though with smaller fingers, from the bottom of my palm to the tip of my middle finger is 8” which is not a small hand, my friend who is 6’3” has smaller length wise fingers then me but his are wider and I’m only 6’. To put it into perspective for you the back of my palm rests on the Logitech logo at the bottom and my middle finger still hangs over the top of the G4 button. This gave me a lot more comfort right off the bat over the N52 TE, thus if you have longer fingers put this at the top of your list if you’re in the market for a game pad like this.

The software setup was easy for me, since it uses existing G software it was just plug and wait, since I had a G15 keyboard all ready. The monochrome display is another feature that attracted me to this unit. I mentioned before that I had a G15 when I first got the G13 at the time of purchase, since many games were starting to support the Logitech display. I also used another program called SirReal panel to keep an eye on my temps and other info, it was a going to be even more useful to me personally, to have the game info on my G15 and the other info on my G13, this is an excellent combination if you want to see that sort of information at a glance. I now have a G19 keyboard and the result is the same, but the SirReal software is better suited for the G13 now.

Their current software is the 800 series. Now I cannot test their 800 series software because there is a MAJOR bug in it for some reason that was not caught in their internal testing, I wish I could give my impressions on that because I loved the changes but it would only work for 30min then crash, not very stable at all. All I do know for sure is that it was passed onto the QA dept and no one from Logitech has said a thing about it nor have they pulled the drivers from their site, which I don’t understand if several people have posted to my thread and given the same errors as I. Thus I am not going to talk about that software only the 700 series that works, we all okay with that? Okay, that’s what I thought. (c;

The 700 series was released last December and changed everything, literally. The biggest change was the UI and how you assigned your keys/macros (along with names if you want it) to the G keys on the device, this was confusing at first but once I figured it out made all the sense in the world. This made it neat, organized and gave me a way to look at all my macros or single buttons in one list without having to remove them on the G keys first, I just dragged and dropped what I wanted no fuss. I also really liked how setting up those macros was done within a submenu of the name assigned to them so you didn’t have to go through another list to find it, like you had to before with the legacy software. The Legacy profiles still worked with the new software, this made the transition to the new software that much easier to bear.

The software manager is now a part of the main program, so there is only one program running unlike the legacy software where there were separate, this cuts down on memory usage and running processes useful to everyone. The biggest flaw with the new software is that when you try to get to software manager, color manager or key/macro manager it stalls the program for almost 90 seconds. This is a major pain if you’re trying to make changes on the fly in a multiplayer game or MMO, make sure you load it up before you start the game or you will be doing the “hurry up and wait” scenario.

The joystick on the right is a love hate relationship for me, when I use it for a long time it hurts because it is not padded so I hate it for that but it does have some other interesting quarks. Take Dead Space 2 for some reason in the menu it skew to some odd angle looking away, I could sort of fight it with my mouse and for about 5min I could not figure out what other input was causing it, then I pressed the G13 joystick and that was it. What it turned out to be is that the G13 can emulate joystick movement and even though I didn’t have it enabled in the games profile under the Logitech software, the game somehow thought it was enabled so every time I started the game that would be the result. I was then forced to go into the Device Manager and disable the G13 Joystick device just for Dead Space 2 to run without a problem. I have had to do this for other games but Dead Space 2 is the most recent in memory that I have had to do this for. Keep in mind this happens maybe once in maybe every 20 games I play so very low for this sort of thing to happen, but when it does I almost always had forgotten about the time before. This is how I know it's a game problem and not a driver problem.

The love part for the joystick comes in (and the pain) when I use it for RTS games. I use it quickly move the camera across the FOV, then I use the G24 button for CTRL and the other buttons as their regular numbers, except G10-G12 I use for builders for 8-0. This makes playing RTS very efficient for me, I haven’t tried this with TBS but I have a feeling this would still be useful in games like Shogo 2 or Civ 5.

The biggest drawback I can see with this unit is where’s the love for the left handed mice using community? I am not a lefty myself but one of my daughters is and it’s a thought I had being a parent, what if she wanted to use this and had to adapt because Logitech didn’t make one for her demographic? It’s not something I am going to burden any one with but still food for thought.

Great size
Long USB cable
Software has evolved
Button Layout

Maybe too big for some
Where’s the love for lefties
Software stalls
Too many buttons or too little

My final verdict on this product is BUY. There are short comings but you can work past them or look past them to see the gem that it is.