Wireless gaming mice tend to fly under the radar of most gamers, simply because most aren’t as responsive as their wired counterparts and pack on heavy batteries that don’t just keep them charged, but also bog them down. Currently, the biggest trump-card that wired mice possess over wireless mice is their latency and not needing to be recharged or have their batteries swapped every now and then. The Logitech PowerPlay and friends (the G903 and G703) aim to change that with wireless charging and a mouse poll rate and response time that rival and even surpass many wired mice. The Logitech pad isn’t the first and certainly will not be the last mouse-pad that wirelessly charges mice, but it looks like it’s currently the most elegant option available.
We’ve been itching to get a closer look at the PowerPlay and have finally found an opportunity. The PowerPlay is every bit as fascinating and proficient as you’d think, but it also has a few drawbacks that can’t go unnoticed. Before we get too far ahead; let’s take a look at some of the more defining qualities of the pad in our Logitech PowerPlay review.
The PowerPlay system works by swapping the core on the Logitech G903 and G703 with the PowerPlay compatible variant called the PowerCore. Although Logitech doesn’t officially support it, there are many reports of the G403 working flawlessly with the PowerPlay core. The only downside to this is that pairing the G403 with the PowerPlay is outside Logitech’s warranty agreement.
The Logitech PowerPlay will let you use your mouse without ever needing to plug it in. Simply plug in the wireless charging PowerPlay mousepad and you’re set. The base features both a hard and soft fabric mat that sits upon the charging surface, and you can either swap between them or even stack them to save space, while still charging your mice. This is possible due to the PowerPlay’s 2mm form factor. The PowerPlay’s got a power-state “G” LED that sits towards the USB port at the top left; this little light is configurable and gives you a full RGB spectrum to choose from.
Logitech’s LightSpeed tech works in tandem with the PowerCore to deliver response times that are on par with many wired gaming mice. The pad outputs an induction field that can deliver up to 1.2 Watts at low amperage; much lower than that of a wireless cell phone charger, but adequate enough to charge and run the G903 and G703 with RGB lighting and polling rates maxed out. LightSpeed provides an incredibly low latency (compared to both wired and wireless mice) by having the PowerCore broadcast directly to the PowerPlay system, which is hooked up to your system via USB 2.0.
The hard mat surface provides much less friction than the soft fabric surface does, but the 10.8-inch x 10.8-inch surface might not be enough for some gamers, especially if you like to run FPS titles at a low mouse DPS setting.
The wireless charging does not work over the entire surface of the mat and can fade out at about an inch from the border. This isn’t that big of a deal breaker, but it’s definitely something to take into consideration. You also don’t want to drop or fold the PowerPlay as it is VERY delicate and any sort of shock or serious flexing can destroy its components. The Logitech PowerPlay emits an inductive field a millimeter off its surface, as such, Logitech cautions you not to place metal objects or magnets on the PowerPlay surface.
The PowerPlay is compatible with Logitech’s Gaming software suite to help monitor and configure the mouse pad to your liking.
To sum up this Logitech PowerPlay review, the pad is a unique and rather convenient take on wireless charging applied to wireless mice, and depending on how much of this technology is seen in 2019, it might even become the norm for gamers everywhere. The transition from wired to wireless gaming mice might just be the next big change.