A tale of internal remodeling
Normally, the development process behind a mouse isn't something we go into. But given the G502's status as a very popular gaming mouse and the length of time it took to get a wireless version, it's interesting to see what went into its creation.
While speaking with Coonrad about the G502 Lightspeed, he told me that to get the mouse that would equal the expectations of the G502 and incorporate wireless communications, the team had to start with the outer shell and discard just about everything else. The only physical element that didn't undergo some change, he told me, is one of the PTFE mouse feet. The Logitech team switched to an endoskeleton design and a multi-board PCB design. The scroll wheel was shaved down a little to make it lighter, too.
If you've owned a Logitech wireless mouse, you may be familiar with the reinforced claw-like USB plugs some of the company's peripherals use. In order to retain the size and shape of the original G502, the team threw out the idea of using those, and went with a standard microUSB connector instead. As usual, any microUSB cable will work, though Logitech provides one in the box. The mouse can charge via its USB connector, or using a Logitech Powerplay mat.
What about the mouse itself? It's pretty much what I expected from an upgraded G502—it feels engineered to the nines, something that's visible and tangible in every respect. Aside from the lopped-off USB cord, this thing looks just like a wired G502 from above—you'd have to turn it over to see any differences. There, you'll see a very similar magnetically-bonded panel that you can easily peel off to tweak the mouse's weight (which starts at 114 g). You'll also see a circular spot for the Powerplay puck, should you own or intend to acquire the wireless charging solution. Even if you don't, the pick is still useful. Press it in, and there's a spot for the USB dongle to hide when in transit. And, as mentioned before, the default puck houses the two 4 g weights as well.
Setup and functionality
Getting the mouse set up once it's plugged in is simple. Logitech's G Hub software is a big leap over the previous application the company offered, and customizing the mouse button functionality and sensitivity are simpler than ever.
Actually using the mouse feels identical to using the G502 Hero—it even bears out the same in graphs in Mouse Tester. There doesn't seem to be any smoothing turned on, as Logitech said. The G502 Lightspeed performs as expected in shooters and Photoshop alike. While that might seem like a curt assessment, it simply means it's comfortable, tracks flawlessly, and all the buttons are where you'd expect them to. Here are the graphs for a quick comparison.
The real difference in actual usage is the assembly of technology on display here. Logitech says that without the Powerplay pad underneath the G502 Lightspeed, you can look forward to about 48 hours of non-stop gaming with the default lighting, and 60 hours with it off. That fit my experience pretty well. That's 1-2 weeks between charges depending on how you use the mouse. With the Powerplay mat, you can expect the G502 Lightspeed to always be topped up, no matter what.