Gear Review: Logitech G403 Prodigy Wireless Gaming Mouse

Disclosure: Sample product for the G403 Prodigy wireless gaming mouse was provided to VGBlogger.com for testing and review consideration by Logitech.

If the G900 Chaos Spectrum is Logitech’s luxury sports car gaming mouse for high-end users, as I called it in our gift guides for geeks and gamers last holiday season, then the G403 Prodigy is more akin to an economy model. You know, the type of car that doesn’t have much style or come with many extras, but you buy it anyway because it gets great gas mileage, drives reliably, and isn’t so high maintenance. Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t some full on budget model stripped down to the barest of minimums. Not even close. However, it is a mouse that is more reasonable to beyond-entry-level PC gamers who don’t need a fully souped-up device but still want better performance than the freebie mouse that comes with every new computer, the average mouse purchased off the shelf from the electronics section of the nearest mass market department store, or the off-brand gaming mouse that gets the job done but looks overly garish in that chintzy this-is-blatantly-a-gaming-mouse style.

Aside from the usual left and right primary buttons, a notched scroll wheel with an in-click (but no side scrolling), and a button for switching DPI settings (up to five swappable pre-sets can be saved on a DPI range of 200-12,000), the mouse features only two additional left sidebar thumb buttons, for a total of six programmable buttons. An optional 10g weight, housed within a magnetically sealed manhole-style trapdoor on the bottom of the mouse, is a welcomed perk to have for at least one additional layer of tuning. 16.8 million color RGB lighting is also supported, but the lighting zones are limited to the scroll wheel and the ‘G’ logo, and the lighting options are limited to breathing and color cycle effects. So again, there aren’t a wealth of customization options to work with.

The G403 is understated–it totally avoids falling into the “Hey! Look at me! I’m a gaming mouse!” aesthetic–yet ergonomically crafted for universal comfort for every grip type. I can’t speak to how different hand sizes impact comfort, but the mouse fits like a glove with my personal hand size, which is around 7 to 7.5 inches. The design is fairly streamlined overall, with a slightly bulbous bottom left-hand extension for the thumb to rest on as well as primary mouse buttons with shallow trenches that cradle and caress the full length of the fingers. The tip of the mouse on the right-click button side also gradually slopes downward and slants to the right, conforming to the natural resting position of the hand. Rubber-coated panels on both sides provide grip surfaces which are smooth and soft and do not slip. The only downside to the form factor is that it doesn’t accommodate lefties.

For a wireless mouse, the build is lightweight at 107 grams. As mentioned earlier, the included coin weight affords 10 additional grams of bulk as needed. Despite being light, the mouse doesn’t feel cheap at all. I’ve been using it exclusively for around four to five months now, and the click action still feels as firm, snappy, and tactile as it did out of the box, while the scroll wheel maintains a pillowy thump with each notch.

Although it’s missing most of the G900’s versatility, the G403 does share two important pieces of technology: the same flawless PMW3366 optical sensor, as well as the same wireless technology and wired-to-wireless dual operability. Logitech’s review guide included testing data showing that the mouse actually runs faster in wireless mode compared to wired gaming mice from competing manufacturers. That seems hard to believe, I know, and I don’t have all the fancy testing applications (or all of the other brands’ mice) to prove or disprove the data myself. But I can tell you this: the cursor speed and accuracy maintains peak precision when used wirelessly, without even the slightest hitch of lag. If there is a dip in performance between wired and wireless mode, it was entirely imperceptible to me.

Compared to the G900’s six feet, the G403 only has two thin feet strips–one in the shape of a smiley face along the bottom curve, the other a frown along the top curve. So the glide doesn’t feel quite as effortless, but the mouse certainly moves with the grace and fluidity needed for accurate, responsive gameplay.

The Lithium-Polymer battery offers a maximum of 33 hours of use with all lights turned off, or as low as 22 hours under continuous lighting. Even as a heavy everyday gamer and PC user, I’m usually able to squeeze out two to three days of use before needing a recharge. When the battery’s getting low, the scroll wheel LED strip flashes red so you know to hook it back up for a recharge, reaching full power within a couple hours. When out of use, an auto-off feature shuts down to conserve battery juice.

What I love most about the wired-to-wireless functionality, just like the G900, is the seamless plug and play connectivity. When you’re ready to go from wired to wireless, just unplug the 6ft braided cable from the tip of the mouse and connect it to an included rectangular, flash drive-esque dongle, which serves as a sort of extension cord bridge to the tiny wireless receiver. The USB receiver can always be plugged directly into the PC if desired, but for routine swapping back and forth between wired and wireless modes it’s incredibly handy to have the cable and receiver within arm’s reach somewhere on your desktop. Even more remarkable is how seamlessly the mouse changes between modes. Don’t worry if the battery light starts flashing while you’re right in the middle of a game, because you can unplug the cable from the adapter and plug it directly back into the mouse to recharge and continue gameplay without missing a beat.

At $99.99, the G403 Prodigy is a superb mid-to-high class gaming mouse that shares the G900’s premium components–the sensor and wireless technologies built into these mice truly are the cream of the crop right now–but trims back on the professional grade versatility and luxuriousness to come in at a price point that’s a full $50 cheaper. Alternatively, the G403 comes in a lighter weight wired-only model, equipped with the same sensor and clean ergonomics, but at a price that’s another $30 friendlier to the wallet. If you can hold out for another month, Logitech will soon be launching the G403 wireless mouse (and a few other gaming gadgets) in a sexy interstellar black, blue, and white color scheme themed after Mass Effect Andromeda. Pre-orders are open now, with product scheduled to ship by the end of June.

Still have any specific hardware, design, or performance questions that perhaps I didn’t fully cover? Drop them in the comments, and I’ll be happy to answer.

Buy From: The G403 Prodigy wireless model is available from Amazon or Logitech for $99.99. The wired G403 Prodigy is available from Amazon or Logitech for $69.99.

Disclosure: Product provided to VGBlogger.com for review by Logitech.

About the Author

Matt Litten is the full-time editor and owner of VGBlogger.com. He is responsible for maintaining the day to day operation of the site, editing all staff content before it is published, and contributing regular news, reviews, previews and other articles. Matt landed his first gig in the video game review business writing for the now-defunct website BonusStage.com. After the sad and untimely close of BonusStage, the former staff went on to found VGBlogger.com. After a short stint as US Site Manager for AceGamez, Matt assumed full ownership over VGBlogger, and to this day he is dedicated to making it one of the top video game blogs in all the blogosphere. Matt is a fair-minded reviewer and lover of games of all platforms and types, big or small, hyped or niche, big-budget or indie. But that doesn't mean he will let poor games slide without a good thrashing when necessary!