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The Logitech G9 may very well be the best gaming mouse on the market, simply said, its got a wealth of features, solid construction, and solid software to back up that claim. As the natural progression from the excellent G5 and cordless G7 the G9 is a great piece of technology and a must for any gamer, hardcore or casual.

The feature set of the G9 is its biggest drawing point. In previous reviews of gaming mice, we commented on the lack of weight cartridge and the great debate around it (some reviewers love them, some hate them) and while we won’t get into the flame war too heavily, we choose to side with the former in believing that a good, heavy mouse is the way to go over some of the lighter fare. The hidden cartridge has a spot for four weights which come in 4g and 7g varieties. Having used a G5 since its introduction matching the weight and grip shape was a must to feel comfortable.

The G9 also features removable grips, with two included in the retail package. The default is a wider grip, allowing for people with larger hands to rest their palm and fingers all the way around the device. It’s made of the same material as the recently reviewed IKARI Laser with a dry grip technology to wick moisture away from your hands during long gaming sessions. The second grip is made of a textured plastic, and is also smaller, but still provides a meaty grip and excellent finger placement.

The mouse has the standard five buttons (including the click wheel) with two placed near the thumb and the standard left and right buttons. Placed under the left button is a LED display (fully customizable in color via the SetPoint software) and allows you to adjust dpi settings on the fly without the use of any software.

An interesting addition is the wheel which has two modes. The standard (configured via a button on the underside of the mouse) provides the standard clicking resistance when scrolling through web pages or changing weapons. “Unlocking” the wheel removes all friction allowing it to freely spin on its bearing to the point where you can rev it up and let it sit, continuing to spin for a good 10-15 seconds after you let go. This only adds to the bevy of personal customization options available on the G9.

The gaming grade laser, up to 3200 dpi, is smooth at any setting providing excellent feedback. In our testing with games like Portal, Audiosurf, and World of Warcraft the mouse performed highly in all regards and the customizable macros only add to the infatuation we’ve already developed for the unit. Desktop applications too benefited from the smooth laser (as opposed to optical) in testing with software like Fireworks creating lines and making smooth movements with freehand tools was impressive.

The only qualms with the unit are small, and easily correctable due to the replaceable grips. The thumb buttons seem a bit too close together, and the back button is sometimes hard to get to depending on how you grip your mouse. The included grips themselves may not satisfy all games, we found the “precision” grip (the textured plastic one) to be a better fit rather than the dry grip coated “wide load” grip.

The Logitech SetPoint software is also very intuitive and easy to use. Booting it up shows you all available devices on your system, clicking on the device offers you half a dozen pages of customizable options all focused on tuning the mouse to your needs.

Hands down the G9 is the best gaming mouse on the market today and a benchmark for all other manufactures to catch. With touches like a weight cartridge, replaceable grips, unlockable wheel, braided cable, etc. the feature set alone pays for the price of the device. Performance is top notch and customization is key, all points which make fragging so much easier.