My “New” Wireless Logitech G403 was Used and Broken. Gross, Logitech. Also a Review.

There’s nothing quite as gross and lame as opening up a “new” mouse to find it slightly broken and covered in someone else’s hand oil residue.

(Although, opening a “new” pair of headphones that’s filled with dandruff is right up there).

I should have trusted my instincts.

My Gross Hand Oil Story (Review is Down Below)

I went to Best Buy yesterday to buy the Logitech G403 wireless mouse, a new model that launched late last year and contains the same innards as the more expensive G900. It reviewed really well on tech sites I trust.

They had two in stock. I always inspect a product at retail before buying it. It’s one of the few perks that retail enjoys. Both boxes had minor scuffs from shipping, but seemed sealed and intact. Except…both boxes had two seal stickers on the bottom flap instead of one.

Hmm.

On one box, the original sticker had clearly been cut through and the second was covering it. “Okay,” I thought, “Maybe something happened during packaging and they had to reseal it? Or maybe Best Buy did this?”

Both stickers seemed fine on the other box, so I bought it.

When I opened it at home, the cable inside wasn’t seated in the tray properly. The rubber sides of the mouse had some weird residue on them. The mouse wheel was really loose, rattling, and hard to click and oh god did I just buy a used mouse oh NO!

Turns out this is a very common problem with this mouse. One that Logitech most likely knows about, and in fact caused. Welcome to crazy town.

This is what it’s supposed to look like in the tray. My cable was not in the groove. The little dark shape at center right is the extra weight. Some folks didn’t receive the weight at all. Yay?

Some quick googling beyond the good reviews reveals endless complaints about this mouse. Here are some of them.

  • Many reports of dual stickers on the bottom, and damaged boxes.
  • Serial numbers on the mice not matching the number on the outside of the package, implying a re-pack. (Mine didn’t match.)
  • Loose/rattling/unresponsive mouse wheel. Mine was loose, and would occasionally make weird ticking noises when scrolling.
  • Residue/fingerprints already on the mouse. The sides are rubber coated, and quite prone to picking up finger/hand oil. My “new” mouse had two prominent streaks of hand oil along the sides. Yuck.
  • General quality control issues. My mouse had weird bumps in the plastic finish at the edges of the buttons that would catch on my fingers. Not good.

If you go here and scroll down, you’ll find many angry consumers and people complaining about being sold an open box item. You’ll find pictures of finger oil on “new” mice. And all the other issues.

This thread on Overlock.net was also really helpful. The folks there obsess over mice, and all the problems above are extensively documented there.

So, why are so many people getting mice that have already been opened? I think this theory on reddit is a sound one, and I agree with it.

To wit, a bunch of early adopters bought this mouse because of its amazing feature set and good price. Then, they discovered the quality control issues and the problems with the mouse wheel, and sent them in for replacement. Logitech is adamant that newer mice have fixed the loose mouse wheel issues.

However, instead of pulling the original bad mice out of the field…it seems that Logitech just sealed them back up and sent them right back out to retail.

What. The. F***.

Seriously Logitech?

How else do you explain people getting obviously-opened mice from a variety of retailers? How else do you explain the widespread prevalence of the mouse wheel problems in spite of it supposedly being “fixed?” Logitech should know better than this. They’ve been in this game for a long time. I’ve owned and loved many of their products. I never expected to buy one that had been returned for its quality control issues, not fixed, then shipped back out.

I get that making these products is tough, but that’s just part of the territory.

My Short Review of the Mouse

The incredibly sad irony here is that in many ways, the G403 is a stellar product.

The sensor and wireless performance are top-notch. It feels comparable to many high-end wired mice. I had no trouble adjusting to its movement whatsoever, and it works about as well as one could ask from a wireless mouse.

Buttons are nice and clicky, and tactile…although like I said mine had a rough edge that would catch on my fingertips, caused by some small bubbles in the plastic. The side buttons are perfectly placed and shaped, and really easy to click without feeling bad. Some people in that thread I linked above reported their side buttons breaking after just a few clicks…which is sad.

The overall shape of the mouse evokes the Razer Deathadder, with hints of the old Intellimouse and MX510. It’s a perfect shape for palm grips, and works well for the other grip styles too. The rubberized sides make lifting the mouse easier…but they start to degrade and pick up finger oil the second you look at them.

The mouse wheel and Logitech G logo feature RGB lighting. The lighting is okay, but not as bright nor as customizable as Razer’s Chroma lighting. The mouse wheel has a very stiff click, and the scrolling action is kind of squishy and unsatisfying. Also, there’s a good chance your wheel will rattle at the slightest provocation.

With good materials, the innards here would make this mouse market-crushing. Instead it’s a sad lump. And yours might have been opened.

Final Thoughts

Quality control is important. With just a few poor decisions, Logitech tanked themselves. The G403 has the core of an exceptional mouse, and some astoundingly bad fit and finish. I so wanted to love it.

But my mouse wheel was rattling. My buttons were not smoothed out correctly. The rubber is cheap and attracts oil like a magnet. The weight balance is a little weird even with the weight installed. Oh, and I paid the new ~$90 price for an obviously used and re-sealed product. Ugh.

I recently stomped on Logitech for their confusing G533 headset. And now this happens. A great mouse ruined by build issues and, more appallingly, Logitech’s garbage choice to send used/returned product back into the field as if nothing happened.

So now, I’m done.

I’m done with Logitech after using their stuff for over 20 years. I went and bought an excellent Razer Mamba mouse instead (which I’m loving so far), and I’m thinking of replacing my trusty Logitech keyboard just so I don’t have to look at their logo on my desk any more.

If you want to lose my business, the fastest way is to sell me someone else’s hand oil re-sealed in a box, without even giving me a courtesy discount.