It takes a lot to surprise me these days, but Logitech has done it. The PC gear company has just revealed a new Powerplay technology that builds wireless charging directly into its mouse pad, allowing compatible wireless mice to charge constantly while on the pad. As someone with bitter memories of being let down by the feeble batteries of wireless gaming peripherals, I’ve developed something of a phobia for anything untethered, but this Powerplay action sounds like exactly the thing I’ve been waiting for.
The wireless charging tech built inside the Powerplay mouse mat is proprietary to Logitech, and the company claims it took more than four years of research and development to make it a reality. I asked Logitech why it didn’t go with something more ubiquitous like the Qi standard, and the answer I received was that it wouldn’t have been possible to cover the whole surface (275mm x 320mm) of the pad with Qi. Corsair’s Project Zeus concept does use Qi, but consigns it to just one corner of the pad, whereas the Logitech G Powerplay mouse pad will charge your mouse wherever it’s positioned and no matter how it’s moving.
I can’t overstate just how ingenious and appropriate an application of technology this is. Conceptually, I love it already, and the only trace of skepticism I have is about whether it works quite as well as Logitech promises. There’s no Mac compatibility listed, for one thing, and the idea of the wireless charging causing no interference to the wireless data transfer for the mouse to communicate with a PC certainly needs to be tested. If it works as advertised, though, I’d grab one of these Powerplay pads and never look back. It even comes with a choice of hard or cloth surface to suit your mousing preferences.
Alongside the Logitech G Powerplay, which is to be priced at $99.99 and released in August, Logitech has also announced the first two mice officially compatible with it: the G903 and G703. The G903 is a very modest upgrade from the G900 while the G703 is practically identical to the well liked G403; both of the two new models use the PMW3366 optical sensor and just add improved switches rated to last longer. The G903 will cost $149.99 and the G703 will be $99.99 when they go on sale later this month.