Logitech g923 racing wheel & pedals review

Logitech’s g923 racing wheel and pedals

It was perfect timing that gaming peripheral company Logitech got in touch a few weeks ago asking if wanted to review its g923 racing wheel and pedal set.

I was midway through Netflix’s Formula 1 Drive to Survive – so I jumped at the chance to channel my inner Valterri Bottas or Daniel Ricciardo from the comfort of my own home.

The g923 has been out since around last year and offers what Logitech calls TrueForce, it’s force feedback solution, and is designed for racers. It’s been endorsed by McLaren F1 driver Lando Norris, too.

I tested the 923 wheel and pedals on both PlayStation 5 and on PC and a nice feature of using it on PC is that you can configure the setup using Logitech’s G Hub software. It lets you tweak wheel and pedal sensitivity and remap control buttons. The wheel is comfortable to grip, with a nice leather finish, and it has a nice weight to it as you manhandle a race car around the track.

The wheel itself attaches to a desktop – I don’t have a dedicated rig so clamped it to the keyboard tray of my computer desk – using two clamps that are hand tightened by a screw mechanism either side of the unit. Despite my reservations that the plastic J-shaped clamps wouldn’t be up to the task of a heavy workload, the wheel remained securely attached during my testing.

The anodised aluminum pedals are solid, too, with a nice feel in my socked feet when you press down on them: The brake pedal uses a stiffer spring than the other two and it’s part of a solid unit, too: The base has anti-slip prongs on the underside so it doesn’t slip on carpeted surfaces.

Build quality overall is excellent, and a nice touch is the cable routing channels on the underside so you can at least have some sort of cable management going on. If I had any complaint, it would be that the cables themselves looked a little cheap, given the high-end cost of the wheel. Braided cables would have been a nice touch. Interestingly, the view from the back of the unit looks like the front of a car with its mesh grill and headlamps.

I tested the g923 on Dirt 5, a trial version of Grid Legends and Forza Horizon 5 on PC, and with Gran Turismo on PlayStation 5.

Logitech’s Trueforce feedback system means it transmits what is happening onscreen through the wheel through vibration, meaning you can feel every vibration as you cross a rumble strip, mount a pavement or smash unintentionally through a fence or barrier. It really does bring a new dimension to racing games and while it isn’t enabled with every game it worked well with Forza Horizon 5.

As someone who has always used a standard controller for all my games, using a dedicated wheel gave me much more precise control of car. Driving felt more nuanced, more precise. The gear paddles have a nice tactile feel to them with an audible “click” when you depress them.

Frankly, the g923 wheel took my virtual driving to a new level (although, I had to tweak the in-game force feedback setting in FH5 or else the wheel went berserk and was uncontrollable). Combined with the pedal set, I felt like my driving game had improved dramatically and going back to a controller will be a massive step backwards. Using a wheel made the experience more immersive.

Surprisingly, my wife, who isn’t a gamer at all despite living with me for 30 years, asked to have a go with the g923 after she saw me racing in FH5. She took great delight in driving a jeep around the storm-ravaged desert plains during a story mission.

She declared the experience great fun – and it is: Driving just feels so much more intuitive and natural using a wheel rather than a controller. Gear changes feel fluid, steering is responsive, it’s just a few more pleasant experience.

So, the g923 is a great wheel and pedal set but there’s one sticking point for me and that’s the price: Here in New Zealand, Logitech has the RRP for the g923 as $NZ699 – that’s a fair chunk of change to fork out if you’re just an occasional driving game player. This is a piece of kit for serious simmers where driving games are your passion.

Final thoughts

Look, I’m no driving wheel expert but from the week or so I had with my time with the G923 I’ve been left impressed. It has let me tackle racing games with a higher level of control to using a standard controller, and that’s a good thing.

The G923 might not be suitable for really, really experienced racing sim players – and I don’t know how it compares to previous Logitech wheels, such as the g29 which seems to be fairly familiar to the g923 – but for car game afficionados wanting to lift their driving game with a good quality wheel and pedal combination, this unit could be the hardware they’re looking for.

Given the price, though, if it were me, I’d wait for a sale. According to Pricespy, on the day I checked prices, the g923 ranged from $NZ569 right up to $699. It would pay to shop around.

Have I convinced myself that I need a dedicated wheel and pedal set? Not yet but, to be honest, I bought a Thrustmaster flight stick for Microsoft Flight Sim after playing it for a while so only time will tell if I do the same thing for racing games.

Thanks to Logitech ANZ for sending the g923 racing wheel & pedals for me to look at.

Ultimate Ears Wonderboom: Pint-sized powerhouse

UE Wonderboom

For a pint-sized portable speaker, Ultimate Ears’ Wonderboom pumps out remarkable sound.

I’ve long been a fan of UE’s Boom Bluetooth portable speaker: We bought one a few years ago to take away on holiday and it proved a hit with the family (although arguments did ensue over what music playlist had to be played next) so I was excited to see how the company had upped the ante with this compact cousin. It’s upped the ante big time.

Like the UE Boom before it, the Wonderboom gives 360 degree sound, meaning you’ll hear the music no matter where you put it – and believe me, we heard it when it was being used: My teenage son loves his music while he showers so the Wonderboom was a constant companion at shower time (good job it’s waterproof, too, although he didn’t put the unit in the shower, it’s nice to know it’ll survive a dunking). Sometimes, we’d sit in the lounge during a weekend afternoon, just listening to music out of the Wonderboom and smile at how good things sound from such a small speaker.

The sound is so good on the Wonderboom that I could hear the music easily from a few rooms away. Like the UE Boom before it, this pint-sized unit features large volume up and down buttons and a charge port secured by a sturdy waterproof flap. No water’s going to get into this beast. It has a range of around 30m and pairing is quick and easy. The only niggle I have is the loop that you can pick it up with: It’s too small to slip a finger through.

Ultimate Ears reckons the battery life is around 10 hours, and it’s not far off that, when put through its paces at reasonable volume. Soundwise, the Wonderboom is excellent, offering toe-tapping bass, and nice mid-tones and high notes. Your music will feel right at home with the Wonderboom.

For a waterproof, portable speaker that offers fantastic sound and great portability, you’d be hard pressed to find anything better than the UE Wonderboom. Seriously, this is a wonderful Bluetooth speaker that will fill your home with the sound of music.

 

Logitech M331 silent mouse plus: Silence is golden

Logitech’s M331 silent mouse. The one I have is racing red.

Logitech M331 Silent Mouse Plus ($40)

Logitech’s silent-clicking M331 mouse is just the ticket for the busy office environment.

It doesn’t make much noise at all.

Hardly any noise when clicking, hardly any noise when sliding, hardly noise when scrolling. It’s pretty much¬† silent – and I like that about it. Logitech says it has eliminated 90% of the mouse’s click noise, and I believe it: It’s barely perceptible when it comes to clicking, scrolling and sliding.

Small and portable, the M331 comes with its wireless USB receiver tucked in its insides, fits into a laptop bag easily  and I found it really comfortable to hold for extended periods of time. The mouse worked well on a variety of surfaces: The glass top of my home desk, the laminate top of my work desk and even my leather couch.

Sure, the M331 is lacking programmable buttons of higher-end, more pricey mice (mouses?) but this peripheral isn’t designed for fast-twitch gaming (that’s what Logitech’s G Pro gaming mouse is for. A review is coming for that one). Logitech says the supplied AA battery will power the M331 for 24-months: I’ll have to take its word for that, at this stage, as I haven’t had it anywhere near that long.

Look, this review is going to be short and sweet because, well, there’s only so much you can say about a mouse. There’s one caveat: The M331 won’t work for left-handed people. It’s right handies only, sorry.

For my money, the M331 ticks all the right boxes when it comes to a portable mouse for laptop use.