Logitech G203 lead
CNN  — 

The Logitech G203 Lightsync mouse has been my trusty navigator for well over two years now, providing a level of comfort that allows it to fade under my fingers as I click my way through documents, work chats and the occasional rounds of Halo I sneak in. It’s so reliable that I often take it for granted — and haven’t thought once about replacing it.

Like my Homall gaming chair and Logitech G915 TKL keyboard, the G203 is a gaming gadget that happens to also be excellent for everyday tasks. And if you’re in the market for a cheap mouse that feels great and offers more style and personalization than the average clicker, it just might make a great addition to your setup too.

A great cheap mouse for work and play
The Logitech G203's comfortable design and attractive RGB lighting make it a great affordable mouse for both gamers and WFH-ers.

A minimalist design that nails the basics

Logitech G203 with keyboard

The main reason why the G203 has stayed wired to my computer for years is that it simply feels fantastic. Logitech’s $39 gaming mouse features a simple, elegant curved design that nestles perfectly into my palm, keeping me comfortable throughout eight-hour days of clicking through browser tabs, deleting spam emails and hopping between a myriad of Slack chats.

The G203 has just enough buttons for both my work and gaming habits. In addition to the usual left and right click buttons, a responsive scroll wheel and a handy DPI (dots per inch) switch that lets you adjust the mouse’s sensitivity on the fly, you also get two customizable thumb buttons on the left side of the mouse. These give me a convenient way to bash enemies in the face when I’m playing my favorite shooters, but they’re also useful for basic tasks like moving forward and backward through my browsing history in Google Chrome.

Logitech G203 side

I also really dig the G203’s minimalist look. It’s a simple, sleek black mouse that blends right in, with just enough RGB lighting to make it stand out without being a distraction. And if you want something that pops a bit more, it also comes in some really fun two-tone color options, including white, blue and an especially pretty lilac. These colors are a far cry from what you’ll normally find on gaming-oriented mice, and have a cool lifestyle vibe that doesn’t seem aimed exclusively at folks who spend their days fragging away in Call of Duty.

I don’t have a ton to say about the G203’s performance, because it works so well for my daily routines that I rarely even have to think about it. I’ve never experienced any friction throughout years of mousing between multiple monitors, and every button still feels clicky and responsive after heavy use. The DPI button is super reliable for switching between four levels of sensitivity with a quick tap, whether I want to glide around the screen quickly or make more deliberate movements. And while I’m admittedly more of a controller gamer, the G203 has made it easy for me to command an army of buff soldiers in Gears Tactics or land precise zombie headshots in Back 4 Blood.

Seriously cool features for both work and play

Logitech G203 3

The G203 is a pretty simple gadget on the surface, but like with most of Logitech’s gaming gear, there are a ton of cool ways to customize it to your liking. The Logitech G Hub app for Mac and Windows allows you to make all kinds of personalizations to the G203, from different RGB lighting patterns to more complex custom controls.

I’ve spent most of my time with the G203 messing with the former, as it’s really easy to set the mouse to glow your favorite color or steadily cycle through every shade of the rainbow. While I normally have all my RGB gear set to glow a solid purple (objectively the best color), I’ve had an especially good time with the “screen sampler” effect, which dynamically changes the lighting based on what’s happening on your monitor.

Other highlights include a Freestyle mode that lets you customize the mouse’s three lighting zones individually for cool color combos, and more intricate animations that cycle through lots of colors at once. What’s really neat is that you can sync many of these lighting options between your Logitech mouse and keyboard for a consistent look, though certain patterns are exclusive to the mouse. You can also create your own animations and download a bevy of custom patterns created by other Logitech users via the G Hub app.

Logitech G203 software

If you really want to get into the nitty-gritty, you can even fully reprogram every button on the mouse. Want to have your thumb button open a new browser tab every time you press it? You can do that. Would you rather have your right click open multitasking mode or paste whatever’s in your clipboard? Go nuts. I’ve only just started scratching the surface of the G Hub’s deeper customizations, but I can already see how they can make pulling off everyday work tasks just a bit easier and more pleasant.

Better yet, you can save multiple profiles that contain your favorite combinations of lighting and button configurations, and even assign them to specific games and apps so that they launch automatically when they need them. This level of customization can be found on many top gaming mice, but I find the G Hub’s tools to be especially intuitive, and just as handy for streamlining your WFH life as they are for getting an edge while gaming.

Bottom line

Logitech G203 4

I’ve long argued that gaming peripherals often double as some of the best home office accessories, and the Logitech G203 Lightsync is a shining example of that. It’s affordable, comfortable and elegant — with plenty of customization options that let you tailor it to your own work and play habits. The mouse’s minimalist design doesn’t have the overly aggressive stylings of similar gaming mice, and its vibrant color options are a great choice for folks who want to add some personality to their home setup.

If you want something even cheaper and would rather go wireless than have RGB lighting, the $19 Logitech M510 is our favorite budget mouse, thanks to its comfortable feel and long battery life. Serious creatives should take a look at our overall mouse pick in the $99 Logitech MX Master 3, which has a larger, more ergonomic design and lots of productivity-minded features. And for more hardcore gamers, the Corsair Dark Core RGB is our current best gaming mouse pick, thanks to its wired and wireless connectivity options and eight programmable buttons.

It’s also worth calling out the $39 Logitech G203 Prodigy, which is an older model with some small but noteworthy differences. While the Lightsync has more customizable lighting zones, the Prodigy has onboard memory for storing profiles directly to the mouse rather than just your computer. If you switch between multiple machines on a regular basis and want to keep your settings with you, the Prodigy is likely a better pick.

But despite the many great alternatives out there, I don’t see the Logitech G203 Lightsync leaving my desk anytime soon. It looks and feels as great today as it did when I unboxed it a few years ago, and considering it usually sells for $30 to $40 (sometimes even less during sales), it’s a no-brainer for anyone who just wants a great wired mouse that they can truly make their own.