I am a fan of wireless peripherals. So when I heard about Logitech's PowerPlay charging system, my interest was immediately piqued.
You see, the PowerPlay is a mouse mat that doubles up as a wireless charging pad to juice up your mouse on the go. With it, you no longer need to change batteries or plug in your device whenever you get a low battery warning. But after using the setup for a few weeks, I think that the novelty has worn off.
The PowerPlay works beautifully, and I haven't had any problems with lag, skipping or needing to charge. But I do think that in its current iteration, it has two big issues.
First, it is too restrictive, as the PowerPlay mat only supports two models of mice. Second, you still need to plug the mouse mat into a USB port. So, it doesn't feel truly wireless, it just feels like you are moving the wire to another peripheral.
The wireless charging pad is medium-sized and comes with a receiver at its top left corner. You actually don't use the mouse on it, but rather you have to lay a regular mouse mat on top of its rubber surface. Logitech gives you two choices for this - cloth and hard.
You also get two choices of mice, the G703 ($159) or the G903 ($249). The review unit came with the G903, which is essentially exactly the same as the G900 mouse but with a wireless charging module on its underside. I personally love the G900, so this setup worked for me. But if you don't fancy either mouse, then you are in a bit of a rough spot.
DIMENSIONS: 321mm x 344mm x 43mm
CONTROL MODULE HEIGHT: 11mm
CABLE LENGTH (POWER/CHARGING): 1.83m
VALUE FOR MONEY: 2/5
There is also a braided cable running out from the receiver module, which is meant to be plugged into a USB port. This both powers the mat and feeds input from the mouse back to your computer. This whole setup, with mat, receiver and cable, honestly looks a little too clunky for me.
If I really wanted the clean minimalism of a wireless look, I would have just stuck with the G900, which usually get a week's usage out of a single charge. Just plug it in once overnight, you would be wire-free for the rest of the week.
Ultimately, I think that Logitech's PowerPlay system is a cool setup. But at this point, it is an upgrade that no one really needs.
That being said, I do think that introducing wireless charging to peripherals has the potential for more game-changing breakthroughs. What about a giant wireless charging pad that can power your keyboard, mouse and charge your phone? Or how about a wireless charging table?
Verdict: The technology behind Logitech's PowerPlay mouse mat has the potential to become a lot more interesting, just not in this form.