Logitech has announced a range of PC gaming accessories that are more gender inclusive – and specifically targeted at women – than any previous release. In 2022, companies should not try to market consumer technology by gender, but instead recognize the wide variety of tastes and physical needs of consumers. But Logitech is gone and did it anyway.
And the gadgets in the Aurora collection seem cool, and most importantly they are new – not just new colorways of existing products. But aside from a few interesting features throughout the Aurora collection, it still feels like a case of the pink workload.
With its latest collection of gaming accessories (and the many expensive add-ons you can buy to customize them), Logitech wants you to know that it now recognizes underrepresented groups… the same groups it has largely ignored for years.
A wide variety of genders enjoy playing games and using all the necessary accessories, but many peripherals companies, including Logitech, have long designed products for a very specific type of gamer: one with larger-than-average hands and who is comfortable using peripherals decked out in dark colors and RGB lighting.
Logitech is slowly realizing that not everything has to look like it came from the IT department in the office or wherever the “gamer aesthetic” emerged. In recent years, it started offering accessories with more rounded corners and fun colors. The Aurora collection was geared more towards gaming than the productivity-focused peripherals launched earlier. Except this collection, in addition to a neat look that leans on ‘gender-inclusive’ marketing, has inaccessible prices and surprisingly poor battery life claims.
The head of the class in terms of price and impressive features is the $229.99 G735 wireless headset. It looks like a more whimsical version of the G Pro X model, clad in white with RGB LEDs running around the perimeter of the spherical, rotating earcups. Like the much cheaper (about $50) G435 wireless headset, the G735 has braille on each side arm to identify left from right, which is a great accessibility feature that more companies should copy. Logitech claims the G735’s design is more inclusive as it can accommodate smaller heads and things like tiny earrings and glasses. While that’s technically true, it’s weird that it evidently makes its other headsets only for those with giant heads and perfect vision.
The G735 has dual wireless connectivity, the ability to connect via 2.4 GHz and, for example, your phone via Bluetooth. Logitech says the G735 will last about 16 hours with the LED lights on and at 50 percent volume. Most wireless headsets these days have a day of battery life, so this is a disappointing figure. Turning off the lights apparently ensures a lifespan of about 56 hours per charge.
The $199.99 wireless G715, in addition to the $169.99 wired G713, are tenkeyless models with media keys, a volume wheel, and a ton of RGB LEDs. In addition to backlighting under each of their double-shot PBT keycaps, they have LEDs all around the keyboard to give off an aura. Logitech says you can choose between tactile, linear, or clickable mechanical GX switches at the time of purchase.
The G715 can be connected wirelessly to the included Lightspeed 2.4 GHz dongle or connect via Bluetooth. Logitech says you can expect about 25 hours of battery per charge. Like the headset, it’s on the lower end of the spectrum for longevity given its high price.
Finally, the $99.99 G705 wireless mouse is the first mouse that Logitech says is “deliberately” designed for players with smaller hands. From one angle it looks like a regular gaming mouse, but from the angle where the two thumb buttons are visible, it looks more like an ergonomic mouse with its contoured thumb rest. It has a “gaming-grade” sensor (Logitech didn’t confirm the exact sensor before publication) with sensitivity up to 8,200 DPI, and it can last up to 40 hours with the LEDs turned on. That battery life isn’t great. If it sounds like I’m pulling a dead horse, it’s because I am.
Buying Logitech accessories is rarely affordable, and the Aurora collection is no exception. It will cost you $499.97 (assuming you bought the wired G713, not the G715 which is $30 more) to buy each of the three items, but why stop there? There are also add-ons to buy!
- The G735 comes in white, but you can buy another colored boom mic bundled with two ear pads (in pink or neon green) for $20.
- As for the keyboards, you can buy top plates for both keyboards for $20, and don’t forget a $40 set of keycaps.
- Two accessories are available for purchase for the mouse, including a $29.99 15.75 x 18-inch mouse pad and a $40 heart-shaped carrying case for both the G735 headset and G705 mouse.
- If you’re all-in on Logitech’s inclusive lineup and you buy one of each add-on, you’ll pay a minimum of $649.97.
Many tech companies, including Logitech, like to explain to the press how each of their new gadgets is the by-product of a lot of user research, testing and collaboration with the intended audience, as if those are the ingredients that guarantee a great product that is angled in an authentic way. The team behind this collection seemed excited about the idea that some people will feel seen by the new products, and frankly that’s great. Design that is too focused on one very specific group makes for products that feel repetitive and potentially unpleasant. Logitech making gaming mice for smaller hands and headsets that can be worn with glasses are all good things. Making gaming less isolated is a good thing.
But it’s the shabby-sounding battery life — because Logitech doesn’t want to solve the problem of smaller gadgets taking up less space for batteries — that’s a problem. It’s the high price that is an issue.
If your target audience can’t afford the product or can’t use it for as long as something cheaper, how inclusive or accessible is it really?