Logitech has announced a line of computer gaming accessories designed to be more gender inclusive – and geared specifically towards women – than any of its previous releases. Companies should not attempt to market consumer technology by gender in 2022, and should instead recognize the broad range of tastes and material needs in consumers. But Logitech went and did it anyway.
And the gadgets in the Aurora range look great, especially because they’re new – and not just new colors for existing products. But aside from some interesting features across the entire Aurora suite, it still looks like a case of the pink tax at work.
With the latest collection of gaming accessories (and many more expensive add-ons you can buy to customize), Logitech wants to let you know that it’s now getting to know the unrepresented combos…the same ones you’ve largely ignored for years.
A variety of genders enjoy playing games and using all the needed accessories, but many peripheral companies, including Logitech, have spent far too long designing products for a very specific type of gamer: someone who has a larger-than-average hand and is comfortable using peripherals. Decorated with dark colors and RGB lighting.
Logitech slowly realized that not everything had to look like it came from the IT department in the office or from wherever the “gamer aesthetic” came in. I’ve started offering accessories with more rounded corners and fun colors in the past few years. The Aurora group has focused more on gaming than the productivity-oriented peripherals it launched earlier. Only, in addition to looking elegant based on “gender inclusion” marketing, this group has unaffordable prices and claims to surprisingly poor battery life.
The head of the category in terms of price and great features is the Wireless Headphone G735 priced at $229.99. It looks like a more exotic version of the G Pro X model, clad in white with RGB LEDs that track the contour of the bulging earlobe. Like the more affordable G435 wireless headset ($50 or so), the G735 features braille on each side arm to select left from right, which is a great accessibility feature that more companies should be copying. Logitech claims that the G735’s design is more comprehensive because it can accommodate smaller heads and things like small earrings and eyeglasses. While this is technically true, it is strange that it is Apparently Its other headphones are only made for people with giant heads and perfect vision.
The G735 features dual wireless connectivity, the ability to connect via 2.4GHz, and to transmit your phone via Bluetooth. Logitech says the G735 can last about 16 hours with LED backlighting and at 50 percent volume. Most wireless headphones these days signify all-day battery life, at least, and that’s a disappointing number. Turning off the lights seems to increase battery life by about 56 hours per charge.
The $199.99 Wireless G715, along with the $169.99 Wired G713 are keyless models that feature media keys, a volume wheel, and a full set of RGB LEDs. In addition to backlighting under each of the dual-shot PBT keycaps, they have LEDs that surround the keyboard to give off an aura. Logitech says you’ll be able to choose between tactile, linear, or click-type GX mechanical switches at the time of purchase.
The G715 can link wirelessly with a Lightspeed 2.4GHz dongle or connect via Bluetooth. Logitech says you can expect about 25 hours of battery per charge. Like a headset, this is the bottom line of the spectrum for longevity, considering its high price.
Finally, the $99.99 G705 Wireless Mouse is the first mouse that Logitech says is “intentionally” designed for gamers with small hands. From one angle, it looks like your regular gaming mouse, but from the angle that reveals the two thumb buttons, it looks more like an ergonomic mouse with the thumb rest surrounding it. It has a “game-grade” sensor (the exact sensor was not confirmed by Logitech before publication) with sensitivity up to 8200 DPI, and it can last up to 40 hours with the LEDs enabled. This battery life isn’t great. If it looks like I’m hitting a dead horse, it’s because I am.
Logitech accessories are rarely affordable to buy, and the Aurora range is no exception. It will cost you $499.97 (assuming you bought the wired G713, not the $30 more G715) to buy each of the three, but why stop there? There are add-ons for purchase too!
- The G735 comes in white, but you can buy a different colored microphone combined with two earbuds (in pink or neon green) for $20.
- For keyboards, you can buy the top plates of any keyboard for $20, and don’t forget a set of $40 keycaps.
- For a mouse, there are two accessories to buy, including a $29.99 15.75 x 18-inch mouse pad and a $40 heart-shaped carrying case for both the G735 headset and the G705 mouse.
- If you subscribe to Logitech’s extensive lineup and purchase one of each add-on, you’ll pay at least $649.97.
Many tech companies, including Logitech, like to explain to the press how each of their new gadgets is a byproduct of as much user research, testing, and collaboration with their target audience as if these are the ingredients that will ensure a great product with a true angle. The team behind this group seemed to be excited about the idea that their new products would make some people feel visible, and frankly, that’s cool. A design that focuses too much on one very specific group makes products redundant and potentially inappropriate. Logitech’s making gaming mice for little hands and wearable headphones with glasses are all good things. Making play less isolated is a very good thing.
But that’s the battery life that looks bad – because Logitech doesn’t want to solve the problem of small gadgets that require less space for batteries – that’s a problem. It’s the high price that is a problem.
If your target audience can’t afford the product or use it for the same amount of time for something cheaper, how comprehensive or accessible is it, really?
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