Logitech Lightspeed vs. Unifying Products

Logitech manufactures Lightspeed and Unifying USB peripherals – keyboards and mice – that connect with computers wirelessly. Each has unique features, applications and benefits that will be discussed in this article.

Differences between Lightspeed and Unifying Logitech Devices

Unifying Receiver Devices

Logitech Unifying receiver products like the MK345 Keyboard and Mouse combination use advanced 2.4 GHz technology to connect the devices at up to 10 meters with minimum lag even in the noisiest environments. You can simultaneously connect six unifying devices to a single unifying receiver using its user-friendly utility software.

Logitech Receiver Connects up to 6 devices

You can recognize the unifying receiver by an orange logo on the plastic side of receivers and devices.

The 128 bit AES encryption ensures a secure connection between the receiver and the connected keyboard. Although most unifying devices allow simultaneous connection to a single receiver, some newer devices have multiple profile connections. That means a single device can connect to multiple receivers at a time. With this, users can share a single peripheral with multiple PCs. Moreover, the receiver is small enough to safely leave it plugged into the PC.

Logitech Lightspeed Devices

Logitech Lightspeed devices use a unique, proprietary wireless technology operating at 2.4 GHz with a security protocol to ensure minimum interference. The receiver can switch communications to a silent band if it detects noise in the current frequency band.

These receivers allow one-to-one connection with their associated devices. That means they are neither unifying nor do they allow allow multiple profile connections.

Moreover, the Lightspeed devices only connect to their designated receivers. Lightspeed products are well recognized for the minimum latency and fastest response rates, making them the ultimate choice of gamers.

Lightspeed Latency
Lightspeed Latency

What is Latency and How Does it Differ for Both?

Latency is defined as the amount of time taken by the input of the peripheral devices to be registered by the computer. The higher the latency, the greater is the delay in the response, and the greater is the lag in connected peripheral devices’ performance. Latency is typically minimum in wired connections and is expected to be greater in wireless connections.

Interference and Latency in Logitech Unifying Devices

According to users, the unifying receiver is prone to interference more when connected to the USB 3.0 port. It causes either mouse, keyboard, or both to respond after some lag. Sometimes this lag is resolved after unplugging and re-plugging the device; other times, the problem may persist. The interference was also reported if some other device operates on RF nearby.

The interference problem causing latency in the Logitech unifying devices can be resolved by plugging the receiver in the USB 2.0 port instead of a USB 3.0 port. The other way to mitigate interference is to use a USB extension cable and get the receiver away from the interfering sources.

Please note that the interference is higher when the receiver is connected to the USB port at the back of a computer relative to connecting it to a front USB port. The amount of interference generated is also different for different motherboards.

Interference and Latency in Logitech Lightspeed Devices

Logitech Lightspeed technology products are popular on account of its 1ms response rate promise. The users are satisfied with the overall performance and response of the Logitech Lightspeed devices.

No interference or lag was reported even in the noisiest environments, and gamers found the mice efficient enough to be used for winning their games. The lightspeed devices’ minimum latency and excellent response rate have made the wireless experience enjoyable for gamers.

Differences between Logitech Lightspeed and Unifying Keyboards and Mice

Both Logitech Lightspeed and Unifying keyboard and mice are available with their distinct features. Below we have discussed some of their differences. Let’s fist compare mouse products.

Logitech Unifying Vs. Logitech Lightspeed Mice

Unifying MouseLightspeed Mouse
Sensors4000 DPI (Dots Per linear Inch a mouse can detect)More precise and smooth control with up to 12000 DPI. Can be programmed using Logitech software for different surfaces
DesignSome mice like MX Master 2S and M570 are bigger and can be used by right-handed users onlyAmbidextrous design, i.e., useful for both left and right-handed users.
WeightHeavy. For example MX Master 3 weighs 144 gramsLight. For example G Pro X superlight weighs 62 grams
Battery LifeMaximum 3 years for replaceable batteries (2 AA or AAA batteries)
Maximum 70 days per charge for rechargeable ones
Maximum 240 Hours for replaceable battery (1 AA battery) Maximum 60 hours per charge for rechargeable ones
SecurityMore prone to mouse jack hacks and interferenceMore secure and less prone to attacks
ConnectivityCan connect to any unifying receiverConnects to an only dedicated receiver
Intended UseProductivity like graphics designing, video/audio editing typing, etc.Gaming
Wireless Charging PadNot AvailableAvailable

Next let’s take a look at the differences between Lightspeed and Unifying Keyboards.

Logitech Unifying Vs. Logitech Lightspeed Keyboard

Unifying KeyboardsLightspeed Keyboards
Design AvailableMembrane Keyboards
– Ergonomic keyboards
Solar Keyboards

Mechanical Keyboards
Tenkeyless Keyboards
Full-size keyboards
BatteryMaximum up to 10 days per charge for rechargeable batteries Maximum 36 months for replaceable batteries (2 AA batteries)Maximum 110 hours per charge for rechargeable batteries Maximum 18 months for replaceable batteries
Extra keysMedia control keys like volume up, down, forward, backward Left-click button on the keyboards having a built-in trackpad Calculator button and camera control keys on some keyboards
Hotkeys for gaming customization Connectivity keys Volume scroll key on some keyboards Brightness and media control keys
Price RangeAffordableHigher price point; Expensive
Intended UseProductivityGaming
ConnectivityCan connect to any transceiver with a unifying logoCan connect to dedicated transceiver only

Replacement Logitech Lightspeed or Unifying Receiver Dongles

If you lose a unifying USB receiver, you can easily purchase a replacement. Please note that the Logitech unifying devices can’t connect to a non-unifying receiver.

The Logitech Lightspeed peripherals don’t connect to receivers other than their designated ones. Fortunately if you lose the receiver you can replace it.

Can I connect Multiple Devices to Single Lightspeed Dongle?

No, Lightspeed dongles support a dedicated connection for the devices they come with. In other words, you cannot connect a Lightspeed G502 mouse and a G613 keyboard to a PC using just one dongle. The PC will need to have a separate dongle for each.

Can I connect one Lightspeed device (such as a keyboard) to two different PCs?

Yes with the push of a button you can easily and seamlessly connect to one of two PCs. One PC can use the Lightspeed dongle while the other PC will have to be Bluetooth-enabled with Windows 8 or later, macOS X 10.11 or later, Chrome OS™, or Android™ 4.3 or later, iOS 10 or later.

The Take-Away

  • Logitech Unifying Receivers offer an opportunity to connect up to six devices simultaneously. But the interference and latency can become a matter of concern sometimes.
  • Every Lightspeed product has its own dongle. This means that when you’re using a mouse, keyboard and headset from the Lightspeed family, you will need to connect three dongles to your PC. Definitely not as elegant a solution as the Unifying receiver!
  • Logitech Lightspeed products have minimum latency and secure connection – ideal for gaming applications.
  • Unifying and Lightspeed keyboards and mice have characteristics, features, and battery timing suitable for their intended use.