on 4 March 2013
OK. Now I appreciate that this will likely cause a bit of storm amongst those that have professed their love for this mouse, but I'm here to crash the party.
Let me tell you about my feelings. But way of intro, I think I should mention that I own the Thermaltake level 10 GT snow edition PC case. I paid a fortune for it, but I love the design and look. And I absolutely love the case. It's cool, quiet, user-friendly and beautiful. One of my best buys (for PC components and peripherals).
I am also NOT a fan of any one specific manufacturer. I have an AMD graphics card, an Intel processor, Dell monitor, Logitech keyboard and a Roccat mouse - to name the basics.
As soon as I saw this mouse I knew I had to have it. I had previously tried the white RAT 7 Contagion (in an attempt to match my rodent with the look of my case), but ended up returning it as I found the customisability (not sure if that's a valid word) was sorely overstated.
To be fair, I had read mixed reviews about this latest tt esports level 10 mouse before I took the plunge. But on looks alone I was probably already sold, and it would have taken a plethora of negative reviews to stop me from at least trying it out. The factors that swung it for me were. Looks, size (I have big hands), weight (its largely aluminium and therefore VERY heavy) performance and the ability to customise it.
As soon as I received the box, I was impressed. It oozes class. But then again, looking at the price they charge for it, I would have been disappointed otherwise. Opening the box, the contents again convey `quality' manufacturing. They even include a nice velvety pouch should you wish to take your rodent to a Lan party without scratching the paintwork... Oh, and as I'm talking quality, I wanted to mentioned that although the white mouse attracts dirt, it is also extremely easly to wipe off, so not an issue to dwell on. So far, all was good.
I took it out of the box, and with the aid of the hex key, played around with it. For those unfamiliar with the things you can do with it, let me fill you in. There are two physical settings that can be changed. The rear of the mouse can be raised and lowered depending on the direction you turn the hex key. And the second change is the amount the rear of the mouse leans left or right. I presume that this is to accommodate lefties as there are two side buttons on the right side of this mouse as well as the standard two on the left side (plus the Z button - more on this later). I raised it as far as I could to accommodate a) my claw grip and b) my very large hands.
And to be fair to the mouse I actually managed to find a pretty comfortable set-up. But be warned, I seriously doubt palm grippers will enjoy it as much. There are two slightly elevated ridges on either side of the mouse. With a claw grip, they actually help hold the mouse. With a palm grip, you will constantly be in contact with these via your palm and I suspect this may start to cause discomfort during periods of extended use.
Performance-wise this mouse is AMAZING. My current rodent tracks to about 3600dpi if I recall correctly, which has always been more than enough. This beast comfortably doubles this (and then some). But again, does anybody really use settings that go that high? It makes the mouse practically unusable. This is not a criticism of this tt level 10 offering, as all new mice are pushing this area of performance, but I just feel it's all a bit unnecessary.
Anyway the polling speed, cursor accuracy and everything else that I look for in a mouse in terms of performance was comfortably (including the ease with which it slides) achieved by this mouse. Also, the right and left click buttons are superb. Some of the best I've ever tried.
Up until now, you'd think this was a five star mouse. But it's not.
There are BIG weaknesses and for me, they were deal-breakers.
First, the software suite is absolute rubbish. You need a PhD in gibberish interpretation in order to understand how to map keys, save profiles etc. Changing lights was about the only thing easy to do. For a mouse in this price bracket, the software is simply unacceptable.
Second (and this is the one that really killed it for me), the Z button. I really do not understand what sort of complete and utter fool would put the Z button where it resides on the left side of the mouse. Now I say button, but it is in fact more of a PS3 kind of mini joystick. It is used to change profiles and dpi on the fly. BUT it's massive. And it's too easy to accidentally brush. There's a `function lock' somewhere which apparently locks the stick to prevent accidental changes in-game or during other use. But I never found out how to do it. I sometimes activated it by mistake, but it would always unlock itself equally unintentionally. I checked the manual, and I checked the website, but nothing at all to tell me how to use my uber-expensive mouse. Frankly the supporting material is pitiful.
So, a Z button that basically is triggered by mistake meaning profiles and DPIs are changing against my will - all the time. That for me was a big NO.
Third, you cannot interchange weights. I don't understand how a top of the range mouse can not have this feature. I didn't mind it too much as I like heavy mice, but still....
Fourth, the cable is a bit short. Not ridiculously so, but still I had to resort to using a desktop USB hub to prevent it straining. Not a deal-breaker this bit, but worth mentioning.
Fifth, the forward and back buttons. For some reason they are a different size. I could live with that, but what really killed it for me again, was the fact that you have to apply the force equivalent to a small car slamming into a wall in order to actually press the things. I use these buttons intensively and extensively, notably while gaming, and buttons that actually require me to focus on applying enough pressure to actually press......no thank you.
Apologies for the length of the review, but in light of the cost of this mouse, I believe it's important that people know what they're getting. The issue with the Z `stick' and the side buttons just completely killed this mouse for me. It's going back to the seller. Such a shame as there are bits I really liked.