Mionix Castor Optical Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Mionix are one of my all time favourite gaming brands, as they’ve created some of my own personal favourite peripherals over the years. Of course, I’m not the only one who thinks this, as Mionix products have won many awards around the world and that fills me with confidence that their latest gaming mouse, the Mionix Castor, is going to be something special.

Equipped with a fast processor, ergonomic design, fully programmable buttons, RGB lighting and more, the Castor is certainly well equipped, so let’s take a closer look at what it has to offer. First up, however, here’s a quick product video from Mionix, it’s a little strange, but I’d love to know what on Earth they’re pretending to play here; any guesses?

Technical Specifications

  • 32bit ARM Processor running at 32Mhz
  • Right handed truly ergonomic design
  • Supports palm, claw and fingertip grip
  • Grip friendly soft touch rubber coating (4 layers)
  • 6 fully programmable buttons
  • 3 steps in-game DPI adjustment
  • 2 integrated LEDs in 2 colour zones
  • Up to 16.8 Million LED colour options
  • Color shift, Solid, Blinking, Pulsating and Breathing effects
  • On-Board memory 128 kb built-in memory
  • Large black PTFE mouse feet
  • Gold Plated, Full speed USB 2.0 connection with Plug and Play
  • Cable 2m long PVC cable with cable reinforcer

Sensor Specification

  • PMW – 3310 gaming grade IR-LED optical sensor
  • Up to 10000DPI
  • MAX tracking speed of at least 5.45m/sec (215 IPS)
  • No positive or negative hardware acceleration
  • Adjustable Lift Off Distance

Software Features

  • Up to 5 Profiles saved to the in-built memory
  • Adjustable X / Y Axis
  • Polling rate adjustable in four steps up to 1000Hz
  • Live record macro manager
  • Up to 16.8 million color LED options
  • Customize RGB manger
  • Pulsating, Blinking and Breathing LED effects
  • Color Shift lighting mode
  • Angle Snapping adjustable in 15 steps
  • Angle Tuning adjustable from -30 to 30 degrees
  • LOD Calibration tool
  • S.Q.A.T – Surface Quality Analyzer Tool
  • Lift-off distance (LOD) Calibration feature

Dimensions & Weight

  • 122.46×70.42×40.16 mm / 4.82×2.77×1.58 in
  • Netto (w/o cable): 93.8 gr
  • Netto (cable incl.): 141.5 gr

The Castor comes packaged in a very compact presentation box, with a nice image of the mouse on the front and not much else, apart from a few technical details around the sides/back.

Opening up the box, we see that the mouse has been well protected by a custom shaped cardboard interior, which will help greatly in keeping it safe while it’s being shipped to you.

The Castor comes hard-wired with a durable black braided cable with a USB header.

Mionix Reveal Their CASTOR Gaming Mouse

Were you looking to upgrade your gaming mouse? Great! Mionix just revealed one of their latest gaming mouse additions and it might just be for you. We saw a lot of manufacturers naming their gear after ancient gods, mythical creatures and so on, so it won’t come as a surprise the Mionix named the mouse CASTOR after the brightest star in the sky.

CASTOR comes with the PMW-3310 optical sensor, giving it amazing accuracy, smooth tracking, and a maximum speed of 215 IPS. If you wanted more DPI, CASTOR’s sensor seems to take care of that with its 10,000 DPI range along with 3 adjustable DPI profiles and that’s not all! The new lift-off distance calibration feature is said to work with the Surface Quality Analyzer Tool and take into account the lift-off height to find the best left-off distance with optimized tracking.

But are the new features too much for the CASTOR to handle? I admit, there is a lot this mouse can do, but with its 32-bit ARM processor, it will do all of what it’s expected of it and not even compromise the sensor tracking one bit. It even lets gamers set up 5 different macro profiles and comes with 4 layers of rubber coating, along with optimized textured side rubbers help achieve maximum grip. So this really makes it one of the top gaming gear mouse available and a must-have for any pro-gamer out there.

One thing to point out though. The CASTOR seems to be dedicated towards right-handed gamers, having its ergonomics set for right-handed ring- and pinky-finger groove, which is unfortunate since there are a lot of left-handed gamers out there. Even so, Mionix said it will make the CASTOR available worldwide in September for a price tag of €69.99. More information on the gaming mouse can be found over at Mionix’s website here.

Mionix Display Inpressive New Peripherals and Technologies @ CES 2015

Mionix are easily one of my all time favourite peripheral manufacturers and their latest gaming mouse is a great example of why. It incorporates a series of sensors to monitor your heart rate and galvanic skin response. These statistics allow the mouse to monitor how stressed you are while gaming. Not only is this great for pro gamers, as they can track their performance, but it could also add an interesting perspective on eSports, giving viewers a deeper insight into what is going on in the competitors minds.

One thing I really love about Mionix is their attention to detail. Their mice are full of little features the end user man not even notice, such as the use of different switch types on the top and side buttons. Mionix change the plastic mould of the buttons to allow them to feel the same as each other, while offering improved response time and durability.

The sensors on their new mouse also come equipped with an open API, which can be used to display the statistics as an overlay. We’ve already heard of one developer using the sensors for a horror game, where the game gets harder as you get more scared, awesome!

Mionix Nash 20 Gaming Headset Review

Introduction


Today I get to take a look at the latest headset from premium gaming peripheral manufacturer Mionix, the Nash 20. Mionix aren’t the biggest name in the industry for peripherals, but their reputation is incredible, anyone I know who has tried their products has been immediately converted to a fan of the brand, and that’s simply due to their attention to quality and performance, creating products suitable for the enthusiast PC user, without charging the kind of money often associated with that level of quality. Unfortunately for Mionix, their reputation is a tough one to live up to, with each new product I see from this brand I expect the same unwavering attention to detail, so I’m hoping to see something pretty special from the Nash 20 today.

The Nash 20 is priced at a little over £100, so it’s obviously a premium price product, and at this price range you’re obviously going to want to see a good return on your investment in terms of build quality, features and of course performance. As you can see from the quote below, Mionix takes their products pretty seriously so it will be interesting to see if it lives up to both their own standards and mine.

“The NASH 20 is circumaural analog stereo gaming headset, engineered with our three most important values: Design, Sound and Comfort. The fully adjustable ear cups and memory foam cushions are made for long comfortable gaming sessions. The flip-up-to-mute microphone and on-ear cup volume control allows you simply access the mute or volume functions. The NASH 20 is developed with a unique audio filtered semi closed back acoustic chamber which is optimized especially by Mionix for our own developed angled 50 mm DACT drivers to enable exceptional sound reproduction and precision. The sound is as the perfect mix of mid and high precise crystal clear audiophile tones for the most demanding music lover. High-lighted low, mid and high frequencies for accurate in-game positioning with a deep balanced bass for you to be able to experience the most out of your music, gaming or multimedia.”

I’m also a fan of this quote on the Mionix website of how the headset got its name, most often I find products have a made up name that just sounds cool, but it’s nice to see a brand putting a little more thought into the name rather than just a product number like NX20.

“The NASH is named after the third largest star in the Sagittarius zodiac constellation. The meaning of NASH, according to Arabic mythology is an Arrowhead, which is a suitable name for a top class gaming headset with superior precision and sharp sound.” reads the Mionix website.

The spec sheet for the Nash 20 headset is impressive, mixing powerful 32Ω 50mm drivers, thick leather and foam padding, a high quality microphone and more, so let’s get right to it and take a closer look at what the Nash 20 has to offer then put them to the test.

Headset Specifications

  • Headset Type: Analog Stereo Headset
  • Type of earcup: Semi-closed back circumaural
  • Audio connection: 3.5mm gold plated connector
  • Mic connection: 3.5mm gold plated connector
  • Ear pads: 22mm Memory foam wrapped in leather
  • Head band: 18mm Memory foam wrapped in leather
  • Cable: 2 m braided cable
  • Volume control: Scroll wheel on left ear cup

Driver Specifications

  • Driver type: Dynamic, 50 mm, Nd magnet
  • Impedance: 32Ω ± 15% at 20kHz
  • Sound pressure level: 103dB
  • Frequency response: 20Hz – 20KHz
  • Resonance Frequency: ≥ 100Hz
  • Input power: Nominal 40mW Max. 80mW
  • THD: Less than 2%. at 1K Hz Less than 5%, at 300Hz to 3KHz

Microphone Specifications

  • Microphone direction: Uni-direction
  • Microphone mute: Flip up to mute
  • Pick-up pattern: Uni-direction
  • Sensitivity: (@1kHz, 1 V/Pa): -42 ±3db
  • Frequency response: 50 – 16,000 Hz
  • Signal to Noise: 58 dB
  • Microphone dimensions: 6mm

I spoke with Mionix earlier this year at CES 2014 where they were keen to point out their own driver design. Unhappy with “off the shelve” components, they decided the only way to get the sound they were after was to do it the hard way. This extra development is likely reflected in the premium price tag, but I’m betting they didn’t go through all this trouble for nothing.

“Our own developed 50 mm neodymium DACT drivers with optimized frequency response ratio for gaming, music and multimedia usage” say Mionix on their product page.

The packaging is neat and tidy, a clean design with just the product name and a nice quality image on the front.

Around the back you’ll find the technical specifications (see above) as well as a labelled image which details some of the major features and function, but we’ll take a close look at those in a moment.

The headset is neatly packed with plenty of protection around it to keep it safe in transit.

In the box you’ll find a user guide, sticker and of course the headset; which comes hard-wired with a very long, high quality braided cable.

Mionix Naos 7000 Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Recently I took a look at the Mionix Avior 7000 gaming mouse, it won our Editors Choice Award with flying colours and I still stand by my word that it’s one of the best gaming mice on the market today. With that in mind, I’ll be looking at another Mionix product from the same range, their new Naos 7000 gaming mouse, which features a lot of the same technology as the Avoir, so in theory, it should at least be as good at the Avoir in terms of performance, anything less would be a big disappointment.

Mionix is pretty specialist in terms of the peripherals they produce, they’ve got a laser-like focus on the gaming market and while the Avoir we reviewed recently was a great all round, day-to-day product, it really impressed when used for gaming. With the ever-increasing popularity of PC gaming, especially thanks to the advances in eSports and LAN gaming events, gamers are wanting high-performance peripherals that will help them play better, or at the very least enjoy their experience more, and generally gamers or even just any consumer, wants the best product they can get for their budget.

With a price tag of around £70 it’s certainly not cheap, but a little google-fu will find you one just a little under £60. It’s actually a little more on average than the £55 Avoir 7000, so it’ll be interesting to see if there is anything in place to justify the slightly higher price tag. Of course, it is also likely that the prices are reflected by availability and demand.

As you can see from the specifications below, the Naos is very well equipped, it’s got a speedy processor that will make sure input lag is a thing of the past, soft touch design for grip and comfort, DPI adjustments, customisable lighting, built-in memory for macros and profiles, and a whole lot more, but of course, we’ll take a closer look at all of this in a moment.

The Naos comes neatly packaged in a small black box that is little bigger than the actual mouse its self. There’s a nice image of the mouse on the front as well as the brand name.

All the good details are around the back and you’ll find a well-detailed diagram of the mouse that highlights many of the major features such as what parts of the mouse are illuminated and that the buttons are fully programmable.

There isn’t much in the box aside from the mouse, just a Mionix sticker and a warranty card, but it’s not like you actually need anything else.

Mionix Avior 7000 Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Today I get to take a look at my very first Mionix mouse, I’ve heard great things about them in the past and we loved what they had on display this year at CES 2014. The gaming peripherals market is hardly short on great products right now, there are plenty of premium grade brands making gaming mice that are simply incredible to use, so much so that it is getting harder and harder for new products to distinguish themselves from the crowd, so it will be exciting to see what the Mionix Avior 7000 has to offer to the fiercely competitive gaming market.

Last year was a great year for PC gaming, eSports is bigger than ever, competitive gaming is more popular, LAN events and general online multiplayer such as FPS and MMO gaming are growing in numbers. This growth means there is a seeming ever increasing demand for great peripherals that offer plenty of features and performance for a reasonable price tag. Kicking back to enjoy your favourite game, online or offline can be a wonderful experience with the right tools at your disposal, but you also want a mouse that will fulfil your day to day requirements for work and browsing the web, not just scoring headshots in Battlefield 4.

Priced at around £55 here in the UK and $80 in the US, the Avior 7000 isn’t especially cheap, but it does pack plenty of features. Most importantly is the powerful processor that will make sure the sensor and macro functions never miss a beat, while an ambidextrous design, fully programmable buttons and a highly customisable sensor means you should be able to find your optimum setup with relative ease.

  • 32bit ARM processor running at 32Mhz
  • ADNS-3310 Sensor
  • Ambidextrous design, palm or claw grip
  • Soft touch rubber coating
  • 9 fully programmable buttons
  • 3 step in-game DPI adjustment
  • 2 integrated RGB LEDs in 2 color zones
  • Up to 16.8 Million LED color options
  • Lighting effects Color shift, Solid, Blinking, Pulsating and Breathing
  • 128 kb built-in memory
  • Polling rate adjustable up to 1000Hz
  • Large PTFE mouse feet
  • Gold Plated, Full speed USB 2.0 connection with Plug and Play
  • Cable 2m long braided cable

The Avior comes nicely packaged in a tiny box, just a little bigger than the mouse its self and features a clear image of the mouse on the front.

Around the back we labelled image of the mouse that details many of the major features such as the 7000 DPI sensor, soft touch rubber coated surface, 3 step DPI adjustment and 128kb built-in memory.

In the box you’ll find the mouse, a cool Mionix sticker and a small owners booklet.

Mionix Launch NAOS 7000 Optical Gaming Mouse

Swedish gaming peripheral manufacturer Mionix has just unveiled the new NAOS 7000 high performance optical gaming mouse. The NAOS 7000 is a truly ergonomic, right-handed gaming mouse and the unique shape is developed for a full palm grip with room for all five fingers.

” With our constant focus on performance, customization and comfort the new NAOS 7000 is the best ergonomic gaming mouse on the market.” Said Peter Nygren, CEO at Mionix.

The ADNS-3310 gaming grade optical sensor delivers no positive or negative hardware acceleration, amazing accuracy, smooth tracking, and a maximum speed of ≥5.45m/sec (≥215 IPS) all the way up to 7000DPI. Of course that will have to hold up true in hardware reviews, but Mionix have delivered excellent performance in the past, so we have little reason to doubt their claims on this one.

With the new lift off distance (LOD) Calibration feature, combined with the Surface Quality Analyzer Tool (S.Q.A.T) with adjustment of the lift off height to find the lowest possible LOD with optimized tracking. The NAOS 7000 is equipped with our Surface Quality Analyzer Tool (S.Q.A.T ). Which measures the data loss between the sensor and the gaming surface. The result assists the choice of which gaming surface is best for your mouse setup. The lightning fast 32bit ARM processor enables the mouse to have many features without compromising the tracking of the sensor. The downloadable software provides access to fully customize all buttons, sensor settings, LED colours, macros and profiles.

Features

  • Truly ergonomic design
  • The NAOS 7000 is a truly ergonomic, right-handed gaming mouse. The unique shape is developed for a full palm grip with support for all five fingers.
  • Gaming grade optical sensor
  • The ADNS-3310 gaming grade optical sensor delivers no positive or negative hardware acceleration, amazing accuracy, smooth tracking, and a maximum speed of more than 5.45m/sec (215 IPS) all the way up to 7000DPI
  • Lightning fast processor
  • The lightning fast ARM processor running at 32Mhz enables the mouse to have many features without compromising the tracking of the sensor.
  • Mechanical micro-switches
  • Engineered with Omron mechanical micro-switches for a responsive feel and precision quality with a 20 million click lifespan.
  • 7 fully programmable buttons
  • The 7 fully programmable buttons can be assigned to any key, mouse command or macro, which is programmed via the downloadable software. You can also use the buttons to switch easily between stored profiles and DPI steps in-game without taking your eyes away from the screen.
  • Customizable LED lighting system
  • With up to 16.8 million color options, you can adjust the 2 lighting zones displaying a single color or color shift in a Solid, Blinking, Pulsating or Breathing lighting effect.
  • Maximum grip
  • The surface of the mouse is treated with 4 layers of a soft touch rubber coating. This highly durable surface ensures a maximum grip and soft touch feel.
  • S.Q.A.T – Surface Quality Analyzer Tool

[youtube]http://youtu.be/80RkkikXe0A[/youtube]

Mionix NAOS 7000 will be available worldwide to pre-order today and delivery in December 2013. Suggested retail price: $79.99 / €79.99 / £69.99 / 699 SEK

Thank you Mionix for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of Mionix.

Mionix Launches the AVIOR 8200 Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse

Mionix, the Swedish manufacturer of professional high- end gaming accessories, today unveiled the new AVIOR 8200 high performance ambidextrous gaming mouse.

“We developed the AVIOR 8200 to offer maximum customization and engineered with the best technology. Whether you are right or left handed, use a claw or palm grip, we have created the most ergonomic ambidextrous mouse on the market, suitable for any gamer.” says Peter Nygren, CEO at Mionix.

The AVIOR 8200 is a sleek rubberized 9 button ambidextrous mouse. The unique designed shape of the mouse allows for right or left-handed use, with either a full palm or claw grip. The 32-bit ARM Processor, the 8200 DPI laser sensor and the other high-end components, will ensure great power, accuracy and durability. Together with the software this provides access to customize the buttons, sensor, LED colors, advanced macros and profiles. While gaming you will feel the smooth, responsive and accurate quality of the AVIOR 8200.

Features

  • Ambidextrous design – Supported shape for use by both right and left handed gamers.
  • Palm or Claw grip – Suited to both claw and Palm grips
  • Maximum grip – 4 layers of rubber coating ensure a maximum grip and soft touch feel.
  • Lightning fast processor – The 32bit ARM Processor running at 72Mhz is the powerful engine to power it all.
  • 8200 DPI laser sensor – Remarkable tracking performance built for gaming.
  • 128kb built-in memory – Bring your settings and recorded macros with you stored into one of 5 profiles.
  • Customizable LED lighting system – Personalize your mouse with up to.16.8 Million color options.
  • Stunning Lighting effects – Solid, Blinking, Pulsating and Breathing effects running single color or color shift.
  • S.Q.A.T – Surface Quality Analyzer Tool – Surface Quality Analyzer Tool measures tracking quality of your gaming surface.
  • In-game 3 step DPI adjustment – Set 3 DPI values and switch easily between them in-game.
  • 9 fully programmable buttons – The buttons can be assigned to any key, mouse command or macro.
  • In-game profile switch – Switch easily between stored profiles in-game.
  • Adjustable polling rate – Tune it all the way up to 1000Hz and up to 1ms response time.

The Mionix AVIOR 8200 will be available worldwide to pre-order today and delivery in June 2013 with a suggested retail price of $89.99 / €89.99 / £79.99 / 799 SEK