Roccat Kova Optical Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Roccat is one of the biggest gaming brands on the market, offering a huge range of peripherals that have been winning over consumers at home, pro gamers in the eSports community and beyond. Their gaming mice, keyboards and headsets are often regarded as some of the best in the business, and from what we’ve seen in previous reviews here at eTeknix, they certainly know how to impress.

“Armed with the latest proven ROCCAT® technological innovations, the successor to the ROCCAT® Kova is equipped to the teeth. The new ROCCAT® Kova[+] unites powerful technology with intelligent software and an advanced V-shaped design for left or right-handed use.” – Roccat

“Put what you’ve learned to use and combine new experiences so skillfully that your thinking and actions are always one and the same.” Dr. Erik J. Dale, ROCCAT Scientist

The Kova comes equipped with all the right features for competitive gaming. You’ll find a high-quality optical sensor, which offers up lag free tracking with high IPS and acceleration capabilities, so we’re expecting great things from this in our testing section.

  • 3200dpi optical Sensor
  • 130 ips maximum speed
  • 30G acceleration
  • 1000Hz polling rate
  • 16-bit data channel
  • 2m USB cable
  • Width 6.4 cm , Height 3.8 cm , Length 12.8 cm , Weight 98 g

First of all, let’s check out this quick product feature trailer from Roccat, as it’ll walk you through some of the unique aspects of the Kova.

The packaging is typical Roccat, keeping the same box shape and general design we’ve seen on all their mice for years now. There’s a clear image of the product, as well as a rundown of all the major specifications.

Around the back, a bit more technical information, but let’s move onto the fun stuff and get it out of the box!

In the box, you’ll find the mouse, which comes hard-wired with a 2-meter black braided cable, as well as all the usual documentation.

Tesoro Ascalon Spectrum Optical Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Tesoro is one of the coolest gaming brands around, and while you may not think of them first when shopping for a new peripheral, they’ve proven to us here at eTeknix time and time again that they can create competitive, unique and affordable products that would make great additions to any desktop gaming setup. With that in mind, I’m very happy to see their new Ascalon Spectrum Gaming Mouse in the eTeknix office today. It may not be the most high-end mouse ever, but if previous Tesoro reviews are anything to go by, it will no doubt have a few cool tricks up its sleeves.

Equipped with a high-quality 6400 DPI optical sensor, 7 fully programmable buttons, macro recording, and a fast 32bit ARM Cortex CPU, the Ascalon is tuned for competitive gaming, ticking off all the major features you could ask for in a good gaming mouse.

Key Features:

  • 6400 True DPI
  • 1000 Hz Ultra Polling Rate
  • Detection 200 ips, acceleration 50g
  • 7 Independently programmable buttons
  • Adjustable DPI Control, Polling Rate, Liftoff distance and Shooting Speed
  • Cursor Capture Technology
  • User-Friendly UI
  • Instant Recording
  • 512KB onboard memory
  • 32bit ARM Cortex Premium Processor
  • Adjustable RGB LED control
  • Human ergonomics for the most comfortable grip and antimicrobial soft-touch finish
  • Compatible with Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10

The packaging is pretty cool, with a clear shot of the mouse design on the front, as well as a cool image of what looks like a sword in the background; makes sense, since all Tesoro peripherals are named after mythical weapons.

Around the back, you’ll find a nice breakdown of all the major features, such as the RGB lighting as the button layout.

In the box, you’ll find all the usual documentation, which looks as nicely designed as the rest of the packaging, giving a nice premium vibe overall.

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.

Corsair Gaming M65 Pro RGB Optical Mouse Review

Introduction


The Corsair M65 is one of the most popular gaming mice on the market today, but as popular as it may be, Corsair thinks they can make it even better! We’ve already seen a few models of the M65 here at eTeknix, such as the old Vengeance M65, the tweaked RGB version and now the biggest change, the removal of the old laser sensor, and in goes the new high-end 12K DPI optical sensor.

Optical is certainly the way to go for competitive gaming, it has long proven to be more accurate, more often than not, smoother, and suffer less problems with acceleration, so here’s hoping the new sensor from Corsair will be up to the job. Although, given the performance of other Corsair mice in the last year or so, we’re expecting it to be pretty spectacular. Add to that the full RGB lighting, and plenty of other cool features and the M65 Pro is already sounding very promising.

The packaging is nicely designed, keeping in theme with other Corsair Gaming peripherals.

Around the back of the box, details on some features such as the 8 programmable buttons, sniper button and high-precision switches.

The box also opens out, giving us a nice sneak peek at the overall design.

In the box, you’ll find the usual documentation, as well as the mouse, which comes hard-wired with a high-quality black braided cable and a custom moulded USB header.

Corsair Gaming Sabre RGB 10k DPI Optical Mouse Review

Introduction


Corsair produces some of the most popular gaming mice on the market today, from their MMO ready Scimitar, to their versatile Raptor M45, and many more. The Sabre walks a nice middle ground for Corsair, packaging a few extra gaming-friendly features, such as extra programmable buttons, as well as customisable RGB lighting, a 100g ultra light design, as well as their high-end 10k DPI optical gaming sensor.

“Ultra light weight at just 100g, the Corsair Gaming Sabre Optical RGB 6,400 DPI gaming mouse offers easy comfort and fluid reach balanced by consistently accurate tracking, 1,000 Hz refresh rate, eight configurable buttons, and super-responsive switches. Four-zone 16.8M color backlighting creates a beautiful, personalized look that matches your style.” – Corsair

Picking the right mouse for your desktop can be tricky, but equipped with everything you need for day-to-day work, as well as gaming, be that at home or in the world of competitive eSports, the Sabre is ticking all the right boxes. So let’s jump right in and take a closer look at what it has to offer.

“With advanced ergonomics that comfortably support your entire hand, you can wield the Sabre in a variety of grip styles. The adaptability in grip gives you the adaptability you need to compete in a wide variety of game types from FPS to RTS and MOBA. The 8 programmable buttons can be customized with ease to fine tune your play.” – Corsair

First up, we can see that the packaging is nicely designed, keeping in theme with all the other new Corsair Gaming hardware. All the main specs are detailed on the front, as well as a nice image of the mouse.

Around the back, a more technical breakdown of the features, but we’ll take a closer look at those in a moment.

The box also opens out at the front, giving you a nice look at the mouse design; handy for those picking one up in a retail store.

In the box, you’ll find the Sabre comes hard-wired with a black braided cable and a nice quality USB header.

E-Blue Mazer Type-R Wireless Optical Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Today we’ll be taking a look at the new Mazer Type-R Wireless from E-Blue. While you may not have heard of E-Blue, they’re one of the quickest growing names in the business right now, having expanded into more global markets each year since they started back in 1999. Right now, E-Blue is working on opening around 600 eSports cafes in China, are sponsors of the well-known EDG Gaming League of Legends champions, and so much more.

“Our mission is to bring stylish, trendy and high-quality products to the worldwide end-users. We believe that there are many good products in the market but they are in unreasonable price to the end-user and also there exist many low-graded of products with bad quality and in low price to a big group of user. But these two types are not the most desired and demanded to the customers. They desire the products more trendy, under reasonable price and good quality with high durability. This is how e-blue insist to keep such principle as the main mission.” – E-Blue

While they do offer up a few high-end peripherals, their core market is getting good specification hardware into gamers hands at a price that is very affordable. There’s a very competitive market right now for affordable gaming and I’m sure many of you will agree, we don’t all have £100+ for a new keyboard or gaming mouse.

Equipped with an Avago optical sensor, capable of 500/1200/1800/2500 DPI, wireless technology (via USB dongle), and a stylish design, the Type-R certainly seems interesting. As with any other E-Blue product we’ve ever seen, its also exceptionally well packaged and the box gives us a great look at the actual mouse design.

Around the back, a quick rundown of some more technical details, such as mac/PC compatibility and battery requirements (2 x AA).

In the box, you’ll find the Type-R mouse, obviously, as well as the wireless USB dongle, which is nice and compact, two batteries, and the user manual.

Steelseries Rival 100 Pro Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Picking the right mouse can be a daunting task, as there as so many to choose from. However, when it comes to eSports, Steelseries think they’ve got the perfect mouse for the job with their new Rival 100. Competitive gaming is big business, but one thing most pro gamers will agree on is that a mouse that offers great precision, manoeuvrability and minimal fuss is what separates the winners from the loser; although being good at the game is obviously also a big advantage.

Forged in eSports, Designed for all. “Whether this is your first gaming mouse, or you’re already topping the leaderboards, the Rival 100 is the gaming mouse for you. Equipped with Prism RGB illumination, six buttons, an ergonomic design, and unmatched performance – we sacrificed nothing. The Rival 100 is the only fully-equipped gaming mouse in its class.” – Steelseries

The Rival 100 may not pack a lot of features, but when it comes to games like CS:GO, League of Legends and many other popular tournament ready games, you really don’t need a dozen macro keys, crazy LED lighting effects and anything else that does well in the general consumer market. You need something focused, and that’s exactly what the Rival 100 is aiming to be. Equipped with high-quality switches, a high-performance optical sensor, programmable buttons, on-board storage and more, it’s certainly ticking all the right boxes, so let’s get right to it and take a closer look at what it has to offer.

The packaging offers a nice look at the general design of the mouse, as well as the quote “best in class optical gaming mouse” although that’s something we aim to be the judge of too.

Around the back, a nice technical breakdown, showing the optical sensor, RGB lighting, 2000 DPI, 30m click switches and 20G acceleration.

The mouse comes hard-wired with a lightweight 6ft cable and a standard USB header. The mouse is plug and play ready, but if you want to get into all the features, you’ll want to download the latest SteelSeries engine.

QPAD DX-20 Pro Gaming Optical Mouse Review

Introduction


QPAD have a long history of making high-quality, high-performance gaming peripherals, and today looks set to be the perfect example of this with the release of their new QPAD Dx-20 Optical, a premium-grade gaming mouse designed for those who take their gaming seriously. Equipped with a gaming-grade optical sensor that promises “game-critical zero-mouse acceleration, precisely matching 1:1 movement.”

When it comes to eSports, or even just being a competitive gamer at home, having a sensor that you can trust is vital. If you twitch for a headshot or that important attack in your favourite game such as CS:GO or LoL, you want that confidence that the mouse is going to be as accurate as possible; if it misses, you’ll only have yourself to blame. With that in mind, I’m really hoping the Dx-20 lives up to the high standards required for competitive gaming.

  • Advanced Optical sensor for optimized tracking performance
  • High quality Omron main switches with a distinct mechanical feedback
  • Zero Mouse acceleration, one-to-one relationship between the mouse and the screen
  • Bottom plate RGB LED

“QPAD’s DX-20, the company’s latest mouse, breaks new ground in more ways than one. The DX-20 is the first new mouse shape from QPAD in seven years. Equally important, it’s an multi-surface mouse, meaning you can use it on more surfaces than any previous optical gaming mouse.” – QPAD

The sensor isn’t the only high-end feature on offer today either, with Omron switches, 20G max acceleration, RGB lighting, adjustable report rate, a lag-free ARM cortex M3 processor, on-board memory and more, the DX-20 is shaping up to be a great mouse.

The packaging is really nicely designed, with a clear image of the mouse design on the front and prominent display of its RGB lighting features. There’s also a quick rundown of all the major features, such as the 2500 CPI, zero acceleration and 7-button design.

Around the back, a more technical breakdown (see specification chart above) and a few more pictures of the mouse design, but we’ll take a closer look at that in just a moment.

Removing the slipcover for the box, you’ll find a durable inner box with “E-SPORT FOR LIFE” on the box.

Opening up the box, it’s clear this is designed to look and feel like a premium experience.  There’s thick foam padding around the mouse, as well as a hard box at the top protecting the cabling, as well as a nice welcome message on the inside of the lid from QPAD.

In the box, aside from the mouse, you’ll also find an extra set of slipmats as well as a protective carry pouch for the mouse.

QPAD were also kind enough to include their new FX 44 pro gaming mouse pad for us to test. They’re such a subjective thing overall, but it should make a nice match with their latest mouse.

E-Blue K820 Professional Gaming Combo Review

Introduction


E-Blue may be a fairly new name to most of our readers, but they’re quickly pushing into new parts of the world with their products and their latest, the E-Blue K820 Professional Gaming Combo certainly caught our attention. There’s a lot of competition in the market right now to make the absolute best budget friendly gaming bundle. With many people investing in their first computers, building on a tight budget, or even just looking for an affordable solution for younger games; especially with the never-ending popularity of Minecraft, it makes sense that there’s a big market for affordable peripherals.

“Our mission is to bring stylish, trendy and high-quality products to the worldwide end-users. We believe that there are many good products in the market but they are in unreasonable price to the end-user and also there exist many low-graded of products with bad quality and in low price to a big group of user. But these two types are not the most desired and demanded to the customers. They desire the products more trendy, under reasonable price and good quality with high durability. This is how e-blue insist to keep such principle as the main mission.” – E-Blue

E-Blue has been around since 1999, working out of Hong Kong and creating a range of OEM products, but have pushed their own hardware, such as keyboards, mice, headsets, gaming chairs and more. Since then, they’ve been working with Marvel Inc for Iron Man branded hardware, they’re investing in eSports and sponsor LoL champions EDG Gaming, and are opening hundreds of E-Blue equipped internet cafes/Gaming Arena’s in China; safe to say, they’re not doing too badly at all.

What’s great about this bundle is that it has the keyboard, a mouse and the mouse mat all packed into a single box. This is super convenient for getting ready for some gaming, but I think it also doubles up as a nice gift bundle; very handy when Christmas comes around.

  • Ergonomic designed shape, standard 104 key layout and the lifespan up to 10 million for both gaming and office demands.
  • Mouse is tailored in ergonomic design with perfect grip and dazzle blue lighting effect, 3 levels DPI shift to select.
  • Mouse pad adopts high compact weaving mesh surface with unique splash-ink design.

while not the highest spec of hardware ever, it’s a good entry point and looks like great value for money given the current RRP.

First thing I noticed was that the packaging is very well designed. Great images of the products on the front, as well as a rundown of the main features and specifications around the back.

In the box, you’ll find a hard-wired keyboard, hard-wired mouse, mouse mat, and a set of extra key caps.

ASUS Announces Improved ROG Sica Gaming Mouse

ASUS’ ROG division announced a new version of their popular Sica gaming mouse that comes with improved features and with a new glacier white finish. The ROG Sica gaming mouse has been designed with MOBA gaming in mind, but that doesn’t mean that this ambidextrous wired optical mouse won’t be great for other game types too.

The most noticeable difference to the previous Sica mouse is the colour when you look at it, but it also features improvements on the inside. The previous black model also featured Omron switches, but only those with a durability rating for 5 million clicks. The new white model has the improved and better switches (D2FC-F-7N) that can handle four times the click amount with their 20 million-click durability. The Sica still remains its awesome switchable socket design that will allow you to switch the switches if needed.

Other great features in the Sica include short and independent buttons for the shortest and most accurate click distance, a special coating to minimise stickiness, and illuminated ROG logo. The Sica has a 5000 DPI PMW3310 optical sensor that’s adjustable in increments of 50 DPI for extreme precision. It is capable of tracking speeds of up to 130-inches per second and 30g of acceleration.

With the built-in flash memory, you are able to store your profiles directly on the mouse and take them with you. All the settings can be controlled through the ROG Armoury software that a lot of people already might be familiar with from previous ROG mice. The mouse is wired and comes with a 2-meter long rubber USB 2.0 cable with a gold plated connector.

The new ASUS Sica Glacier White gaming mouse will be available by end of February in the United Kingdom for a suggested retail price of £29.99. That’s not a bad price at all for what looks like a great yet simple gaming mouse. I particularly like the replaceable switches as those are the weak point in any mouse over time.

ASUS Cerberus Gaming Peripherals Review – A Full Gaming Setup for Under £100!

Introduction


Picking the right gaming peripherals can be a tricky endeavour as there is a huge range of products from an equally large selection of gaming brands out there to choose from. Asus are one of the most established and recognisable gaming brands on the market today, and while they may be better known for their high-end graphics cards and motherboards, they’ve proven time and time again that they can make some great gaming peripherals too.

Today we’ll be taking a look at their Cerberus range, a budget friendly but feature packed range of peripherals that are sure to appeal to a wide range of PC gamers. We’ve got a mouse, a headset and a keyboard here today and what’s great about these devices is that all of them can be picked up for a total under £100, making them an attractive option for those on a tighter budget, with the added peace of mind of them being from a well-established brand name.

As you can see below, we’ve got a well-equipped membrane keyboard, with macro keys, LED lighting and more. As well as an optical mouse, which features an ambidextrous design, adjustable DPI and LED lighting. Finally, a powerful gaming headset equipped with 60mm drivers, support for PC, Man and PS4 and a detachable microphone. All of which can be snapped up for a total of just £96.89 (prices from Overclockers UK).

Cerberus Keyboard – LED backlit USB gaming keyboard with splash-proof design

  • Full SECC metal plate – Rugged durability
  • Splash-proof design with drain hole – Protects against spilled liquids
  • 12 macro keys – Tactical flexibility
  • Fully rubberized feet – Enhanced friction for strong movements
  • Price – £39.95

For more information, check out the official product page here.

Cerberus Mouse – Ambidextrous optical gaming mouse with four-stage DPI switch and convenient LED indicator

  • Agile DPI control – Four customizable DPI levels with an LED color indicator
  • Stylish ambidextrous design – Designed for both right and left-handed gamers
  • Improved rubber side grips – Reduces sweating and slipping
  • Price – £21.95

For more information, check out the official product page here.

Cerberus Headset – Gaming headset with large 60mm neodymium drivers, designed for both PC gaming and mobile use.

  • Large 60mm neodymium-magnet drivers deliver unrivaled punch and ultimate immersion
  • Compatible with PC, Mac, PlayStation® 4 and smart devices for gaming and mobile fun
  • Dual-microphone design: detachable boom mic for clear in-game communication and an in-line mic for on-the-go chat
  • Comfortable 100mm full-size cushions offer great noise isolation for undisturbed gaming and music enjoyment
  • Price – £34.99

For more information, check out the official product page here.

The packaging on each product is really nice, with a large window on the headset and the mouse, allowing a good look at the design of each, while the box for the keyboard has a big image of the keyboard and its LED lighting. There’s a few technical details around each box, but nothing we haven’t already covered above.

Cougar 450M Optical Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Today we’ll be taking a look at the latest gaming mouse from Cougar, the 450M. Equipped with a high-performance optical sensor, which is capable of up to 5000 DPI with a polling rate of 1000Hz, as well as an ambidextrous design, programmable buttons and more, it’s certainly going to appeal to a lot of gamers, and we’ve got high expectations for its performance too, after awarding multiple Cougar gaming peripherals here at eTeknix over the last year.

Equipped with RGB lighting, eight fully programmable buttons, a powerful 32-bit ARM processors, side grips, as well as being backed up by the fantastic Cougar UIX software, the 450M is sounding pretty great for gaming. There’s also on-board memory, so you can store your profiles directly on the mouse, making it tournament friendly.

The packaging is nicely designed, showing off the style of the mouse, as well as highlighting the UIX software and 16.8 million colours LED lighting.

Around the back, quick run down of features like the Omron gaming switches, anti-slip flanks and programmable buttons.

The 450M comes hard-wired with a really nice quality black braided cable, a custom shaped USB header and a gold-plated connector.

Roccat Kiro Modular Ambidextrous Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


PC gaming is serious business, sure you can pick up virtually any old keyboard and mouse and make do with what you have, but having the right tools for the job can not only improve your performance while gaming, but also make the whole experience much more enjoyable. Enter the Roccat Kiro, a finely tuned gaming mouse that is designed for both left and right-handed gamers.

“Meet the Kiro, the bigger brother of the Lua. With its highly modular, superdextrous build, the game has been changed for ambidextrous mice. Perfectly optimizable for both left and right-handed gamers out of the box, it ticks all the boxes for gamers who thrive on a highly functional mouse with a clean, ergonomic design. With no-sweat parts comprised of a ROCCAT-pioneered soft-touch surface, the Kiro is the flexible ergonomic mouse that lets you win your way.”

While this mouse is tailored to suit any gamer, it is going to appeal to the eSports crowd too, thanks to its compact and nimble design, as well as its high-end Pro-Optic Sensor R” which offers up to 4000DPI; 2000 native, but 4000 via overdrive mode. It also features RGB 16.8 Million colour illumination, Talk FK, AlienFX, a powerful 32-Bit ARM MCU, onboard memory for storing profiles, a modular design and can even support your own 3D-printed side panels! So what are we waiting for? Let’s take a closer look at what the Kiro has to offer.

“In spite of its relatively small size, the Kiro has a strong focus on functionality and is loaded with a build sporting only the best possible components, for a premium gaming experience. Make no mistake, the Kiro’s attention to detail puts it on another level. OMRON switches, a robust 2D Titan Wheel plus a unique soft-touch surface that nullifies palm and finger sweat provides a platform for solid and reliable, high-comfort gaming.”

The packaging is typical of any other Roccat product, with a great image of the mouse and all major specs detailed on the front. As you can see, this mouse has been recommended for FPS and MOBA, but it’s a fairly straight forward design that should be suited to a bit of everything.

Around the back, a few more details on the specifications, but let’s just get things out of the box and see for ourselves.

First thing we find, a few bits of documentation, nothing major but of course we also find a mouse and some side panels.

CM Storm Xornet II RGB Optical Gaming Mouse

Introduction


Picking the right mouse can make or break your gaming experience. I’m a strong believer that a really great mouse won’t really make you a better gamer, at least not right away, but it can enhance your experience greatly. From having the right ergonomics to leave your hand feeling comfortable, even after a full days work and a late night of gaming, is certainly something you should be looking for in a mouse. Having a smooth and accurate sensor, so you don’t screw up those edits in Photoshop, or miss those headshots in your favourite game, that’s also pretty important. The latest mouse from CM Storm, the Xornet II, promises to great ergonomics, a great sensor and so much more.

“The Xornet II is built from the ground up for gamers who choose to battle it out using a claw grip style. Renowned as the best gaming mouse design for claw grip, every inch of this mouse has been crafted to prevent cramping and provide maximum comfort. Powered by an improved optical sensor, on-the-fly DPI settings, full 16.8 million color illumination, and lift of distance tuning and calibration, the Xornet II stands out among the competition as a comfortable, accurate and affordable weapon to add to your arsenal.”

The new design and upgrade hardware certainly sound promising, and several great mice, such as the Alcor and the Mizar already to their name, I’m eager to see what this mouse can do.

“The Xornet II uses an Avago 3320 optical sensor which is nearly flawless for control and speed, meaning your enemies stay in your crosshairs. And that’s not all. You’ll be prepared for any situation thanks to 3 preset DPI controls (500 – 3500) that can be changed on-the-fly. Go from performing surgery with a shotgun (500 DPI) to lightning fast reaction time shots (3500 DPI). Or open up our new easy-to-use software to find the perfect DPI setting to match your playstyle. An RGB LED in the scroll wheel quickly lets you know your current DPI setting.”

The features are sounding promising, with a good quality Avago 3320 Optical sensor, customisable three setting DPI, RGB lighting and more.

The packing has a nice image of the Xornet II on the front, as well as detailing the optical sensor, lighting and claw-grip design.

Around the back, we’ve got the main specifications, but of course, we’ll take a much closer look at these features in a moment.

In the box, you’ll find a user manual, as well as a hard-wired Xornet II mouse.

CM Storm Sentinel III Ergonomic RGB Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


The legendary CM Storm by Cooler Master Sentinel mouse is back and it’s better than ever! The latest high-end gaming mouse from CM Storm takes everything we knew and loved about the Sentinel II, but improves on each aspect to make the Sentinel III the perfect weapon for modern gamers.

“The OLED display puts the Sentinel III in a class of its own. You can upload any logo or re-name your profiles across the display to represent different settings and/or your team logo. The Sentinel III also radiates any color you choose. Two different areas can glow any color that piques your fancy. With 16.8 million color options, you can tinker till you drop or completely switch off all LED lighting.”

The iconic ergonomics and palm grip design are still present, but the old laser sensor has been swapped out for a new Avago 3988 Optical Sensor, there’s a built-in OLED display, RGB lighting, TactiX shift button, higher quality switches, a more powerful 32bit ARM processor, more internal memory, higher quality switches, better software, weight tuning system, LOD tuning, fully-programmable buttons, easily changeable feet, the list just goes on and on!

“Not having enough keys on your mouse is a pain. Storm TactiX solves this problem by letting you assign secondary functions to your mouse. During a game, simply press one button to trigger secondary functions for every mouse button. This essentially increasing your button count from 8 to 15.” Said CM Storm.

As you can see from the specifications below, all the basics are covered and more. The mouse weighs in at 155g, although the weight-tuning system allows you  to bring that up by an additional 22.5g (5 x 4.5g) to suit your own taste.

The packaging has a nice picture of the mouse, although why it’s only showing off the LED lighting and not the OLED display is strange, as that’s a major selling point I think CM would be eager to show off.

Around the back, we see a few more images showing the OLED display, weight tuning and buttons.

In the box, you’ll not find much in the way of extras, but you will find this rather lovely looking mouse, which comes hard-wired with a high-quality black braided USB cable, as well as a gold-plated connector.

Corsair Gaming Scimitar RGB MOBA/MMO Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Corsair Gaming has been on a major winning streak recently, with the amazing Corsair Void series of headsets being some of the best we’ve ever tested, followed by the incredible Corsair Strafe RGB Cherry MX Silent, which is an incredible keyboard and also one of the quietest mechanical keyboards on the market. So, no stranger to innovation with their latest products, Corsair Gaming are now introducing the Scimitar RGB Optical MOBA and MMO gaming mouse, and it’s pretty special.

“The Scimitar RGB gaming mouse revolutionizes game play with its Key Slider control system, 12 mechanical side buttons, and pro-proven 12,000 DPI optical sensor. It’s purpose built to deliver the ultimate MOBA and MMO gaming experience.”

Equipped with a movable side panel that features 12 mechanical and fully programmable buttons, the Scimitar is a real deadly weapon for competitive gaming. With a level of customisation that I’ve never soon on a mouse in this class before, so it’s certainly something I’m eager to put through its paces.

The core body of the mouse has been designed to not exceed 135g, although it reads a little higher when you weigh the cable. This weight was set as a favourite by many pro gamers for a nice balance between speed and control. Check out the preview video below as Warren and Jason from Corsair Gaming walk us through a few of the unique features of the Scimitar.

Equipped with a 12000dpi optical sensor, RGB lighting, a whopping 17 programmable buttons and so much more, the Scimitar is sounding pretty amazing, so let’s get in and take a closer look at what it has to offer.

The packaging is typical of the Corsair Gaming range, with a clear image of the mouse, as well as a quick run down of the main features.

Around the back, we’ve got a little quote from professional WoW player, Jackson “Bajheera” Bliton.

The box opens up, giving us a little more information on the Key Slider, but we’ll take a closer look at that ourselves in a moment.

Light Based Memory Could Replace Your Hard Drive

Mechanical or SSD? This argument has gone on many times in my own and many of my friends minds, the added speed of the SSD or the capacity of an mechanical drive. Both of these drives have their advantages and more than often it comes down to the things you wish to do. If you want to quickly load your game and have your computer awake within seconds it’s an SSD, but if you are storing your family photos and music you tend to care about not spending hundreds for storing something you will only ever access at Christmas or to embarrass someone on their birthday, you want mechanical. The advantage both of these devices have over different memory storage methods is they are ‘non-volatile’, meaning that they don’t require constant power to store the information, although researchers now hope to give you a third option for a super fast, light-based storage device.

Unlike SSD’s or mechanical drives which are limited in speed because of the heat and resistance they generate while being used, the ‘nano-photonic’ chips are not limited and can, therefore, operate at much higher speeds. By using the same material that CD’s and DVD’s use, called GST, the researchers have managed to change the structure of the alloy (comprised of Germanium, Tellurium and Antimony) in such a way that they were able to store 8 bits of data in any one location. Let’s just take that in, at the moment, electronic memory can only store binary information (1’s or 0’s). Meaning that they can store four times as much information in a single space, but it is still far from perfect.

Currently the chips are several sizes larger than the media everyone uses today to store data, but the researchers are hopeful that they could soon have you working on computers up to 100 times faster than your current desktop and no doubt with much greater capacities.

Thank you Engadget for the information and image.

TteSports Commander Gaming Gear Combo Keyboard & Mouse Review

Introduction


PC gaming on a tight budget may seem difficult, but with Steam Sales and Humble Bundles being forever present, the cost of finding games to play often walks into pocket-money territory. The range of budget friendly graphics cards and more are also pretty incredible these days, offering some seriously affordable and worthy devices. Of course, to complete the puzzle, you’re also going to need some sturdy gaming peripherals to help you in the heat of battle. It doesn’t matter if you play Elder Scrolls or League of Legends, you’re going to need a keyboard and mouse for the mass majority of PC games, as well as for day-to-day desktop tasks.

The TteSports Commander Gaming Gear Combo offers up a full-size keyboard and an optical mouse for under £30; that’s value that is very hard to ignore! Is it going to blow us away with incredible performance? I doubt it, but I am eager to see just how much you can get for such a wallet-friendly price tag.

Amazingly, both the keyboard and mouse are pretty well equipped. There’s a full-size keyboard, with multimedia shortcut keys, adjustable repeat rate, LED backlighting, plunger switches, anti-ghosting and more. The mouse has an optical sensor with four DPI settings, six buttons and an ergonomic right-hand design; not bad for this price range!

Cougar Iron Grey Edition 550M Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


Cougar is back on eTeknix once again, following the review of their new 300M gaming mouse, which was a fantastic product for a very reasonable price. In the office today, we have something a little more high-end, the 550M 6400DPI “ultimate optical gaming mouse” and I’m very eager to see how well (or perhaps not so well) it performs. We’ve seen great things from Cougar in the past, and in my opinion, they’re one of the hottest peripheral manufacturers out there right now, offering solid performance, great aesthetics and very competitive prices, so let’s jump right to it and take a closer look at what the 550M has to offer.

As you can see in the video below, this is a really nice looking mouse, with grip side panels, a high-end optical sensor, programmable buttons, built-in 32-bit ARM processor  with 512KB of on-board memory and plenty more; pretty much everything you would expect to find in a competitive gaming mouse these days.

The packaging is nice and tidy, featuring a clear image of the mouse, as well as a quick rundown of the main specifications.

This mouse is packed with gaming features, which are listed in detail on the back of the box; this is handy if you’re looking at the mouse in a retail store, but we’ll take a much closer look ourselves in just a moment.

In the box, you’ll find a straightforward user manual, as well as some clear back stickers if you feel inclined to put such things on your PC case, monitor, etc.

Of course, you’ll also find the mouse in the box, which comes hard-wired with a nice quality black braided cable.

The 550M has a fairly aggressive design, which will no doubt appeal to a gaming audience.

There’s a pair of large side buttons on the left of the mouse, but the thing that stands out the most is the mixture of textures the 550M offers. There’s a granite effect top panel, which is nice and smooth, a hard grip textured surface on the side and that bright orange metal inner chassis that starts between the mouse wheel and is exposed towards the rear of the mouse.

The mouse has a slim ergonomic shape, which is suitable for a range of grip styles; palm, claw and fingertip.

One thing that immediately caught my attention is the scroll wheel; it’s huge! The wheel has a thick and fairly soft rubber coating, and while it is oversized, it’s heavily recessed into the body of the mouse, making it feel nimble and accurate to control.

The DPI toggle is unique too, as it needs to be pulled backwards like a trigger rather than pressed down; this is still easy to do mid-game, but it’s also virtually impossible to accidentally trigger the button!

There are three large slipmats on the 550m and they’re extremely smooth, meaning this mouse will glide with minimal effort on a wide range of gaming surfaces; more so than most gaming mice!

Cougar Sport Orange 300M Optical Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


The latest Cougar gaming mouse is here at last! We’ve already reviewed a few Cougar peripherals here at eTeknix, such as the 600M mouse, 200k mouse and keyboard combo, 600K and 700K keyboard reviews. With so many products in the last year alone, I’m happy to say that Cougar is quickly becoming one of my favourite peripheral manufacturers and that’s a trend I hope to see continue with our review of their latest product, the 300M optical gaming mouse.

The 300M takes its inspiration from the classic IntelliMouse shape, one that has proven popular with gamers and PC users in general for many years. It comes with seven programmable buttons, three profiles, a 16.8 million colour LED and a range of funky and bright colours to choose from. The hardware sounds good too, with a trusty ADNS-3090 optical sensor, 1ms response time and Omron gaming switches; that’s nothing crazy overall, but it certainly ticks enough boxes to make this mouse attractive to both gamers and day-to-day desktop users alike.

The packaging is nice and tidy, showing a good image of the mouse as well as a quick rundown of the main hardware specifications.

Around the back, you’ll find details of the UIX system and buttons, but we’ll take a closer look at each of those in a few minutes.

There’s pretty much nothing extra included in the box, just a hard-wired mouse and the user manual; not that you need much else of course.

The cable comes with a durable black braided cable, which looks great and should improve overall lifespan of the cable.

The 300M is really nicely designed, although that’s hardly much credit to Cougar, as the IntelliMouse shape is something we’ve seen virtually ever manufacturer copy over the years. This is no bad thing of course, it’s a good size and shape to compliment most people’s hands and that’s exactly what you want.

The black and orange looks pretty cool in my opinion, others may disagree. There’s a pair of switches down the left side of the mouse, with long buttons to make them easy to access with your thumb.

The finish on the 300M is pretty slick, with a soft grippy rubber that provides excellent grip, despite the fact it looks and feels silky smooth. This kind of finish is also great for maintenance, as it’s easy to clean and difficult to scratch.

There’s a nice rubber-gripped scroll wheel which colour matches the side panels of the mouse, as well as a programmable button which is set to DPI toggle by default.

As you can see, the 300M ergonomics are designed for right-hand use.

The base of the mouse has two absolutely massive slipmats, that’s a better finished that most other mice. This means that the 300K glides like a cloud in a breeze on virtually any gaming surface, especially so thanks to the lightweight design of the mouse in general.

The seventh mouse button is tucked away on the base, perfect for using as a profile toggle, or DPI changer for those who don’t like having such a button within accidental pressing range mid-game.

QPAD Launches 8K Optical Gaming Mouse

QPAD has listened to their users feedback and completed their 8K family of mice with a new optical gaming mouse. Optical gaming mice are the preferred mice of most gamers at the moment and QPAD couldn’t leave that spot open.

The new QPAD 8K Optical features RGB lighting with 16.8 million colours so you can customize it to fit the rest of your PC setup while the five-finger-grip design allows for great control even in hectic gaming situation that can make or break the match. In it to win.

 

At the heart of this mouse, you’ll find a gaming-grade optical sensor with up to 5000 true CPI and the whole thing is powered by a 32-bit ARM processor to optimize the tracking performance. It comes with pre-mounted QPAD Glidz mouse feet, and it has seven programmable buttons for profiles, sensitivity, shortcuts, keys and macro recordings.

The optical sensor has quite some power and you can move the mouse up to 3.3 meters per second without losing tracking abilities. The sensor pictures the surface with a shutter speed of 6,500 frames per second covering an area of 900 pixels per frame. This generates 5MB of data per second and that is why it comes with its own built-in processor.

With the zero-mouse acceleration, you got a true one-to-one relationship between your movement of the mouse on your surface and the mouse cursor on the screen.

The mouse doesn’t need any drivers to work and comes with 128 kB onboard storage for your profiles and setup, no matter where you take the mouse. QPAD also created a new feature packed software for their mice to control and adjust the settings, from colour setup to macro editor and sensor tweaking.

The two main keys, the left and right mouse button, are built with Omron switches that can handle up to 20 million clicks and have a distinct feedback.

QPAD’s new 8K Optical will become available this month for a recommended selling price 69€.

ASUS ROG SICA Optical Gaming Mouse & Whetstone Mouse Mat Review

Introduction


Asus are highly regarded in the PC industry, as they’ve won many awards for their high-end hardware components, such as their graphics cards and motherboards. Their Republic of Gamers brand, better known as ROG, is easily one of their most popular ranges, focusing on high-end gaming equipment and while that does cover the usual motherboards and graphics cards, it also caters to gaming peripherals, such as the one I’ll be taking a look at today.

The Asus ROG SICA gaming mouse has been designed with competitive gaming in mind, it’s focused design is intended to be most useful to the MOBA crowd and has been developed with the support of the pro gaming community; let’s find out if it’s any good!

First things first, we’ll be taking a look at two products today, the SICA and the Whetston mouse mat. The SICA, named after a curved sword and the Whetstone, which are known to be used for sharpening blades, so the branding seems like an obvious match-up.

“Since the debut of our magnificent Maximus motherboard, ROG has steadily expanded its gaming line-up to ensure you get the most out of your games. Today, ROG Sica joins our gaming empire. The Sica was a short, curved sword used in Ancient Rome. It proved to be a formidable weapon, and was effective in battle. Now it’s your turn to wield the Sica to write your own legendary chapter in gaming.”

The SICA comes hard-wired with a gold-plated USB connector, so it couldn’t be much easier to get it setup and ready to go.

The design of the mouse is really cool, with a black and red trim down the side, and some really high-quality plastics on the top that will help improve grip, especially for those who suffer from sweaty hands while gaming.

The rubber grip finish at the back edge of the mouse has a funky Mayan-inspired decal to it.

The mouse is ambidextrous, so the right side looks identical and has more of that lovely Mayan themed grip.

The mouse is quite small and has a long and low-set form factor that makes it best suited to a fingertip or claw-grip play style.

The scroll wheel is set quite low, but is nicely separated from the mouse buttons and has been treated with a grippy rubber coating to provide you with reliable control.

Around the back, there’s a ROG logo, which has LED backlighting that can be configured through the downloadable Armoury software.

On the base of the SICA, there are three Teflon slip mats to provide extra glide, the optical sensor and two rubber caps over the screws. The caps can be removed to access the interior of the mouse, where you can switch out the two main switches, should you ever feel the need.

The Whetstone is by far one of the nicest looking and feeling mouse mats I’ve ever seen. It’s a good size, has a high-quality finish and feels pretty durable over all.

Much like the SICA mouse, the mat also has that awesome Mayan texture.

Turtle Beach Grip 300 Optical Gaming Mouse Kit Review

Introduction


When we visited Turtle Beach at CES 2015, we were amazed to see a full range of gaming keyboards and mice, especially given that Turtle Beach has spent so many years focusing on the audio market. I was eager to see what they could do and since then, we’ve already been impressed by their GRIP 500 gaming mouse, so today I’m really looking forward to see what their next product, the GRIP 300 is capable of.

“The Turtle Beach Grip 300 optical gaming mouse is an affordable, ergonomically engineered 5-button scroll-wheel mouse that uses quality components such as the Avago 3050 optical sensor and Omron switches to deliver smooth, precise control. Its compact sculpted body sports an illuminated logo and scroll wheel, and hardware switches to adjust DPI from 500 to 1750 and polling rate from 125 to 1000Hz. Plug and play for both PC and Mac® right out of the box, there are no drivers to load or software to run. And its non-slip soft-touch coating enhances grip control and increases gamer endurance.”

The GRIP 300 comes will all the features you would expect from a gaming mouse, but with a few nice extras given its respective price range. As you can see below, the GRIP 300 box is a little wide, making room for the DRIFT mouse mat, which comes bundled with it.

On the interior of the box, you can actually touch the mouse, which is great for those who are picking up the box at retail, as it allows you to test the main switches, scroll wheel and feel the surface finish on it.

The mouse mat is of a very high quality, with a smooth finish, hard-wearing surface and stitched edges to prevent them from fraying.

Unlike the plastic cable of the GRIP 500, the 300 comes equipped with a high-quality braided cable and a gold-plated USB header, which should help improve the overall lifespan of the mouse.

In terms of design, the GRIP 300 is pretty straight forward with few buttons on show, something that may appeal to the pro gaming market, who often prefer simple designs for competitive gaming.

There’s a nice ergonomic shape to the mouse, like the design of the GRIP 500. Although, unlike the GRIP 500, the 300 only has two side buttons, not three.

The GRIP 300, much like its name implies, has been treated to a grip coating. This hard-wearing rubber-like surface has a really nice feel to it and it’ll also benefit those who suffer from sweaty hands while gaming.

There’s a good quality scroll wheel with a soft rubber grip around it and a soft tactile bump when rotated, making it very easy to control.

Overall, not the most exciting design, but build quality feels good, the design is aesthetically pleasing and the switches have a nice quick and responsive click to them, which will be great for gaming.

While the top side of the mouse may be lacking a lot of controls, that’s not to say the features are limited. Here you’ll find switches for adjusting the polling rate, as well as the DPI settings. Of course, you’ll also find the optical sensor.

Optical Nanotechnology Sensor Claimed to be as Good as a Dog’s Nose

Researchers for the Oregon State University have created a new technology by combining optical tech with nanocomposite thin-films to develop a new type of cheap sensor, which is said to be fast, highly sensitive and able to detect and analyse a wide range of gases.

The sensor is said to be suited to detect carbon dioxide and may find potential use in industrial applications or systems designed to store the gas underground.

However, there are many other applications for the sensor. The researchers have filed a patent on the invention and are working in collaborating with a variety of industries to perfect and help commercialize the product.

“Optical sensing is very effective in sensing and identifying trace-level gases, but often uses large laboratory devices that are terribly expensive and can’t be transported into the field,” said Alan Wang, a photonics expert and an assistant professor in the OSU School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.”By contrast, we use optical approaches that can be small, portable and inexpensive,” Wang said. “This system used plasmonic nanocrystals that act somewhat like a tiny lens, to concentrate a light wave and increase sensitivity.”

The sensor works by having a metal-organic framework of thin films which can quickly absorb gases within material pores and be recycled by simple vacuum processes.

After the thin-film captures the gas molecules near the surface, the plasmonic materials act at a near-infrared range, help magnify the signal and precisely analyze the presence and amounts of different gases.

Detecting gas can also find its use in the explosive diffusion industry, with further applications seen in public places with high risk of terrorism and explosive use, such as airports or border security.

However, a lot of gases required to be monitored in the lab before the sensor can do its job in the field. Other fields that might find potential use for the technology include healthcare, automobile engines and prevention of natural gas leakage.

Thank you Phys.org for providing us with this information

CM Storm Alcor Optical Gaming Mouse Review

Introduction


The Alcor has proven to be a very popular mouse in recent months, when it launched alongside the Mizar we opted to put the Mizar to the test, so it only seemed right that we should follow-up with its brother, the Alcor, for our latest review. Both the mice are named after stars, hence the space-themed promotional video below; pretty cool.

The Alcor offers all the usual features you would expect from a mid-budget gaming mouse. It’s got on the fly DPI adjustments, an ergonomic design for right-handed use, a 4000 DPI Avago 3090 optical sensor and customizable LED lighting; not bad for a mouse that only costs around £30 from most major retailers.

The Alcor comes hard-wired with a gold-plated USB cable, nothing fancy, but it’ll certainly do the job.

Down the left side, you’ll find a pair of switches for back/forward navigation. The switches here are nice and responsive, without being so light that you would trigger them accidentally.

The left side of the mouse is curved inwards, giving you a good thumb rest and extra grip.

There’s nothing notable on the right side of the Alcor, but you can see the swollen shape that should provide you with a comfortable hand position for both palm rest and craw grip play-styles.

In the centre, there are two switches for DPI adjustments, as well as a nice quality scroll wheel with  rubber grip coating for extra control.

Both the left and right mouse buttons are a good size, with a very low front at the end of the mouse; this allows your fingers to curl downwards and could help reduce hand strain.

Around the back, a small CM Storm logo with four colour LED back-lighting.

There are only four small slipmats on the base, but the mouse is very light, so it should still glide very well.

A quick test on the CM Storm Swift-RX mouse pad, it does indeed glide very well!

New 3D Display Scraps Glasses, Uses Tiny Spherical Lenses Instead

The most common method of creating a 3D illusion is said to be based on autostereoscopic display, which uses parallax. The method involves presenting each eye with a slightly different angle of a scene with the help of microlenses that project a small amount of light.

While this method has a lot of pros and is used in commercial products such as the Nintendo 3DS, the narrow viewing angle it produces presents a challenge to larger displays.

However, researchers at the Chengdu Technological University and Sichuan University are said to have corrected the issue by replacing the microlenses with microsphere lenses. A prototype based on this technology has been built, which demonstrates that the large curvature of spherical lenses increases the viewing angle from 20-30º to 32º and a theoretical viewing angle of up to 90º.

“The greatest significance is that we propose a cheap and simple way to fabricate a lens array which can bring a wider viewing angle,” said lead author Guo-Jiao Lv at Chengdu Technological University.

Another disadvantage in microsphere lenses is crosstalk, meaning when light from the right and left channels leak into each other. The problem has been resolved by concentrating light from each lens into a small area, but at the expense brightness and overall optical efficiency which the scientists claim to be able to solve in the near future.

Thank you Phys.org for providing us with this information

Tesoro Launches Gungnir Black Optical Gaming Mouse

Tesoro Technology USA is getting ready to release their new mouse, the Gungnir Black optical gaming mouse with customizable RGB illumination.

The Gungnir Black has a 3500 DPI optical sensor, full-colour programmable LED illumination, 7 independent and programmable buttons and comes with 64Kb of onboard memory for up to 35 macro keys and 1600 recordable actions.

The use of Omron switches should provide the tactical feedback and longevity games need. The sensor has four adjustable DPI levels and a polling rate up to 1000Hz.

Smooth Teflon feet to ensure maximum precision and movement during game play and the ergonomic design and rubberized coating should provide both comfort and good grip in those hectic situations.

The Tesoro Gungnir Black will be available in North America in March for the suggested retail price of $29. No word on other territories.

Thanks to TechPowerUp for providing us with this information