|Feb 21, 2013, 03:54 AM||#1|
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Review: Thermaltake Level 10 M Gaming Mouse
This review examines the Tt eSPORTS Level 10 M Gaming Mouse, the latest entry into the Level 10 lineup which continues the collaboration between Tt eSPORTS and DesignWorksUSA.
Everyone has seen or heard of Thermaltake’s Level 10 case. The case departed from established norms with a unique look that garnered praise and earned it multiple awards from technology websites. That same high quality avant-garde aesthetic has found its way into the Level 10 M. Everything from the ‘iPhone-esque’ box to the mouse itself screams quality. The aluminum base and accents, the high gloss paint, multi colored LEDs, and sleeved USB cable are just some of the notable features that jump out on first glance. If first looks are any gauge of value, the $99 asking price of the mouse definitely seems to be justified.
Looks aren’t everything, that’s something we all understand. With a mouse as striking as the Level 10 M some users may be concerned that the mouse might be all flash, but that is not the case here. Tt eSPORTS have managed to make sure design and function complement one another with little sacrifice to either. In my testing one major standout characteristic of this mouse was how comfortable it is to use. The honeycomb pattern cutout on the mouse surface allows for ventilation between the surface and the users hand. While I’m not a sufferer of sweaty palms, I did notice the mouse always felt relatively cool to the touch. In scenarios where extended use is expected, having a cool mouse under your hand goes a long way- just think about how uncomfortable using a laptop that gets unusually warm is and you will appreciate this cool mouse even more. The real standout, however, is the adjustability the mouse allows. Using the included Allen driver, the height and angle of the mouse surface can be adjusted. This allows the user to essentially tailor the mouse configuration for their particular taste and minimize, if not eliminate, fatigue caused by awkward angles or height of the mouse. A few minutes used to ‘dial’ the mouse in with these adjustment points makes a world of difference.
A little to the left, no to the right... perfect!
The aluminum base and the resulting heft of the mouse give it a great feel and enhance the accuracy of movement. When this is combined with the adjustable DPI setting, the mouse is an absolute joy to use. It’s incredibly easy to switch from a lower DPI setting for playing something like Torchlight II then switch to a high DPI setting for a shooter like Battlefield 3. In games there was nothing bad to be said- movement was precise and clicks registered without issues. Assigning keys to the extra mouse buttons worked well. Button assignments, profile storage, and LED control can all be manipulated through the included software. If you have used a Tt eSPORTS mouse before you will be right at home while those who haven’t face a next to non-existent learning curve. The software explains itself and includes plenty of pictures for those easily lost. One minor issue is that I did occasionally find my thumb accidently pressing the buttons along the left hand side of the mouse. While those buttons are sensitive, I do not believe this to be a huge issue as it really boils down to how you are accustomed to holding your mouse.
Outside of gaming, I got the chance to use the mouse extensively within Windows 7/8 and Office applications like Excel, Word, and PowerPoint. While gaming is the focus of this mouse, I can say that the tweaks to make this a great gaming mouse translate well into an office setting. The customization ensured there was no fatigue and the scroll wheel is perfect for getting through large documents and spreadsheets. It also has one of the quietest scroll wheels I have used. Now I don’t think you will be switching on ‘Battle Mode’ (a light setting where the LEDs on the mouse pulse with increased mouse action) while you fill out your TPS Reports, but the ergonomics and accuracy is something professionals and content creators would gladly welcome.
Incredibly clean and well built.
It might be cliché to say this is the BMW of the gaming mouse world, but it’s a warranted statement. The focus on design and function, weight and balance, and even the LED accent lighting share heritage with what those who have driven the Ultimate Driving Machine all know and love. Just like a high end automobile the price of entry might be steep, but what you are getting is a top of the line product that will not disappoint you. Tt eSPORTS and their collaborators have created a gaming mouse that easily ranks number one on my list. If the opportunity arises for you to own one, don’t hesitate.
Long Term Testing:
I apologize that the review was late, but having that extra time did lead to some long term testing. I can report that the mouse has not developed any 'sticky' buttons, 'squeaky wheels' or other malfunctions or oddities that have been mentioned in other customer reviews. The mouse performs as well as it did the day it came out the box.
A big thanks to the fine staff at Thermaltake for continuing the Community Review Program. It's a great 'grassroots' movement, and I look forward to the next opportunity to participate
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