|Thermaltake Level 10M Gaming Mouse|
|Reviews - Featured Reviews: Input Devices|
|Written by David Ramsey|
|Sunday, 09 December 2012|
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Testing & Results
I used the Thermaltake Level 10M Gaming Mouse for a week on my primary PC, playing a variety of games as well as using it for ordinary day to day work. The games I used were Bad Company 2, Crysis 2, Serious Sam BFE, Half Life 2, and Singularity. I also used the default configuration (which I labeled "General Browsing").
The pointing device you use for your computer might be a mouse, trackball, track pad, or something else: it's a very individual choice. Consequently some users will absolutely hate a device that someone else thinks is the best thing available. The Thermaltake Level 10M Gaming Mouse is, for my use, a good mouse that is nonetheless afflicted with some significant issues.
The good parts first: the macro functions worked perfectly, and since they're stored in the mouse, they will apply to any computer you plug the mouse into. I'm not sure how useful this actually is, but it's still neat. Button action is very crisp and light, and the mouse is solidly built and exudes quality, which I suppose one would expect at this price level. The lighting effects are nice, and if you click the "Battle Mode" button in the utility, the lights will start pulsating once you pass some defined level of button-pressing rapidity. If you've ever damaged a wired mouse cable where it enters the mouse, you'll appreciate the integrated strain relief on the mouse cable. Last, the ability to adjust the physical structure of the mouse-- raising or lowering the rear surface where your palm rests, and adjusting the sideways angle of the mouse body-- make it easier to find the best fit for your hand. Personally I adjusted the body at maximum height and a very slight leftward tilt.
Although reaching for ever-higher resolutions is common these days, I have to wonder who would ever actually use 8200DPI? I found 1600DPI useful in a few games but kept the mouse at its lowest 800DPI setting most of the time. Most of the games I play are FPS, and a "sniper" button that reduces the mouse resolution while it's held down would have been nice. Perhaps a software update can add this feature as a programmable button action.
And now for the bad parts: the first problem is the placement of the buttons on the left hand side of the mouse. As I mentioned, the button action is very crisp and light, but the buttons are placed precisely where a right-hander's thumb will rest when using the mouse, which means it's very easy to press the buttons accidentally. Many other mice with left thumb buttons place them above this area so that the user has to raise their thumb slightly to press them; I think this would have been a better design to use.
The lightning bolt button acts as a four way rocker switch, and you can define each of the four ways as a separate macro. However, the position of the switch makes rocking it down impossible with your thumb on the switch; instead, you have to move your thumb to the top of the switch and press downwards to rock it down. It's a minor point but something you have to get used to if you assign macros to this button. And it took some time for me to stop accidentally pressing the rocker switch in when using it...doing so immediately switches the mouse to the next profile, which can obviously be disastrous in the middle of a fast-paced game...and the "press to switch profile" function can't be changed.
There is no documentation included on the mouse software, and the online documentation is so sparse that the procedure for assigning a macro to a mouse button isn't actually defined anywhere that I could see...I had to figure out for myself that you have to click on a button on the picture of the mouse before you can assign a macro to it. The software can't show you a list of the macros assigned to a profile, which means that if you want to see what a button does in a particular profile, you must switch to that profile, then click the appropriate button on the picture of the mouse on the screen, then click the "T Key" button to show the current assigned macro. With 11 possible macros per profile, this can get tedious.
In the last section I'll give my final thoughts and rating of this mouse.