MIONIX NAOS QG
Watch how you play, as you play
WE’RE IN AGREEMENT with Mionix when it comes to the mouse market: It’s stagnating. It's nothing more than a gently flowing stream, producing slightly different iterations of the same product each and every year. There’s no innovation. Nothing new, nothing truly interesting.
Perhaps the mouse has reached its end goal. Perhaps there is nothing more to do but reiterate on the design. Mionix doesn’t think so. The Naos QG is the first mouse we’ve seen since the introduction of the laser sensor—which shifted away from the unwieldy ball—to truly rethink what you can do with the wily peripheral. Indeed, a heart rate sensor and GSR (galvanic skin response) sensor hardly seem like obvious additions, but the more you think about it, the more they make sense.
Consider being able to track your heart rate while you’re using your computer, directly linking and synching programs up with it. Whether that’s for health reasons, or purely for entertainment, it’s an interesting concept. Link a game to a heart rate sensor, and you could have it react according to how you’re behaving. Take a horror title, for instance. Things becoming a little too intense? Knock it down a notch. Feeling calm? Send more jump scares. Obviously, that could become a little dangerous for the end user in terms of potential health issues….
The Naos QG comes loaded with these sensors: one IR-based heart rate sensor to the left-hand side of your right palm, and the GSR to your right. It’s certainly an experience—with an Overwolf overlay on screen, you can see your heartbeat displayed as you play or wander around your desktop. In game, it is somewhat unnerving to see how your body reacts. As your hairs stand on end due to the terrifying scenes held within each title, the mouse detects the changes, and vast spikes running along the outside of the edge of the overlay make it painfully apparent that you’re somewhat ruffled. Those watching can immediately tell. And that brings us to who this was initially designed for: streamers and content creators. It adds another layer for the audience to view your reaction, another way for them to see how you respond in those often terrifying player experiences. NICE MICE? That aside, this is still an ergonomically well-crafted tool. For right-handers only, unfortunately, the Naos supports your ring finger and pinky, nestling you into place naturally. It’s big—bulkier than the Castor—but still feels quick and agile enough to ping even the most graceful of headshots into the skull of your opponent’s avatar. The RGB lighting is there, of course, along with the other features you’d expect from any mouse, including adjustments to polling rates, DPI, and lift-off sensitivity. Alongside that, the Naos has a soft-touch rubberized gray finish, making it resistant to grease and sweat, while still providing you with an intriguingly different nonblack/white device—it’s a subtle color, almost looking as though it’s still in its initial concept phase.
Is it flawless? No, not on your life. The software is still in its infancy, and the heart rate sensor is jittery. Sometimes, you go from 70bpm to 150bpm, even while on desktop, with little to no explanation, even after removing your hand from the mouse. Other times, it registers your heart rate at 40bpm. It’s not frequent enough to make it a particularly frustrating issue, and no doubt it’ll be something that’s ironed out in firmware and software updates, but it is still a concern.
Is this a good mouse? Yes, very much so. It’s currently targeted at a very niche audience, but as it is somewhat of an open standard, with a set of open APIs, it may very well be something that we see a lot more of going forward. And that’s no bad thing in our book. –ZAK STOREY