HyperX Pulse­fire FPS

A mid-price, mid-range, mid­dle of the road mouse

Maximum PC - - IN THE LAB -

WE HAVE SPAT so much bile about the trend for adul­ter­at­ing mun­dane hard­ware with ex­tra but­tons, switches, lights, and other point­less frip­pery in these pages that you might pre­sume there’s a Max­i­mumPCwide stance on such things. There is not. The team is torn. Some love a pretty thing; oth­ers would rather func­tion­al­ity took prece­dence. The Pulse­fire FPS seems de­ter­mined to ei­ther fur­ther di­vide or fi­nally unite our two camps—HyperX’s sci­en­tists must have toiled hard in the hard­ware labs to find a for­mula for the most mid­dle-ground mouse pos­si­ble.

First of all, purists re­joice: It’s vis­ually sub­tle, nei­ther over­do­ing the piz­zazz nor shaped like an art pro­ject that’s been left too close to a space heater. Yet even the grump­i­est among us must ad­mit there’s a cer­tain sexy charm to this thing. Glow­ing red LEDs—just glow­ing, not flash­ing, or pul­sat­ing, or do­ing any­thing other than be­ing red—high­light the palm end and mouse wheel, with a sin­gle RGB LED switch­ing color, used for a prac­ti­cal rea­son, but granted some beau­ti­ful shades, to show what res­o­lu­tion it’s run­ning at. The top shell is one smooth-tex­tured piece of plas­tic, per­fectly shaped for mous­ing with the heel of your hand on the desk, the stiff­ness of the plas­tic adding slight ad­di­tional re­sis­tance to the switches.

On ei­ther side, there’s a tex­tured rub­ber­ized pad for ad­di­tional grip; again, prac­ti­cal, and only lightly pat­terned for what seems like max­i­mum ef­fi­ciency, but def­i­nitely not un­pleas­ant to look at. At the peak of the left edge sit two ad­di­tional but­tons, high enough that they don’t in­ter­fere with the av­er­age rest­ing thumb po­si­tion, but in no way un­com­fort­able to reach. The wheel is rub­ber­ized, lightly ratch­eted, and im­pos­si­ble to ac­ci­den­tally click with a heavy rest­ing fin­ger; be­neath the mouse there are two ex­tra large glide pads for a smooth but not slip­pery feel. There’s a red-flecked braided cable, a qual­ity touch that it’s very hard for any­one to start turn­ing pur­ple about. IN­SIDE IN­FOR­MA­TION In­side, things are sim­i­larly con­sid­ered—not unique or flashy, but well-chosen, qual­ity com­po­nents that any­one can ap­pre­ci­ate. The main mi­croswitches, for ex­am­ple, are Om­ron’s well-re­garded white-top va­ri­ety, which feel solid and plenty clicky. The sen­sor be­neath has sim­i­lar mass ap­peal— it’s a PixArt 3310, as seen in count­less other mice in this par­tic­u­lar mar­ket sec­tor, and which was at one point in time con­sid­ered the best sen­sor on the mar­ket. It can’t keep up with the 12,000 dpi pace of many en­thu­si­ast sen­sors, though those are ap­par­ently made for del­i­cate souls who game gen­tly within a half-inch square. For nor­mal mousers, the 3310’s max­i­mum dpi of 3,200 is plenty, and it’s gen­er­ally ac­cu­rate and glitch-free, as long as you’re us­ing a good sur­face; it’s not over-friendly with re­flec­tions or plain tex­tures.

Bal­ance and us­abil­ity for high-paced FPS games might have been in the front of HyperX’s minds when de­sign­ing the Pulse­fire FPS—there’s a pretty big clue in the name—but there’s no rea­son a gam­ing mouse like this can’t sim­i­larly ap­peal to desk­top war­riors. In­deed, the $49 price point means this is ac­ces­si­ble to just about ev­ery­one. That price does ex­plain a few of its weaker spots—the unit can feel rather light (though not flimsy) at only 3.3oz; its curvy shape won’t ap­peal to claw-grip afi­ciona­dos; and there’s an odd di­vi­sion be­tween the feel of the for­ward and rear side but­tons. It also can’t be cal­i­brated to your sur­face, un­like some com­peti­tors.

The ar­gu­ments in the of­fice are over, though. We can all, caf­feine-fu­eled adren­a­line junkies and but­toned-down pen­cil-push­ers alike, ap­pre­ci­ate just how solid the Pulse­fire FPS is for its price. Granted, none of us ac­tu­ally wants to own it—we would each spend our 50 bucks on a mouse more aligned to our par­tic­u­lar tastes—but that’s a dif­fer­ent ar­gu­ment al­to­gether. –ALEX COX

HyperX Pulse­fire FPS

PULSE Smooth sen­sor; com­fort­able; uni­fy­ing de­sign.

REPULSE Lightweight; odd feel to side but­tons; right-hand palm grip only.

$ 49, www.hy­per­xgam­ing.com

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