HyperX Pulsefire FPS
A mid-price, mid-range, middle of the road mouse
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