GAM­ING MOUSE Cooler Mas­ter Xor­net II

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Custom PC - - REVIEWS / NEW KIT -

here’s a plethora of high-end gam­ing mice avail­able fea­tur­ing ab­surd res­o­lu­tions, mind­bog­gling but­ton and light­ing cus­tomi­sa­tion op­tions, and wal­let-bust­ing price tags. The £20 Xor­net II from Cooler Mas­ter, how­ever, is a pleas­ant re­minder that a qual­ity mouse needn’t cost a for­tune.

At the heart of the Xor­net II is the Avago 3320 sen­sor, a 3,500dpi op­ti­cal model that’s the up­grade to Avago’s pop­u­lar 3310 sen­sor. Of course, 3,500dpi doesn’t sound like much th­ese days, but it’s still more than ad­e­quate for gam­ing and desk­top use on a 1080p or 2,560 x 1,440 panel. More im­por­tant than res­o­lu­tion is ac­cu­racy, and in this re­spect, the Xor­net II is flaw­less, de­liv­er­ing smooth, one-toone track­ing free of ac­cel­er­a­tion, snap­ping or jit­ter across its range of res­o­lu­tions.

This range starts at 250dpi and can be in­creased in 250dpi in­cre­ments us­ing Cooler Mas­ter’s sim­ple-to-use soft­ware suite. The mouse stores three res­o­lu­tions on-board and the RGB scroll wheel can be set to a dif­fer­ent colour for each one to act as a sim­ple indi­ca­tor. You can also con­fig­ure the polling rate (max­i­mum 1,000Hz) and lift-off dis­tance, al­though tweak­ing the lat­ter made no dif­fer­ence to our ex­pe­ri­ence.

A great sen­sor is no good if the mouse is un­com­fort­able to wield, but thank­fully, the op­po­site is true. If you’re a claw-grip gamer, the Xor­net II could hardly be bet­ter de­signed. It’s a lit­tle on the small side, but rub­berised sec­tions on both sides give your tips a good grip and re­li­able con­trol, while grooves for your other fin­gers en­sure com­fort even dur­ing ex­tended play.

The Xor­net II is light at 80g and this weight can’t be ad­justed, but this weight ac­tu­ally suits a claw grip well and the body is still solid. The two main but­tons are iso­lated and have a smooth soft-touch fin­ish, while it’s com­fort­able to rest your hand against the matt sur­face else­where. The PTFE feet are also mas­sive and thick enough to pre­vent drag on softer sur­faces, while the USB ca­ble is thin, flex­i­ble and at­tached via a strain re­liever.

Om­ron switches are a sta­ple of high-end mice but their in­clu­sion in the £20 Xor­net II is im­pres­sive – both main but­tons fea­ture D2FC-7-7N switches, which have ex­cel­lent feed­back and a light ac­tion that suits a wide va­ri­ety of game types.

There’s also a pair of thumb but­tons, and two res­o­lu­tion-ad­just­ment but­tons sit south of the scroll wheel. Each of th­ese but­tons is raised slightly and po­si­tioned in a way that makes them easy to hit. They’re a touch wob­bly in their sock­ets, hint­ing at the low price tag, but it’ a mi­nor nig­gle and not dis­tract­ing in use. That just leaves the scroll wheel, for which

Wired, USB Op­ti­cal

3,500dpi Rub­ber

Plas­tic None

Twe’re full of praise – it’s seated se­curely, has a pleas­ant, rub­berised sur­face with clearly de­fined notches when you scroll, and it has a well-tuned click force too.

Cooler Mas­ter has even man­aged to give its new mouse some ba­sic but­ton cus­tomi­sa­tions for all seven switches, and the soft­ware is again de­light­fully sim­ple to use. You can’t have cus­tom macros or mul­ti­ple pro­files, but ba­sic key bind­ings and Win­dows func­tions can be ap­plied with ease and are stored on the mouse it­self. Added com­plex­ity is go­ing to cost you more, but it’s great to see some sim­ple tweaks present in such an in­ex­pen­sive mouse.

Rub­berised sec­tions on both sides give your tips a good grip

Con­clu­sion

The Xor­net II is a won­der­ful mouse, and it’s refreshing to see the value it of­fers. Its shape is un­likely to ap­peal to palm-grip users, or gamers with larger hands, but it’s ideal for claw-grip gamers. It even fea­tures ex­cel­lent track­ing, seven cus­tomis­able but­tons and on-the-fly res­o­lu­tion ad­just­ment, but doesn’t in­clude su­per­flu­ous tick­box fea­tures that need­lessly bump up the price, making it very easy to rec­om­mend.

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