A good mouse is perhaps the most important accessory for any PC gamer. The trend for expensive mechanical keyboards with rainbow illumination may make the big bucks for peripheral manufacturers, but a high quality mouse is the best way of maximising your gaming performance. The difference between a responsive mouse and a bog standard one is night and day.
The amount of time you spend with a mouse means that responsiveness is only one part of the equation, though. Design, comfort, weight and feel all need to be right, with many of these being highly subjective depending on your hand size and playing surface. The Speedlink RGB Gaming Mouse is one of the newest entries into this competitive field and offers a host of useful functions. Its companion RGB Gaming Mousepad, on the other hand, is much more one dimensional.
The Orios mouse has a fashionably sci-fi design with a fetching combination of ergonomic curves and straight edges. It feels great in the hand, particularly for the palm grip that I favour, my hand smothering the poor critter. The outer shell with its rubberised surfaces didn’t have the slippery plastic feel of many cheaper mice and the two main buttons were built to leave no gaps for the inevitable crud that builds up over many hours of gaming. At just 95g, it’s lighter than some high end gaming mice but feels beefy enough in the hand.
Alongside the standard two buttons and scroll wheel, the Orios has four more programmable buttons and an onboard profile memory, so there is no need to run the accompanying software once you have set up your favourite options. The included software is perfectly functional and user friendly, so it shouldn’t take you long to make any changes you need for a particularly demanding game’s controls. The 1000Hz polling rate is more than enough for gaming and, when combined with the DPI switch enabling a resolution of 5,000dpi (10,000dpi interpolated), leaves the cursor flying across the screen like a hot knife through butter. Those might sound like meaninglessly high numbers, but the gist is that it’s ultra-fast and ultra-sensitive if you want it to be.
I tested the Orios across a range of games and was impressed by the responsiveness and accuracy, whilst it felt nice in the hand in both frantic FPS sections in Shadow Warrior and more calm but precise menu work in Stygian: The Old Ones. The ability to adjust the dpi on the go is especially welcome, as I found some games benefitted from more sensitive movement in the main game and slightly less in the menus. Even when copy and pasting writing in Word and PowerPoint the extra responsiveness was welcome, ensuring that the Orios can earn its keep in professional as well as gaming contexts.
As with almost all gaming accessories nowadays, the Orios mouse is fully illuminated and gives that late 90’s rave feel to your gaming room. With the box proudly boasting 16.7 million different colours – I admit I lost count after 100 – the effect is nice enough, although it did often clash with my Roccat keyboard’s separate lighting patterns. There’s a light switch on the bottom of the mouse if you feel the need to switch between business and party modes.
Alongside the Orios mouse comes the matching Orios RGB Gaming Mousepad. While this clearly matches in terms of branding and design, I was less enamoured with it overall. It does offer a large and controlled gaming surface for the mouse, measuring at 350 x 250 x 4.3mm and the reliability of its smooth surface and non-slip backing was welcome, but that’s the very least a mouse pad should offer. At first glance it appears to be a competitor for the likes of the Logitech PowerPlay mouse pad, but doesn’t offer the key wireless charging feature of its more expensive rival. This is just a fancier mouse mat.
The main extra feature of the RGB mousepad also leads to its biggest flaw. The attached USB cable allows for the mousepad to be illuminated around its edges, but I could see little reason for this. The illuminated outline of the mousepad is pretty pointless (which is true of the mouse lighting as well, to be honest), and most annoyingly leads to it having a block of plastic at the top edge of the pad. This wire and casing frequently got in the way whilst gaming, and it generally feels far more suited to a wireless mouse than the accompanying Orios RGB. When reviewing the two products as a package it makes the design of the mat seem increasingly unfortunate. I can’t believe that testers wouldn’t have encountered the same issues so in all honesty the RGB mousepad is far more difficult to recommend if you are using a wired mouse.
Bafflingly, it’s also almost as expensive as the mouse. The Orios RGB mouse comes in at a very reasonable €49.99 RRP, while the the Orios RGB mousepad is €39.99 RRP. Save your pennies.