When you think about gaming mice, what brands come to mind? Razer? Microsoft? Logitech? Those are the big boys, but in the past few years weíve been seeing other hardware companies branching out, such as ThermalTake and Cooler Master. In this review, weíll be looking at a product from another newcomer to the peripheral game, also noted more for their computer chassis and cooling solutions than anything else. Iím talking about NZXT, whom has recently been making strides to enter the input device arena by leveraging their unique design philosophy. They put together a compelling offering a few years back with the Avatar gaming mouse, which was actually reviewed here on FiringSquad.
Today, though, you get to feast your eyes on what could be considered an evolution of that mouse, which they call the Avatar S. Iím wondering whether the ĎSí stands for ďslimĒ or something to that effect, as it seems to be somewhat of a focused and streamlined revision, with a lower DPI, fewer buttons, and tweaks to the aesthetics. It still has the same sleek, ambidextrous design overall, which is physically more slender and lower-profile than your average gaming mouse.
The NZXT Avatar S features a 1600 DPI laser sensor that is adjustable to 800 and 400 DPI out of the box. By using a built-in hardware switch (holding the side button down and scrolling), you can swap between these three states, on the fly, without installing any driver software. Thatís especially useful when you need to do so in-game, and you can see which DPI mode youíre in by the color of the LED-lit NZXT logo on the side of the mouse itself (it changes between blue, purple, and red).
It has five programmable buttons distributed evenly across its ambidextrous body, blue LED lights than can be turned on or off, and Teflon feet for easy gliding on any type of surface. With a polling rate of 1000Hz, the Avatar S can track movements at speeds of up to 30 inches per second and handles acceleration up to 20G. All of these settings and more are fully-customizable using NZXTís provided drivers and software, able to be uploaded to the mouseís internal 16Kb memory bank -- thatís enough storage for a single profile, so you can take your macros, as well as DPI, LED, and other settings, along with you wherever you go.
Whatís in the box?
The NZXT Avatar S comes in some pretty barebones packaging. Inside are the mouse itself and a credit card-sized piece of cardboard asking you to please visit the NZXT website to download the userís manual -- thatís also where youíll have to get the driver software, if you want it. I guess it makes sense not to include a CD when most everybody has internet access, but itíd be a lot more convenient to at least include an abridged quick start guide.