The Copperhead is a long, slender, and most importantly light
mouse. At least, itís light in comparison with the old Logitech I use. Though a scale sensitive enough to measure the differences isnít available, a guesstimate would have the Copperhead weighing about 25% less. The mouse itself is about 13cm (5Ē) long, with the primary buttons covering half that length. In games I find myself pulling further back and using my fingers alone, rather than the entire hand/arm, with the tips of my index and middle fingertips on the leading edges of the buttons in the middle of the mouse, my thumb on the right side and ring finger on the left, gripping the mouse for movement. In applications, the mouse slides comfortable further into the palm, with the middle finger taking over scroll and ring finger on the right mouse button.
In addition to the main mouse buttons and scroll knob/button, the Copperhead has two more buttons on each side of the mouse. Since it is designed to be ambidextrous, the Copperhead is identical from either side, unlike many newer mouse designs. This makes for a different ergonomic problem however. The two buttons on the thumb side are easy to press, but on the other pair of buttons on the opposing side take effort Ė whether with the pinky or ring finger. This is apparently one of those unavoidable trade-offs in making a mouse for right- and left-handers that has multiple buttons, but itís no less annoying for that.
Fortunately, all buttons are programmable. They can be set to key presses and macros, or some of the specific features of the mouse. A button can be set for the next higher or lower DPI setting, or to adjust sensitivity on the fly (hold the button down and use the scroll wheel), to switch between the five profiles the mouse can store, windows buttons four and five, or even an automatic double-click. Thereís no way to adjust polling rate without using the taskbar driver menu, but once you have it set at 1000Hz, thereís little need to change it. Then again, thereís little need to change DPI either, for that matter.
The Copperhead is quite stylish, the version in my hand being a sexi semi-matte black with blue LED lights. The logo in the middle slowly pulsates from dim to bright and back, while the scroll button and plastic around the sides glow steadily. The sides are Ďribbedí with black spots. Iím fairly conservative in my computer tastes and donít like too many lights, but I must admit that this has grown on me.
The teflon pads are fairly thick but have a small profile area, for reduced drag presumably. Part of the rear pad seems to have collapsed in deeper in the mouse since Iíve gotten it; there seems to be a lack of support for it. The mouse has a cord which is about 7 feet long and is not stiff nor prone to tangling, it does not hinder movement in the least. Iím a superstitious beast when it comes to wireless controllers, generally disliking them on the PC so the cord does not bother me. Furthermore, it eliminates any doubt (and, sadly, excuses for heated 1v1 tourney matches in Q4) of delivering the proper signal to the computer about where I intended my mouse to go.
Does the Copperhead make me better? I want to say no, but I cannot deny that my results in Quake 4 and Call of Duty 2 have improved since Iíve gotten it. This may be, of course, due to the extra practice over the passing weeks, but the mouse is very responsive and extremely smooth. Considering that the differences are most noticeable on all-rail or all-rifle servers, Iím inclined to say that at the very least it will give the player new potential to tap, and maybe even help him do it Ė or at least give him the motivation to keep trying. The difference is quite like going from 30fps to 60fps Ė subtle but difficult to deny.