Summary: Pongky takes a look at Optorite's entry into the laser mouse foray. The ML100 sports a 1600dpi sensor, low-friction pads and a cord to boot! How does this stack up against Logitech's venerable MX1000? Only one way to find out...
Carrying a $29.99 price tag at Newegg in blue and in red, the ML100 is much cheaper than Logitech’s full-featured MX1000 Laser Mouse reviewed here six months ago. Comparatively a featherweight in terms of features, the ML100 series is much lighter the Logitech counterpart, as most of the weight was shed when the need for a rechargeable battery was eliminated. Also, the reduction in features also means that a cord is present – tethering the mouse in sometimes awkward positions, such as if the majority of the cable is hanging off the edge of the desk, the sheer weight of the 6-foot cable itself can be easily felt when operating the mouse. The presence of the cord may, or may not be a bad thing; depending on usage. For general office use and surfing, it surely is a treat to move the mouse freely. But, for gaming – a corded version may be called for.
We’ve read in some online forums that some users who play twitch FPS games with the MX1000 mouse feel a noticeable lag (if only very slightly) in mouse response, and that is probably why Optorite marketed the first corded version. Some gamers will always be adverse to using any wireless mouse for their serious gaming sessions. With higher accuracy than its optical counterparts and mouse lag eliminated, this could definitely be the weapon of choice for some gamers.
We will see if this if this is a capable mouse on many surfaces and more importantly – a mouse that can be relied upon during hardcore gaming, as well as day-to-day office tasks.
The packaging is durable and visually catching – though it’s not as fancy as the MX1000 packaging with its rainbow foil and well-themed colors. The ML100 box provides plenty of protection during shipping, as well as prominently displaying the mouse itself in a clear plastic shell.
Included with the ML100 mouse is a small instructional booklet that covers installation and troubleshooting, and also a small 3” CD that contains the drivers and its own proprietary software to enable the 3 thumb buttons. The mouse works out of the box just fine, with the thumb rocker buttons being used for ‘forward’ and ‘back’ functionality when surfing. The middle button has no function until the software is installed.
Also, the ubiquitous light-green USB to PS2 adapter is included – for those who wish to free up their USB ports for other devices. We tried attaching it to the PS2 port when the system is on, and it was immediately recognized and functioning.
The only visual issue for us was the simple “Optorite Laser” oval logo where the user’s palm would be. We felt the logo could have been more polished in to give it a more professional, or edgy look.
Also, one thing we wish mouse designers would minimize is the dreaded “gunk-trapping chasm” problem. This is the gap in between the panels of the mouse body, on the upper side where it comes in contact with the hand. As time passes by – the hand and fingers start to deposit particles in there, which in turn, attracts dust. In a few months, you get the nice crusty whitish residue that no one would claim as their own. Time to get the toothpick! The ML100 is guilty of this design sin also.
One way to prevent this is to have fewer panels on the topside of the mouse, or create a way for the panels to join below the mouse, as we’ve noticed with the bottom rear-side of the MX1000. Also, is there a reason why this gap between panels so wide? I think with the ability to manufacture tiny devices such as cell phones, PDAs, mp3 players – we should be able to have a mouse with smaller gaps between panels!
The scroll wheel is one of the highlights on this mouse. It is tactile and has easily-sensed internal ‘notches’ or clicks which gives feedback to the user. We’ve tried some mice (like the Microsoft Intellimouse Explorer 2.0) which has a ‘lazy’ scroll feedback which makes it difficult to sense when a ‘notch’ has been reached, thus, making changing weapons in-game more difficult.
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Loading up Call of Duty: United Offensive, we wanted to see how this mouse performs under FPS gaming conditions. After adjusting the mouse sensitivity slider at first startup (and factoring in the lightness of the mouse), we got to the point of feeling comfortable with the mouse tracking. We decided not to play on a mousepad, opting for the wider area of a bare tabletop. The slick foot pads definitely help in this department, making movements effortless.
Once the fragging begins, the ML100 was up to the task. The tactile scroll wheel help to switch between weapons quickly – giving feedback at every turned notch. The aiming is also very precise, good for careful sniping and likewise close encounters around the corner with an automatic weapon
One thing that bothers us more than it should, is the distance from the surface the sensor was tracking motion. We noticed it much more when we used a mousepad, but basically, when we lift the mouse to re-center or re-position it, the sensor still registered many of the moves caused by the action of lifting and putting down the mouse. This distance was much higher than the MX1000, maybe 3 / 4 inches. These sharp motion ‘jolts’ caused us to be fragged more than a few times because the in-game point-of-view got randomly twisted and turned, forcing the player to sometimes face the ground when facing an opponent.
The two large mouse buttons made for easy access for ‘fire’ and ‘aim down the sight’ functions. Overall, we were impressed with this mouse in a gaming situation. We played maybe 10-12 hours with this mouse over a span of a few months. Once we overcame the ‘high-tracking’ problem mentioned above, there really is no flaw to this unit.
Daily office tasks
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