Tuesday, April 5, 2016

No Nonsense PC Gaming Mouse Designed by Tek Syndicate - My Thoughts

Standard Issue.

That's what the folks over at Tek Syndicate are calling their new mouse which was released in mid March. I was fully prepared to say negative things about this mouse as it is Tek Syndicate's 1st outing in the PC peripheral market, however my 1st impression was much more positive than I anticipated. Full disclosure, I am Tek Syndicate super fan. I like their style and message and to me that message is one of authenticity and quality. The Standard Issue reflects this philosophy very well.

There is nothing complicated about this mouse. There is no software to install, no mouse acceleration built into the sensor, and almost no customization options. It's just a strait up stylish gaming mouse with a few more useful features than your ordinary budget gaming mouse. That said, I did feel there were some pros and cons which we'll cover later in the article.

The Features
If your looking for a mouse that's fully loaded with features the 'Standard Issue' probably isn't for you, but considering the price tag, you're getting a lot of bang for your buck here. This feature list comes directly from the epicpants.com website where you can purchase the Standard Issue for a mere $35 (at the time of this article) plus shipping. That's a pretty competitive price for what you're getting. Take a look...

  • Pixart PWM 3310 optical (infrared) sensor
  • 5000 CPI (same as DPI)
  • CPI Steps: 1000, 2000, 3000, 4000, 5000
  • Omron switches
  • Sniper button (500 CPI Toggle) positioned far forward, accidental pressing highly unlikely
  • No acceleration
  • Rubberized coating
  • Textured sides for grip
  • Size: 129 x 73 x 38 mm
  • Weight 166g (including cable), 125g (mouse only)
  • Six buttons (two dedicated to DPI + one sniper button)
  • Rubber cable (lighter weight and less drag)
  • No software
  • Purple LED
  • Shipping Weight: 0.99 pounds

Don't Be Dumb Like Me.

I was getting very discouraged after my 1st few days with the mouse because I noticed it felt as if it was dragging very badly on the mouse pad. Turns out, I'm a noob and didn't realize that I had not peeled off the protective plastic on the Teflon feet. Hopefully this warning saves at least one person from feeling like an idiot like me.

How It Feels
I've been using an old Logitech G5 gaming mouse and a G9x gaming mouse pretty much exclusively for the past 10 years. What attracted me to those two mice was the weight. Not only that, but you could add weights to them and make them even *heavier*. I like a nice weighty mouse, and so I was happy when I compared the Standard Issue's weight my fully loaded G9x and it was only slightly lighter in weight. I didn't actually weigh the thing... ain't nobody got time fo dat. But, I literally felt almost no difference in weight.  This is not a light weight cheap feeling mouse at all, and that's a good thing for guys like me.

As for the grip, I'm somewhere between a palm and a claw grip, and I like to grip my mice between my thumb and ring finger. I've been using the 'Standard Issue' for little over a week now, and I had no problems gripping this mouse. While the soft rubberized coating has a tendency to attract spots from oily fingers (on all mice, not just the Standard Issue), it combined with the textured pattern on the sides make this mouse feel sexy in your hand.

The scroll wheel lacks any side to side clicks like some gaming mice on the market, but is solid and more importantly QUIET while still very clicky. Not kidding, I scroll a lot, and this is a nicer feature that no one ever talks about in mice. Speaking of clicky, the Omron Switches have a very satisfing click to them. Never have I ever clicked and gotten a clack. Yes... they click very well indeed... ... ...*click*.

The Cons
What else can you say about button clicks? Not much if you can't reach them. This would be my only real complaint about the Standard Issue. The sniper on the left side button is simply unreachable for me. I've got medium size hands, and since I'm a claw grip, it's very difficult for me to get effective use out of it. The 'forward' and 'back' buttons that rest just above my thumb are perfectly reachable, and I actually much prefer them over the the ones on my G9x.

Lastly, there is no braided cable. Depending on who you ask (*cough*Logan), this is not a con, but a FEATURE. The logic is sound. Braided cables can cause drag, negatively impacting your performance, espesiialy in twitchy type games. Personally I've never had this problem, so your mileage may very. However, the abcense of a braided cable makes the mouse cheaper to produce, the savings of which are then passed down to the consumer. Lots of consumers like those braided cables though, so this could be a con for some of you out there. 

The Verdict
The Standard Issue wasn't quite enough to make me give up useing the Logitech G9x as my daily driver, but we're talking about a $100 mouse vs a $35 mouse. I almost made the switch permanently, and that says alot. G9x is good, but for the price, The Standard Issue is hands down the winner considering the MUCH lower price point.

One last thing
I'd just like just like to point out that this is my 1st tech review of any kind and I thank you for reading the whole thing. I could only draw upon my own expirence with mice I have used in the past. As such I mentioned the Logitech G9x quiet a bit. This wasn't a commercial, and you actually can't buy those any longer. BUT!!! You can still buy the Standard Issue, for a limited time until they run out. After that it will be a one of a kind item, but there more tech from Tek Syndicate in the future.