Capsule Review: Thermaltake Level 10 M Gaming Mouseby Dustin Sklavos on December 21, 2012 5:37 AM EST
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Introducing the Thermaltake Level 10 M Gaming Mouse
Input peripherals can be an interesting subject to tackle in these tiny bite size reviews. It's difficult to quantify strict performance, an issue ameliorated somewhat by the fact that actual performance (dpi, etc.) can often take a distant backseat to user comfort and the software included. Comfort is a very subjective thing as well; a mouse that's enjoyable to use for one person may be incredibly uncomfortable or even downright painful for another. High performance gaming mice can complicate things, and mice like the Thermaltake Level 10 M even more so.
Picking up with Thermaltake's successful Level 10 branding, the Level 10 M is advertised as being from the same BMW subsidiary that helped design their striking Level 10 enclosure. This mouse is genuinely packed to the brim with features, sporting configurable lighting, adjustable height and angle, four DPI settings that can be toggled on the fly, and seven configurable buttons (not including the four axis DPI adjustment switch). It's an awful lot of mouse; is it the mouse for you?
Thermaltake wants you to know this is a premium product, and it's clearly been very heavily engineered above and beyond the engineering you typically expect to see in gaming peripherals. With an MSRP of $99, it had better be the best.
The Level 10 M features an aluminum base that folds up along the sides; the interior of the mouse is chiefly black matte plastic with a soft finish that's pleasant to the touch. On the left side of the surface, they've actually ventilated it to make sure your hand doesn't get clammy during long gaming sessions. The Razer mice I've used have always left my hand feeling exceptionally clammy, so this is a nice feature. And while the right mouse button is a bit thinner than the left, it bears mentioning that this design is essentially ambidextrous. Thermaltake includes two mouse buttons on both sides of the mouse; "A" and "B" are on the left side, and "C" and "D" are on the right. Only the DPI rocker is on the left side. While ambidextrous mouse designs aren't totally alien, southpaws will probably appreciate a gaming mouse that can cater to them.
Part of that stems from how adjustable the mouse actually is. With the included screwdriver, the user can raise and lower the palm rest of the mouse, as well as rotating it left and right. Yet one adjustment curiously missing is user-configurable weight. There are, however, four DPI settings that can be toggled between on the fly: 800dpi, 1600dpi, 3200dpi, and 5000dpi. These are also configurable in software, as is pretty much everything else.
Thermaltake has certainly pulled out all the stops in design, but how is the Level 10 M in practice?
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DanNeely - Friday, December 21, 2012 - link... what I really appreciate are mice actually designed for my hand as opposed to almost-symmetric designs. I have two left handed Razer Death Adder mice (one for home, one for work); and used Logitech's left handed model before that.
I've never had a sweaty palm issue with one either; but my grip is fairly loose so there's never a been problem with blocked airflow preventing evaporation.
truprecht - Friday, December 21, 2012 - linkRazer Death Adder left is the only mouse I'll ever buy for myself again.
Aside from the physical comfort, it also defaults to the right button as the primary click button, meaning you don't have to reverse the mouse buttons in the control panel. Seems like a small thing, but a lot of games don't register the control panel setting, so you have to re-specify the primary button in the game controls. And even then, the primary button will apply to gameplay, but not to menu selection which cannot be switched using the control panel OR the in-game settings. (I'm talking to YOU Bethesda and 2K).
aguilpa1 - Friday, December 21, 2012 - linkWhen my Replicator 2 comes in I will make me some real custom mouse bodies just for my hand.
WT - Friday, December 21, 2012 - linkYou may have it when you pry it from my cold dead hands. It certainly isn't the best at any one thing, but for $30 it cannot be beat (nor bought anymore, either).
Good review as usual.Wish we had more reviews of a peripheral nature as well. Over-engineered and under functionalitied .. this Level 10 won't be joining my Level 10 GT case on my desk.
Tuffrabbit - Friday, December 21, 2012 - linkThe Logitech MX518 is still my favorite out of current mouse collection...
Impulses - Friday, December 21, 2012 - linkNewegg had the G500 for $34 during Black Friday weekend... Hard to beat for that price, nearly bought two myself. :p
AVP - Friday, December 21, 2012 - link"It's difficult to quantify strict performance, an issue ameliorated somewhat by the fact that actual performance (dpi, etc.) can often take a distant backseat to user comfort and the software included."
Are you kidding?
No mention of what sensor this mouse uses? Acceleration? Angle snapping?
Also your gallery is broken and you have five pictures of the mouse with no images or mention of the bottom or any suggestion of what type of surface it may or may not be best on.
ChronoReverse - Friday, December 21, 2012 - linkA quick Google reveals that it's an Avago ADNS-9800 which still has minor acceleration.
BrightCandle - Saturday, December 22, 2012 - linkThese basic objective measures are far important to report on than anything else. This isn't a review without actually talking about the flaws with the mouses tracking.
SodaAnt - Friday, December 21, 2012 - linkI'm getting page not found errors on the gallery on the "The Thermaltake Level 10 M in Practice" page. When I click through to see bigger pictures it says the gallery isn't found.