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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jibz - Friday, December 21, 2012 - linkIf you want an adjustable mouse, it's both cheaper and way more adjustable. Plus it looks a lot better.
StevoLincolnite - Friday, December 21, 2012 - linkI've been through about a dozen Saitek Cyborg R.A.T mice over the past couple years, while comfortable (To me) and packed with features they just keep breaking on me, thankfully it has decently long warranty.
Mostly though it's the left mouse button or the laser that craps out.
I would just want a mouse (A set of headphones would be good too!) that will last me years without breaking.
jibz - Friday, December 21, 2012 - linkAt some point, you might have to wonder if you're not part of the problem. A new mouse every 3 months seem excessive.
Never had any problem with mine. Maybe I should buy a lottery ticket! Just saying.
Zink - Friday, December 21, 2012 - linkNewegg reviews seems to indicate they aren't durable.
The0ne - Friday, December 21, 2012 - linkSaitek products are usually above average in terms of quality and materials. And while I am not familiar or used all their product lines the ones I have are well made. I even stocked up on their old PC controllers Buy.com clearance them out. Great quality controllers that has lasted years for me.
jibz - Friday, December 21, 2012 - linkI'm mot saying they are durable. I don't have any problem with mine, but that's a single case. But 12 mice in 2 years? Come on!
Inteli - Saturday, December 22, 2012 - linkI had a RAT 7 and plan on getting another. mine lasted for almost a full year (new years to new years), except, of all things, the CABLE crapped out. It's probably because I wrapped it around. I had a few tracking issues here and there, but it was mostly just a matter of disconnecting and reconnecting the mouse. not a big issue. I think its pros outweigh its cons. This time i'm getting it in White! :D
(It's plenty durable to me. I would have mine under warranty except it was my fault ;) )
I am in complete agreement with the OP, though the Level 10 mouse I think tops the RAT in the "WTF Is that thing" department.
corpsegrind3r - Saturday, December 22, 2012 - linkNope, he's right, they do break. I spent around $90 on the R.A.T. 7 and the scroll wheel broke after 2 months of use. I google'd the issue and found that many people had the same problem. I gotta say it was a great mouse while it worked but I'll stay away from them because they have a history for breaking. Now I have the Logitech G9x. It's not the best fit for my hand by any means but at least I know it'll last for years.
gammonwalker - Sunday, December 30, 2012 - linkI can vouch for that... I recently had to retire my RAT7 after less than a year of use. The mouse would intermittently permanently track a direction (up and to the left) until I blew on the mouse's laser. While that could be simply related to dust or dirt, I've never ever had that happen on another mouse. It's obviously also not very helpful for gaming.
A bit after that it would randomly stop reading the X-axis entirely until I unplugged and re-plugged it. That made for some amusing piloting complications in Planetside 2, where I would accidentally fly my craft directly into the ground trying to make a hard turn.
When it did work it did work nicely, however no where near as good as my recent Deathadder 2013 edition. The lift-off control and precision on the mouse is fantastic.
Papaspud - Monday, December 24, 2012 - linkThe lasers are crap on these, mine didn't last 2 weeks before it started messing up.