Review: GX Gaming DeathTaker mouse

Mouse offers a great core and software, but button and comfort issues hard to overcome (August 14th, 2014)

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Product Manufacturer: GX Gaming

Price: $70

The Good

  • DPI notifications
  • Sensor
  • Software

The Bad

  • Comfort
  • Hard to reach macro button
  • Weight

Gaming is a serious endeavor for many people, driving them to look for the best performance in their system and interface devices. From the pinpoint accuracy needed to get the perfect shot to the ability to unleash a string of macros, there are many things to consider when looking for the perfect mouse. But with the number of big companies offering mice, is it worth it to look to some of the smaller manufacturers? For example, should consumers consider the DeathTaker mouse from GX Gaming? It offers a number of options that should be appealing to gamers, but are they enough to make gamers look toward the company's brand of gaming devices?

The DeathTaker looks a little different than other gaming mice on the market, taking a short mouse (at 4.5 x 3.1 x 1.6 inches) and giving it a big arch and some angular features. It offers a solid black design, with only some silver highlights to break it up. Most of the surface is matte in texture, with only the thumbrest area covered in a rubberized material. This leaves the majority of the mouse with only exposed plastic. This is a little bit of a disappointment, as those rubberized surfaces are on most gaming mice for comfort and sweat issues.

The DeathTaker has a dedicated macro button, a DPI profile button, two buttons for X and Y axis DPI changes, and two thumb buttons in addition to the primary mouse buttons and the scroll wheel. The thumb buttons sit a little higher up than usual, but are also small and somewhat cheap feeling. GX Gaming positions the mouse as a real-time strategy or massive multiplayer online (MMO) gaming mouse, so the macro button feels like it belongs. Outside of some third-person perspective games, the DPI buttons might be better on a first-person shooter device.

While the mouse is usable with a palm grip, it will be better suited to gamers that prefer a claw grip or have small hands. People with large hands or primary palm grip users will find it hard to access the macro feature button. It feels like it is too far away from the normal finger placement. The macro button requires a finger to be slid completely off the right mouse to trigger. Seeing as many games that the DeathTaker is made for require the right button for mouse looking, it makes using the macro button awkward.

The X and Y DPI buttons on the far left of the DeathTaker are easier to use, but are still not perfect. To trigger them as intended, they need to be used in conjunction with the mouse wheel. Holding one down and spinning the wheel changes the axis DPI, independently of any presets. Thankfully, if users don't want to use the buttons in that manner, they can be reprogrammed to something else.

The DPI preset button behind the mouse wheel works in an interesting way, as it has two different notifications methods to inform users which profile is in use. Directly behind the button is an area with a red LED that changes position on a scale of one to five. At the same time, a display option in the software puts a notification on the right side of the monitor showing text for the number of the active profile. It takes a little mystery out of which setting is active, especially since users has to lift their hand to see the LED on the mouse. The same display is used when changing X and Y DPI with the mouse buttons.

It was discovered that the DeathTaker was uncomfortable after about an hour of play, at least when used with a palm grip. The compact design requires a high arch to get enough surface area for a hand to fit comfortably. The grip itself is fine, but the problem is the angle required to hold onto the mouse. A lot of pressure is put on the bones below the palm. There is also a notch on the right side of the mouse where a finger sits that causes some discomfort. The notch comes to a point that puts pressure on a finger joint at rest there.

Comfort in the weight of the mouse can be an issue, as the DeathTaker is incredibly light. The mouse comes with six weights at 4.5 grams each that can be tucked into a hard-to-open compartment on the palm. The DeathTaker needs all of these to feel steady in use. With all of the weights loaded inside, it only weighs 0.38 pounds. The light weight does allow the company to get away with thinner pieces of the anti-friction plastic on the bottom.

Use isn't all bad with the mouse as the core, and the sensor are actually quite good. GX Gaming uses what it calls a Scorpion Game Core II that is capable of DPI from 100 to 5,700. It's stated that the core is overclocked, but little more than the mouse delivering "laser intelligence" is stated. The sensor is quick and accurate, but also gives users a number of options to use. Polling rates can be set to 250, 500, or 1,000 Hz. Sensitivity can be set at an overall level, or have the X and Y axis set independently. It doesn't offer much lift distance though, as it only registers a couple of millimeters off the mouse pad.

The software for the mouse gives users everything that they would need, including pages for button assignments, macros, cursor and sensor adjustments and LED lighting. The DeathTaker effectively has nine buttons that can be remapped, including both directions of the scroll wheel. Up to 55 custom macros can be made and stored in the DeathTaker's on-board memory. Scrolling speeds, sensitivity and polling rates can be changed from within the software. Also the LEDs in the middle of the mouse and in the wheel can be changed to one of 16 million colors. The intensity and pulse rate can be modified as well. All of these options can be customized in one of five profiles as well.

The DeathTaker works fine in most gaming and everyday situations, but gamers trying to get use out of every button could run into problems, depending on their preferred grip or hand size. Every button is usable, but three of the non-standard buttons may not be practical to use in the heat of battle, even with a claw grip. With the great sensor and flexible software, gamers can look past some of the button problems. Still, the comfort issues and light weight of the DeathTaker may be too much to overcome. Price might be a determining factor though, as the GX Gaming mouse is only $47 on Amazon. For all the features that are packed into the DeathTaker, some discomfort and unused buttons might be worth it for the low price.

by Jordan Anderson


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