Posted by Chris Scott Barr on Sep 12, 2011

Review – NZXT Avatar S

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Product Information

MSRP: $59.99
Max Speed: 30 Inches/Second Max Acceleration: 20g
Resolution: 400-1600 DPI Buttons: 5 Buttons
Onboard Memory: 16Kb

NZXT is known for their computer cases, but they have slowly started expanding their offerings into different areas. They now have a variety of CPU coolers, fan controllers and other PC-related devices. Not long ago they released their second mouse, the Avatar S. The S stands for smaller, as it is a slimmed down version of their original Avatar mouse. Today we’ll be taking a closer look at the new peripheral.

First Look

When looking at the mouse for the first time, I immediately noticed how long and slender it was. In fact, it’s nearly a full inch longer than my R.A.T. 7 and an inch slimmer at its narrowest point. As someone with somewhat large hands, the extra length sounds appealing, but I was skeptical about how narrow it was. We’ll get more into that later. The overall look of the mouse (we have the white version) greatly resembles NZXT’s H2 chassis, with the black accents and blue lights.

The mouse is also completely symmetrical, except for the logo and DPI switch. The reason for this is so that it can accommodate both left and right-handed gamers. Curiously, there is only a single thumb button on each side, rather than two.

Setup

There isn’t a lot of setup for the mouse, as you can simply plug it in and start playing. However, NZXT does provide software for customizing various features. The software is surprisingly robust for a mouse as simple as this. You can re-map all five buttons, and even map the up and down scrolling to different actions. The three DPI levels can be adjusted anywhere between 400 and 1600, so you’re not limited to defaults. Finally, you can adjust the sensitivity of both the X and Y xis separately.

Comfort/Performance

Since your hand is going to be on your mouse throughout most games, comfort is key. Remember earlier when I said that the S stood for small? That’s something you’re going to want to take into account when considering this mouse. That said, this mouse is too small for my hands. The narrow body makes it so that my hand is always sitting in an unnatural position. Of course, while this is a big negative for me, those with smaller hands will no doubt be happy with the size.

With the smaller size also comes a lighter weight than I find in most mice. Again, this comes down to a preference, but this mouse is just way too light for me. It’s easy to lift it right off the desk in the middle of a game, which means that the mouse will become unresponsive (if only for a split-second).

My other big issue with this mouse has to do with the thumb buttons. On most gaming mice, you’ll find two buttons on the left side. These take minimal effort to use, and make for great back/forward buttons when surfing the net. The Avatar S only has a single one on the left side, with the other taking up residence on the right side. I have to hit that button with my ring finger, which is not an easy task. I actually have to move my entire hand if I wish to use it, which does little to benefit me in the middle of a game. This may not be an issue for people with smaller hands, as their finger might sit right on top of the button.

I will say that the teflon pads on the bottom make for smooth mousing on most surfaces. It moved more freely than any of my current mice, which means it takes less effort to make slight adjustments to your direction.

Conclusion

As hard as I’ve been on this mouse throughout the review, I do have to stress that it appears to have been specifically designed for people with smaller hands. If you have large hands, you won’t want anything to do with the Avatar S. However, if you’re in their target demographic, you may love it. Having the ability to re-map all of your keys with the software is great, and it does look rather stylish. For $40, it does have a bit more going for it than your average peripheral at that point. Just make sure it fits your hand before making the purchase.

The Good

  • Ambidextrous, so it can be enjoyed by both lefties and righties.
  • Software offers plenty of customization.
  • Looks good.

The Bad

  • Too small for those with larger hands.
  • Odd thumb button placement can make them hard to use.

Product Page

 

 

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Written by Chris Scott Barr

Chris Scott Barr

Born and raised in Indiana, Chris grew up on a healthy diet of video games and Magic: The Gathering. He worked a number of jobs in the IT field before deciding to pursue his passion by founding GamerFront in 2007. You can follow him on Twitter here.

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