In today’s mouse review we have the Tt eSPORTS ‘Black’ gaming mouse to review. Tt eSPORTS is the gaming branch of cooling and case giants, Thermaltake.
The Black is an entry level gaming mouse offering a laser sensor over wired USB along with 6 programmable buttons and a changeable on-the-fly sensitivity of up to 4000DPI. The mouse is finished in black with the possibility of red LED lighting to match the TtE brand colour scheme. With a price tag of £30 this is certainly towards the lower end of the peripheral range for someone considering moving up to a “gaming” mouse and as such, faces stiff competition for your money.
|NO. OF BUTTONS||6|
|NO. OF MACRO KEYS||18|
|NO. OF GAME PROFILES||3|
|USB CABLE LENGTH||1.8M BRAIDED|
|DIMENSION||120 X 70 X 40MM|
With the introduction out of the way let’s take a closer look.
Starting with the packaging we see TtE continues with the safe gamer colour scheme of a red and black packing albeit one that is mirrored by the mouse’s aesthetics too. Also presented to the user is the headline features of the 4000DPI, laser sensor and also the included customisable weights.
On the inside we’re given a tad more information on various aspects of the mouse but nothing boring and everything is kept to the point. As you can see, TtE have stuck with the traditional plastic packaging although no fingers were harmed in the opening of the box.
Moving onto the goodies and we get a clearer shot of the mouse itself as well as the accessories included.
First impressions of the Black is that it fits in the hand well and clicks feel responsive to the point there is a suggestions it’s made of “weak” plastic but that sin’t the case any more than it is for other mice I’ve used. It certainly gives the impression it’s an ideal FPS mouse, small, uniformly designed and physically responsive.
It’s good to see the Black include the customisable weights at this price point. From a quick scout around the web, customisable weights certainly aren’t a staple of the £30 price bracket. Props go to the Black here. Of course there is your traditional quick start guide and warranty slip, two stickers should you want to brand your computer or something else as well as a nifty carry case for your mouse – nice.
The thumb section has relatively prominent dimples to make sure your thumb doesn’t slip.
As you can see below the Black features the pre-requisite braided cable standard on mouse gaming peripherals as well as a Tt finished USB cable.
With the hardware side covered it is time to see what TtE offer up in terms of putting it to use with their software suite.
First up is the home page of TtE’s software for the Black.
As you can see there is the ability to assign a completely new command to all of the buttons on the mouse, so the default DPI buttons aren’t locked out to you for customisation, for example. The customisation options themselves could be better, though. As i mentioned in my Shogun Bros Mk-1 Review, i was annoyed how cumbersome it was to assign a simple keystroke and the same is true here. Assuming you want to assign a given letter to a button on the mouse it isn’t possible with the Black unless you create a macro with the given keys then assign one of the programmable buttons to the macro – why? The macro function itself is solid, though. You can mix between key presses and mouse clicks as well as edit press duration and latency between presses – more than can be said for the MS-3 which costs twice as much.
The Black also supports three different profiles as is visible and yet, there isn’t a switch profile option available to the user. If you want to swap profiles you have to go into the software, apply the profile you want then go back to what you were doing. Again, this design choice is rather odd and just makes the end user jump through hoops.
Moving on to the ‘advanced settings’ page here you can change the individual DPI steps (per profile) as well as double click speed (handy for FPS games), cursor speed and scroll speed. There is also the ubiquitous Polling rate options to pick from although i tend to find there is no appreciable difference between the settings and this was still true for the Black. Still, it’s nice to have the option.
Last but not least we have the LED control page which continues with the odd trend.
The LED light on the mouse, or least the ‘Tt’ logo, cannot be switched on fully; your options are pulsing or off. Not a massive deal breaker, but why not just include the option to have it on constantly? You’re also limited to red only. The scroll wheel is either lit solidly or not.
With the Black’s software covered it’s time to see how well it performed in the real virtual world.
To carry on where I left off in the Closer Look, the Black performed admirably in FPS game play for the most part. Given the Black’s low-key feature set there’s not much room for error when i used it in my warm up rounds on Battlefield 3 ready for the Battlefield 4 Beta.
Button clicks are insanely fast to the extent it feels more like a flex of the finger tip than a press to let off a few rounds. I certainly found myself delving into semi-auto fire modes more than I normally would with my day to day mouse. The scroll click is just as responsive too, which was great as i have that assigned to melee and a few times before my usual mouse’s scroll has been too spongy and either resulted in me swapping weapon or not registering the click at all.
Moving onto League of Legends the Black performed great here too. If you’ve read any of my other mouse reviews you’ll know I’m not a massive macro or ‘Game key’ user so in League being limited to just the (default) back and forward keys didn’t hinder. The responsive click of the mouse buttons was satisfying for League because of how often you have to click to change position and focus on last hitting. Travel was great and i didn’t find myself picking up any sort of cursor jitter across the surfaces I’ve used during testing so skill shots weren’t hindered by anything other than my “skills”.
Taking a brief dive into Skyrim and the functional limits of the Black starts to show. Being kitted out with only the basics means that, whilst not an unbearable experience, not having those extra one or two buttons to assign your shout or map to is a bit of a let down after using mice which offer this option. It’s nice to just pull the map up and down with your right hand rather than stretch to a key with your left hand.
To build upon the above, the placing of (default) DPI buttons is terrible. It just isn’t comfortable or competitive to switch up and down mid-game in their current location. If there was one or two extra buttons placed on the mouse this issue would be helped greatly, especially in FPS games such as Battlefield 3 where the core experience of the Black is great yet one of it’s selling points is competitively out of reach.
To conclude on my time with the Tt eSPORTS Black I think I would have to go with opinion of it being a great mouse for it’s price but not much more.
TtE bring a compelling package to the table for £30. You’re getting a solid, if unspectacular, gaming mouse with the option of customisable weights, neat carry case and stickers. On the other hand you are just getting, an arguably, standard modern mouse. The weights are nice to have, but really, only packing the same amount of buttons on the Black that most laptop track pads have isn’t really offering anything, to anyone. I’d be surprised that if anyone was to be upgrading to the Black, what they have currently can’t be much worse feature wise. You can switch the DPI function out for more useful keys but then a switchable DPI is to a gaming mouse what the LMB is to any mouse – it just isn’t something you should have to sacrifice.
In addition to the hardware limits of the Black there is the software. There isn’t anything particularly bad about the Black’s software, but option to not assign a ‘profile switch’ command to a button is as criminal as not having an extra physical button in the first place to have as a dedicated ‘profile button’. Ultimately, the hardware limits the software.
To round out the review, I don’t think the Black is a bad mouse or even a bad buy, but you should probably look to spend a few pounds more and get something with genuine extra functionality over your current mouse. An extra mouse button either side of the mouse on a different model would be a lot more useful than the included weights are in the Black.
All in all, the Black is a solid choice if £30 really is your budget as long as the games you plan on playing won’t be hindered by its limitations. Conversely, I think anyone looking at the Black for genres beyond FPS should look to spend that little bit more.
If you’re in the market for a gaming mouse with great performance, doesn’t break the bank and if its to your taste, then the Black is one you should consider.