I wasn’t sure what to expect with the Level 10 Mouse going into our testing. With such an interesting shape and also the use fairly unfamiliar (we have only tested one other mouse with it) brought all kinds of questions for me. Let’s split the performance testing up into two sections, the overall mouse comfort and usability and then sensor performance.
Starting with the overall mouse usability, it took me a lot of use to even slightly get used to the shape of the Level 10 M. That included lots of time adjusting up and down and the tilt side to side. Frankly the biggest issue I ran intowas the one that I couldn’t get over. When I place my hand on the mouse, no matter how it is adjusted, my fingers are directly on the side buttons on both sides. As someone who lifts their mouse, this would mean I would press those buttons all of the time. This would send me to the previous website, turn my TV show or move back to the start, or in game it might mean tossing out a grenade when I least expected too. Because of this I ended up turning off two of the buttons. The same could be said for the placement of the DPI/profile toggle, my thumb was large enough to have me bumping myself to a new DPI mid game. This isn’t the first mouse that I have had this problem with, I pointed this same thing out on the M90 from Corsair for example, this time it just affected me even more. A LOT of people love the M90, so obviously what doesn’t work for me might not be an issue for you as well. But keep it in mind.
I loved the adjustable part of the mouse, adjusting all the way up helped with my large hands but did point out another issue with the design. The floating top wiggles side to side more than the 5 degree’s in adjustability that you are given. This means the mouse doesn’t feel solid when you use it, semi hard presses on the triggers will cause left and right tilting of the mouse. This was especially disappointing to me, I really like my mouse to feel solid. This happens both with the mouse adjusted down and up, but it is more noticeable when adjusted up high like I preferred. Here is a video of this.
I mentioned earlier that one of the reasons for the floating top section, other than for its kick ass styling, is to help keep your hand cooler. Although I understood the reasoning for it, I was a little skeptical as first. I was surprised to find out that it really does help keep your hand MUCH cooler. It’s almost like having infinite cold sides of your pillow while sleeping, something that I think everyone wishes for on a warm night.
The Avago 9800 sensor that is in the Level 10 Mouse is a variation on the 9500 that I have loved in the Sensei/Xai, Logitech mice, and the Corsair mice. We did have a chance to take a look at the 9800 once before and I was extremely impressed with it. Because of that, it’s great to see that Thermaltake went with it as well. I tested the Level 10 Mouse for Z axis issues and put it through our normal tests including drawing circles in photoshop. I didn’t have any snap issues while doing this. The last test was to test for acceleration. On my hard mouse pad, I had no problems at all. When I busted out a soft mouse pad I did experience a SMALL about of acceleration, but nothing that should affect 99% of people (5% or less).