Recently I’ve felt my gaming mouse was getting a bit long in the tooth, so I did some research to find an alternative and this was the one I settled on….
The Mionix Avior SK is an ambidextrous (very important for me; with being a lefty!) professional gaming mouse.
The mouse arrived in a sturdy, fairly minimalistic box with the familiar SK logo on the front of it and a picture of the mouse on the back.
I say familiar, familiar to me at least, but in case you have absolutely no clue who or what SK are, they are a professional gaming clan founded in Germany in in 1997, the SK is short for Schroet Kommando (Presumably not pronounced Scrote Kommando). I don’t really have a clue what it officially means in English, but rumour has it that it’s something like “Shrapnel Commando”. Who knows, more importantly.. who cares? You’re not here to read about that. 🙂
So… The mouse.. In short I ****ing LOVE this mouse. But we’ll get to that..
First some technical details.. shamelessly ponced from the manufacuters website. For accuracy reasons, not just pure laziness.. honest 😉
“We think that we design the very best gaming gear that money can buy and we use only top grade components to build them.
In the very unlikely case you should get a faulty product we follow local warranty laws which means that we will, in EU, replace any faulty product free of charge during the 2 year guarantee (1 year in US and Asia)
The warranty does not cover defects caused by any kind of usage that is not attributed to the manufacturing process – if you should “accidently” throw the mouse into a brick wall after losing a game – warranty will not cover damages to neither mouse nor wall.
To highlight some of the specifications I actually cared about when I went looking for a new mouse I’ll list a few of the key ones again…
The design of the mouse was very important to me, being left handed I had to buy either a left handed mouse or an ambidextrous one. These days that pretty much means ambidextrous or Deathadder.
I didn’t care too much about the rubber coating, but now that I’ve got it I have to say it feels uber smooth and just generally nice to the touch. It has the same feel as the wrist-rest from the Corsair RBG range of keyboards which I’ll be reviewing later.
The shape is completely ambidextrous and suits my rather strange left handed grip, where I’m neither palming it or using a claw grip, but a kind of hap-hazard effort of both.
This is a nice idea in theory… for people who have an additional finger growing out of the middle knuckle on their index finger! I mean seriously… who can ever reach these buttons “in-game”? In the heat of the battle, if I want to adjust the DPI on the game, reaching for those two awkwardly placed buttons (on this mouse and many, many others of this genre) is definitely a swift way to ensure I die before I snipe the person who’s far enough away to warrant a switch to a lower DPI.
Mice like the Corsair M65 have the right idea here, with a dedicated sniper button which sits under the thumb, in a place where you can reach it instantly, like you need to. In FPS games, which I primarily play, a sniper button is a great idea, and can give you the edge IF, and only if, you can get to it, and then shoot someone in the time it takes the other person to just shoot you back. Something I personally would never be able to do in time if I’ve got to reach for a very awkward button almost in the middle of the mouse.
On a positive note… ALL of the buttons on the Mionix are programmable. So you can change the location of the buttons and disable any which you’re likely to accidently press depending on your grip. One limitation here that I did discover is that you can’t program a single button to have an action defined on pressing it and a different one on releasing it. So I wasn’t able to make my own “sniper button” by setting say, mouse 4, to lower the DPI when I held it down and raise it again when I let go of it. This would have been a very nice feature and is something that other competing products in this category and price point do offer.
The actual switches inside the mouse are extremely sensitive, provide just the right level of feedback and are some of the best I’ve ever used. One thing that stuck me initially was that the mouse wheel is noticeably more difficult to press than other buttons and indeed that the middle button on any mice that I’ve used in the past. I use the middle mouse for jump in games, so I may well use it a lot more than most people, I was worried that I wouldn’t get on with it because of this. Turns out it’s absolutely fine and whilst it’s much harder to press than all of the other buttons, I do get on with it perfectly and very quickly got used to it.
I came from several years on a Razor Lachesis which was a 4000DPI Laser mouse and I could never say I found it as RAW feeling as my beloved Intellimouse Optical 1.1. The Lachesis is the main mouse I’ve used for years and I’ve gradually thought my gaming prowess had been slipping due to old age or something. I remembered how good I was when I used the old optical mouse and part of me always wondered… “are optical mice just better?” Surely my old Intellimouse must have been no match for the Razor? I couldn’t be sure… for pretty much this reason alone, I decided to go back to an optical mouse this time around and the hunt began for a new mouse which would harp back to the days when I was top of the server all the time and loving every minute of FPS gaming.
Well.. I have to say, and I know this is purely subjective, I honestly think the optical sensor in this mouse is a close as I could get to that RAW feeling of pure accuracy I used to get all those years back. I’m a ****ing monster with this mouse! I genuinely can’t believe the difference it’s made to my game. I’ve shot back up the score boards on servers to the point where I’m once again disappointed if I’m not top of my team if not the server. The way it used to be! …the way it should be! 😀
The DPI says it goes up to 7000, but I happen to know that the native DPI of this mouse/sensor is 1600, so that’s what I use. I don’t buy into this hole higher DPI is best mentality personally. I couldn’t care less about the Max tracking speed either, because I’m not one of those people who whips their arm about like a fapping maniac when they’re playing. In fact, I’m the guy who doesn’t move his arm at all the entire time he’s playing. I move my mouse so little that it doesn’t even look like I’m playing a game; it looks like I’m filling out a spreadsheet or something. I have the sensitivity high, 6 in windows, no acceleration, 5 in the Avior software, (which I haven’t even touched on yet, but is very good) and about 5-6 in game depending on the game. (can post specifics for different games if people really care…which I doubt.) The mouse having no discernible hardware acceleration at all is a big bonus, and I think for me it’s what gives it that “RAW” feeling that I missed so much. It goes exactly where you point it, every time, despite the fact I’m on a 10-year-old mouse matt! (Func 1030 – exceptionally good. Will buy the newer model at some point for review) The adjustable lift-off distance, I initially never thought I would use, but it’s actually awesome for me. I move my hand very little, which means I pick the mouse up fairly regularly to re-position it and the lift of distance being at its lowest setting means the mouse cursor is essentially still in about the same place as it was when I took mouse off the mouse matt when I go to put it back on. On higher settings it wobbles about like an old pisshead at a wedding when you lift it off the matt so it’s nice to be able to eliminate that.
Honestly, I’ve written enough in this review that I’m boring myself now, so I’ll do a separate post about the software, but it is very good… It does what you want. I’m the kind of person who gets things setup perfectly over the first couple of days and then never uses the software again, but it’s nice enough to use and all the settings you need are there in easy to find places.
I’ve not even mentioned that the mouse is RGB, but it is, in case you are into that. My hand covers the lights almost all the time so it doesn’t matter to me what colour it is, although I suppose, the OCD in me is secretly happy to know that under my hand is the same colour lights as I’ve programmed on my RGB keyboard.
The weight of this mouse is excellent. I think it’s possibly a little heavier than my old Lachesis, which has been demoted to be my mouse in the office now. The weight isn’t adjustable, which some mice of this price point do have as a feature, but that doesn’t really matter to me. I’m happy with the weight of it and I’d probably have just send it back if I wasn’t, instead of faffing about with little weights until I thought I was happy with it, but still couldn’t really decide… ever.
The weight isn’t that well balanced if I’m honest and when I pick the mouse up with my semi-claw-ish grip I do find that the back of the mouse tends to stay on the mouse matt, but I’ve actually got used to that and almost prefer it now. Especially as I barely have to lift it off the matt at all before the sensor stops registering movement. I don’t know if the back of the mouse feet will wear out quicker than the front for me because of this, but the mouse feet are absolutely brilliant. They are smooth as anything on the trusty old Func 1030 matt which is fairly surprising because the feet are a lot larger than on other mice I’ve used, so there is some actual wizard business going on right there! The feet are so smooth that there is basically no resistance when going from not moving the mouse at all, a-la camping noob watching the double doors in counterstrike, to moving it a fraction of a millimetre to head shot the person who runs past the little gap in them.
Wow I feel like I’ve written a LOT about this mouse and if you’ve got this far I salute you because I’m genuinely switching off myself now.
TL:DR I absolutely LOVE this mouse! BUY ONE.