NZXT Avatar Gaming Mouse Review
A quality gaming mouse is one of the most powerful tools in any PC gamer’s arsenal. Like most PC gamers, I gravitate towards companies like Razer or Logitech when looking for a new mouse. For this review, I got my chance to try out a new gaming mouse from a company who’s better known for their cases than their peripherals.
The NZXT Avatar is a simple looking, ambidextrous mouse that hides a lot of functionality under its matte black exterior. Its stance is a little narrower than usual, making it ideal for gamers who prefer to just put the tips of their fingers on the mouse (fingertip grip). The top of the mouse is coated with a non-slip surface to keep your sweaty hands from slipping during those long fragging sessions, and the side grooves are rubberized for the same reason.
Plug the Avatar in, and you’re rewarded with several blue LED indicators. On either side of the mouse, outside the click buttons, you find a narrow lighted strip, and on top of the mouse is a three LED DPI indicator. Each side of the mouse has a single side button, and there are two additional programmable buttons below the solid scroll wheel. The bottom of the mouse sports three Teflon feet that keep it gliding smoothly. Also helping to ease movement is the fact that this mouse weighs slightly less than Razer or Logitech models do.
Moving past its appearance take us right to the Avatar’s performance. I was pleasantly surprised to find that NZXT’s first foray into the world of gaming mice is a real competitor. The 2600 DPI optical sensor is plenty fast enough to handle just about any gaming chore, and out of the box, the Avatar offers on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment, so you can handle sniping chores with ease as well.
Movement on the pad was quick, with no dragging. Even without a surface designed for mice, the Avatar tracked quickly and accurately, with almost no skipping. Its lift-off distance (the movement when lifting the mouse from the pad) is negligible. Play sessions of Bad Company 2, Borderlands, and other titles left me with little doubt that the Avatar can hold its own on the gaming mice market.
Now, let’s talk software. The Avatar ships with its own configuration software, and if you’ve ever owned a Razer mouse, you’ll see some similarities here. The look and feel of the interface is very much like Razer’s. A ton of options are available here, including remapping all 7 programmable buttons, adjusting your sensitivity (including a 1000Hz polling option), or even assigning macro combinations of up to eight keystrokes to buttons. You can even program in a time delay, if you’re so inclined.
If you’re one of those folks who prefers to do without software, you won’t be able to reprogram your buttons, but you will be able to switch your DPI simply by holding one of the side buttons and scrolling the mouse wheel up or down, a nice feature for PC minimalists.
You should be warned that this is not a mouse for those of you with large hands, or those who prefer a palm grip. There’s simply not enough room on the mouse for a palm grip, and the side buttons will be inadvertently clicked by someone with large fingers.
All in all, the NZXT Avatar is a solid first entry into the gaming mouse market. While its smallish design won’t fit all gamers, those who it does fit will find themselves holding a very capable, well designed mouse. We give the NZXT Avatar a Buy! rating.
- Plenty of programmable buttons
- Built-in on the fly DPI switching
- Excellent tracking
- Ambidextrous design for left-handed gamers
- Smallish design won’t fit large hands or palm grips well
- Accidental button presses on side buttons
Editor’s Note: Moving forward, we’ll be rating hardware as Buy! or Skip!. Rather than use a numerical scale, we feel this may be a more useful recommendation for you. If you have suggestions, feel free to comment below!