Tt eSPORTS Level 10 M Review

👤by Tim Harmer Comments 📅15-10-12
Conclusion


Reading back, it may appear that we have been overly critical of the Tt eSPORTS Level 10M, but the price of the mouse demands that we do just that. This isn't a 20 disposable, or even 45 enthusiast device; the Level10M is a 100 piece of engineering which has to be assessed on just that basis. So given that, what are our overall thoughts?

Lets discuss the design. When you talk to designers they will focus on emotion, which is nearly impossible to objectively assess: 'We wanted to concentrate on how it made you feel' or 'We wanted the Level 10M to enrich your experience'. However, the Level 10M is a mouse you immediately want to pick up and explore; it's an intriguing piece of hardware which you find yourself looking at from every angle, seeing new quirks seemingly every time you look at it. This is exceptionally rare, even at the high-end.



As with any peripheral, some aspects of the functionality will not be for everyone. RHS mouse buttons are difficult to deal with unless placed directly under the finger, and up till now gaming mice have tended to place LHS buttons on the shoulder rather than directly under the thumb. Placing the DPI/Profile selector on the side yet towards the rear has also been an innovation, though only time will tell if it's a successful feature. At times it almost feels a little like a very late addition to satisfy gaming necessity, especially reflecting on earlier designs where it didn't feature.

After two weeks of use we have to assess the build quality of the Level 10M to be superb. It oozes quality, and those parts which are required to be plastic have been created with sufficient ruggedness and rigidity to not feel out of place. The matte-black finish is even and grippy, and it's nice to see other colour options for those so inclined. The aluminium base is ideal for a high-end mouse, and we would love to see more companies explore the potential further as DesignworksUSA did.

Special note should be made of the angle and height adjusters, which offer a very smooth motion and have little give when selected, especially in the case of the height. Competing modular designs tend to have plastic sliders with pre-determined notches, and have been comprehensively eclipsed by Thermaltake's example.

Aesthetic customisation is a little less positive, and may come from inherent software limitations. Only having seven colours to choose from is quite disappointing even given the quality of the lighting, and fixing the colour of the DPI level to red is a pretty significant oversight. Perhaps most odd is that you can't stop the pulsing effect of the logo, which can become a little tiresome.

The software is in fact the major criticism we would have of the Level 10M package. It's unintuitive, and doesn't have the same attention to user experience that the mouse itself has. It works, but is really just functional and temperamental rather than well thought out and logically designed. Including space on the initial screen to marketing product features is a little off, and it also would benefit from a means to alert in the case of software updates and offer automatic download.

All told, how does that feel at 89.99 - would gamers really want to lay down that much money for what is in effect a gaming mouse? The average age of PC gamers are those well out of their teens, and we're well aware that strong brands in niche markets can command a significant price premium and remain viable. The PC market is also moving to a Free-To-Play business model, leaving more disposable income for components than had previously been the case. In such a market it's not unreasonable to upgrade to a higher price bracket, so long as you are assured of highly durable products with extended life spans, and in many cases consumers are doing just that.

A mouse is perhaps the component of your set-up most subject to personal preference, which makes the lack of brick-and-mortar retailers in the UK all the more acute; you need to get your hands on the mouse to appreciate how it differs from the conventional, but making the leap is hard. Choosing an e-retailer which offers a satisfaction guarantee would be very sensible for any mouse. Once you have the Level 10M in your hands, we're pretty sure you'll be impressed.



Thermaltake and BMW DesignWorksUSA have combined to create an eyecatching new mouse which sets an extremely high standard for aesthetic design in the gaming and office professional peripherals market. The build quality is exceptional, and presents a basis ideal for a combination of gaming and office use. Customisation is good, though software needs to be improved to unlock added potential. The Tt eSPORTS Level 10M has a nailed-on Creative Award, and is a very strong overall Silver Award winner.

Pros

+ Well crafted design
+ Great build quality
+ 11 Programmable Buttons
+ Up-to 8400 DPI Sensor
+ Vibrant customisable illumination
+ Range of three (soon to be four) colour options

Cons

- Disappointing software (v1.00)
- Steep learning curve due to unconventional button placement
- Premium price




Click here for an explanation of our awards at Vortez.net.



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