NZXT Avatar Gaming Mouse

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Product: NZXT Avatar Gaming Mouse
Provided By: NZXT
Price: 


Introduction:

We are looking at the first mouse from NZXT - a company typically known for its line of Crafted and Classic series of cases.  NZXT also makes fan controllers and power supplies so it's interesting to see them also take on the mouse market as well.  Over the course of this review we will be comparing mostly to the SteelSeries Ikari Iron.Lady mouse as this is currently my wife's favorite mouse.  We'll see how the Avatar compares and stands up to gaming and other tasks as we go along.

Front & Back
Front & Back
In Box
In Box

 

One thing I noticed immediately about the NZXT Avatar mouse was the small classy package.  The box isn't much larger than the mouse and they've crammed everything inside that is needed.  This small package saves shelf space, shipping cost and the environment.

 

The Bundle:

The Avatar bundle isn't much of a bundle, which is typical of mice.  In the box, we find the mouse with a nice fine cord as well as a small guide that also houses the small CD.  The Avatar mouse requires software in order to program buttons and sensitivity and it's nice to see this included on a small CD.  Once again, NZXT is minimalistic with their packaging.

 Avatar Bundle
Avatar Bundle
Little CD
Little CD

 

Before we go any farther, let's find out a bit more about NZXT for those of you that are relatively new to this company.

 

About NZXT:

NZXT, a company built upon gamer's dreams, hopes to create products that put consumers first. With the objective of designing unique products catered for hardware enthusiasts and gamers, NZXT has grown into a globally renowned brand recognized for dedication towards creating the next great gaming product. NZXT has won numerous awards from media and publications from across the globe with a product line spanning from gaming chassis, power, and gaming input devices. As a corporation formed by gamers, NZXT continues to expand into new horizons and push the limitings further with each product unveiling.

Our dedicated sales and customer service team will also work diligently to earn your trust and loyalty. All our products are built with high quality material and engineered in the best conditions.

NZXT was established in 2004 in Los Angeles, California.

 

On the next page we'll take a closer look at this mouse and cover the specifications and features.


 

Closer Look:

The NZXT Avatar has a fairly low profile and a narrow stance.  Some narrow mice feel a bit unstable when using them in games, but the Avatar has a wide tail section that gives it stability during intense UT3 sessions.  The mouse is designed for both right-handed and left-handed people and includes a single button on each side.  This is nicely placed for the thumb button, but the button on the side opposite your thumb is a little difficult to reach.

 Side Profile
Side Profile
Mouse Bottom
Mouse Bottom

 

The Avatar mouse uses an Optical sensor, and when plugged in it looks quite dim, but don't be fooled.  The emitter is also IR and is actually quite bright.  Don't believe me?  Pull out your digital camera, and point it at the mouse and look at the mouse through your LCD screen.

The Avatar is built to be ambidextrous and has a smaller form that most other mice on the market.  NZXT is pretty proud of this mouse though as they have their name on the product twice and proudly claim that it was designed in LA.   

 Front Profile
Front Profile
 Rear Profile
Rear Profile

 


Features & Specs:

The features and specs below are pulled from the Avatar product page and posted here for your convenience.

  • Optimal performance -- 2600 DPI Optical Sensor provides maximum sensitivity and responsiveness which yields unparalleled gaming accuracy. LED DPI indicator gives the user improved usage and feedback. 5.8 Mega Pixels/second with a max frame rate of 6469 ensures smooth fragging and accurate sniping. 4 Speed DPI switch enables you to go from slow sniper movement to quick attack movement in a matter of seconds
  • Maximum Customization -- 7 programmable keys allows gamers to customize their configuration specifically for First-Person Shooters, Real-Time Strategy, or Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games all within the macro and profile settings
  • Ergonomic Design -- Ambidextrous design gives full use to both right and left handed gamers. Rubber grip helps avoid slipping during intense gameplay and the small, light form factor allows for faster and quicker movements, perfect for any gamer on the go or playing on a laptop or notebook. A slim form factor makes it the perfect choice for finger tip gamers.
  • Simple Installation -- Avatar plugs into any available USB port

 

Introducing the first gaming mouse from the award winning NZXT design team, as with all of NZXTs PC accessories, Avatar is designed to provide gamers with the ultimate crafted gaming armor to emerge victorious in the gaming arena of choice. Featuring a ambidextrous and smaller form, the Avatar mouse is versatile and ideal for gamers. A hardware implemented DPI switching allows compatibility with any game, and the Avatar interface allows for all types of customization including macros and 9 customizable buttons. Extruded Teflon mouse feet also allows for better accuracy and smoothness during gameplay.

 

Specifications:

Max Speed

40 Inches/Second

Max Acceleration

15g

Max Frame Rate

6469 Frames/Second

Resolution

650-2600 DPI

Image Processing

5.8 Mega Pixels/Second

USB Reports

Up to 1000 Reports/Second

Buttons

7 Buttons, 5 Million Clicks

 

Thin USB Cable
Thin USB Cable

On the last page we'll take a quick look at the software and test this mouse out.


Avatar Software:

As is the current trend, the Avatar doesn't ship with drivers or need drivers.  Instead it ships with software that allows you to program your mouse and then have your mouse carry the button assignments, profiles and sensitivity settings on board.  This is extremely handy if you have to sit down at a tournament machine and aren't allowed to install drivers.  If you're mouse is setup up for macros and other custom functions with the software once, it should carry through to other machines that it is plugged into.

 Control Panel
Control Panel
Button Setup
Button Setup
   
 Advanced Settings
Advanced Settings
Sensitivity
Sensitivity

 

One thing I noticed that was available in the button configuration is the "Button Off" feature.  I thought this would be fun to disable all of the buttons, save it to the mouse and then let someone else use the "button-less" mouse.  As it turns out, NZXT has thought of that and requires that one button be set to "Click".  This enables you to cripple the mouse to the point of being an Apple mouse - and this can be handy for people who get confused by more than one mouse button.

 

Usage & Testing:
By Tia "Xena" Heide

The Avatar is a sleek and narrow mouse compared to the Ikari laser mouse.  It has six buttons as well as a clickable wheel, and that is a lot.  Now I am a girl who has big hands (for a girl) and the Avatar is a small mouse and that makes it difficult to use the right side button.  This mouse has so many buttons because it is built for right and left handed people. I personally prefer the Ikari because it is for us right handed people and is more comfortable with its wider body.

 Avatar LEDs
Avatar LEDs

The Avatar works well in games and has very fast response times; however the Ikari was nicer for adjusting sensitivity on the fly.  Both mice allow sensitivity adjustment in game, but the Avatar must stick to its default profiles set up in the software while the Ikari lets you customize as needed.  With default sensitivity at 12000dpi I was able to jump into to most games without a lot of adjustments however.  Movement in both game and desktop is fluid and smooth.  The mouse tracks very well on both soft and hard surfaces.  I like the Avatar better on my SteelSeries Qck+ Iron.Lady surface than a fUnc pad I'm also using.

 

Conclusion:
By Tia "Xena" Heide

I was spoiled when my husband asked me to review the SteelSeries Ikari mouse and was looking forward to comparing it with the new NZXT Avatar.  I was pleased with the performance of the Avatar mouse but like the feel, function and performance of the Ikari better.  That being said, I found the Avatar mouse to be a decent rival to the Ikari mouse and would consider it to be a close second.  The price of the Avatar makes it an affordable option for gamers - especially those with smaller hands.

 

Pros:

  • Mouse feels sturdy and buttons click easily
  • Mouse movement is very smooth
  • Adjustable DPI profiles
  • Easy to use software 
  • Ambidextrous design


Cons:

  • Ambidextrous design is not as comfortable as "right only" mice
  • Can't fine tune sensitivity in game

 

BCCRating

 

I'd like to thank NZXT for giving me the opportunity to review this mouse.  If you have any questions for me about this review, please head on over and post them in the BCCHardware forum at the "Comments" link.

On the next page we've posted up a few pictures of the ergonomically updated NZXT Avatar Mouse.


 

Updated Comparison:

Due to some customer and reviewer complaints, NZXT has updated their NZXT Avatar mouse with a few subtle changes to the button layout and configuration.  While we won't go into a bunch of detail, we've posted up some side-by-side pictures of the original NZXT Avatar mouse compared to the new NZXT Avatar mouse.  Can you spot the difference?

 

 Original Avatar Top Down
Original Avatar Top Down
 New Avatar Top Down
New Avatar Top Down
   
 Old Avatar - Front
Old Avatar - Front
 New Avatar - Front
New Avatar - Front

 

There is a subtle difference in the position and height of the side buttons according to what I remember of the original NZXT Avatar mouse and as indicated in these pictures.


 

 Old Side Profile
Old Side Profile
New Avatar Profile
New Avatar Profile
   
 Old Avatar - Bottom
Old Avatar - Bottom
 New Avatar - Bottom
New Avatar - Bottom

 

As you can see, not a lot has changed, but it's great to see that NZXT is keeping their customers thoughts, wishes and needs in mind as they redesign products to meet their needs.