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October 15, 2014

Unboxing & Review: TTEsports LVL10M Gaming mouse


Everyone needs a good gaming mouse, and I bet that most of you reading this will have one of their preferences. If you haven't found one, how about taking a look at one designed by BMW? yes the German car manufacturer... and yes I know it's in collaboration with Thermaltake as well; so here we have the TTEsports Level 10 M Gaming Mouse.

Big thanks to AV Future Link Sdn Bhd for the sample today. Retailing at RM329 (SRP) in the Malaysian market places it head to head with high end offerings from the likes of Razer and Steelseries. So let's see how the Level 10 M Gaming Mouse stacks up against the competition.

Specifications


Packaging



The sample we got comes in a white box. This actually is matched with the colour of the mouse inside. This one in particular is Iron White but also available are Diamond Black, Blazing Red and Military Green. Besides the colour, all details remains the same with the image of the mouse down to the minuscule prints on the feature boxes at the bottom right. What intrigues me is that the Level 10 M Gaming Mouse boasts more on the looks rather than how it is better in performance with other gaming mouse with the tagline "Born To Be Seen".


Turn to the back, you will have the features laid out with pictures and some storyline of the Level 10 M Gaming Mouse.


Sliding off the cover, you'll find a bit more of branding and tagline with the flap-doors sealed by a TTEsports sticker.


Obviously, the Level 10 Gaming mouse will be inside. Admittedly, it is quite the looker.


Bundled accessories include a soft carrying pouch, a hex-key and a silverish envelope.


Which contains the driver CD, a warranty policy and three postcards.

The Level 10 M Gaming Mouse


The mouse just feels heavy out of the box thanks to the solid piece of aluminium housing at the bottom, but it is very well built and the grip is good on this one despite the lack of rubbery materials on the surface. The cable is much thinner compared to most on other mice though it doesn't feel flimsy, is braided and flexible, great job on this one Thermaltake!


The USB connector is gold plated and it even comes in a protective cap and a non-reference shape, perfect for tarvelling and LAN Parties!


The top shell is glossy plastic that doesn't attract fingerprints so much and is accompanied by two similar sized left and right buttons and a scroll wheel sits right on the centre silver-ish strip. The holes on the left side of the shell is meant for ventilation so we'll see how that goes during testing.


On the left side are two programmable buttons and a mini "joystick" that serves as a profile, dpi and mode toggle for the mouse. A TTEsports logo is also tastefully etched to the empty section of the aluminium plate.



The opposite side only featured two buttons that are awkward to me but if you have nimble fingers, maybe it'll be beneficial to you. A small hex bolt protrudes from the rear meant for adjustment to the mouse, we'll get to that in a while.


Notice that I didn't mention that this is an ambidextrous mouse? that's because it really isn't. This isn't really apparent before but taking a look at it from the back will reveal that the design is actually skewed to the right; sorry my southpaw brothers and sisters, but this might not be for you. Another hex bolt is also found here.


The front has a section that holds the cable protruding from the mouse. Design wise, it's unique but I'm not sure if it serves any other purposes.


At the base is where you'll find the 8200Dpi laser sensor along with the product information stickers and PTFE glides. I wish that the glides were bigger though.

Physical Adjustments


Remember the two hex bolts spotted earlier? they are not there just for show. The one one on the right side adjusts the tilt of the top shell. It's very subtle at only 5 degrees wither way that you may not see the difference, but in terms of grip, it's another story altogether. I find that a slight tilt to the right is just suitable for me.



The hex bolt on the top adjusts the height of the top plate as demonstrated above. Once again I have to find the middle ground as it's too flat on the lowest (default) height and too tall at its maximum height.

I guess that while this is a nifty feature and that the hex bolt placement is unavoidable in some sense, I did spend some time doing the "holding -> testing -> adjusting ->repeat" cycle quite a few times before I feel absolutely comfortable with the height and tilt of the Level 10 M mouse. So if you're sharing this one with your family or friends, make sure that you either record the adjustments that suited you or hide the hex key so that no other soul can change it.

Driver Software


We downloaded the latest version off from TTEsports website and after a brief installation sequence, you'll be able to launch the interface and what greets you is what you will be seeing all the time. Compared to the more traditional way of having the page changed every time a tab is clicked, this one has smaller pop-ups which does the job cleanly. Right off the main screen itself though, you'll be able to switch between 5 profiles, customise button commands and toggle between normal or battle mode.


Yes I mean battle mode. The image that popped-up above is self-explanatory, the faster you click successively, the colour changes. This is a feature I haven't seen for quite a while.


Speaking of colours, you have a selection of seven colours to choose from for the LED illumination.






By default, switching profiles will change the colours accordingly; from red, Purple, Blue, Green and baby blue.


Another thing that you don't get to see often is that you could customise different colours to the LEDs on the scroll wheel, right click and the TTEsports dragon logo.



Like so :)


The Macro interface is as simple as it gets and will allow you to customise that long string of commands and execute it with a single button. Having 7 buttons does have it's advantages.


Performance settings lets you customise the DPI levels, double click, cursor and scroll speeds as well as toggling the polling rate and lift distance.


You're not stuck with the default 5 profiles as well. In each of the profiles, you may assign a different profile. Sounds confusing? well let's just say that you can have profiles of every game you own programmed and assigned to the mouse instead of being stuck with only 5 ;)

Testing

Using the Level 10 M Gaming Mouse for over a week gave me a somewhat mixed feeling towards it. Overall build quality is good so I'm not getting creaking sounds that a normal plastic mouse will make but the solid aluminium base did make the mouse a little hefty to my liking as I was accustomed to the lighter Steelseries Ikari; no weight cartridge system here so just make sure you like having a heavy mouse for your daily drive. It is good that the Level 10 M height and tilt is adjustable, my only complaint is that it's a bit tedious having to use the hex key taking your hand off every time but once it's done, you're good to go.

The Level 10 M tracks and glides very well on my Logitech G440 and a few of the cloth mousepads that I have lying around. One could use it on the table but I wouldn't recommend it at all. The buttons are responsive and well placed for the most part except for the DPI/Profile mini joystick that was placed closer to the palm area, you would need to do some finger gymnastics to properly toggle the functions one-handed so bear that in mind if you always shift your DPI in the game.

Conclusion

In the end, I think that the Level 10 M Gaming Mouse is a good product especially if you are looking to show off your peripherals, it just looks great! I wouldn't recommend it for competitive use due to the weight and that profile/DPI button placement but aside from that, there is hardly anything bad about it.

Pros

  • Great looking mouse
  • Very solid construction
  • Braided cable and shielded USB connector
  • Adjustable height and tilt
  • Separate programmable LED lighting zone

Cons

  • Heavy and without weight adjustment system
  • Awkward DPI/Profile button placement
With that, I'm giving the TTEsports Level 10 M Mouse a Tech-Critter Silver Badge!



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