|A member of the Funky Media Group|
|Review: Arctic Cooling M551 Gaming Laser Mouse|
|Posted by Erkan Tairi|
|Wednesday, 16 March 2011 00:03|
Despite the claims, the PC gaming market is in fact growing at a steady pace. And this is evident with news of the games industry was reported to be worth more than USD 15 billion just for last year alone. So with this news, it seems that a lot of manufacturers are taking advantage of this fact and now expanding their product range to include all types of accessories including mice, headsets, keyboards and many more.
Take for example Corsair, who normally specialise in memory products. They have released a pair of professional gaming headsets, which have won numerous awards. Another key player is Gigabyte who are famous for motherboards. They now have a whole range of accessories including gsaming mice and keyboards. While Coolermaster who have been long time players in the gaming industry with their chassis and power supplies ... now have gaming mouse pads and mice. These are just a few manufacturers from the top of my head, not including the already established brands like Steelseries, Razer and Logitech.
A couple of months ago, we reviewed the Arctic Cooling M571 gaming laser mouse. We thought it was a pretty decent gaming mouse that offered high DPI settings and some good features including a weighted system. It provided good accuracy and smooth gameplay during our gaming tests. However, it was no match to big brands like Steelseries or Razer.
Features and Specifications
Taken from Arctic Cooling's Website ...
OverviewThe ARCTIC M551 is the wired laser gaming mouse featuring high precision optical sensor to translate your hand movements into actions on the screen accurately. It is quick, comfortable, and practical.
Ergonomic Designs - The ARCTIC M551 is a full-sized right-hand-user mouse offering maximum comfort. Its ergonomic design allows extended gaming or work sessions without feeling tired in the hand.
Adjustable Sensitivity Levels - As a highly precise tool for navigation, the sensitivity level of the ARCTIC M551 is adjustable from 800, 1600, to 2400 dpi. For simple internet browsing, lower dpi level is sufficient; however, intense online gaming may require higher dpi level for rapid and precise cursor to slide freely on screen. The setting is changed by clicking the dpi button. The preset sensitivity level is displayed by a LED on the mouse as well.
Practical Functions - Equipped with functional features, the ARCTIC M551 is ideal for both gaming and applications such as photo or video editing, and everyday browsing. It contains easily accessible features - such as the backward and forward buttons on the side, and a quick and precise scrolling wheel to navigate content conveniently. The 1.8m cable is coated to eliminate line clustering.
The mouse looks great with its ergonomic design. It contoured lines fits perfectly with your hands. There is special DPI button selecting different DPI settings 800, 1600 or 2400 ... when the DPI button is pressed, an LED lights up on the mouse.
The mouse comes a weighted system, with the original mouse weighing in at 138g, plus optional weights of up to 4 x 6.5g each. Adding more weights enable users to achieve better precision and accuracy. There's also a double-bullet and a continuous shooting button, which is great for gamers.
Verdict and Conclusion
I wasn't really expecting much from the Arctic Cooling M551 in terms of using it, as a replacement mouse to my Steelseries XAI. The lack of programmable buttons was the real killer here. And other things which I thought was lacking, is that there's no software to configure the mouse settings ... mind you, there isn't much to configure. The mouse does comes with 3 DPI settings with colored LEDs to indicate the various DPI modes ... 800 (green), 1600 (blue) and 2400 (red). It also feature a nice ergonomic design and it's contoured to fit nicely in your hands.
Although the mouse is incredibly affordable ... like I said before, it does lack a lot of features found on more professional gaming laser mice. Things like extra programmable buttons, braided cord, gold-plated connectors and configuration software (for adjusting mouse accuracy, scroll rates etc.) This makes the M551 a lot less attractive than other alternatives. Even if the mouse is marketed at the budget market, it could still affect your buying decision.
Final words. I guess what Arctic Cooling is trying to do with the M551 is to cater for the cash-strapped gamer or users that play the occasional game. For the enthusiast and professional gamer, who wants more ... I would definitely look elsewhere. But having said that, the Arctic Cooling M551 is extremely cheap, costing only USD 26.00 (GBP 20) according to their website. It's great as a gift or as a stocking filler (you can start your Christmas shopping early !)