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[OVERCLOCK LABS] Cougar Minos X3 Gaming Mouse Review

WilliamGayde
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Pros: Price, Quality Components, Driverless, RGB Lighting

Cons: Clicking tension not accurate, Difficult to grip

Introduction

The mouse is something you'll use for as long as you have a computer. While peripherals are usually the last thing to purchase, they can be very important to your game. A good quality mouse is all but required for eSports style games like CSGO, Dota, or Overwatch where you need to make fast and accurate mouse movements. Price is usually they biggest factor in determining which model to pick up. There are options from as little as $3 all the way up to $250 and beyond for a mouse. While I've checked out more pricey mice in the past, today I'll be taking a look at a more value conscious model. The Minos X3 mouse from Cougar promises high quality components at an affordable price. Available for just $30 online, it sits among numerous cheap and poorly made products. We'll see how it performs and whether or not it's worth your purchase. Clearly the mouse won't perform as well as others that cost two to three times as much, so I'll take cost into account during the review.


Unboxing

The packaging is elegant and looks like something you'd expect from a much higher-end model. Since it's 2017, RGB is present yet again and is a main marketing point here. On the inside, the mouse is based around the well regarded PMW3310DH Optical Sensor. Apart from some vendor exclusive models, the 3310 sensor is one of the best chips on the market. It's great to see it in this mouse and I'm expecting tracking performance to be great. Also notable is the inclusion of Omron switches. These are also industry standards and have a history of high quality and a very long life span. The Minos X3, unlike many of its competitors, is driverless meaning there's nothing to configure on the computer. You just plug it in and it works.

The back of the packaging highlights the on-the-fly adjustments. The mouse has both a built in DPI switch and a polling rate switch on the bottom. There are also 8 different colors as well as a rainbow effect for the built in three-zone lighting.



Inside the box is just the mouse and a small manual. The documentation doesn't say much since there isn't really anything to configure with the mouse. Starting with physical specs, the unit is pretty light weighing in at a meager 94g. It has a maximum tracking speed of 130IPS and a maximum acceleration of 30G's. At the end of the 1.8m cable is a standard USB connector. The cable was one of the first things I wasn't a fan of. It's rather sticky and I found it got stuck on various other things on my desk. If your mouse cable sits on your desk, you'll want to make sure it doesn’t tangle or get caught. I like braided cables or even just a smoother style of rubber. The USB connector has Cougar branding to make locating it easier when fumbling around behind your computer.



Physical Overview

Here is the mouse itself. The top is a light, matte black plastic with an illuminated Cougar logo by the palm. Both sides feature a honeycomb rubber grip and a rather large curve towards the back. There are two thumb buttons on the left side. Placement is just fine but I found them to be a bit too easy to accidentally press. They are mapped to browser forward and back. Accidentally bumping them is annoying and can be an even bigger issue if it happens during banking or when making a purchase. Increasing the tension or adding a small spring in between the button and actuator would easily solve this problem in future models.



From the front we can see the sweeping curves up to the middle of the mouse. It's an ambidextrous design but only has buttons on the left side. I'm personally a fan of a design that more closely follows the contours of a hand. The Minos X3 is flat at the top and symmetrical down the middle. The human palm and hand isn't like this and is gently rotated a few degrees off center. This design makes the mouse easy to pick up but not as comfortable to hold. I felt it was a bit too narrow and my ring and little finger didn't have a good place to sit. Depending on your hand size, this may or may not be an issue for you.

Also from the front we can see the scroll wheel and LED mode button. Pressing the LED button will cycle through the various colors and effects of the mouse. There are 8 different solid color options and two options that fade through all the colors. The button is out of the way enough that accidentally pressing it wasn't an issue. There is a translucent segment at the bottom to evenly distribute the light as well.

The scroll wheel was pretty good for the most part. It felt very solid and there wasn't any looseness side to side. Scrolling goes through some gentle tactile bumps. It's a little flimsy scrolling forwards and backwards quickly, but nothing too terrible. The left a right mouse button, despite their Omron switches, weren't my favorites either. Just like the side buttons, the tension doesn't feel right here again. Moving the mouse quickly or picking it up and putting it down often caused the mouse to accidentally click. This definitely cannot happen in a gaming mouse where accidentally clicking at the wrong time can lose you a game. For this reason, I found it hard to use the Minos X3 in competitive games. Maybe I just got a bad review unit, but I'm not sure.



On the bottom we have the two adjustment switches and the sensor. On the left is a DPI adjustment switch between 400, 800, 1600, and 3200 DPI. On the right is a polling rate adjustment switch between 125, 250, 500, and 1000Hz. I personally used 400DPI and 1000Hz since this is what most pros use and it felt most comfortable to me. Changing these settings isn't something anyone would do too often so I didn't mind their discrete location. The only place I see this being an issue is if you often switch between games that use different mouse profiles. That being said, flipping the mouse over and changing the switch takes 10 seconds at most.

The plastic feet the mouse glides on are nice but they may be just a bit too slippery. Coupled with the low mass of the mouse, it's easy for it to accidentally slide around if you don't always keep a firm grip. This will depend on your mouse pad, but I think a surface with a little bit more friction will work well with this mouse.




In conclusion, the Minos X3 surprised me. I was expecting a cheap and flimsy mouse, but the X3 was so much better. Solid components and a relatively good build quality make it a great choice for gamers on a budget. Just be careful of the switches if you move the mouse fast. I think this price point is very affordable and the X3 should give other products a run for their money. Sacrificing a bit on the build quality to include top of the line components seems to be Cougar's design plan for the Minos X3. If that's something that appeals to you, then go ahead and pick one up!


Here is the link to the forum post for discussion

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