I'm left-handed. Yet when it comes to computers, like most other lefties I know, I use a mouse with my right hand. It's just...how I was taught. So I've never seen the need for a mouse that tries to somehow accommodate both normal humans and sinister mutants.
I mean, let's look at the situation here. This is a review for a gaming mouse. Not a $10 Logitech mouse for your Dad's computer. A proper, serious gaming mouse. That means you'll be in the market for something of a certain quality, a certain comfort. How a mouse feels in your hand is of the utmost importance.
It's why the best mice - I'm talking stuff like the Razer DeathAdder and Naos 8200 - are so serious about their ergonomics. How could a mouse half-assing between hands possibly offer the same level of comfort? And why would you bother, when mice like the DeathAdder ship with dedicated left-handed variants?
No idea. But hey, this category of the market exists because people (Internet cafe owners? Almost-identical twins sharing a PC?) want that flexibility anyway, so if you really must sit on the fence, the Avior 8200 is a good way to do it.
Made by Mionix - they of the Naos 8200 fame, my favourite gaming mouse of them all - it's of course lacking in the bulk or custom ergonomics you'll find in a right-handed mouse.
Everything else I like about the Naos 8200, though, is here. It's just a bit smaller.
The build quality is superb, every button giving a strong, reassuring click. Like other Mionix mice, the soft matte finish to the exterior is extremely comfortable. It was fast, precise, and not once in my testing (Mirror's Edge, Rome II, EUIV) did it stall, slow down or glitch out.
It even has a nice heft to it, surprisingly for a mouse that's on the small side.
READ: You can check out the full list of specs here. The basics are: 9 buttons, full programmable 8200DPI, 72mhz 32-bit processor, 3-step in-game DPI adjustment.
Maybe the best part is that, like its bigger brother the Naos, the Avior is that rarest of beasts, a fantastic gaming mouse that's also subtle in design. There are no enormous logos, no flashy colour schemes, no ridiculous angles, it's just a soft rubber mouse with a simple LED in the wheel and another in the Mionix logo at the palm (which can't even be seen while you're using it). It's not boring, though. The matte finish and clean lines make this a very attractive mouse.
Downsides? They're all related to the ambidextrous design. There are buttons along both sides of the mouse (the Avior supports 5 profiles); depending on which hand you're using one of these sets is a pain to get to, asking you to either take your ring finger off the top/wheel and slide down, or pull your pinkie back fro its resting place. It's also a bit small; I don't have a big hand, but while Mionix say the mouse can be used with either a claw or palm grip, I think a lot of people are going to struggle getting good purchase with their palms.
Mostly problems with the concept, then, not this mouse in particular. Meaning if you really must get an ambidextrous mouse, this one is fantastic. Just don't expect the same level of comfort or ease of use as a dedicated right (or left!) handed mouse.
The Avior 8200 is available now, and retails for around $90.
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