Ideazon Reaper Gaming Mouse
robgs - 2007-03-27 17:52:57 in Input DevicesCategory: Input Devices
Reviewed by: robgs
Reviewed on: March 28, 2007
Gaming mice are becoming more commonplace, especially since every new game that comes out gets increasingly more real and intricate in detail. The mouse is a peripheral that has got to be able to zero in on a few pixels in a sea of 1.67 million. Even in some more specialized applications like CAD programs and graphics creation, the resolution and quality of the mouse become really important. Today I will be reviewing the Reaper Gaming Mouse by Ideazon.
Ideazon has been around since 2000. It is a specialty company that produces peripherals specifically for the gaming market, and even tailor makes devices for some games. The company has been particularly successful in the sale of its Zboard, a modular keyboard with interchangeable game specific keypads. The Reaper Gaming Mouse is one of its newest products and boasts many features.
Following the design of other newly released products by Ideazon, the packaging for the Reaper has a fearsome fiery look. The back of the box displays all of the mouse's main features in good detail. The cutaway box with a full, open view of the mouse allows you to see what you’re going to get before you buy.
Judging by the size of the box, you would expect that there were a lot of items inside. That is just not the case here. What’s inside is the mouse and an installation mini-CD. Ideazon has gone with the “tear drop” shape for the Reaper design, which while aesthetically pleasing, through personal experience this shape has proven to be less than user friendly. But you never know, maybe there is something new here that will change my opinion.
The perimeter of the mouse is made of a matte black plastic. The matte finish will aid in getting a good grip on the mouse, and looks good too. The center of the mouse and the two main buttons are made of a rubberized plastic that give it a soft feel. The scroll wheel is also made of this same material and makes for very easy gripping and smooth scrolling.
There are three auxiliary buttons on the left hand side of the mouse that are intended for use by your thumb. You can just barely make it out in this next picture, but just up above the scroll wheel there is another small button. So in total, there are seven buttons on this mouse, including the clickable scroll wheel.
With its clearly identified optical port, the underside of the mouse reveals the white Teflon pads which should provide a surface for a smooth gliding feel.
Now that we have looked at the construction and physical properties of this mouse, we are ready to install it.
Being a USB mouse, an unused USB 2.0 or 1.1 port is required, along with 10 MB of disk space for the software. Just plug the mouse in and it is immediately recognized by Windows and the standard USB mouse driver kicks in. Also, a red Ideazon logo lights up on the top, which looks pretty cool. I noticed that the mouse is almost fully functional without the provided software, but of course, we will install the software to test full functionality.
Pop the mini-CD into the drive and let it spin up. If you blink, you just might miss this installation. Just a couple of clicks, and the software is installed and ready to go.
You’ll notice that there is now a black “Z” icon in your taskbar. Double clicking the icon initiates the Reaper Settings dialog box. As you can see, there are 6 file tabs that you can select; 5 for the actual configuration of the mouse and the the obligatory “About” tab which will tell you the software version and manufacturer information. In the first tab, called the “Button” tab, you can select the configuration of each button via a drop down menu.
There are two buttons that are not changeable, the left mouse button and the fourth button (the button above the scroll wheel). However, the fourth button can be reconfigured in the way that it changes DPI, so from this perspective it is programmable. The rest of the buttons can be configured to any one of the following:
Also on this tab, you can set the double click speed which incorporates a cool looking plasma graphic for testing.
One other thing to note before we move onto the next tab. In the middle of this tab there is an explanation that button 4 is hard programmed to change DPI but can be reassigned to change the DPI in different ways than normal. We’ll look at this when we get to the DPI tab.
You probably noticed in the last tab that there was a “Roller Menu” selection available for configuring the buttons. The next tab “Roller Menu”, as you may have guessed, shows what this is. The Roller Menu is a small pop up window that, if enabled, will open at the click of the assigned button. The menu is filled with nine shortcuts to predefined executable files like “Windows Media Player” and “My Computer” for navigating. Basically, you can redefine all nine of the shortcuts and also add nine more if you like, for a total of 18 shortcuts.
The first thing you have to do if you want to use this function is go back to the “Buttons” tab and choose a button that you want to associate with the Roller Menu. I chose button number seven as it is out of the way so I don’t accidentally press it. Then in the drop down menu beside the button of choice, scroll down and select the Roller Menu. Lastly, select “Apply” and this feature is now enabled for that button. Now when you click the button you programmed, the Roller Menu pops up.
Say you don't like the default shortcuts in the Roller Menu or want to add some of your own. All you have to do to add more shortcuts to this popup menu is click on the letter you would like to put the new shortcut, “a” through “i”. I’ll choose “a” as the spot to add my shortcut. Then click “setting” which opens a window that allows you to choose an executable file on your computer. In this example, I want to add one of my favorite games, so I navigate to the game’s exe file, select it, and press “Open”.
Now when I click the button that I associated with the “Roller Menu” and the window pops up, I just have to scroll down and there’s my new shortcut.
You can also select one of the other predefined shortcuts (1 – 9) and overwrite it so your new icon will be in the popup window without having to scroll down to it.
I’m not sure where I would find this useful as more often than not, I already have direct links to what I use most on my desktop. I have seen similar popup style shortcut windows on other peripherals but have very easily been able to live without them. In saying this though, there may be certain applications that, if I can’t get to the desktop easily, this feature might be handy.
The next tab is called the “Wheel” tab. Here we can select the scroll speed. You have a choice of selecting 1, 3, or 6 lines of scrolling, or scrolling one page at a time.
Next we continue on to the “Move” tab. In this tab we can find the cursor speed adjustment, which looks pretty similar to the default Windows mouse motion slider, and it works exactly the same way. Depending on the resolution that you choose, this slider will be useful to synchronize the overall speed.
Further down, there is an acceleration check box section. Here we can select how quickly the cursor responds to an input movement. I found that this helps in managing the mouse’s precision. The higher acceleration selection gives a feel of less control, but also gives the mouse a quicker response. I’ll select the low setting for now to test with. In the bottom section of the Move tab, there is one last check box titled “Automatically move cursor”. What this does is it automatically moves the cursor to the default button of any dialog box that you open. I find this automation to be more of an annoyance, so based on my personal preference, I left this box unchecked.
The last tab used for configuration is the tab labeled “DPI”. In this tab there are a number of different configuration options related to the three DPI resolutions. The three main option buttons are “Real Time DPI”, “Fixed DPI Value”, and “2 DPI Value Combinations”. Real time DPI allows you to toggle between the three available resolutions 400, 800, and 1600 DPI. Fixed DPI Value allows you to lock in any one of the three resolutions. Finally, 2 DPI value combinations allows you to switch between any two of the three resolutions in preset combinations. For example, you can choose to switch between 400 and 800, or 800 and 1600, or 400 and 1600 DPI resolutions. While it is very nice to have the choice, I kept the default Real-Time DPI because it gives you full on-the-fly switching capability.
With the configuration now complete, let's put the Reaper through the paces.
- 400, 800, and 1600 DPI resolutions
- Real time, on the fly DPI switching
- 6 programmable buttons
- Rubberized mouse buttons
- Gold Plated USB connector
- Illuminated Ideazon Z logo
- Intel E6600 Core 2 Duo processor
- Asus P5N32-E SLI motherboard
- 2GB OCZ PC2-6400 EL Platinum RAM
- eVGA 8800GTX video card
- OCZ 600W GameXStream power supply
- 3 Seagate 320GB SATA II drives
- LG GSA-H22L-BLK 18x DVD ROM
- Windows XP Professional SP2
Ideazon Reaper ZMS-1000 400/800/1600 DPI Optical Mouse
Dell M-UVDELL1 400 DPI Optical Mouse
For this test I will use the same system with the two different mice. The game I will be testing these mice with is the newest installment of Splinter Cell, Double Agent. Near the beginning of the game, good ol’ Sam Fisher has to prove himself to the JBA (John Brown’s Army) by running through a series of tests. One of these tests is a shooting range that requires quick response and precision marksmanship which is the perfect testing ground for this mouse.
As you can see in the picture, at the end of the gallery there are three score boards. The first score board displays the highest score reached. The middle score board displays your current points standing based on how close to the bull’s-eye you hit. The last score board is the minimum you need in order to proceed in the game.
Scoring is quite easy. The highest score you can get with one shot is 5, which is the bull’s-eye. The next ring outside the bull’s-eye is 3 points. Anywhere on the rest of the target is 1 point. You are given a clip of 30 rounds, so the most you can score with one clip is 150 points. In this test I will try to get as many points as I can with one clip with the Dell mouse and for each of the 3 resolutions on the Reaper Gaming Mouse. I will run through the course 10 times for each, which should give us a pretty good cross section of data. In the end, I will add up all the scores for each to see if there is a noticeable difference in accuracy through points.
Those who know this game also know that some of the targets continuously move across the shooting field while others come to a stop at inconsistent times, then start moving again. I could get a higher score if I only shot at still targets and disregarded the moving ones. But for fairness and to show a more accurate outcome for each test run, I will just keep shooting at whatever comes across the screen whether it is moving or not. Obviously this test is not purely scientific but it does show a pretty consistent trend toward the conclusion that higher resolutions could produce higher accuracy or even quicker response. You can also see that the score of the Reaper at 400 DPI pretty closely matches the score of the 400 DPI Dell mouse. If you look closely, you might have noticed I scored the highest one-time point count in test 9 with the Dell mouse.
|Mouse||Reaper Gaming Mouse||Dell Optical Mouse
I could really feel the difference with each resolution change of the Reaper. The lowest resolution at 400 DPI was very slow to respond and made moving around very awkward. To make a small move from one target to the next took a pretty large movement. Conversely, the highest resolution at 1600 DPI was very responsive. One small movement of the mouse sent the aiming reticule out of the shooting gallery. It was very hard to control but still I averaged well compared to the other scores. The 800 DPI setting was a very nice middle ground. The response was crisp and the accuracy was sharp, resulting in the highest scores. In game the Reaper at the 800 DPI setting was very enjoyable. It was easy to quickly get a bead on any immediate threat that had to be dealt with, then to switch to a higher DPI and quickly look around for any more that could be coming.
At first I didn’t like the feel of the Reaper very much. The tear drop shape is sexy, but how does that help you when you’re on the front line, sniping the enemy and your hand cramps up because of the way you have to grip the mouse? This mouse requires a very light touch. If you are heavy handed like I am, you’ll feel like you could send it shooting across the room. It’s kind of like squeezing an orange seed in between your thumb and index finger and it shoots out like a bullet. With respect to the shape, the right side is very rounded and offers little grip for your smaller fingers. Then on the left side, there is a little divot below the three buttons where your thumb is supposed to go, but I can’t see how anyone could possibly find that comfortable. Maybe it would be comfortable if you had gigantic pickle fingers or something. All kidding aside, it took quite a while for me to find the sweet spot for this mouse. Eventually I did find somewhat of a comfortable place to hold it, and after getting used to it, I decided that I could live with the slightly modified way of holding the mouse. After all, it does look sexy.
Once past the ergonomic learning curve of the Reaper, I found it to be a very useful and precise peripheral. The on-the-fly DPI switching together with the sharp accuracy are features that can quickly become a must in game play. The software setup was simple and for the most part incorporates some useful functions. I couldn’t see a use for the Roller Menu, but I’m sure it has a purpose somewhere for somebody. I like the position of the DPI switch just above the scroll key, making it just accessible enough for use when needed, but out of the way enough to thwart accidental use. The sleek shape and the red on black color scheme are very stylish and would complement almost any desktop or mouse pad. It’s really too bad that the Reaper is only made for right handed users. So all you lefties out there are out of luck on this one.
- Sleek, stylish look
- On-the-fly DPI switching
- Quick and easy install
- Very reasonably priced
- Designed for right handed use only