Saitek GM2400 Laser Mouse Review
Reviewed by: Propane
Reviewed on: March 8, 2008
Computer mice have been around since the 1980's and most people reading this site probably remember the first generation of mice that they used. Yes, I'm talking about the horrid ball mice. Thankfully, most of us no longer use a ball mouse, but rather an optical mouse that instead of "feeling" the user's movement, "sees" it. Since its inception, optical mice have become more and more complex and powerful, which is good for everyone, and especially gamers. With the newer laser mice of the past few years, more and more accurate pointing is possible, making it easier and easier for you to get the ever beloved headshot. Since getting the right mouse can mean the difference between being the hunter and being the hunted in many games, it is a very important decision, and through reading this and other reviews, you should be able to get a very good idea of what mouse could be your weapon of choice.
The Saitek GM2400 Laser Mouse is one of Saitek's newer, high end mice. A laser driver allows the mouse to reach a resolution of 2400 DPI and is adjustable on the fly. An ergonomic design gives you comfortable access to six configurable buttons that are along the sides and top of the mouse. A combination of using lightweight material and using PTFE feet allows the mouse to slide along pretty much any surface. I plan on testing all these features of the GM2400 in this review and hope that it can help you make an informed decision about what mouse will be your new pointing device.
The GM2400 comes in a cardboard box that shows off the mouse through a plastic cover. Also, the cover points out several of the mouse's features, such as the 2400 adjustable DPI, its laser engine, and the fact that it is programmable. On the back, the features are listed again, not only in English, but other languages as well. It also has a screen shot of the software that we will look at later and a list of the box contents.
On the sides of the box, there are pictures of the GM2400, as well as the technical specifications. There isn't really a whole lot on the top or bottom of the box, so this is the meat of what you can see from the outside.
Now let's open this box up and get our hands on the GM2400 itself.
When you pull the Saitek GM2400 Laser Mouse out of its box, it is enclosed in a plastic case that helps keep it from getting damaged before its time for you to use it. In addition, several sheets of paper and a CD are located behind the plastic case. These papers are the quick start guide, a list of the phone numbers you should call if you need support, and a CD with the Saitek software that allows you to set up the mouse to work like you want. We will examine the software in depth later in this review.
The mouse connects to the computer using a USB 2.0 interface. The connector is made out of gold to lower the resistance as much as possible. These combined traits of the GM2400 lower the physical latency in between the mouse and your computer, meaning that when you move your mouse physically, the time for the mouse to move on the monitor is as low as possible. While this isn't necessary in desktop applications, it can make the difference between killing or being killed in an FPS.
Now to the main point of this review: the GM2400. The GM2400 has six buttons on it; three on top (right, left, and scroll wheel click) and three on the side. Putting the three on the side allows you to control things with your thumb without taking your finger off the main mouse button. The scroll wheel setup should be familiar to just about everyone and feels smooth, with the exception of small bumps that keep the wheel from spinning faster than you want. There is also a seventh button located to the left of the left mouse button. This button allows you to switch the GM2400 through the different profiles that you designate in the software we will install in a minute. The lights below this button indicate which profile you are currently using.
This mouse won't be complete without the software, so let's go install it.
To install the software that comes with the Saitek GM2400 Laser Mouse, all you need to do is insert the Setup CD into your optical drive. An installer should auto run, but if it doesn't you can always launch it yourself from the Windows Explorer. When it does come up, a screen will let you know what the installer will accomplish. After that screen, you are presented with a disclaimer that keeps Saitek out of trouble in case you do something stupid.
The next screen shows you what the programing software can do and asks if you want to install it. You can install it later, but we are going to install it now. Then a bunch of screens will pop up with the "new hardware found" dialogue.
After the install is complete you will be asked to register the product, but this is optional. You can then run the profile editor by clicking Next.
The configuration panel allows you to adjust settings for each of the modes that are selectable on the mouse. You can do everything from changing both the axis' sensitivity to making macros for the different buttons. There isn't a lot of documentation, so figuring out how to use this can be difficult and I actually wound up getting a blue screen. At the top is an area that allows you to name each profile. The sliders underneath can then be used to adjust the sensitivity of the mouse. Finally, there is a place where you can create macros that are run by clicking the corresponding mouse button.
- 2400dpi switchable on the fly with onboard indicator, ideal for all FPS gamers
- High performance laser technology for precision and speed
- 6 buttons programmable using Saitek Smart Technology software
- Ergonomic design with finger contours, side grips, and intuitively positioned buttons for maximum comfort
- Lightweight, long, non-tangle cable
- PTFE feet for no-friction, smooth glide across most surfaces
- Connectivity: USB 2.0
- Windows XP, XP64 and Windows Vista (all versions) compatible
While it's great to know all about the Saitek GM2400 Laser Mouse and the software that comes with it, the real question is "how well does it work?" To find out, I used the GM2400 for a few days, all the while being conscious of four factors: the mouse's speed, the mouse's comfort, the mouse's precision, and the ability to customize the mouse. Then, at the end of the three days, I rated the mouse on a 100 point scale, which will be shown below in each separate area.
- Intel Core2Duo E6600 Processor
- Gigabyte 965P-DS3 Motherboard
- 2048MB G.Skill HZ RAM
- eVGA 8800GTS 640MB Video Card
- GameXtreme 700w Power Supply
- Western Digital 74GB Raptor
- Western Digital 500GB Caviar
- Sony Optical Drive
- Antec Sonata II Mid-tower Case
- Windows XP Professional
- BenQ G2400W 24" monitor
- Saitek GM2400 Laser Mouse
- Saitek GM3200 Laser Mouse
- Old Logitech optical mouse
I will begin by evaluating the speed of the GM2400. This is the measure of how fast the mouse pointer can move across the screen, not the speed of the physical mouse. This test is pretty subjective, but is something that is easy to see. This test will compare the GM2400 at its first setting (high sensitivity) and its lowest setting (low sensitivity). The values are not necessarily better as they get higher, as this is a personal preference. If you like your mouse to fly across the screen in one swoop of the mouse, a high number is what you would like best, but if you like picking up the mouse several times to get across the screen, lower numbers are more suitable for you.
The next factor we are going to take a look at is comfort. There are a few things I noticed the moment I took a hold of the GM2400; the plastic on top feels very cheap, and the side buttons were right where I wanted to rest my thumb. The mouse, because of the cheap feeling plastic, was not enjoyable to use and felt like it would break if I handled it with too much force. Also, the buttons being placed on the side where my thumb wanted to rest made me need to almost hover my thumb instead of squeeze the mouse. This just felt annoying and made use of the GM2400 not as enjoyable as its brother, the GM3200, or the old Logitech, both of which seemed to use higher quality plastics. In this next graph, higher is better.
Precision is a mouse's ability to pinpoint a certain target quickly and easily, and is one of the most important aspects a mouse can have. To test this factor, I played several different games, but mostly my personal favorite FPS, Counter Strike: Source. This is an excellent test of precision as you are continually trying to hit a target before it hits you; something the precision of the mouse has a great deal in accomplishing. I also noted how easily I could target interface buttons in Windows; an important task to be able to do easily for day to day work. In the assessment below, higher values are better.
Finally, we will take a look at how easily customizable the mouse is. This is a measure of how well the included software can help you make your mouse do what you want it to do. I was not very impressed with the software that was included with Saitek. It just didn't work very well, was confusing, and not well documented. It even gave me a blue screen when I attempted to load a profile, something you would think that Saitek would have ironed out before shipping. I just wasn't very impressed with the software and, if I continued using the GM2400, would probably end up not using the software. The reason there is a zero score for the "Old Logitech" (shown as no score in the graph below) is because there is no way to customize it outside of the operating system and game configuration panels. Again, higher values are better.
Mice are one device that is more about user preference than about actual stats. If you really love that five year old mouse that has a dirt outline of your hand, you probably don't see a need to upgrade to a newer mouse. However, in the past few years, mice have gotten laser engines, more buttons, and ergonomic improvements. This can be a good reason for getting a new mouse, but if the mouse you get doesn't feel good in your hand, you probably will never want to use it. The GM2400 has exactly this problem. The tacky feel of the plastic and placement of the side buttons just make me dread using it. If you hold it the wrong way, you are likely to start pressing buttons you don't mean to. While the GM2400 has a pretty good stat sheet with 2400 adjustable on-the-fly DPI, a laser engine, and an ergonomic design, it does not seem to matter once you get this mouse in your hand.
- Up to 2400 DPI
- Resolution adjustable on the fly
- Not comfortable; feels "tacky"
- Inconvenient side button placement
- Lack of documentation on how to use software