Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Theron Infrared Gaming Mouse Review
Reviewed by: BluePanda
Reviewed on: February 14, 2014
Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Theron Infrared Gaming Mouse Introduction:
Thermaltake already has the Theron gaming mouse on the market. However, this time the Theron is released with the brand new Infrared Optical Engine rather than its predecessor's laser sight. The body of the mouse also comes with an updated look giving accents to the original standard black body, with added red buttons to give a slightly different look without changing the mouse too much. I guess it is also a quick way to tell who has what with just a simple glance – not that anyone does that at LAN parties. The body also still features LED lighting at the base of the mouse as well as in the scroll wheel and battle dragon logo beneath the palm. However, the lighting is still only single color: your choice of RED or RED, which seems to stick with the eSPORTS color scheme. The inability to change colors likely helps bring the cost down, as this mouse is on the market for a more affordable $59.99. With a braided cable, on-the-fly profile, DPI, and polling rate options, as well as removable weights this mouse seems like it has quite a bit to offer.
If the Theron IR (which I shall call it from here out) holds to any of the Tt eSPORTS standards, this mouse should be quite the nice gem. So let us get to it…ONWARD!
Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Theron Infrared Gaming Mouse Closer Look:
Jumping in with the box pictures I know most of you aren't all that excited; however most of you know my thoughts on packaging and costs of packaging so I won't dwell on things here. Thermaltake and the Tt eSPORTS branding has always appeared on the shelf as high class and predominately for the best gamers (of course, if the best gamers use it – it will make you awesome too, right?). Regardless of the marketing scheme, as it clearly works, the Theron box is rather flashy. Red and black all over along with a circuitry/industrial background really grabs your attention. A top down of the mouse all lit up takes the cover of the box, though doesn't seem to be the main focal point. A lot of other things are going on on the front of the box drawing my attention to them. The front has boxes for IR, function lock button, battle mode, and onboard memory. For some reason I want to read "Advanced Infrared Optical Sensor for Impeccable Precision". I felt almost ADD wanting to look at about everything but the mouse – perhaps this is just me.
The back of the box is a little more simple. It points out three key features: 1) Infrared Optical Sensor provides advanced tracking on any surface for optimal accuracy and performance; 2) 5-Weight adjustment provides customization to fit the preference of the gamer; and 3) Omron button switches provide light-to-the-touch click activation while staying durable for a lifespan of five million clicks. A simple tag line descriptor: "Professional gaming mouse, for more product information please go to www.ttesports.com" is left to attempt to read in 15 different languages.
This box also follows what seems to be the new standard, with it opening up to see the mouse itself. The mouse is in a fitted clamshell plastic so that you can actually put your hand on the mouse and almost get an idea of the fit. It's like trying on shoes without wondering about the stinky footed person that tried them on last (now just sweaty handed people). Nonetheless it provides a great opportunity in stores where a display model may not be available. Though, with the majority of market moving towards online purchases – it almost doesn't matter. A few more images of the mouse are shown on the inside panel with a quick glimpse of the software. We'll cover this all in detail, so no need to read it to you now.
Pulled from the package you find a little bonus with this mouse – a travel bag! It's made of a neoprene-looking material – but seem to just be a slightly stronger foam. The battle dragon is hard not to see on it or the instruction packet, so you know you got what you paid for. The mouse cable also comes neatly bundled in its own built in Velcro cable wrap – we are starting off on a good foot!
Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Theron Infrared Gaming Mouse Closer Look:
Out of the packaging and main photo shots taken care of, my first instinct is to play with the mouse a little in my hand to get a feel for how it fits, how it feels, and get an idea of the overall quality of the mouse. Although in this top down shot below you might think that the mouse is coated in the lovely soft plastic rubber that you've become accustom to in many mice/keyboard products, but this one is eye trickery. It has the matte finish and has some thin coating on it, but it feels nothing like that of the standard rubber coatings I've seen recently. It does provide a nice dry/natural feel, but still stands out to me as "different"; smoother and not quite as much grip. Overall the mouse feels a bit plastic-y and perhaps just up to par – not shooting past it. I'm a bit disappointed at this point, but not defeated yet.
The mouse itself does not look too bad. The mouse wheel has some horseshoe shapes, or fancy sideways C's depending on how you look at it (actually almost reminds me of the Level 10). The two buttons below the wheel make you look at them in their glossy red color. You may also note the forward and back buttons on the left (the back being slightly longer in size) and the extra button on the right. A battle dragon image is cut into the palm, where we can assume lighting will appear once plugged in.
The bottom of this mouse seems to be the new selling point. Although I did not own or test the previous Theron, I can safely say I know how a laser mouse tracks/works – though different sensors and quality can affect how each performs, in general laser is laser. The Infrared Optical Engine from Tt eSPORTS claims to "increase the performance of the mouse" and "enable a more consistent and accurate tracking". We could have an argument here all day about which one is the better sensor; half of you will argue the laser is better (duh, put them on sharks) and the other half of you will say IR (just because). So we'll leave it at that and just say we're happy when the mouse works at the end of the day.
Looking a little more closely you may have noticed the obvious door at the bottom of the mouse. However, you may have also notice the two buttons and slider option just above that. There is a function lock slider that moves from unlock to lock. This appears to put your mouse in 90s mode. It only allows you to click left, click right, scroll, and middle click. It takes away any use of the macro buttons you bought the mouse for (so you might not ever move this one). The other buttons down here allow you to adjust the polling rate and profile (1-5) on the fly – in game or not.
But back to the reason we are really looking under the mouse - the weights. There are a total of five weights included at 4.5g each, giving you a plus or minus of 22.5g to the entire mouse. I found the mouse to be just right with all the weights included, but for those of you that prefer a lighter mouse – the option is there. If you really want a heavier mouse, this probably isn't it; though I suppose you could always get custom weights made of plutonium if you can handle the radiation. Jokes aside the weights are neatly packed in some solid rubber, which keeps them from making any sort of noise.
Looking again at some more profile shots of the mouse, the right side of the mouse shows us it does have some personality over there. There is a slight bump out and an extra button for your ring finger. The bump appears to give you somewhere to place your ring finger, but does not really support it. The button I found myself forgetting was there and made me feel less in control of the mouse when I did attempt to use it (or constantly clicking it by accident). You can see the white space at the bottom edge of the mouse – this is where the red LED lighting appears when plugged in (skip to the end if you really want to see it in action). The left side of the mouse has two buttons, which I like to call forward and back buttons. The back supports a larger size giving you less reach for smaller hands while still accommodating larger hands, as this is probably the most commonly used button for multi-button mice. The forward button isn't far from reach and even with my small hands is less than a stretch. Again, the opening for lighting shows white/gray at the bottom edge of the mouse.
From the sides of the mouse you may have also noticed the braided cable connected to the front of the mouse via a nice rubbery connector. This keeps it from detaching from the mouse even under the most aggressive gaming styles. From the front here, you may also notice how symmetrical the mouse is. There is no curvature left to right of the mouse and the buttons are about as straight on as it gets. I found this to be frustrating for my hand at first. My hand, along with many newer mice, has a tendency to tilt slightly to the right, with my left click being higher, and fingers skewed right a little. This mouse almost doesn't fit because of its unusual nature. It took me a great deal of getting used to before I could comfortably use the mouse. It was definitely an odd change to feel/use. The rear of the mouse also has little to fill your palm and is relatively short in length. It's not quite a claw grip mouse, but it's far from a palm fitter either.
The cable is a standard USB plug with a decorative casing. It has the Tt logo printed in a red on black palate and looks quite nice. As I've mentioned before, the cable is fully braided making for nice frictionless play and comes neatly packed with an attached Velcro wrap. You can't/won't lose it and makes it store rather nicely on the go.
Overall the mouse is alright. The fit is a bit of a struggle at first with some shapes you may not be used to. You can likely get used to it if you want to; for me, I think I'll be switching to something else after this review. The fit is just too different for me. The extra buttons are always a plus as not having at least forward and back buttons these days is almost a sin in the mousing world. The lighting, as you can see from the image below, isn't too exciting, but is a nice subtle effect. Ultimately, the overall quality doesn't have the feel that the images and looks make it appear to have. I can't say that I am disappointed, but I'm surely not impressed.
Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Theron Infrared Gaming Mouse Closer Look:
The software for the Tt eSPORTS Theron IR was surprisingly simplistic. There weren't too many things to change (like some major MMO mice) and the options for changing things were pretty straight forward – not too much effort to figure out. When opening up the software, which is easily downloaded from the Tt eSPORTS website, you get the screen shown below. The five stored profiles can be switched between quickly with the tabs at the top of the screen. The normal and battle options are easily selected by indicating the one you want in a dark maroon backing. The battle option really only affects the lighting of your mouse, making it respond differently based on a pattern or patterns of clicks (mostly making it flash). The rest of the options (lighting, performance, macros, and key assignment) really are all right here in front of your face.
Clicking on a key to select it to change allows you to select T, S D, or L on the right of the screen. The T key brings up a menu as shown below. It allows you to assign a predesigned macro from the Macro Key option on the right (I'll show you in a second). You can then have it repeat once, multiple times, press and hold options, or repeat until pressed again. Pretty neat for whatever you need in game or perhaps just to mess with people – my usual use for these things.
The S option lets you set a single key option. Select from click, right click, button off, double click, or backward options; all pretty simple options. The remaining D and L options are for "default" settings and "launch program" triggers, respectively.
The performance option on the first screen brings up options for DPI Levels, Double Click Speeds, Cursor Speed, and Scroll Speed. You can even set your polling rate here. Just be sure to have the appropriate profile selected before jumping to this menu. Each DPI level allows you to set different DPI values for you to cycle through on a given profile, which makes different gaming scenarios easier to approach. Be sure to hit "APPLY" on this popup before closing it or you may be left wondering what happened to your new settings.
Macro settings, as I mentioned before, are quite useful and surprisingly easy to setup. Open the Macro Key window and click New to create a macro. Type whatever you desire and at the given time you would like it to occur. You can see in the example below my typing of PANDA just for fun. You can adjust delay time on the right, ignore it completely, or insert a specific default delay between characters. There's a lot to play with here if you want to; just remember there aren't too many EXTRA mouse buttons to use them with.
Last but not least is the light options. Unlike the original Theron you can't change the color. You are indeed stuck with the RED color whether you like it or not. You can tell it to turn off specific sections and whether to pulse the coloring or stay on full. So there is no color change, but there are still reasonable options for what you do have.
Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Theron Infrared Gaming Mouse Specifications:
Body Dimensions (L x W x H):
123.65 x 73.8 x 40.2 [mm]
5 x 4.5g, up to 22.5g MAX
128kb with storage for 40 macro keays & 5 game profiles
125/500/1000 Hz cycle
7 color options w/side-light color changes
1.8 m braided
Tt Pro Glide Gaming Laser Sensor
Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Theron Infrared Gaming Mouse Features:
- One-the-fly sensitivity, multi-level resolutions: 100-5600 DPI – Adjust DPI according to your game, THERON lets you control your mouse with just a click on the Battle Dragon arrow!
- Beneath side-light changed by clicking frequency during battle mode: 7 colors (Blue/Green/Light Blue/Purple/Red) – pick the color that accessorizes your e-sports gaming!
- Capable of storing up to 40 macro keys within 5 game profiles: 128kb internal memory allowing all personalized settings to travel wherever you are. Also, weight-in design (4.5g x 5 = 22.5g max) gives you the perfect grip for mouse gliding movement.
- Battle Dragon, Spirit of Tt eSports: THERON is designed to boost your gaming realism and aesthetically created to define Tt eSPORTS spirit. Each angle and trim of THERON echo for tenaciousness, forging Battle Dragon's superiority with Tt eSPORTS innovative gaming products, THERON makes you ready for the game and play like a pro/
Information courtesy of: http://www.thermaltakeusa.com/store/Product.aspx?C=1154&SC=1166&ID=1832#Tab0
Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Theron Infrared Gaming Mouse Testing:
The Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Theron Gaming Mouse was defiantly put through over a week of use and testing. During this time it was used it in everyday use, surfing the Internet, Photoshopping, and of course some gaming. As a mouse is personal to each and every individual so how it responds in these various tasks is important in different ways to everyone. This rather subjective review is best to provide you the feedback from use rather than assigning made up numbers trying to compare one mouse to another. It's pretty easy to distinguish the likes and dislikes of a mouse through words rather than leaving it to you to decide what a 7 or 8 really means. No guessing game – here's what I liked, and here's what I hated.
- Processor: Intel Fourth Generation Core i7 4770K
- CPU Cooling: Corsair Hydro Series H100i
- Motherboard: MSI Z87-GD65 Gaming
- Memory: Patriot Viper 3 Series 2x8GB DDR3-2400
- Video Card: NVIDIA GTX 770
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Smart 750W
- Hard Drive: Corsair Force GT 240GB SSD
- Case: Corsair Obsidian 650D
- OS: Windows 7 Professional 64-bit
Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Theron Infrared Gaming Mouse Results:
For everyday use I've found this category to become redundant. It almost is here just to state the mouse even works. Yes, the Theron IR works as an everyday mouse. I can see how this category can be more of point when an MMO mouse becomes so convoluted with button options that it just simply cannot work for everyday simple tasks. However, this mouse isn't of that nature and I leave you with the simplistic answer of YES, it can help you navigate, it lets you scroll through email, and indeed allows you to play your Facebook games. Moving on…
Working with a mouse usually involves Photoshop work (for these reviews) or some kind of precision clicking. Unfortunately most of my REAL work involves more the keyboard side of things, but nonetheless leaves the mouse to be important at times (sorry mice friends). The mouse has the ability to cycle DPI options and control enough features to get the mouse under your control – whatever that may be. Getting things right, of course, always takes a little effort to perfect, but is ultimately worth it. I found no troubles in getting this mouse where I needed it other than in the discomfort of it being beneath my hand (just an odd mouse fit for me). So putting it simply, getting the right precision just takes some setting manipulation.
Gaming is why most of you even bother reading these reviews – you want to know how this "gaming" mouse is going to improve your game. If you're just a lousy shot, well it probably won't help. If you are a lousy shot because you have a real POS for a mouse, well then it might. Just try to remember no matter how much you throw at components it won't make you a perfect sniper; practice is still required for that. However a mouse that responds well and can easily change settings is a step in the right direction. Being able to manipulate anything to work for you is always a plus. Thus being able to set your DPI to YOUR preferred setting versus what it thinks it should be makes it a lot easier for you to get good at something.
The Theron is just that. It is great at changing settings in-game, outta game, you name it. Having profiles really lets you fine tune your game and the Theron gives you five. The only thing the Theron can't help you with is what I'll call posture; if it doesn't fit your hand, or the form you like to hold, well it's just going to have to be another mouse. All in all, if you can deal with the body, the Theron has enough there to modify to get the best in-game control you need.
Thermaltake Tt eSPORTS Theron Infrared Gaming Mouse Conclusion:
In the end the Tt eSPORTS Theron was just a different mouse out on its own. I honestly gave it a bit more time of use than most reviews get trying to give it a second chance. I really didn't like the mouse out of the box and it was very slow to grow on me – ultimately I never really liked it. That however doesn’t mean YOU, the reader, can't or won't like this mouse. For me the shape of the mouse was just too straight. You can laugh all you want, but when your hand does not want your click fingers exactly parallel it's hard to get used to.
The quality of the mouse was also a bit of a disappointment. No it wasn't quite your Microsoft freebie, but for having the Tt eSPORTS branding I was expecting a little more for the feel of it. It doesn't feel like it's going to fall apart as I move it around, but the rubber coating feels like the thing to pick and flake as time and use take its toll on it. Not that other mice don't have problems with time and use; this particular coating just has "that" feel.
The inability to change lighting in an "upgraded" version of the mouse that could change colors is quite disappointing. Why take away one feature to add another? In this case I will agree that cost factored into that very well. The Theron IR is about $10 cheaper than the original Theron (at least looking at MSRP), but that’s not a fight worth going in to.
In my honest opinion I just can't find anything special about this mouse that really brings it home for the cost. No it's not super expensive, but where is the bonus? Even the really cheap end mice have forward and back buttons with the ability to create a macro on a random extra button. Most come with software (good and bad) that can change DPI settings, and polling rate just the same. Many of them can even change color and for a much lesser price. I just don't see the bonus in this mouse that makes me jump up to buy it. If you already have a mouse with forward and back buttons, and the ability to change sensitivity, hold on to your pennies; this isn't the upgrade you're waiting for. It's not a horrid mouse, it's just not really anything out of the ordinary unless you want to say you use the same mouse as some professional gamer who was paid to use it…
- On-the-fly DPI, polling rate, and profile selection (even without having the software open)
- Variable weight – can be lighter if you like
- Feels a little cheap for the Tt eSPORTS label – rubber coating feels thin and not so durable
- Stuck with RED lighting – can turn it off, but almost looks broken with it off
- Original Theron is almost the same price AND it changes color!
- Body shape takes some getting used to, if you can get used to it. It's too symmetrical!