UtechSmart Gaming Mice Roundup Review

BluePanda - 2013-08-03 17:25:19 in Input Devices
Category: Input Devices
Reviewed by: BluePanda   
Reviewed on: August 11, 2013
Price: $29.99, $37.99

UtechSmart Gaming Mice Introduction:

It's that time again for another mouse review! Today we'll take a look at two mice from a company you may not have heard of before: UtechSmart. The two mice are actually similar to mice that companies Anker and Perixx also brand and sell; identical in appearance, but the UtechSmart actually saves the wallet a few dollars. So you might see these two I'm about to share with you from other companies, but let's stay specific here as these two are both from UtechSmart: the UtechSmart 8200DPI Precision Laser Gaming Mouse with nine programmable buttons, adjustable weight, and 8000DPI; and the UtechSmart 8000 DPI High Precision Laser Gaming mouse mouse with eleven programmable buttons, adjustable weight, and 8200DPI. Each mouse has its own small features to brag about, which I'll cover throughout the review. The key part of this review will be the affordability of each of these mice at $29.99 and $37.99, respectively.

As a side note, or rather a note of clarification: Since the naming of each mouse isn't too unique other than the 8200 DPI versus 8000 DPI portion, I will in short refer to them as such – the UtechSmart 8200 and the UtechSmart 8000 respectively. This will keep us both straight in the discussion ahead.

 

UtechSmart Gaming Mice Closer Look:

The boxes the UtechSmart mice are packaged in is your simple plastic shell with a cardboard box. I will say it is a unique box rather in its style than its physical appearance. Most mice boxes have a plastic shell holding the mouse so that you can see it from some cutout window in the box. Then the box usually opens up at the top similar to a standard cereal box and then you have to rip and pull at it to get it out; forget about ever putting it back in. This box on the other hand stays smart! It uses the idea of stacking to make a reasonable box. It opens more like a shoe box, pulling up from the front. A couple round stickers hold it closed on the back, but cut these away and it's (in my opinion) a perfect box. Anyway, enough about how practical the box is. The box graphics are otherwise rather simple. The 8200 comes packaged in a dull flat black while the 8000 comes in glossy black. They are near identical in packaging besides the blacks and the listed specifications on the back. It's pretty simple, but let's dive in on the mice rather than talk all day about the boxes. Wouldn't you agree?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pulling everything out of the boxes, there's a bit more to see than just mice and manuals. Each mouse comes with a pack of weights (in their own little tins), some warranty/user information, and the 8200 even comes with extra skates and some tweezers for your face!! (Well really, for the weights I guess, in case you can't handle the itty-bitty weights). Either which way, they both appear quite nice at first glance. They have the slightly cheaper feal to them, but really are much better than your stock Dell mouse and of course they are going to light-up; who can pass that up? I don't have preference for either one yet by appearance alone; they both are pretty neat looking. The 8200 does however have a blue and black braided cable, which I think is a little neat; but it is a darker blue, so it's not too easy to notice across your desk. Anywho, let's move on to find out more.

 

UtechSmart Gaming Mice Closer Look (The Mice):

 

UtechSmart 8200:

I'm going to play things out of order a little and start with the higher priced UtechSmart 8200 mouse. Both mice are palm fitters and I will go ahead and jump out and say that I do like the fit of the 8200 a little better, even this early on in the review. The little extra grip pad on the right and slight curve in provides a more comfortable, controlled grab. From the top of the mouse you can see the scroll wheel (with tilt), the DPI toggle, and the edges of the rubber grips to the left and right of the mouse. An UtechSmart logo appears on the glossy patch of the palm, which will light-up later for some fun. The left click and right click feel even (as if the same, which we'll find out later isn't true for the 8000). It is a little nicer looking in pictures than in person, I must say. The seemingly silvery buttons for the DPI switch and side buttons are actually just painted plastic, but really, if you don't STARE at it, you won't even care.

The bottom of the mouse has a little trap door to add/subtract weights to; we'll see this a little closer up later. The UtechSmart logo is printed neatly with the model number along with the typical QC check sticker. There are four skates for the mouse to travel on, and if you recall from the unboxing photos, you get four more for when you're ready to "replace the tires" after the mileage has taken its toll. It glides quite smoothly on these feet and has quite the exceptional feel for the asking price.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Looking at the front of the mouse you can catch a glimpse of the blue and black braided cable. It's not much of a "feature", but I do find it pretty neat compared to just your standard black braiding. You can get a closer look at textures here as well, with the buttons having a slight rubber coating and the strips down the sides and center remaining glossy black for a unique appearance. The four cutouts on the right (the actual left of the mouse) are individual LED lighting that will indicate the DPI level when plugged in. The butt end of the mouse really just shows off the shape of the mouse; the indentations for the thumb and ring/pinky, respectively left and right. Otherwise it just has a bit of a "fat" looking butt and nothing much to talk about.

 

 

The side profiles of the mouse provide a little more idea of what the mouse has for buttons. The right side has a button way up near the front. Honestly with a regular grip on the mouse I can't find this with my ring finger for the life of me without shifting my hand forward. Perhaps I have short fingers, but I don’t see myself setting this button to any function I'd regularly (or honestly) ever use. It's hard to get to, and because of that, I forget it's even there. By default it swaps between red, green, and blue LED color options on the UtechSmart logo on the palm. To me it's not really a major loss, but those of you looking for extra buttons (for other features), let's hope you have fingers that are a little longer.

Again, the rubber gripping on this side provided a nice grip for me. It isn't glossy and slick after hours of play and isn't overly done to make it irritating either. The left side of the mouse has a similar rubber pad that also plays nicely with holding your thumb in place happily. There are actually three buttons on this left side rather than the standard two for front and back. The lower third button is by default set to be double click; an odd option to have out of the box. I didn’t really use it much that way, but fortunately the software (you'll see ahead) allows for changing this to your choice. Overall the mouse seems pretty comfortable fitting with all of these things and has an okay start for final marks.

 

 

Getting a little more personal we can take a look inside the back door of this mouse; careful, these images may be NSFW (just kidding). Inside, there is a pad of foam with six cutout holes for six weight options, weighing in at five grams a piece for a total wight change of 30g in the heavy direction. I preferred the mouse best without any additional weight, but that's a mouse to mouse, person to person deal. Either way, the weights were easy to insert/remove and best of all, didn't rattle around inside the mouse! The weights do come in a neat box to keep them from getting lost on your desk; the packing is quite nice looking AND big enough to manage on the go.

 

 

This mouse is a standard USB mouse (it's rare to see PS/2 mice anymore) and plays nicely without any drivers installed. Off the bat it comes programmed as about a standard mouse for the regular left/right, front/back, and scroll features, while the additional buttons function as mentioned. Installing the software, as you will see on the next page, gives you a lot more control in setting all eleven buttons to your deepest desires. Ultimately, for a cheap mouse (and even though you haven't heard about the next mouse yet) this UtechSmart 8200 is the breadwinner in this review.

 

 

Here's a few pictures of the mouse lit up in the glorious blue color. But, although you can change the color of the mouse, you can only change the UtechSmart logo. The blue LEDs at the top left (showing DPI indication) are forever blue. This can be good or bad depending on how you feel about blue!

 

 

UtechSmart 8000:

Moving on to the UtechSmart 8000 mouse, we have a slightly different feel. It's a little cheaper selling at $29.99 and has a different overall feel as well. Looking at the top-down view it's a little swoopier than the 8200 and just a very different overall look (good or bad, I'll leave up to you to decide). There are three buttons on the left of the mouse that stick out quite far and are easily viewable from above. The scroll wheel lacks the tilt feature, but features a button above and two buttons below it. The UtechSmart logo on the palm has the appeal for some future glow ability - can't wait! The bottom of the mouse masks the same profile as above in reverse. It has three skates to glide upon, and though a little rougher than our above friend, still slides along nicely. There is a button down here to switch between the two saved profiles the mouse can handle. A trap door turns on and off to hide some additional weight options we'll unveil later.

 

 

From the front of the mouse the tilt wheel looks rather crooked in appearance, however it has a nice feel in hand. Despite the little bit of over-blur effect I have on this particular image, the mouse has a nice basic look to it. The left and right buttons are rubber coated while the sides give off the glossy appeal (not my favorite, but it looks ok). The butt of the mouse doesn't show off much, other than the fatness of the palm grip, but I will point out that the right edge for your ring/pinky finger is a glossy disappointment.

 

 

This picture of the right side of the mouse really shows off the glossy mess I spoke of above. Though the picture makes it look like a botched spray paint job it isn't quite as horrible in person. You don't notice it much in the right lighting or really with it pointing away from you at your desk. You do, however, notice your hand getting a little sweaty on this edge and not quite the ergo-fit you may be hoping for. The buttons on the left side of the mouse are a whole new story to the ideas of "standards". Usually you expect a forward and back with two buttons and a third button as a surprise option. In this case the furthest back button is by default a button for Left ALT, the middle for Left Shift, and the front for Left CTRL. It's not ideal, but thankfully you can install the driver for some reasonable options. In my opinion this takes the real plug'n'play option out of this mouse.

 

 

The bottom of the mouse, like we saw before, has a little twist off door for adding some weight to the overall mouse. I'm still a fan of it without any added weight, and this is how I ended up using it. There are six little TINY weights you can add/subtract weighing in at only 2.4g each. It doesn't seem like much, but adding a few actually provides a noticeable change. I will complain a bit about how tiny they are as even with the container I found them seemingly easy to lose; not a good thing with pets or small children around.

 

 

The UtechSmart 8000 comes with a braided cable with a gold plated USB connector. It looks like your standard plug and is just as simple to plug in. Overall it's a pretty good upgrade from just a standard non-branded mouse or that Logitech "Internet" mouse you might be using. It is definitely affordable and if you are just looking for something with a few buttons it is for sure a good start.

 

 

Here's a couple of shots with the mouse glowing blue. Remember again that the DPI indicators at the top left do not change from blue with the logo; they remain blue no matter your choice. Just something to keep in mind if you can't stand blue coloring.

 

UtechSmart Gaming Mice Closer Look (The Software):

 

UtechSmart 8200:

The software for the UtechSmart 8200 mouse is pretty basic; only three pages to manage your settings. The first of the pages is the "Main Settings" page, which allows you to set button options for all five profiles. The default button options are shown on the image below. Though your mouse doesn't look like the graphic itself (all glossy and fancy with near tiger scrape glows), it's easy enough to figure out what buttons are referencing what. You can change things to almost anything you can imagine.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The "Advanced Settings" tab allows you to customize your mouse speed, scroll speed, and double click speed separate from your Windows settings. You can even change your polling rate and sensitivity settings here for the X and Y axis. You can also step up or step down your DPI settings.

 

The final page allows you the most fun - color changes! Despite the features/specifications offering 16 million color options, the software only allows you to select from this six by four block of colors. I will say changing just the logo on the mouse does at least flash quickly and doesn't take as much time as some of the other color changing mice on the market. It's a relatively instant change, and like most Americans you can be instantly gratified.

 

UtechSmart 8000:

The software for the UtechSmart 8000 has about the same features in a slightly different format with an interestingly colored GUI. The "Main" page allows you to set your button options on both profile options. Here you can also change the acceleration, mouse point speed, scroll speed, and of course the double click speed as well with a test box. You can save and load profile options at the bottom so you can have options on the go. The polling rate has options to switch between, as well, with the default set to 500Hz. The "DPI" page allows you to set X and Y axis DPI for all four saved DPI settings per profile. Set them exactly how you want. The defaults for the profiles are shown in the screen below.

 

 

The light option is the penultimate tab. Here you have a quite a few standard colors as well as the full HEX spectrum of codes to apply. The drop down custom color box is a little laggy in response but you can get just about any color you can imagine. I will say though that the color on the screen versus the actual LED coloring are quite different. I picked army green on the screen and ended up with a rather flamboyant sea foam green on the mouse. With some tweaking I'm sure you'll get the final color you want; might just take some practice. The very last tab allows for you to find quick contact info without going to the UtechSmart website. It does have a link to the website for support as well as software updates as they come out. If nothing else you can check what version you are running for troubleshooting.

 

UtechSmart Gaming Mice Specifications:

UtechSmart 8200:

Sensor Type:
8200 DPI high-precision laser
Polling Rate:
1000
Frame Rate:
120000
Speed:
100-150 inch/second
Acceleration:
30G
Buttons:
11 non-slip programmable
DPI:
7 adjustable settings (600-8200)
Weight:
Adjustable with 6 x 5g tuning system
Lighting:
16 million customizable options
Profiles:
5 stored settings
Cable Length:
6 feet (braided) w/Gold-plated USB connector
Dimensions:
125.93mm x 88.11mm x 41.3 mm (L x W x H)

 

UtechSmart 8000:

Sensor Type:
8000 DPI high-precision laser
Polling Rate:
1000
Frame Rate:
120000
Speed:
100-150 inch/second
Acceleration:
30G
Buttons:
9 programmable
DPI:
4 adjustable settings (200-8200)
Weight:
Adjustable w/ 8 x 2.4g tuning system
Lighting:
16 million customizable light colors
Profiles:
2 onboard storage profiles
Cable Length:
6 feet (braided)

 

 

UtechSmart Gaming Mice Features:

UtechSmart 8200:

 

UtechSmart 8000:

UtechSmart Gaming Mice Testing and Results:

The UtechSmart mice weres defiantly put through over a week of use and testing. During this time they were used in everyday use, surfing the Internet, Photoshopping, and of course some gaming. As a mouse is personal to each and every individual, 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 up 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.

Testing Setup:

 

UtechSmart 8200 AND 8000:

In most round-up style reviews I would normally designate each item its own "result" section. However, in the case of these two mice I found it best to compare the two directly in each resulting section of the testing methods. Below is a synopsis of such results in the perspective of my hand.

Everyday Use:

In the everyday use category I felt that both the UtechSmart 8200 and UtechSmart 8000 performed about the same with only one exception. Both mice were easy to glide across my mouse pad, easy to quickly change DPI for various applications, and easy enough to go about web surfing, emails, and the general Internet blah. However, my only big complaint comes back to the 8000 and its horrid default button settings. Before setting options in the driver the mouse is about as useful as a standard two button mouse. Why these silly Left ALT, Shift, and CTRL options are set as the left buttons I don't know, but before I could really stand to use the mouse these options had to be changed. Ultimately the 8200 won this category simply due to its standard button settings without the use of drivers.

 

Working:

Since the drivers were the main flaw of the 8000 in everyday use I will refrain from complaining about them in every section here forward, so for both Working and Gaming you can assume I've installed the drivers and have "normal" button usage assigned to start with. With that in mind, it was hard to really find anything that separated the 8000 from the 8200 in working use. The issue of comfort arose after working for quite some time in Excel. With it still being near summer here the afternoons are a bit hot before turning on the swamp cooler. The 8000 and its glossy body really started showing the heat in use then. My hand was a bit sweaty and I had that urge to keep "drying" off my hand. The shape overall, being a bit taller than the 8200, also became a drain on my small hand and its effort to stay atop the mouse. The 8200 again won this category with the great grips and better overall grip to the mouse. Both the left and right click provide the same feel (as where the 8000 had slightly different clicks). The button placement overall on the 8200 also was a win with easy access to all but the upper right side button. Despite my preference for the 8200 here, the 8000 is still a decent mouse to work with.

 

Gaming:

Gaming provided the real winner in this review, and to no surprise at all, the 8200 won my hand in this time as well. Me thinks the small price difference is the key to the results of testing, but for a good grip and long term use the 8200 really won me over. The 8000 doesn't have as many buttons to program (nine versus eleven), but is still plenty in the games I play. The buttons on both were easy enough to get used to moving to and in neither case were strenuous to get to (except that upper button on the 8200 for my short fingers). I was happy with the accuracy I was able to kill zombies with on both mice despite their 200 DPI difference. Having the same sensors and about the same control over the mouse within the software gaming precision was nearly identical. The real difference came down to comfort, where the 8200 just had the better fit. The grips and lack of glossy surfaces won the bid and left the 8000 on the floor.

UtechSmart Gaming Mice Conclusion:

UtechSmart 8200:

Overall, you can tell from the rest of the review that I took a stronger liking for the UtechSmart 8200. I won't say it's my favorite mouse of all time, but between the two it's the clear winner. The affordability of both mice bodes well, but in the end the reflecting quality for either mouse doesn't really scream fair to its price tag. Unfortunately at this price range there isn't much on the current market that I would go crazy for. There aren't too many options even at this seemingly "high" price for a mouse. I will say it is a great option, though in longevity it's hard to say, as the review doesn't allow me to say/show how long it will last.

A lot depends here on what you really want in a mouse. Comfort, some custom options, and some glowy features are all clear winners on this mouse. It comes out of the box configured in a usable setup and works just as you'd expect any mouse to work. The optional driver software allows you to play a little more to tweak it into something you can desire. Button options, colors, and, most importantly, the varied DPI settings for varied games.

Though I wouldn't usually jump out to buy something with a seemingly "off-brand" name, this mouse is surprisingly nice. For the $40 price range there isn't much there to compete with similar options. There are a couple CM Storm mice and even some Steelseries options in this price range that just don't compete button wise. In my honest opinion, this UtechSmart 8200 is quite the nice find, especially as an upgrade from a two button Dell mouse.

 

Pros:

 

Cons:

 

 

 

UtechSmart 8000:

Although the UtechSmart 8000 didn't have as many features as the 8200 mouse, it still fought hard in this battle of the mice. Its price range puts it in a completely different category with some very basic two button options. It does excel in this range with the number of options it has, but when it comes down to it, no matter how cheap the price, there is an eventual cutoff for something I'd buy.

Unfortunately the UtechSmart 8000 falls below this mark as something I'd buy. Sure it has some programmable features, but the shape of the mouse and overall comfort come forward to defeat these things (at least for me). The awkward button locations as well as the most ridiculous pre-set button settings I've seen makes this mouse useless to me out of the box. If I needed something quick on the go, I'd find anything else. The glowy logo and the DPI settings don't sell me this mouse. The mouse just falls short in an attempt to be cheap by being the literal definition of cheap crap.

 

Pros:

 

Cons: