Tt eSports Theron Gaming Mouse Review
The Theron RTS gaming mouse has arrived, courtesy of ThermalTake. Time to pwn in StarCraft 2!
I have been itching to update my Logitech G9X mouse to something newer for some time now, being three years old. Not a major reason, but a reason nonetheless. I had bee looking at the Razer Deathadder as my next mouse but along came Mayo posting on the SC2SEA.com site a little while back announcing the release of the Tt eSports Theron, purpose built for RTS gaming co-created by a StarCraft 2 pro. I missed out on the review comp, so what is a mad StarCraft 2 player supposed to do? Time for some new kit!
I come from a predominantly FPS gaming background in Quake/Quake 3, Couterstrike, Team Fortress and Battlefield, but have since turned my attention to RTS almost exclusively with StarCraft 2 since the beta, so I hope this review can provide insight on both gaming fronts. Hope you enjoy the read!
The Theron Package
I was actually surprised by the size of the box of the Theron. Considering how grandiose peripheral makers are about their products, the Theron was nicely understated and belied what was in the box. There was of course the mouse itself, a very handy carry case for the Theron when travelling to LANs, several Thermaltake stickers, instructional manuals, warranty card and the driver disk.
The Theron box itself was adorned in the very familiar Thermatake dragon and a information piece about Taiwanese pro gamer, Softball, on the back cover.
Who is Softball?
I doubt many people would recognise Zhan “SoftBall” Zhenyu or know who he is outside of Taiwan. Just to put it briefly, Softball is the highest rated Terran player in the TeSL, and plays for the Tt Apollos team. I believe this is to help get Thermaltake’s pro players names out in the public space similar to White-Ra and Razer’s SlayerS`Boxer. Will we see TtPiG on a box cover one day? I hope so!
Mouse Comparison & Ergonomics
As stated, I have a Logitech G9X and as you can see in the photos, the Theron is slightly larger, which suits my hand size. I always felt the G9X was a bit small, so the size of the Theron is a welcome change.
On to the feel of the mouse. It fits quite naturally in the hand. Index and middle finger rest nicely on the actuation points for left and right mouse buttons and the thumb position is in perfect position. The button response is really good with a solid click to give audible feedback as well. There is a weird pinky button on the right of the Theron which could be used for macro setting but I haven’t found a use for it yet.
The Theron is more suited to a palm grip, instead of a claw grip and this is where most people will run into a problem. In the palm grip, you are more likely to hit the top mounted sensitivity buttons which will change the DPI settings mid-game. It took a couple of days to get used to this but was a source of initial frustration.
The mouse wheel also has a very nice tactile rubber cover and has a lovely feel to it when rolled with a very subdued ‘thunk’.
It should be noted it is a right handed mouse so would not suit a left handed gamer when considering the thumb button position and the pinky button.
The sensitivity buttons on the Theron are in a somewhat troublesome area on top of the mouse. These can some times be accidentally clicked, changing the DPI mid action. This is frustrating to say the least, which you can understand, as it can send you spiralling out of control in the game. Mind you, I haven’t run into this problem for a little while now as I have become accustomed to the button layout.
The Theron comes with five pre-set levels. These took a little getting used to after coming from the G9X because of the different polling rates between to the two mice. Just spend a little time with the different levels to find the right one for you.
On a side note I am using the Theron on a CKS Cutting Mat, probably the best and cheapest mousing surface around and great for papercraft! The mat is actually sitting on top of a fUnc Industries 1030 mat. ;)
There are a few bells and whistles with the Theron, most notably the LED colour settings. These can be set according to preference (mine is set to white) by using the switch on the underside of the mouse. These can also be set to blink according to APM via ‘battle mode’, if you are into that sort of thing. Diablo 3 gives it a hell of a work out!
The weight of the Theron can also be modified with the included 4.5 gram weights. I like a heavy mouse so left it at the default 22.5 grams. These weights can be accessed via the underside of the mouse as well.
Thermaltake has also included a handy velcro cable tie on the mouse cord to keep them organised and for easy storage while travelling. A touch that will most likely go unnoticed, but definitely handy.
The Theron also has software to program in macros for your favourite games. I have never used mouse macros and haven’t investigated this area as yet.
In StarCraft 2, boxing and selecting units or buildings worked fantastically, and I think my micro has improved as well. It is certainly very accurate. Playing through StarCraft Master was a breeze with the Theron (it’s just my lack of ability not being able to complete five of the thirty tests!).
I also played through the Diablo 3 beta, with Rez the Barbarian, and found that the Theron responded really well and never missed click through out the entire three hour button smashing ordeal.
As for use in FPS titles, the Theron works flawlessly. Playing through Battlefield 3 and Team Fortress 2, I felt no remarkable difference between the Theron and the G9X. If anything I probably felt the Theron was a bit more accurate. The thumb buttons for entering/exiting vehicles, throwing grenades or stabbing for dog tags was really responsive. I did use the sensitivity buttons for sniping in BF3 and once I knew where the sweet spot was while scoped in, the target always went down.
Overall, this is a great mouse out of the box. You just need to play a couple of games to find where the Theron works for you and then you can just play. I have stopped using the G9X in favour of the Theron. Even after switching back for a week, the Theron felt more intuitive and comfortable. The DPI settings take a little getting used to, and once you stop hitting the top mounted sensitivity keys, which doesn’t take long, you will love the Theron.
To sum up:
“The Theron makes a great addition to any gamers kit with a tonne of features to please anyone and it won’t break the bank.”
– Ergonomics are great, simple design and comfortable for long sessions
– Button responsiveness is very good
– Customisable weight system
– Sturdy long cord
– DPI is set at 5 distinct levels
– Sensitivity buttons are in a weird spot, but you get used to it
– Can be a little sluggish if the system hasn’t been used, meaning the mouse takes a second or two to reactivate/wake when moved
4.0/5.0 Silicon Chips!
More photos available on Flickr
- T.P.G. (Tt Pro Grade) Gaming Laser Sensor 5600 DPI Engine
– 100 – 5600 DPI Adjustable: Fully Functional on Most Surfaces.
- 1.8 meters Braided USB Cable with Gold-Plated Connector.
- 40 Fully Customizable Macro Keys for RTS/FPS Game Genres.
- Superb Customizable Graphical UI for Macro Keys, Advanced Performance, and Lighting-Effect Options.
- 7 Colors of Pause-Break Lighting Effect on the Dragon logo
– Side-light color changes by clicking frequency during Battle mode
- Industrial Grade Rubber-Coating Finish for better Hand Grip.
- Polling rate switch button (125/500/1000 Hz cycle), and Function-Lock Button provided to disable side button functions.
- On-Board 128kb Memory Storage for 40 Macro Keys within 5 Game Profiles.
- Weight-In Design for Perfect Handling Mouse Movement
– 5 x 4.5g, up to 22.5g max
- Body Dimension (LxWxH): 123.65 X 73.8 X 40.2 (mm)
- Interface: USB
- Operational system: Windows 7®/Vista®/XP®
- Internet Connection for Driver Installation (at least 30MB hard-disk space)
Official Website: http://www.ttesports.com/products/product.aspx?s=28
Price: AU$79 from scorptec.com.au