Alienware could make a number of the finest gaming laptops, however its peripherals have not fairly made the identical invasion into the realms of finest gaming mice and keyboards. But the corporate is making an attempt to rectify that this yr with a trio of recent Tri-Mode peripherals introduced at CES that match the corporate’s “Legend 2.0” design.
We’re nonetheless ready to check out the brand new headsets, however we have been testing the corporate’s Tri-Mode Wireless Gaming Mouse (AW720M) for the previous few weeks and, for essentially the most half, have come away impressed. It’s snug, engaging and versatile due to its ambidextrous design (full with buttons on each side) and wired, RF and Bluetooth connectivity (therefore Tri-Mode). It additionally has a nifty USC-C charging cable with a magnetic tip, so you possibly can go away it within the mouse for straightforward charging each time it’s essential to juice up your cursor controller.
The firm additionally claims you need to rise up to 140 hours of gaming with the USB-C RF dongle, or as much as 420 hours over Bluetooth, which is way longer than many different wi-fi gaming mice.
But at $149, the AW720M can also be a really costly mouse, which can restrict its attraction to Alienware followers and lefties on the lookout for the finest wi-fi mouse for lengthy gaming periods.
Alienware Tri-Mode Wireless Gaming Mouse (AW720M) Specifications
|Resolution||Up to 26,000 DPI|
|Polling fee||USB report fee: 1000 Hz|
|Cables||USB-A to USB-C rechargeable, USB-C Dongle, Dual USB-C dongle/magnetic USB-C connector|
|Connectivity||Wired, RF, Bluetooth|
|Battery||Rechargeable, 140 hours RF, 420 hours Bluetooth|
|Measurements (H x W x D)||4.93 x 2.43 x 1.49 inches|
|Weight||3.14 oz (89 grams)|
Design of the Alienware Tri-Mode Wireless Gaming Mouse (AW720M)
At 4.93 inches lengthy and 89 grams, clearly the AW720M is not focusing on the ultralight mouse market. But on the similar time, it does not really feel large or cumbersome. Its closest analog when it comes to ambidextrous design, button format, and common measurement could be Razer’s Viper Ultimate. That mouse is a bit lighter, at 74g. But the Razer mouse has a rated battery lifetime of ‘simply’ 70 hours, half the declare of the Alienware.
Note additionally that, whereas our assessment unit got here in white, the corporate can even supply a black mannequin beginning in April. The white mannequin could slot in higher along with your Alienware laptop computer, however if you happen to’re the kind to maintain peripherals for a number of years (which you need to if you happen to’re spending this a lot on a mouse), the darker variant will doubtless do a significantly better job of hiding your finger funk.
Somewhat surprisingly for an Alienware gadget, the RGB right here is constrained contained in the alien head on the again of the mouse. And personally, that is greater than sufficient mouse lighting for my style. The rubberized ratcheting scroll wheel feels a bit stiff to me, however not overly so. I do considerably miss the dual-mode (ratcheting and free-spinning) wheel of my Logitech MX Master, however that is extra for productiveness functions than gaming.
The pair of buttons mounted on both facet of the mouse really feel pleasingly clicky, and I personally did not have any main points hitting the facet buttons by mistake through the warmth of gaming. But resting my thumb alongside the left facet and my ring finger on the suitable, I can see my digits are at all times fairly near these buttons. So these with giant palms could have points with unintended button presses.
Also, whereas either side of the mouse is textured so as to add some further grip, the entire mouse shell is fabricated from the identical clean plastic. Particularly at this worth (or frankly, even a 3rd much less), I’d count on rubber facet grips, which the Razer Viper Ultimate has, as do many gaming mice priced at $100 and up.
The mouse encompasses a pretty customary USB-C port up entrance for charging, and you need to use a normal cable to cost it. But what Alienware consists of within the field for charging and connectivity is surprisingly advanced, though it largely works properly.
The included 6.5-foot USB-A-to-USB-C charging cable is each pleasingly lengthy and braided. And for wi-fi connectivity, you get a small 2.4 GHz dongle that makes use of USB-C. Since many programs–and significantly lots of the finest gaming prebuilt desktops, have only one USB-C port, that could possibly be an issue for some. But Alienware features a small field that homes a fair smaller dual-USB-C dongle, with two USB-C ports on one facet and one five-pin magnetic port on the opposite finish.
The thought right here is which you could join your wired USB-C charging cable to one of many two ports and the USB-C wi-fi dongle to the opposite. And a tiny USB-C magnetic plug could be inserted into the charging port of the mouse. The finish result’s that you just use one USB-A port to plug within the charging cable, however that connects each the USB-C RF dongle and a magnetic connection for charging.
Move the entrance of the mouse anyplace near the dongle and the magnets will snap collectively, charging the mouse and letting you sport on the similar time. The firm claims simply 5 minutes of charging provides you with 20 hours of gaming.
There’s additionally a small metallic clip instrument within the plastic field that is there that can assist you take away the tiny magnetic USB-C connector from the charging port of the mouse. But don’t be concerned about shedding that, as a result of I had no points eradicating the charging tip from the entrance of the mouse utilizing my brief fingernails.
All of this sounds a bit fiddly to explain, however in follow it really works fairly properly. We would not suggest gaming for lengthy durations with the dongle and cable plugged into the mouse. But given Alienware’s quick charging claims, you should not need to. Plug it in for a couple of minutes when the battery dies and try to be good for a gaming session or three. And then simply go away the mouse plugged into the magnetic cable at any level once you aren’t utilizing it and also you should not have to fret about charging once more for weeks.
The backside of the mouse has a swap to pick out 2.4 GHz or Bluetooth wi-fi (holding the swap within the lowest place for 3 seconds places the mouse in pairing mode). And a swap on the suitable turns the mouse on and off. It will perform in wired mode whereas switched off, but when the magnetic connection turns into indifferent (which it did a few occasions for us throughout testing), you’re all of a sudden left with a lifeless cursor controller, a minimum of till you flip the mouse on.
A textured button under the sensor (which Alienware does not disclose, save to say that it is 26,000 DPI) switches between 5 completely different sensitivity presets (800-3,200 DPI by default). And a tiny RGB LED above the sensor lets which you are on. I’m personally not one to change up my sensitivity so much throughout gaming, however this sort of management is a complete lot simpler to entry when it is on high of the mouse moderately than the underside.
Gaming Performance of Alienware Tri-Mode Wireless Gaming Mouse (AW720M)
Likely attributable to its related form to many different mice, the Alienware AW720M instantly felt acquainted and comfy in my hand. And after a number of hours of taking part in numerous FPS and technique titles, I did not discover any critical ache factors within the design, though nothing really stood out in a constructive means both.
I died simply as usually in Elden Ring as I at all times do with the AW720M. I nonetheless cannot get previous the 100 days/low inhabitants problem within the Desolated Wasteland map of They Are Billions with the AW720M. And whereas fulfilling in brief bursts, I nonetheless have not been in a position to dig into Doom Eternal the identical means I did Id’s earlier demonic FPS utilizing the AW720M. None of that is the mouse’s fault. In truth, the truth that nothing actually modified in my gameplay is, if something, a testomony to the mouse’s competent design–and my not-so-competent gaming expertise. I like a mouse that feels acquainted and will get out of the way in which to allow you to sport. But for $150, a number of folks will count on greater than that.
As famous earlier, the textured plastic sides are higher than clean sides for a little bit of added grip, however rubber would go so much additional for sustaining grip–particularly throughout lengthy gaming periods within the hotter months.
The facet buttons are a bit small, however they have been pretty straightforward to press with the sting or tip of my thumb. And even once I shifted between palm and claw grips, I did not discover myself by accident hitting the pair of facet buttons on the suitable fringe of the mouse–-which can usually be a draw back of ambidextrous designs. That stated, my fingers are pretty brief and never that giant. Those with giant palms could have a really completely different expertise with the facet buttons, as a result of there is not a complete lot of room under them on your thumb and fingers.
In phrases of battery life, I did not use the mouse lengthy sufficient to validate or disprove Alienware’s declare of 140 hours of two.4 GHz gaming time. Between gaming and testing the magnetic charging connection, the battery life indicator in Alienware’s Control Center app by no means dipped under 75% in my time with the mouse. So lengthy as you retain the cable and dongle someplace close to your mouse and go away the magnetic charging tip within the mouse, charging turns into so easy that you will in all probability cost it extra usually than it’s essential to. But as long as you give the mouse a full cost each couple of weeks or so (relying after all on how usually and lengthy you sport), try to be fantastic.
Software for the Alienware Tri-Mode Wireless Gaming Mouse (AW720M)
You do not strictly want to put in the software program to make use of the AW720M in any of of its three modes (wired, wi-fi RF or wi-fi Bluetooth). But if you wish to do something extra advanced than shift between the preset DPI settings (which you’ll juggle by way of a button on the underside of the mouse) you may want Alienware’s software program–of which cursor controls are only a small half.
If you personal an Alienware PC, you may be aware of the corporate’s Command Center app, which is used for lighting controls, numerous settings, and will also be used as a sport launcher. It’s additionally the software program you may want to make use of to alter something however the primary settings of the Tri-Mode mouse.
The software program is usually intuitive and fairly. And for the mouse particularly, it allows you to change the visuals on the RGB alien head, remap buttons, create and apply macros, replace firmware, alter the DPI presets (in 100 DPI increments), and select between a 1 mm or 2 mm lift-off distance.
Overall, my solely actual criticism concerning the software program is that it is a almost 900MB obtain, and far of that software program bloat has little or nothing to do with mouse controls. It’s good for Alienware PC customers since you may already be operating the software program. But for everybody else, the software program simply feels unnecessarily cumbersome.
Alienware’s Tri-Mode AW720M is a cushty, competent gaming mouse, with lengthy battery life and a nifty magnetic charging cable/USB-C dongle combo. But for most individuals, that is in all probability not sufficient to make this mouse stand out, particularly contemplating its $149 worth. For that a lot (and sometimes much less), you may get issues like excessive 8,000 Hz polling charges (if you happen to go the wired route), grippy rubber sides, extra buttons, customizable weights, a lighter weight, or various different variably fascinating options that this mouse both lacks or does not excel at.
That’s to not say the AW720M is a foul mouse. I loved utilizing it and had no main complaints about its design or consolation. But with out a main worth drop, it should in all probability largely attraction to Alienware PC homeowners and/or left-handers who just like the promised lengthy battery life and in any other case typically strong characteristic set and are keen to spend so much for these options.