The Thermaltake Black Element Mouse

As someone who's been a fairly resolute Logitech user (and still enjoys the G500), I have to say Thermaltake has done a remarkably solid job with the Black Element Mouse. The Black Element uses a mostly ambidextrous design with a soft-touch plastic surface that isn't anywhere near as inducive to clammy palms as the material Razer uses (and by extension, the material used on the old Microsoft Habu). The ridges in the mouse buttons also don't feel quite as deep as the ones typically found on Razer mice, making the Black Element more comfortable in the hand overall.

The top of the Black Element features two plastic buttons beneath the mouse wheel that default to toggling laser sensor polling speed, effectively changing the sensitivity of the mouse on the fly. Above them is a mouse wheel that feels like it has just the right amount of resistance, both in scrolling and in pressing as a middle mouse button. On the left side, where your thumb would rest, are three buttons in a row. This is one situation where I think Logitech's G500 definitely has a smarter layout in having the third button beneath the two instead of between them, as it felt like my thumb had to slightly reach to hit the uppermost button. Meanwhile, the right side of the Black Element has a single long button that you should be able to hit with your pinky without too much trouble. Flip the Black Element over and you'll find a button for toggling profiles as well as user-adjustable weights.

The software for the Black Element is a little obtuse at first, but most of the simple stuff is easy enough to get a hold of. Each of the mouse buttons is programmable, and you can individually adjust vertical and horizontal sensitivity. The mouse also supports up to four different DPI settings, and you can change the LEDs that light up the mouse to one of five colors: red, cyan, green, magenta, and blue. You can also disable LEDs individually, but unfortunately you can't choose different colors. Finally, you can program macros and button functions directly into the mouse, which is nifty in and of itself.

And how did the Black Element work in practice? Very well, actually, although there are some snags in the design. The default sensitivity of 3200dpi (vertical and horizontal) proved to be just right for me, and that's good because the mouse sensitivity buttons feel like they're a bit on the chintzy side. The same is true of the programmable buttons on the sides. They just don't have quite the same feeling of resistance and quality that the buttons on Logitech's G500 or Corsair's Vengeance mice do.

Thermaltake Meka and Cherry MX Black Switches in Practice Conclusion: The Pieces are Here


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  • SilthDraeth - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    It is supposed to fix the repeating key bug. But it doesn't entirely.

    Does this keyboard work with a ps2 adapter?
  • Googer - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    Im using an old Mechanical Keyboard on PS/2 on an ASUS AMD A75 APU motherboard and have no keyboard issues what so ever. Reply
  • daar - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    I've never had any key repeating problems on Logitech keyboards using the USB interface on a variety of systems. My bud uses a Razer BlackWidow and never has had an issue either. Looks like I'll wait for the next revision before springing on a Corsair keyboard.. Reply
  • SilthDraeth - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    Cooler Master CM Storm QuickFire Rapid SGK-4000-GKCL1-US USB or PS/2 Wired Gaming Mechanical Cherry Blue Switches Keyboard

    Uses Cherry blue switches, looks well made. I almost bought one, but the K60 was on sale for $20 less.

    Still not sure I made the right decision.
  • Dustin Sklavos - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    Honestly it looks like it'd basically be comparable to Rosewill's RK-9000 with the same Cherry MX Blue switches we reviewed. It looks almost identical, just without the number pad. Reply
  • canontk - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    There's a lot more to a keyboard than looks and having the same switches. One could argue that my Leopold tenkeyless with MX Browns is exactly the same as my Filco tenkeyless with MX browns, but they feel almost completely different.

    The build quality and it's components (plate mounted, key caps, etc.) are what make the difference.

    If you really want a nice Cherry MX keyboard then I recommend Filco, yes it's worth the price difference.
  • althaz - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    Dustin, you need to test a keyboard with Cherry MX Brown switches. They are most people's ultimate choice for a gaming and typing keyboard. Reds are a frequent runner-up as, like you mentioned, they are basically a lighter Black switch. Reply
  • joel4565 - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    Yeah according to the link TheEye's posted they do recommend MX Brown as the best compromise between typing and gaming. Looking on newegg though, it looks fairly uncommon with only 5 listings. Two by Daskeyboard at ~ 150 a brand I never heard of as well as a Rosewill and Coolermaster.

    The Coolermaster actually looks like a pretty nice keyboard on paper at ~ 100:

    Dustin, any chance you might be able to test the Coolmaster SGK-4010-GKCM1-US?
  • MrSpadge - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    Agreed. I've got the Zowie Celeritas with MX Brown and find them much better than any MX Black I've tested (not many, though). Reply
  • jigglywiggly - Thursday, June 28, 2012 - link

    only cherry mx red is good
    i even think it has slightly too much resistence
    i want super cherry mx red
    i couldn't imagine having more resistence
    but then again i type at like 140wpm

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