Capsule Review: Thermaltake Level 10 M Gaming Mouseby Dustin Sklavos on December 21, 2012 5:37 AM EST
Introducing the Thermaltake Level 10 M Gaming Mouse
Input peripherals can be an interesting subject to tackle in these tiny bite size reviews. It's difficult to quantify strict performance, an issue ameliorated somewhat by the fact that actual performance (dpi, etc.) can often take a distant backseat to user comfort and the software included. Comfort is a very subjective thing as well; a mouse that's enjoyable to use for one person may be incredibly uncomfortable or even downright painful for another. High performance gaming mice can complicate things, and mice like the Thermaltake Level 10 M even more so.
Picking up with Thermaltake's successful Level 10 branding, the Level 10 M is advertised as being from the same BMW subsidiary that helped design their striking Level 10 enclosure. This mouse is genuinely packed to the brim with features, sporting configurable lighting, adjustable height and angle, four DPI settings that can be toggled on the fly, and seven configurable buttons (not including the four axis DPI adjustment switch). It's an awful lot of mouse; is it the mouse for you?
Thermaltake wants you to know this is a premium product, and it's clearly been very heavily engineered above and beyond the engineering you typically expect to see in gaming peripherals. With an MSRP of $99, it had better be the best.
The Level 10 M features an aluminum base that folds up along the sides; the interior of the mouse is chiefly black matte plastic with a soft finish that's pleasant to the touch. On the left side of the surface, they've actually ventilated it to make sure your hand doesn't get clammy during long gaming sessions. The Razer mice I've used have always left my hand feeling exceptionally clammy, so this is a nice feature. And while the right mouse button is a bit thinner than the left, it bears mentioning that this design is essentially ambidextrous. Thermaltake includes two mouse buttons on both sides of the mouse; "A" and "B" are on the left side, and "C" and "D" are on the right. Only the DPI rocker is on the left side. While ambidextrous mouse designs aren't totally alien, southpaws will probably appreciate a gaming mouse that can cater to them.
Part of that stems from how adjustable the mouse actually is. With the included screwdriver, the user can raise and lower the palm rest of the mouse, as well as rotating it left and right. Yet one adjustment curiously missing is user-configurable weight. There are, however, four DPI settings that can be toggled between on the fly: 800dpi, 1600dpi, 3200dpi, and 5000dpi. These are also configurable in software, as is pretty much everything else.
Thermaltake has certainly pulled out all the stops in design, but how is the Level 10 M in practice?