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Fanatec Headshot Controller/Mouse review: Fanatec Headshot Controller/Mouse

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The Good Comfortable; eminently customizable; combination of high-resolution mouse and custom pad makes for extremely smooth tracking; mouse pad doubles as USB hub.

The Bad Mouse essentially tethered to bulky mouse pad; almost nonexistent documentation; questionable "joystick emulator" feature.

The Bottom Line It's hard-core and flashy, and it has lots of extra features. Unfortunately, the Headshot mouse will also keep you tethered to its giant plastic mouse pad. If you want to game on the go, give this mouse a pass.

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7.0 Overall
  • Setup 6
  • Features 7
  • Support 8

Game mice tend to be pretty funky. These expensive peripherals usually have lots of lights, lots of buttons, and lots of nifty features, such as on-the-fly sensitivity switching and custom program settings. Fanatec has taken the convention of funky game-mouse design to an extreme end with the Headshot. At slightly less than $100, the Headshot is one of the pricier game mice on the market. Its many handy features will appeal to hard-core shooter fans, but the Headshot's limited, pad-reliant design seriously hurts the mouse. With similar high-performance game mice such as the excellent Logitech G5 Laser Mouse available for about $30 less (with no bothersome pad), it's hard to justify dropping a Benjamin on the Headshot.

Though it looks like Salvador Dali's take on mouse design, the Headshot actually feels pretty comfortable. The 4.9-ounce mouse's curves fit with the contours of the hand, and the rubberized sides make for a secure grip. If the Headshot feels too small and narrow, you can widen it by turning two large screws on the bottom and sliding out the left side of the mouse. With the grip extended all the way, even my large hands rest comfortably on it. Finally, a series of LEDs within the mouse give it a nifty glowing effect.

Besides the standard right/left mouse buttons and mouse wheel, the Headshot features four additional buttons. A pair above the mouse wheel provide additional functions for most programs. Though they're on the top edge of the mouse rather than the side, the buttons act just like the thumb buttons on most other game mice. While it's odd to see a game mouse without at least one button under the thumb, it's easy to get used to clicking these new buttons. An additional pair of buttons just under the wheel controls the mouse's resolution, shifting from 400dpi to up to 4,000dpi resolution with just a few taps. The Headshot's sensor has a top resolution of 2,000dpi, so the highest setting is an artificial sensitivity boost. Bumping up and down mouse resolution on the fly is a handy feature for first-person shooters, where a player might need to rapidly switch between high sensitivity for fast maneuvers and low sensitivity for slower, precision aiming.

Besides its broad mouse body and short little pigtail of a cord, the Headshot's most noticeable feature is its giant mouse pad. The huge plastic square is almost the size of a keyboard, and it eats up an absurd amount of desk space. On the other hand, it doubles as a three-port, powered USB hub (two ports with the mouse plugged in), and a handy plastic arch keeps the mouse cable tucked up and away while leaving enough slack to work comfortably. And if that isn't enough, the plastic arch glows, just like the mouse itself.

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