The Saitek 1,600dpi Desktop Gaming Mouse has some nice features including three programmable buttons and a sensitivity switch button. The $19.95 Desktop Gaming Mouse could be a viable option for gamers on a tight budget, but if you're not afraid to spend a few more beans, the Logitech G5 Laser Mouse provides superior comfort, a plethora of programmable buttons, and removable weights for a more substantial feel.
The attractive Saitek Desktop Gaming Mouse has an ergonomic shape. A translucent strip around the mouse glows bright blue and matches the glowing sensitivity button on top. Both sides of the mouse curve inward, almost symmetrically, and the left side of the mouse sports two thumb buttons, while the right side has one. Unfortunately, though it looks comfortable to hold, it's not. The right side of the mouse curves in at a slightly sharper angle, making it more comfortable for right-handed users, but it's still awkward. Since both sides curve inward, there no comfortable resting spot for the last two fingers, and without a comfortable resting spot, our hand grew weary during long hours of gaming. The left side of the mouse has two programmable buttons, and the right side has one, and though they're easily accessible with a thumb, the buttons on the opposite side are difficult to reach. The sensitivity button on top of the mouse is also difficult to hit and requires some finger contortions.
The Saitek 1600dpi Desktop Gaming Mouse works as a plug-and-play device, but once you install the included Gaming Mouse software, you can program the three extra buttons to open applications, macros, and Web browsers. Unlike with other gaming mice we've seen, you can't program the sensitivity button--you're stuck with the preset 1,600 and 800 dots per inch (dpi), which are good for most gaming situations, but we'd prefer to set our own dpi levels.
In our tests, the Saitek Gaming Mouse performed quite well. Its sensor is sharp, and its Teflon feet slide smoothly. The sensitivity toggle switch provided a noticeable amount of change, and the programmable buttons never failed to function correctly. The Saitek weighs a mere 3.5 ounces, and it felt a bit light under the hand; most gamers will prefer a heavier mouse.
Saitek backs the 1600dpi Desktop Gaming Mouse with a two-year warranty--a year longer than the industry standard. Support is available on Saitek's Web site in the form of user forums, downloadable drivers and manuals, and FAQs. You can also e-mail or call Saitek's tech-support team.