Alienware Elite Gaming Mouse (AW958)
Gaming Mouse (Wired)
Like its keyboard companion the Alienware AW768, the Elite Gaming Mouse features a chrome, black, and angular look that could only be Alienware. From the well-known maker of PC hardware aimed at the high-end gaming peripheral crowd, the Elite Gaming Mouse is the company’s clicker of choice for those looking for a high-performer when it comes to smooth responsive mouse movement. It’s also fully customisable too, and not only in terms of DPI scrolling speeds. From interchangeable side panels, the ability to add some weight, and even adjust palm height. The AW958 is certainly impressive - on paper.
It’s just, well, not all that comfortable to use.
At a glance the AW958 may not feature the most outlandish mouse design we’ve ever seen, and one could even easily compare its overall shape to other devices currently on the market. The only problem though is that no matter the weight distribution, or side-panel choice - it’s just not that comfortable to hold for any extended period. The thumb positioning always feels a little off and clicking itself feels a tad too loose an unimpressive.
That’s not to say that the AW958 is not a performer, because everything from the sensor to its overall responsiveness is great – technically speaking. But, when your thumb needs to be raised to a weird position to press the side-buttons in the six-button configuration version of the Alienware AW958 – it all begins to feel a little awkward. Which is weird because from a pure design perspective the AW958 is a looker – from its implementation of flux-capacitor style RGB lighting to the two-tone colour scheme and the soft rubber utilized for the side panels. Even the customisable aspects like the additional weights, slide in easily to offer a complimentary exhaust look to the underside of the mouse.
- Sensor: Pixart PMW 3360
- DPI: 12000 DPI
- LED Color: RGB
- Polling Rate: 1000 Hz
- Buttons: 13 (adjustable)
- Weight: 197g (adjustable)
- Cable: USB 2.0/braided
In terms of a high-end gaming mouse the AW958 does not disappoint when it comes to functionality and choice. But again, that’s on paper. Performance-wise the Alienware AW958 is responsive and the customisation options via the Alienware Command Center software are commendable – if a little difficult to use. For example, adjusting DPI settings requires sifting through menus and sub-menus to get to the right settings. Compared to the software of other hardware makers out there, it’s certainly powerful, but doesn’t really cater for ease-of-use or quick access to the most common settings. On the hardware side being able to adjust the weight and swap out panels means that the AW958 is suites to just about any style of game – from an FPS like Overwatch or DOOM to MOBA’s and strategy games.
But, all the detailed software customisation and swappable parts don’t alleviate the main issue with the Alienware AW958 – that being its overall uncomfortable feel when used over the long-term. Which could have easily been fixed with a few design tweaks. Having side buttons that are too small and out of reach, a scroll-wheel that needs you to move your index finger down a little too much, minor issues that begin to feel major only after extended use. And in the current market where it’s difficult to stand out among the competition, it’s a shame that the AW958 couldn’t have been a little better.