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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Gadget Review: Scroll Alpha 8200 DPI Gaming Mouse

Review by Nick H.

The Scroll Alpha 8200 DPI Gaming Mouse is one of the most interesting ones I have worked with yet. A lot of the mice I see are visually very flashy, but do not track particularly well. This one does both, but the design is unique and while I can see it suiting some people very well, it doesn't really work for me.

To start with, the Scroll Alpha 8200 is lightweight with a few spots where a pleasant LED glow is emitted (near the scroll wheel, along the sides, on the DPI shift button and the back end and the front tip of the mouse). The glow and colour of said light is tied to which DPI setting the mouse is on. With a wide range starting as low as 200 and capping at 8200, the Scroll Alpha 8200 provides plenty of options and some blue, red, green illumination and more. The mouse comes with software that is easy to operate and install for setting it up.

The actual DPI tracking is quite good, although I did find that at the higher settings, some pixel skip did occur depending on what kind of surface I was using the mouse on. It glides smoothly and has a nicely braided cable to connect to your PC or laptop with.

The design of the mouse itself is a little different as the top surface is like a single shell. There is some flex near the top half of the shell where it splits off for the right and left buttons, but there is definitely a sweet spot to hit when pressing down on those keys. Those primary mouse buttons do have a resilient clickiness to them that felt and sounded good in use. There are some additional buttons on both sides that can be programmed to do a variety of things such as bounce a browser forward and back or turn the audio up or down. Of course for gamers, they can be made to do other things as well (I like to set the scroll wheel button to turn on numlock for example, so I can toggle running on in World of Warcraft).

The design of the mouse is interesting for more than its shell-like top surface. The sides are slightly angled before flaring out at the back, creating a comfortable position on the sides. The buttons on either side are quite sensitive and prone to being accidentally triggered with even the lightest of touches it seems. Thankfully they are high enough along the sides that incidental contact really does not happen very often.

The edges of the mouse are less comfortable, however. Perhaps it is because I have fairly large hands, but my fingertips tend to reach out further than the edges of the mouse. Unlike some mice that rely on smoother, rounded edges, the Scroll Alpha is made up of sharper lines and corners. It gives the mouse a distinctive, futuristic look but unfortunately is uncomfortable around the edges if my fingers stray too far and if I grip or press too hard at any given time. One other small quirk I noticed is that the way the uniform upper shell moves with clicks, is it can apply pressure to the scroll wheel. Normally that wheel turns nice and easily, but if the left or right mouse button is held while trying to scroll, it pinches a little and applies some unwanted pressure to the wheel.

The Scroll Alpha 8200 is symmetrical in design, meaning it is suitable for lefties or righties. The extra fins that flare out on either side look nice but they do add a sort of bulkiness to the mouse. Lastly, by using the software, different profiles can be configured that let you store different button configurations. This is handy if you have multiple users who want the mouse to do different things, or for people who want to program in different things for different games.

All in all the Scroll Alpha 8200 is a reasonably priced mouse with a lot of options and high performance. The actual fit and design of the mouse itself has a few personal drawbacks for me, though my youngest daughter with smaller hands than I do absolutely loves it.

- Nick H.
US Editor

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This mouse can be purchased here
Gadget Review: Scroll Alpha 8200 DPI Gaming Mouse
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