Mionix is a company that I have yet had the pleasure of personally dealing with. That all changes today though, and they have sent over a couple of products for me to get a feel for what they are all about. Checking up on them by reading their website information, it seems Mionix has a really good foundation and principles that should make this company a strong contender in the peripherals game. Mionix has been a player since 2007 and they claim that they are a company that will offer users high-end peripherals that are high quality, innovative, and come from a line of products that have already won various awards.
For those of you who are aware of Mionix and some of their previous products, you may very well be aware of the Naos naming of their mice. There has been the Naos 3200 and the Naos 5000, both of which are named relative to their maximum DPI. That isn't to say that Mionix is solely based on mice, they have a mechanical keyboard, mouse feet, and many mouse pads available as well. Just by investigating the products and their specifications for each on the site, I can clearly see that Mionix is right with the current trends in peripherals, and are using high-end components and parts to make their products shine a little brighter than most other offerings currently on the market.
The reason why I mentioned the Naos naming is because we are going to be looking at the third generation Naos today, the laser sensor based Naos 8200. I don't want to say too much about what is included because I will be very in depth with it on the next page. What I will say is that this ergonomically shaped, right-handed mouse, on paper looks to be nothing but a top notch offering.
Along with the Naos 8200 I was also sent the Ensis 320, which is an aluminum mouse pad that is specially treated to limit data loss in the mouse laser. So stick with me as I take you through the technical and opinionated side of the Mionix Naos 8200 and the Ensis 320, as we try to figure out what Mionix is all about and just how well their products perform.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The design of the Naos 8200 has a lot going for it. While it is only for the right-handers out there, it is very ergonomic in form. The entire mouse is covered with four layers of a rubber coating to optimize the grip of the Naos. This also gives all the edges, curves, and buttons a flat and smooth appearance. Part of the design that makes the Naos 8200 a perfect fit in the hand is that not only are there curves to center your fingers on to, but both the left for your thumb, and the right for your ring and pinky finger are designed to fully support them. This makes it so that there is no extra drag from your hand either to allow for better tracking across the surface you choose to mouse over. One last thing that makes the Naos 8200 so pleasing to look at is that once powered, there is the default green set to all of the LED lighting found around the mouse. It's not that LED lighting hasn't been done before, but green LED products are sort of rare.
Internally Mionix does step up the game with this mouse. To control everything about the way the Naos works and how it talks to the PC, they have chosen to use a 32-bit ARM processor that is clocked to 72MHz. Tracking your movement, the Naos 8200 comes equipped with the Avago ADNS A9800 laser sensor that offers up to 8200 DPI, and is currently the highest sensor on the market. To allow you to be able to set Macros and profiles, and take them on the mouse with you if you have to travel, there is also 128kb of memory stored in the mouse to allow just that. Now along with all of these goodies packed inside, Mionix did make the mouse plug-and-play, but to be able to gain access to the controls, you do need to download the software. In there you have total control of things like DPI settings, polling rates, LED colors, and even the S.Q.A.T. tool for analyzing the gaming surface. Let's be honest though, with a mouse boasting all of these features, why would you not want the software to fully unlock the Naos 8200's potential?
If you want top of the line in mouse offerings, it is going to come at a price, we have seen this from all manufacturers. As I looked on the Mionix site, they have the MSRP set at $89.99 for the Naos 8200, and from the two listings I found for this mouse for sale, they both are sticking to that pricing as well. J&R.com is actually showing stock, while the listing at Newegg is awaiting stock. This isn't surprising at all since the Naos 8200 has just hit the market. Also since we will be taking a quick look at the Ensis 320 aluminum mouse pad, its MSRP is currently set to $39.99. The Ensis does come in two flavors, ours being the black and not natural aluminum, but where I can locate stock, most e-tailers are beating the MSRP.
The pricing isn't out of reality in my opinion on either product, but let's get a look at them and since I already spent some time with it, we can cover just how nice of a mouse the Mionix 8200 is and why at the end.
The Naos 8200 comes in a two piece packaging. There is an outer sleeve with information on it, and an inner package that secures the mouse. On the front of the sleeve, Mionix covers it with an image of the Naos 8200, and shows two other things. One is that this is a high performance gaming mouse, and the other is their slogan, "light-years ahead of the game", and with this that can definitely be said.
On the back of the outer sleeve there is a much smaller image of the mouse, this time surrounded with a product description, the tech specs, and the sensor specifications. On the far right, in tiny text, the sensor specs are repeated in 12 various languages.
The bottom of that outer sleeve holds the last bits of information, leaving all of the other sides of the packaging solid black. Here Mionix shows the system requirements, the name of the product, and what is contained inside. On the right it shows that Mionix peripherals and designed in Sweden, but made in China.
The inner packaging is a five sided box that has an insert placed in the box to hide the cabling and also keep the plastic protective layer pressed in place. To remove the mouse, simply remove the cardboard insert and grab the cable to lift the mouse and plastic out.
Mionix Naos 8200 Mouse
Out of the box, I'm starting with the left side of the Naos 8200. Here you can see that the side is contoured to keep your thumb comfortable right below the two buttons placed here. Just in front of the pair of buttons you will find three plastic bits that will soon be illuminated and show which of the three DPI settings you are using.
The heel of the mouse does go deep into the palm and is contoured to offer a very comfortable feel while not pressing into your hand and causing pain with extended use. For a little added flash while the mouse is sitting on your desk, Mionix added an LED logo that will light up once powered.
On the right hand side of the Naos 8200 you have two sculpted supports to give your ring finger and pinky finger a place to rest and not drag on the surface. While this is comfortable to use, it does make lifting the mouse a bit of a challenge.
The right and left click buttons, as the rest of the mouse is, gets the rubber coating to unify the look of the Naos 8200. There is a bit of an angle to the front of the mouse allowing more room for the longer finger. The buttons are also concave and keeps your fingers where they need to be in the heat of a battle.
Between the two large buttons you will find the much smaller pair of buttons that will allow you to select the DPI on-the-fly, and via the software, these can be customized to your personal liking. The scroll wheel does have a rubber center to ensure you don't slide on it, and the selection is stiff and defined when scrolling the wheel.
Under the Naos 8200 you will find that is supported with four various sized PTFE feet. These do support the mouse well and to offer almost effortless gliding on most surfaces. In the middle there are a couple of stickers. One has the product information and serial number, while the other is the Mionix logo surrounding the laser sensor eye.
To give you plenty of length and making connectivity easier, Mionix sends two meters of cable that has been cloth braided and offers a gold plated USB 2.0 connection and a Ferrite choke to prevent any noise or cross talk.
Inside the Naos 8200
After removing all of the feet, and needing to find a tiny screw driver for just one of the screws, I was able to pull the mouse apart relatively easily so I could show you what is in the Naos 8200.
There is a double stack of PCBs inside the Naos 8200. The top board controls the actions from the DPI buttons and the pair of side buttons. The bottom layer has the processor, memory, and the top tier switches under the right and left click buttons.
The right and left click buttons are backed with Omron switches to give the two buttons used most the longest longevity and a better feel than other offerings.
As for the side buttons, DPI buttons, and the scroll wheel click micro-switch, they are various models of TTC switches. As I have said before, TTC switches are nice, they just don't have the feel or lifespan of the Omron switches, and it does save the manufacturer a couple of dollars not using Omron's throughout.
Peeling off the top layer PCB, I found the sensor chip. In the Naos 8200 Mionix uses the Avago ADNS A9800 laser sensor to track your every movement and offering the highest possible DPI of any chip on the market at the time of writing.
Then of course we have the 32-bit ARM micro-processor to carry on with the task of communication between all of the switches and sensors, along with controlling the USB 2.0 pathway communications to the PC.
As I always do when I reassemble the mice, I check them for functionality. While there are 16.8 million color choices, I really like the default green that illuminates the Mionix log on the heel of the Naos 8200.
Spinning the Naos 8200 around, you can now see the DPI selection lights on the side denoting I am using the highest default setting for the plug and play configuration, which is set at 6000 DPI. You can also see the sides of the scroll wheel illuminated, but you also get the thin arrows on the DPI buttons to illuminate as well.
Matching the theme of the outer packaging and the Naos 8200, even the paperwork is flat black on the cover. There isn't really much here outside of the logo, company name, slogan, and site address.
The first page covers that the Naos 8200 is plug-and-play, and that your system should auto detect it, illuminate it in green, and you can use the predefined settings as it sits. For customization you do need to visit the site and download the software to give you full control of the Naos 8200.
The last bit of information in the set up guide is about the warranty. It states that Mionix will warranty their product against defects not caused by the user, and in the US, that is for a period of one year.
On the back you will find a statement on their compliances during manufacturing and that if you need any sort of support you should visit the address provided at the bottom.
Version 1.00 of the software is what we are looking at. In the software you can see that there are five tabs across the top to break up the controls into more manageable sections. Here under the Mouse Settings tab you are given control of the functions of all seven buttons over the five profiles just under the tabs. You can also adjust the double click rate, scroll speed, and acceleration on the right.
Sensor Performance offers you the ability to set the three DPI selection speeds for the buttons on the top of the Naos 8200. These are the plug-and-play settings, but you can set the DPI for both the X and Y axis, as well as enabling a refined mode, which seemed to make little difference in the big scheme of things. At the bottom is the S.Q.A.T. tool to analyze the gaming surface, and on the right you can adjust pointer speed and the LOD or lift distance.
Color settings are pretty obvious, and this is where you can pick from one of the 20 predefined colors, or set it with the RGB boxes to have 16.8 million options. On the left there are sections to not only turn the LED's on and off, but if you chose selective, you can assign which of the four sections is on as well. At the bottom are selections for the LED effect like being on all the time with the solid checked, or you can make it blink, pulse, or breathe.
The Macro Settings tab is exactly what it sounds like. Under the left window you see boxes for a new Macro or to delete them. Pressing New Macro will allow you to add a name to it in the window above. On the right is the record button to begin programming and your actions will show up in the right window. There aren't specific timing controls in this software, but there is a box to check to make the software record the timed delay to open an application.
Under the Support tab you are given four options to choose from, you can click on the links for either the F.A.Q. section of Mionix, product registration, support, or even the downloads section to check for new software or firmware.
Ensis 320 Black Aluminum Mouse Surface
Along with the Naos 8200 I was also sent along a gaming surface to try it out on. Mionix sent along the black version of the Ensis 320. The packaging is more of a cardboard envelope that is all black and shows the aluminum mouse pad on the front.
On the back of the packaging there is a much smaller image of the Ensis 320 and it is followed by a story about its inception, and overview of what it offers, and a list of technical specifications. Just like the mouse packaging, the specs are listed on the right in twelve languages to cover their market.
Inside of the envelope there is a paper liner behind the foam runner side of the surface. To keep the top surface pristine, they send it with a plastic layer applied to it so that the aluminum surface is not marred and offers the smoothest ride possible for the Naos 8200.
The thick aluminum top is 320mm wide by 260mm from bottom to top. This isn't a very large surface, more along the lines of a medium if I had to size it. Although with 8200 DPI capability of the mouse, you won't need a whole lot of room to span the screen, no matter the resolution.
To keep the aluminum in place while using the Ensis 320, there is a thin layer of foam rubber applied to the back that uses a woven design to give the pad some grip on the desk top.
To give you a much better idea of the size of the Ensis 320 Black and to show how good the pair looks as a complete set, I went ahead and powered up the Naos 8200 and placed it atop the Ensis 320. At this point all there was to do was game for a while and see if it was accurate enough for photo editing so I can report my findings.
Mionix isn't just trying to put their name in lights with a slogan like "light-years ahead of the game". The 8200 has to be one of the most well-appointed mice I have tested to date. Now I am not going to even attempt to say I can feel the speed difference of the ARM processor over other offerings I have tested, but like any tech-head, I love the latest and greatest my money can offer me. With the Naos 8200 there just wasn't anything to dislike. While I did have issues lifting the mouse, I just adjusted the DPI higher to allow me to not have to lift it anymore. Everything else that Mionix put together in the Naos 8200 just works, and works well.
On top of a mouse that is so well equipped, the Naos 8200 is one of those mice that caress your hand as you use it almost effortlessly. I experienced no tracking issues with the sensor, I found no issues with the LOD or it cursor wandering as I lifted the mouse, nor did I really need to step outside of the plug-and-play configuration of the mouse. One thing I did notice though is that there is a decent power draw required for the Naos 8200 and my keyboard pass-through port isn't powerful enough for the PC to even recognize this mouse. As with anything I buy, I want to have full control of the options, and the software you have to visit the site to get is just as good as the Naos 8200 it supports. With full control of all the aspects that will make life easy for various games, along with profile slots to allow you to set individual games, you can also do Macros in a very simplified way that shouldn't intimidate even novice Macro programmers. Plus once you get all of the finer details out of the way, you still have the four LED lit components of the mouse to play with along with 16.8 million color choices to set up the Naos 8200 exactly as you like it.
As for the Ensis 320 black gaming pad that I received with it, well it is a bit small for my personal tastes, and the edge isn't as smooth as I would have liked it to be, but it does offer a great surface to track the Naos on. Something that plays back to the software is the S.Q.A.T. tool. While I tested five mouse pads, including this, most of my cloth mats scored an 8 or a 9, but the Ensis 320 was the only one to score a 10. I don't have any other aluminum surfaces at this time to check against, but I was able to detect during use that the Naos 8200 was slightly more accurate and was a smoother glide against the PTFE feet.
The Naos 8200 in my opinion is worth every penny of the $89.99 MSRP that Mionix is asking. It is super comfortable in the hand, whether a traditional grip or claw grip, it just fits and is very easy to maneuver around. The Ensis 320 is a little pricey with the MSRP set at $39.99, but I was able to find it in the wild cheaper. Combined for one of the most accurate and pleasurable mouse experiences I have had in a while, this kit will set you back near $130 if you go with the MSRP listings, but think about how much you use a mouse. Considering most of you are now typing on a $150 mechanical keyboard because it is much nicer to use, what about your right hand in games, it just has to push a brick through the mud? Not with Mionix.
The kit they sent along is something I would not only recommend, but if I had to I would buy another for my other PC and likely give these as gifts to those closest to me.
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