Not too long ago I took my first look at a GX Gaming product with the Death Taker MMO/RTS mouse. That mouse offered quite a bit in its feature set like nine buttons, add in weights, 5700 DPI, customizable colors, and a software package that would allow you to set many Macros and customize almost every aspect of the mouse's functionality. I think the idea with the newest release was to improve on this concept and while loosely based off the Death Taker and what it offered, this new mouse has a shape and design all its own.
As I just reread my Death Taker conclusion, there were no issues that I remember from either the device or the software. In reality, the only thing I could complain about was that it was a bit small for my hand. I know all mice aren't made to fit my hand exclusively, so really that issue may not affect some of my readers. This time I plan to be as objective with this new release from GX Gaming as well. If their past is any insight to what I should expect from this latest sample that hit my desktop, I think that there shouldn't be anything major to discuss as faults, but who knows, maybe things have changed since then.
I don't want to give too much away this early in the review of the GX Gaming Gila MMO/RTS Professional Gaming mouse that we are about to delve deeper into on the next page, but things have improved in the feature set. There is an increase in the button count, almost an ambidextrous design, much more aggressive styling, lights to play with and customize, and the list keeps going.
If this short list of improvements doesn't already have you wanting to continue, I strongly urge you do so anyways, as this new mouse may be just what you are looking for.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
The specifications chart for the Gila is a bit on the generic side and doesn't really flow all that well, but here goes my attempt at covering it. It starts off with the factory part number that won't allow users to find anything via Google, and then jumps right to the six 4.5 gram additional weights that are shipped with this mouse. It then covers that this works on XP, Vista, and Windows 7, and jumps into the gaming target of MMO and RTS gamers. It goes into the 16 million color choices, speaks of the gold plated USB 2.0 connection, covers the 72 Macro capabilities, and shows the DPI scale set from 200 to 8200. It then jumps back to the lighting showing that the scroll wheel and logo illuminate, but no mention of the head or tail lights, and lastly covers the 12 buttons found on the outside.
What this list doesn't cover are things like the use of the Avago ADNS9800 laser sensor, the fact that there is an SG Core II engine that controls the 12,000 FPS frame rate, 30G's of acceleration, 150 IPS velocity, the 1-5mm LOD, or the fact that this mouse has a sleep mode. It also doesn't cover the fact that there is 32KB of onboard memory to allow users to load six profiles and up to 72 Macros per profile, and take them with you even if you aren't connecting the Gila to your own PC. It also doesn't cover the fact that the Gila comes with Angle Snapping to try to smooth out jittery user movements into smooth tracking of enemies on the battlefield. The last thing not covered with a mention is the size. It has increased over the Death Taker to a larger 114mm long, a narrower 72mm wide and a bit higher 44mm tall with the Gila.
Looking around for the GX Gaming Gila MMO/RTS proved to be a bit of a challenge, and I thought I was relegated to just copying the MSRP from all the news posts from the release. With a bit deeper of a dig, I was able to locate this mouse at Amazon for $99.99. For starters, that is a lot to ask for a mouse, but on paper, the Gila does offer the "best" laser sensor on the market if you can control that sort of DPI. It also has some really nice software to aid in your personalization and customization, but does that make it worth almost $100?
Stick with me as we take a close look at the aesthetics, tear it open to see the components, and give the Gila a good test to see if I can answer that very question.
The front of the packaging is mostly black with diamond plate steel wrapped around the edges and appears to be riveted and screwed in place in the drawing. Front and center is the GX gaming Gila which has won honours from CES 2013.
The front of the box then opens to display the features and a quick look at the software around an image of the mouse on the left. Or if you want to look at the real thing, that is why the right side has the mouse under the plastic cover, so you can see exactly what you are getting.
This side of the box shows a scorpion next to the GX Gaming name where it also states this is an MMO/RTS approved gaming mouse, the Gila name, and the web address off to the left.
On the back there is a mini specifications listing for the SG Core II engine, a mention of the full RGB lighting and that this was approved by the gaming team Space. Along with another image of the Gila, it is followed with 26 languages speaking of the DPI and lighting.
On this last side GX Gaming shows the software screens, and below that describes the 72 Macros and six profiles, covers the fact that each Macro can contain 20 commands, and again addressed the 16 million color options in the backlights.
Inside the box you will find that the Gila rests on top of a black plastic tray that holds the wiring and hides the paperwork behind it. To keep the mouse in place, there is a clear top tray that surrounds the mouse as well as having tabs to wrap around the black tray. There is no way this mouse should come lose in transit.
GX Gaming Gila MMO/RTS Professional Gaming Mouse
Starting with the left side of the Gila, you can see there are aggressive lines and sharp angles to give this mouse its shape. On this side you will see the M7 and M8 buttons above the textured side grip to allow you a secure grip even if your hand is a little sweaty.
There are deep grooves on either side of the scorpion painted in grey on the heel. With the sides and mid-section all converging near the center, again the angles come into play with the styling. You can also see a button that say "open" on it, and this allows you to get to the weight section of the Gila.
While the shape is ambidextrous, there are no side buttons here on the right side, which will put left handed users at a disadvantage.
Even the front of the mouse, the angle of the front lighting, and the surrounding plastic sort of looks like a mean face staring back at you. Again the way the buttons are shaped and all of the lines converging, the Gila has a look all of its own in mice.
Looking down from the top you can see the rest of the buttons. There are the M1 through M6 buttons, the "sniper" button, the scroll wheel forward, back, and click, and the right and left click buttons. There is also a DPI level meter just to the right of the M2 button.
Under the Gila there are three feet found. There is a larger one in the front above the sticker with the part number and serial number. On both sides from about the middle, all the way to the back, there is a pair of feet to keep the Gila gliding smoothly on most surfaces.
Pushing on the "open" button at the rear of the mouse allows the door to lift open. Inside you will find the triangular rubber piece that will hold the weights GX Gaming has provided.
Pressed into the black tray, under the mouse is where you will find the case containing six 4.5 gram weights. I went ahead and installed them and placed the rubber piece back into the base of the mouse.
To connect the Gila to your PC you are given 1.8 meters of black, cloth, braided cabling, and at the end of it is a gold plated USB 2.0 connection.
Inside the Gila
After locating five or six screws, I was able to open the Gila. You can see already that there is a lot going on in this little mouse, so let's keep digging and see what is inside.
The pair of side buttons, more specifically the M7 and M8 buttons are controlled with a PCB and switches buried at the top of this image, and talks to the main board via the ribbon cable. The buttons on the top of the mouse hit switches located on the bottom half.
To get to see the lowest layer of PCBs in the Gila, I had to remove this smaller section. This offers three switches for the M5, M6, and the sniper button. It also has an LED on it to illuminate the GX Gaming name on the heel of the mouse.
Now that the PCB is out of the way you can see the lowest layer of controls and the brains of the Gila. The large section at the bottom of this image is a steel plate that has been screwed into the Gila for a basic weighting before you add any additional.
Under the right and left click buttons you will find Omron switches to ensure many clicks and a long life. The two smaller brown switches you can see are used with the M1 and M2 buttons.
Taking control of the laser tracking in the Gila is this Avago ADNS9800 chip with the teal paint on it. The SG Core II micro-processor is just behind it with the orange and yellow dots on it.
Reassembling my Gila, I then powered it up via the USB cable, and the mouse comes to life with the stock settings of the illuminated backlighting. The center of the scroll wheel illuminates, and can be changed to any color you wish, but the DPI selection noted here is always red.
To go along with the bright red accents, red lighting would have been my first choice, but seeing the blue coming from the pair of "tail lights" is a nice mix as well. As with all of the lights, these can be set to all the color options as well.
The "head lights" on the Gila are set default to red, and to be honest it is kind of dim being red. This is making me think I may need to go with another color than my planned all red theme.
This last image was to try to get all the lights I could in one shot. You can see that the tail lights are on, and even the green glow behind the GX Gaming name is a nice addition. The Gila looked slick enough before the lights, but it does look much better with these added lights all around the mouse, I must give them that.
Accessories and Documentation
Inside of a plastic bag found under the inner packaging you can find all of this. There is a manual, some extra feet, the pre-installation guide and the driver disc.
The GUI pre-installation guide simple states two things. Point number one is that if your language is covered in that statement, you can use the CD, if you are not included in the first statement, refer to the link to find a driver in your language.
The manual is multi-lingual, but offers very little information. It shows how to make the USB connection, and then says to add the software. After that is points out all of the buttons, talks of the hardware, and then addressed the GUI again.
Also tucked under the mouse is the weight kit. In a plastic case with a foam insert, the six 4.5 gram weights can be stored for use later. I found using all of these along with the weight already in the mouse is a bit much, but three or four feels just about right for me.
Under the Assign Buttons tab you can address any of the six profiles across the bottom to make changes to, on this and every tab in the software. This tab more specifically addressed the button assignment to easy many aspects of PC use. You can change these from mouse functions to Office, Windows, Media, Macro, DPI, Fire Rate, program launchers, instant buttons, profiles, or even turn the buttons off.
The Manage Macro tab allows you to start the collection of up to 72 Macros and I have to assume that is 12 on each profile. Just click on the new key, add a title, and start recording the Macro. Something that will help the more advanced Macro programmers is that this GUI offers up to 20 commands to be entered for an individual Macro, opening the gates to some really advanced things going on with just the click of a single button.
Under the Advanced Settings you can control what is going on with the tracking system. On the left side you can control the speed of the mouse, its double click speed, and the number of lines in each segmented turn of the scroll wheel. The right side addresses the sensitivity of the laser with an option for advanced sensitivity, the polling rate and the DPI. Here there are two smaller buttons. One is DPI Stage which allows you to set the DPI of each of the six DPI levels of the Gila. The other is the Lift up Distance button, and this will allow you to set the sensitivity to kill the tracking of the laser from 1mm to 5mm. This is typically referred to as LOD and the adjustments and named LV1 through LV5.
The Light Options tab is pretty self-explanatory. There are three sections to adjust on the Gila. You can address the "Light 1" section that covers the head lights. "Light 2" covers the scroll wheel and the GX Gaming name. "Lights 3" covers the tail lights and all three sections can use the 48 pre-defined selections on the left, or by using the RGB scale on the right you can pick any color you want. On top of 16 million color options, you can also adjust the intensity of the LEDs and whether or not the lights will pulsate.
With the Gila, I liked the feel, the layout of the buttons, and the fact that they are easy to access once you get your fingers used to where they all are. I like the aggressive and angular styling, and the lights and their placement do accent the mouse nicely as it sits on your desk. Even with the lights off, the Gila and the red accents on the flat black mouse look good without the lights, if that isn't your thing. The mouse is a bit taller in the middle, and may take some getting used to, but with my relaxed grip I tend to use, the Gila is a nice fit to my gaming style.
I do like the mouse, the software, and the abilities that said software offers; I even liked the Gila while gaming, as it seemed to be more accurate than the mice I typically use. Considering they all have the same ADNS9800 sensor in them, I have to attribute the SG Core II and the way it handles its business in gaming as to why I feel this mouse is slightly superior in this aspect.
Where I did find some issues was at the desktop level. The same angle snapping that was making for smoother sighting and more accuracy in game, seemed to make me overshoot things on the desktop quite frequently. Such as when I am in Photo Shop, with all the selections in the list, I would make a slight movement to the side and down, but the mouse tended to not follow my movements as much, and I was having to spend more time in my day to day productivity, and that is where most of my time is spent. While I do try to game whenever I can, I need a mouse that is flawless in both settings. I mean, even professional gamers do some minor photo editing or trolling a Facebook account, and I don't think they swap mice for desktop use.
I may seem a bit harsh on the fact that this mouse slowed me down in my day to day usage, but for a mouse that is demanding a US Treasurer signed photograph of Benjamin Franklin to obtain one, I expect that mouse to be flawless. While the Gila MMO/RTS Professional Gaming Mouse is in fact very good while gaming, has the software to be able to customize the lights almost endlessly, has the ability to hold 72 Macros at once, and has the onboard memory to take them all along right in the mouse, not working smoothly on the desktop level is something in my mind that should be just as important as the gaming aspect, even if driven specifically as a professional gaming mouse.
While I do like the Gila, and would recommend it for gaming use, and for what it offers, the fact that it may frustrate you at the desktop level is one of those things that leaves a big "but" in my recommendation.