As I sit here and think back to all the mice we have seen over the years, the really astounding fact is that I am pretty sure I have still not run out of fingers when counting all of them that would allow left handed users a fair shake at gaming. I know that playing the averages, there are way more right handed users on the planet. However, it seems to be a real shame that those that were born better with their left hand, either have to learn to game right handed, or they can stick it out as a lefty, but with a very limited selection of products to choose from.
With that in mind, and the fact that we just looked at the new Naos 7000 from Mionix, it is pretty easy to put together why we are here today. That would be to look at the ambidextrous design that we have seen in only one form previous to this. As it worked out with the new Naos mouse, Mionix is now also offering a companion to the Avior name, and as you may have guessed, this new mouse flaunts an optical sensor, rather than the Avago ADNS9800 sensors we saw in the first releases of the Naos and Avior.
So, as we continue here today, we will be taking you through the latest mouse to hit the shelves from Mionix: the Avior 7000. Unlike the Naos we just looked at, where the design externally had been slightly adjusted to allow a noticeable difference between the laser sensor based and optical sensor based models, the Avior is identical in every way to the original.
Only now, the new Avior is sporting the Avago ADNS3310 for all the optical sensor fans to take advantage of, and they won't have to settle for the laser based version if that just isn't their cup of tea.
Specifications, Availability and Pricing
Aesthetically, the Avior is much different from the Naos. This time around, we are dealing with a long and slender design that allows for either hand to operate this mouse. It comes in black, with the top of it using a rubberized coating for grip, as well as looks. There are nine buttons on this mouse, and similar to the Naos design, there is an illuminated logo at the heel of the mouse, and the scroll wheel will also light up once the Avior 7000 receives power. This design is packed into a shape that is 125mm in length, only 65mm in width, stands 36mm tall, and weighs in at an amazingly light 100 grams.
Then, following the chart for the information it has to offer, you can see it uses a lot of the same internal components as the new Naos does. It incorporates the 32-bit ARM processor, the Omron switches, and the addition of the Avago ADNS3310 optical sensor. This also offers up to 7000DPI in three selections via buttons on the mouse, but the scale slides from 50 to 7000, in 50 DPI moves. The Avior also carries the same customizable software, giving you profiles, Macros, and 16.8 million color choices for the pair of LEDs. The Avior also offers the normal things like a 1ms polling rate, PTFE feet, and a braided USB 2.0 cable to transfer information from the mouse to the PC. As always though, if we missed anything here, as we continue we will be sure to cover all aspects of what the Avior 7000 brings to the table.
Unlike when we looked for the Naos, the Avior 7000 is currently a tad more elusive. Google only brings up hits for the Avior 8200 laser sensor based mouse, but after doing a bit more digging, I was able to locate the Avior 7000 on at least one e-tailer's shelves. That would be over at Newegg, where we found the listing prices at $79.99 U.S. dollars. As a right handed user, and just having seen the much larger Naos that fits the hand like a custom tailored glove, getting much less mouse for that price isn't very appealing.
For the lefty's out there, with the limited amount of choices to pick from: finding one as feature rich as what Mionix is able to deliver, is likely worth its weight in gold. By the time we are done looking at the Avior inside and out, and after we play with the software a bit, we can get a better handle on the overall value of what the Mionix Avior 7000 has to offer.
Packaging and Documentation
As with every mouse we have seen from Mionix, there is flat black packaging that offers a large image of the mouse and the naming on the front panel.
Spinning the box around, the back is much more informative. Here, the image of the mouse is surrounded with seven features like the DPI range, the coating, and the 32-bit MCU, just to name a few. At the right, the features are listed in various other languages to cover their customer base.
On the only other panel that isn't just black, we are offered a QR Code to obtain the information from the site. This panel also shows the system requirements, and tells us that there is a mouse, and a guide inside of the box.
Just like the rest, you have to slide the inner box out of the sleeve to gain access to the mouse. The inner box allows the cable to be tucked under the cardboard at the side, and the mouse is then covered in plastic to keep it protected, and locked in place for shipping.
Under the mouse, you will locate the provided guide, as well as a sticker that you can put on anything your heart desires.
Inside of the guide, Mionix covers the installation process, shows that you need the software for full customizability, and that they do offer a basic warranty for the term of one year inside of the USA.
The back of the guide says in layman's terms, that if you have any questions, need specific support, want to register the mouse, or to get the software, you will need to visit their site.
Mionix Avior 7000 Mouse
The middle of the left side of the Avior has a slightly indented shape to allow a bit of grip, and near the top there are two programmable buttons to use. The top, while still curved, is low and sort of flat in comparison to most mice.
As the three top sections come together and meet the lower section, we see the play of the regular plastic on the bottom, against the flat texture of the rubberized coating applied to this mouse. From this angle, you can also tell that the shaping is identical on both sides.
That means that as we now take a look at the right side of the mouse, we again have a pair of programmable buttons, and there is that same slight indent to allow some form of grip. This design makes it easy for both right and left handed users to use this mouse comfortably.
The front of the mouse has the braided cable planted right in the center of this edge. You can also see by the front edge of the right and left click buttons, that they are slightly concaved, and will allow your fingers to settle into the low spots for better control.
Stepping back a bit to look at the top of this Avior 7000, we see a rubber trimmed scroll wheel at the front, and then a pair of DPI selection buttons just behind the wheel. As the mouse curves from the top to the heel of the mouse, there is also a logo that, like the wheel, has the option to be LED backlit.
Going back to the cable, it is braided, is two meters long, and offers a Ferrite choke near the gold-plated connection.
Under the Avior 700, we find two stickers in the middle. The larger one at the top offers the naming and serial number, while the smaller one is a logo that surrounds the eye of the sensor. This design uses PTFE feet, but this time, two larger feet that span wide across the mouse are used.
Inside the Avior 7000
The majority of the components are slightly out of focus, but that is done on purpose. If you do plan to tear apart the Avior, be very careful of the short ribbon cable connecting the top and bottom PCBs together for communication purposes.
Removing the PCB from the top half of the mouse, we find four TTC red switches for the side buttons. They require a bit of pressure to use, and are audible when clicked. In the center is a pair of Pi switches, which are softer, but still audible, and are used for the DPI selection.
Back to the lower section of the mouse, we see that under the left click button there is an Omron D2FC-F-7N, followed by the (20M) that denotes the twenty million click lifespan that this switch offers.
The 32-bit ARM STM32F103 MCU that we see here takes care of the USB 2.0 communications, offers the 128kb of onboard memory, and operates at 32MHz.
Flipping the mouse one hundred and eighty degrees, we can now see the Avago ADNS3310 optical sensor used in the Avior 7000. This sensor has the model number of PMW3310DH-AW0T, for those who want to look for the white papers.
That leaves us with the second twenty million click lifespan Omron switch, used under the right click button.
After reassembling the Avior 7000, we went ahead and connected it to a PC. When the mouse first powers on, you are greeted with this light blue color. As with all the other Mionix mice, you do still have plenty of options for colors, with the ability to use the RGB scale for a total of 16.8 million choices.
The version 1.19 of the Mionix software offers serious options for those looking for the ultimate in mouse controls. Over the five profiles, you can reset the nine buttons to do almost anything you can conceive of. Along with the polling rate at the bottom, you can also adjust the double click speed, the scroll speed, and pointer acceleration from the mouse settings tab.
Moving now to the sensor performance tab, there is even more to play with. Here, you can enable different X and Y axis DPI settings, as well as use the slider to set the trio of DPI settings the buttons will adjust to. It also offers angle snapping, and angle tuning controls. The lower section allows you to test the surface you use this mouse on, and you can adjust the pointer speed and LOD on the right.
The color setting tab then offers control of the pair of LEDs inside of the Avior 7000. At the left you see the mouse, and as you change the LED colors, the image will reflect what is applied. The left offers the ability to turn each LED on and off individually, or together, and offers four effects that the LEDs can use. To the right, you can choose a preset color, or directly enter into the RGB boxes to get the exact color you desire.
The Macro settings tab is of course where we address the Macro Programming. This software does lack the ability to import or export them, but does make things easy to do. At the left, you click on new Macro, change the name, and it will appear in that box. Then at the right, you will click on "start record," and the actions show in the middle window. It is pretty simple to do, and with 128kb of onboard memory, there is plenty of room for all of the Macros you can think of.
The support tab then delivers users four options. You can visit the FAQ, go directly to the support section, register this product, and with just a click, you can even check if the software is up to date.
While the Avior 7000 offers all the features and functionality on the software level that we found with the Naos, the shaping really throws me off. Using the long and slender design after having such a wide platform as the Naos offered, really exaggerates the slim design to the point that I almost felt more like I was pointing a stick, rather than moving a mouse. While the Avior offers two more buttons than the Naos offers, two of those buttons become irrelevant for the most part, as it is really tough to get your ring finger or the little finger to comfortably access them. If you plan to program and use them to your needs, be sure that when you go to use them, you are not in the line of fire, because to actuate those switches, you almost have to remove your hand from the rest of the mouse.
There are a lot of good things going for this design though. Most importantly is that it is light, smaller, and easier to travel with, and it is ambidextrous, giving left handed users one more choice in this limited market of mice. The sensor shows no issues of lag or stuttering from vibrations, or from any sort of drag against the surface it is used on. The large feet make gliding this 100 gram mouse very effortless. The braided cable is also a nice touch. Once we take into consideration the amount of controls offered in the software, the Avior 7000 is slightly ahead of most other offerings in this department. Since a lot of these ambidextrous mice are similar in shape, it is things like software and aesthetics that are going to win over potential customers. That, and the fact that the LEDs can be set to match any theme doesn't hurt this mouse one bit either.
There are cheaper solutions out there on the market, even for ambidextrous designs. While I do like other designs more than I like the feel of this Avior, what makes this a real contender in today's market is the software's ability to offer full control of all of the aspects that gamers want control over. Even with limited Macro programmability, the sheer amount of programming (to the tune of thirty six other functions outside of the basic commands that are set by default), also makes this mouse a real contender.
For me personally, I think the pricing is a bit steep, I mean we are getting about a third less mouse than what the Naos offered at the same price point; just to trade off for left hand usage. I think more realistically, this mouse would be of great value in the $65 U.S. dollar range; so if I were you, and you were really digging the new Avior 7000 from Mionix, I would keep an eye out for sales to get the best value out of this device.
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