Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
In our time looking at peripherals, Mionix has sent us only four devices since we got together back in 2013. Since then, recalling back to what the Naos and Avior mice were all about, we recall the Naos was wide-bodied, form fitting, and a very solid mouse. The Avior was just as solid, but narrower in design as it is an ambidextrous design. Today, we see a product blend of the two styles with a smaller overall size than the Naos was, and while not ambidextrous, it is more in the realm of size to how the Avior felt. This design is carrying its own name to differentiate it from both of those earlier base designs that have turned into a collection now of seven versions between the two.
Being smaller in size offers a few things that larger mice cannot. One is portability, and while you may not think about it, a more compact design saves space and leaves room for more gear in the bag. Secondly, this style of mice favors both those with smaller hand size leaving all of the buttons easily in range but favors the claw grip users as well. Also keeping things more simple in the design leaves the time and effort to go into the components, software, and engineering that have made Mionix a hot name in mice with their previously released mice, it seems no matter the site that got them, they liked them.
The reason we are all together now is to show off the latest of their mice to leave the factory with this Mionix Castor optical gaming mouse. With a more compact design, form fitting sides, a rubberized coating, and top tier components with specs we never thought possible, this mouse is one that will make the whole industry notice it. Keep your eyeballs open wide as we get a look at the specifications, because, at the current cost of this device, they pack in almost everything under the sun and deliver us an optical mouse where the Castor claims 10,000 DPI in its range of capabilities.
The first half of the chart starts off with a lot to take in under the Specifications header. We are given an ARM 3332-bit MCU in this right hand only design. It is said to support palm, claw, and fingertip grips, offers six programmable buttons, and the DPI button offers three settings to switch through. There are two LEDs, each in its own controllable zone, and can be illuminated any of the 16.8 million choices, they even add various modes as well. There is 128kb of onboard memory, it offers PTFE feet, a gold plated USB 2.0 connection, and 2 meters of plastic cable with cloth sleeve over it.
As to the actual optical sensor, they chose the PWM-3310 IR-LED. This sensor can be adjusted from 50 to 10,000 DPI, and for an optical sensor that is freaking amazing. It can track movements at the rate of 5.45 meters per second, or roughly eighteen feet per second of hand jiving. There is no positive or negative acceleration in the device, and it does offer adjustable lift off distance as well.
They are even sure to show us exactly what the software offers as well. There are five profiles that are saved on the Castor, not in software. There is adjustable X/Y axis control, polling rate adjustments, Live Record Macro Manager, and a ton of LED color choices with various modes. There is adjustable angle snapping in fifteen levels, angle tuning to adjust for user offset by up to thirty degrees either way and even sports a Lift Off Distance tool that runs and calibrates that setting for you. There is a Surface Quality Analyzer Tool that will rate your mouse pad, and back to the LOD, you can manually set that if you wish as well, without the automated process.
Then at the last moment we are given dimensions and weight. We find the Castor is 122.46mm from nose to tail, it is 70.42mm from side to side, and stands 40.16mm tall at its highest point. The castor itself weighs in at a measly 93.8 grams, and even counting the cable it only brings the overall weight to 141.5 grams.
If you happen to be on the Mionix site, right there on the product page they show the pricing in US dollars, with and without VAT, so we assume this is their own pricing conversion, and without VAT included we find they offer the Castor at $69.99. As we searched the rest of the interwebs, we find that aside from a random hit on eBay, Amazon is the only place to go at the moment. There we found the Mionix Castor listed at $67.27, with no mention of a stock shortage, but there is also a notation that shipping is handled "usually" within one to two months. While we did not make contact with Amazon, we wouldn't pay to wait that long without confirmation of stock first, so if that did not pan out, you simply have to wait it out as finding it elsewhere is like finding a golden unicorn sprinkling you with Technicolor glitter next to you. As for its worth, on paper things seem fantastic, but we should put it through its paces before we settle out how we feel about it.
Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications
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- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
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