Introduction, Specifications, and Pricing
As trends tend to do, once accepted, they tend to spill wildly over the entire segment, and is what is happening in gaming mice! While lightweight has been a concern for many gamers over the years, it was not until recently that it has become acceptable for the mouse to be open to the world. Thermaltake tried their hand at this concept many moons ago with a few of their mice, but it appears they were ahead of the trend. While not a huge hit, when you mention the Glorious PC Gaming Race Model O, people will automatically have an image pop up in their head as to what one might expect to see in the mouse we are about to go over today. With the Model O's success, it is no shocker that other companies are following suit.
HyperX has tended to offer purist designs in the past. With many of them fitting into the lighter weight category, it has come to the point that if you want to have the most lightweight mouse around, you will need to poke some holes to remove material, to lessen the already thin-bodied designs in the wild now! The thing is about that, though, is that while the Model O weighed in at 58 grams in its lightest form, and HyperX is trying their hardest to match that!
At this point, we cannot say if removing less of the outer shell is a good or a bad thing, but we can say we like the look of this Pulsefire Haste we have in hand! Before you get to thinking that weight was the only driving factor into this mouse and that it may just be another Pusefire that they took a Dremel to, wipe that image away! What we have is something that has a great feel, with an eye tuned to fine details, which could make this one of the better mice choices on the market right now. No matter what you have in mind, we are certain that at least one or two of the other features other than its lightweight nature will impress you!
As we see in the chart borrowed from the HyperX Pulsefire Haste product page, we start with its symmetrical shape. What that means is that the mouse does not offer an ergonomic angle but is designed like an ambidextrous mouse, without the optional buttons on the right side of the mouse. We then see that this mouse uses a PixArt PAW3335 optical sensor, and in the following lines, HyperX covers the 16,000 DPI maximum, the 400, 800, 1600, and 3200DPI default levels predefined and saved to the mouse. We also see that the PAW3335 can read a surface at 450 inches per second, at 40G's!
We then move onto the six programmable buttons, but that also needs NGenuity Software to accomplish it. We then see that the main pair of buttons are made by TTC and are Golden Micro Dustproof Switches, which is a first for us! We should also mention their lifespan, which is shown to be sixty-million clicks before failure! The Pulsefire Haste does include RGB lighting, but it is contained to the scroll wheel. Only one profile can be stored on the mouse at one time, and next, we run into the 1000HZ polling rate of the sensor. The last few things in the chart cover the HyperFlex, cloth braid wrapped, USB 2.0 cable, the inclusion of "virgin-grade" PTFE feet, which trumps the crummy black PTFE feet we normally see by leaps and bounds!
The bottom of the chart covers the weight, where the Pulsefire Haste is shown to be 59-grams, but keep in mind, that is without the cable! With the cable attached, the overall weight then moves up to 80-grams. While they do not discuss the black color, the plastic nature of the two-part body, or do they mention that added grips are included, the latter is another bonus we were not expecting to find! However, we see that the Pulsefire Haste measures in at 124.2mm in length, 38.2mm in height, and 66.8mm in width. Lastly, as with most cables out there, the HyperFlex cable is 1.8-meters long.
The last thing you may want to know is what sort of cost is associated with such a device. As the only direct competition we have personally tested, we compare it to the Model O currently obtainable for $49.99. When we look to Amazon for a price, we see it selling at $65.76 right now. We attempted to price shop Newegg but found no listing when searching for it. As much as we looked to find a better deal on this side of the pond, we failed to locate one, which sets the bar pretty high for HyperX. We hope there is enough here to combat that $15 difference!
Chad's Peripherals Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: MSI B450M Bazooka Plus - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: Intel Core i7 8700 - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: Corsair H100i Pro - Buy from Amazon
- Memory: Corsair Vengeance RGB Pro 2666MHz 16GB - Buy from Amazon
- Video Card: MSI GeForce RTX 2080 Ventus 8G OC - Buy from Amazon
- Storage: Corsair Force MP300 480GB - Buy from Amazon
- Case: Corsair Crystal Series 280X - Buy from Amazon
- Power Supply: Corsair CX750 80 Plus Bronze - Buy from Amazon
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 Professional 64-bit - Buy from Amazon
Packaging, Accessories, and Documentation
In typical HyperX fashion, our Pulsefire Haste showed up in a red and white box. On the front of said box, we see the company name, which is also their logo, the mouse's name in questions, and noted on the left, this is ultra-lightweight. Below that black bar, we see a mention of weight, the HyperFlex cable, the use of a PixArt sensor, and RGB support with NGenuity software's help. While the mouse's image is easy to make out, slightly to the center's right, below that image, we see things like the two-year warranty and compatibility for PC, PS4, and Xbox One.
Spinning the packaging to see what is next, we run into an all-red panel sporting the HyperX Pulsefire HASTE written at the top, followed by features we saw on the front. HyperX is sure to mention their sponsorship support of CLOUD9 and Dignitas eSports teams!
As we make it around to the back of the box, the majority is white this time, allowing the few images and text to be more easily read. The photos show us the cable, the holes in the body, and the white PTFE feet. The middle is a list of features, covering things like the TTC Golden switches, the cable, the feet, and its six programmable buttons. At the bottom is a list of package contents shown to be the mouse, grip tape, extra feet, and a guide.
The last of the vertical panels are used to show the mouse's name at the top with the Pusefire series name running down the left side. At the bottom, the white text explains where to go for firmware and software before presenting the HyperX name one last time.
The box's bottom also has some information, starting with the required system compatibility, which boils down to an open USB 2.0 port and use of anything Windows since Windows 7. NGenuity requires Windows 10 as it is found in the Windows App Store, and you will need an internet connection to obtain it. Along with all of that is the product sticker, should you need assistance and have to provide the model and serial number.
Inside of the red and white box, we found the Pulsefire Haste to be well protected. The matte cardboard is folded to keep the mouse away from the box's sides, but it also captures the plastic cover, which keeps anything from rubbing against the mouse. All told, our Pulsefire Haste arrived in perfect condition for images as well as testing!
Under the matte black cardboard, you will find some literature. On the left is a card that explains where to go for support, where the reverse of it covers the same thing, but in fifteen other languages. To the right is the guide, which is also multilingual, starts with an overview of what you have and what does what on the mouse. The next page covers all of the buttons and the sensor, and briefly explains installation, covers the DPI presets, tells you where to get the software, and offers the support address one more time.
As a bonus, the Pulsefire Haste comes with extra goodies! On the brown release paper is a set of grips. At the top left is a pair for the Pulsefire Haste's sides, while at the right are grips to apply to the main buttons. At the bottom left, HyperX sends along another set of PTFE feet. We think less likely as a replacement due to wear, but more because you may need to open and clean the guts, or do you?
Just in case you skip over the literature as many do, as you attempt to release the cable from the packaging, you run into a bright red sticker that is tough to overlook. On it, HyperX tries one last time to explain that you will likely need the provided address, especially if you plan to take full advantage of what the Pulsefire Haste has under the hood!
HyperX Pulsefire Haste Gaming Mouse
Starting the journey around the Pulsefire Haste, the left side of it begins with textured plastic above and below a shiny strip, just in front of the body lines that appear to split this view into three sections, lower, middle, and top. Along the top, we can see some of the hexagonal shaped holes and the angled separation line from the buttons to the body. The midsection has the HyperX name painted on it and offers a pair of buttons made with shiny plastic, which matches the continuation of shiny plastic running above them to the hell of the mouse.
At the back, the lower section of the frame is made to angle up to meet the top but has a flatter edge blow where they meet. The main portion of the landing area for your right hand is opened with many hexagonal holes, similar in size to what we saw in the Model O, but fewer holes in the Haste! We can also see both of the body lines as they curve down to meet the heel, but the shiny bits are tougher to see from the back than from the sides.
Since we already covered that the Pulsefire Haste is made with a symmetrical design, it should be no surprise that the mouse's right side looks a lot like the left side did. Calling it ambidextrous is a bit wrong, as there are no buttons offered on this side for those left-hand gamers out there.
The main buttons are well split, with the thick center section supporting the scroll wheel keeping them apart. Speaking of the main buttons, they are also concave at the ends so that your fingers settle naturally, rather than sliding off the sides. We can also see that the cable is a permanent fixture with the Haste and is centrally located on the front edge.
Looking down on the Pulsefire Haste, we see a lot of textured plastic at the front, but moving back, we see holes in the main buttons, still fewer than in the Model O. Between the buttons, we see the highly textured rubberized center on the scroll wheel. The Chicklet-like button behind the wheel is preset for DPI switching.
Rather than using a stiffer plastic-like material for the braided sleeve, HyperX has the HyperFlex cables that come with cloth coverings and a very flexible cable inside it. The cable is roughly six-foot-long; it offers a Ferrite choke and terminates in a standard USB 2.0 connector with the HyperX logo cut into the connector's plastic bit.
Under the Pulsefire Haste, what stands out the most are those bright white PTFE feet made with virgin-grade material. Once past the high contrast items, the sticker at the front of the mouse and the sensor eye just below got our attention. HyperX also puts holes in the bottom of the mouse, but again, far less than in the Model O, as there isn't a single hole forward of the sensor in this mouse!
While the textured plastic will offer some grip, the Pulsefire Haste can slip around, especially if your hands get sweaty in the thick of it while gaming or working. HyperX offers up those sheets of soft foam grips that have a coating on the outside and double-sided tape under them to help combat this. We did not have too much trouble putting them on, but take your time and align them properly, if not just for looks, but they may hang over the edges a bit if done wrong.
We went ahead and installed all of the grips after testing the Haste in its natural state first. We love the option, and since they are not heavy, the additional weight did not break the ultra-light aspect of this design. We will say this, though, we prefer the added grip these appliques offer!
Inside the Pulsefire Haste
After removing the feet that ship on the bottom of the Haste, you can access the four screws required to open it up. With the top portion out of the way, with no connectors or anything special to worry about, it exposes the lower half and the PCB. While the switches and connectivity are exposed to the air, the bulk of the PCB, the sensor, and the MCU are all contained under a rubber cover taped into place. Something we have seen in keyboards, but a first for us in mice!
Another first for us is using the sixty-million click TTC Golden Micro Dustproof Switches under the left main button. With its black plunger and orange body, we get a familiar feel, much like that of an Omron switch, and the noise when actuated is similar. Behind the main switch is the rotational sensor of the scroll wheel, which is heavily segmented in its movement and made by TTC.
What are we on now, our third first of our career at this point? We would fully expect TTC or Huano switches in the secondary switches in normal situations, but HyperX went with HCN...and what looks like 3C or a backward E and C, we are unsure. We tried to find information on these switches, but that task is made tougher, not knowing exactly what we are looking at here. As far as functionality, the side buttons require little force to actuate, and the report is slightly hollow in the click you hear.
We do not suggest you remove the rubber cover as we did, but in doing so, we were able to expose the Sonix SN32F247BFG MCU. That means you are looking at an ARM Cortex-M0, 32-bit processor, with a bit of onboard storage for settings and the one profile.
Spinning the Haste around, we can now see the sensor as well. In this instance, it is the PixArt PAW3335DB-TZDU. We have seen this sensor previously, but it boasts a DPI scale that tops at 16,000 DPI. In combination with the Pulsefire Haste, the sensor will read even the most erratic movements and are adjustable in 100 DPI increments.
Completing the tour around the inside of the Pulsefire Haste, we run into the second TTC Golden Micro Dustproof Switches. If anything, with a sixty-million click lifespan, they should last you well enough, and if anything, we love the look of these switches!
The box does mention RGB support, and the opaque ring around the side of the scroll wheel is where it is all contained. It also says per LED control, but from what we have seen of the software and what the mouse produces, there is only one LED to control. You can introduce modes, but it is pretty much one color at a time.
HyperX NGenuity Software
After inputting the provided link from HyperX to find the software, there is a download link that redirects you to the Windows App Store, where you settle on the NGenuity software page, with the option to download and install it. Once done, this is what you should initially see. On the left is where currently connected products are listed. To move forward, you have the option to click on "mouse" in the gray section or take the time to look at all of their NGenuity compatible products.
Once we clicked on "Mouse" at the left, we are dropped into the mouse tuning, but we start with lights. Below the trio of mouse images showing the scroll wheel in red, we see "effects" first. You can add an effect by clicking on "add effect," and you have the choice of solid, cycle, or breathing. "Opacity" should be called brightness, but we get it. You can pick from the color bar by clicking on it anywhere, which opens a color wheel to choose from, ten preset solid colors, but you can add more in that section as well. "Speed" is for the modes that are not static. You can slow down or speed up the cycling or breathing effects.
In the "buttons" tab is where remapping and custom functionality comes into play. After clicking on the above images' button to reprogram, you can pick from one of the options below to move forward. There is full keyboard functionality, mouse functions for remapping what it can already do, multimedia controls for video and audio scenarios, the Macro menu, Windows shortcuts, or disable that button outright.
We did stop off at the Macro menu to play around a bit and see what is offered. There are three dots in the upper right corner of the same window as the record button for the Macro. Be sure it is not in expanded mode when recording, as it does not seem to accept the stop command. It just reads another mouse click. You can also use the timings recorded or set a "standard" time between inputs for a much faster replay of the Macro.
While this Macro is nothing special, we are using it to help explain what is possible. As you can see, as we recorded it, the software kept the actual time it takes to move to the next input, but in the previous screen we showed, times can be addressed. As to editing a Macro, the only thing we could find is a delete function when clicking on individual actions. We saw no way to insert actions or change things after the fact. As with anything else, be sure to save the settings to the mouse before exiting.
The "Sensor" is the next tab in line, and it is where one goes to adjust the DPI settings of the Haste. As shipped, it comes with four steps you can set the DPI, and using the button behind the scroll wheel, you can cycle through them. Clicking in the circle allows you to use the slider or use direct input in the boxes, in 100 DPI increments, and also associate a color to that setting for a visual cue while selecting them. You can also add one more level if desired.
On any of the Save to Mouse presses, you are essentially saving things to the only profile the software offers. However, you can change the image for that profile to see a game or random image while in software. You can also use the Gamelink option, which opens the File Explorer in Windows so you can select a game or application which forces the profile to run.
There is also a gear icon that sends us to the NGenuity settings section. In it, we can select the language, auto-activate Gamelink, and if you want NGenuity to start when you log in. There is something about memory support and the option to minimize when closed automatically.
Scrolling down in the settings shows us that there is a way to disable Windows notification on this product, but it will queue update availability and such when on. There is a section for software with links out to notes, support, and a place to factory reset the software. We then see the connected hardware with support links and reset options for the specific devices.
Gaming and General Impressions
DOOM Eternal & PUBG
Gaming has been a pleasure and reminds us a ton of using the Model O! We love its lightweight feel, and even if they are one gram from the competition, we cannot tell! Flicking it around wildly when it comes to killing various demons in something like DOOM Eternal, we did run into times where we did not have the best grip, but this was also testing the Pulsefire Haste in its shipped form. The slightly concave sides do afford a good area to grasp either side of the mouse, but the grip pads they send along made a world of difference.
The same is said after many hours of PUBG. With a much slower pace and being awarded for accuracy in your shots, even while slowing leading a runner for that unexpected miracle headshot, we find the Haste to handle itself well in any situation. It is also the latter title in which we tend to lift the mouse quite a bit more, and when we fell in love with the additional grips. While not sticky, they are soft enough that there is some give to the foam. This helps when you grip the Haste, even with wet or greasy hands!
However, we should mention that even though they are coated and should last a while, in our minds, we feel they are most definitely going to be the high wear component in the box! When something as simple as a mouse foot makes a vast difference, while we feel that ceramic is the best option for super slick gliding on any surface, the PTFE used with the Pulsefire Haste has us loving the near-effortless gliding it delivered!
Another thing we noticed is a lack of cable resistance. Typically, the cable can bunch up and cause resistance, but with this HyperFlex setup on the Pulsefire Haste, we did notice a huge reduction in that aspect, to the tune of it not happening at all! In our testing, we did find our sweet spot to be 4000 DPI in DOOM, where we turned it back slightly to 3200 for PUBG.
Windows and Productivity
At the desktop level, working on things with this 4K screen, we were able to jack up the DPI into the 10,000 range and still double-click and navigate properly. Anything beyond that is virtually unusable for us, and we quickly ran into slight movements between double-clicks, making usage tough. On that same note, not everyone is wired the same, and if nobody used 16,000 DPI, manufactures would still be back to 3200 DPI and 8200 DPI as tops for each sensor type.
Accuracy in movement and getting the job done without hassle is a large part of our life as a photo editor, and the Pulsefire Haste never slowed us down. It was almost like having an old friend under our control. It felt right, it moved right, and it functions as one expects it should.
As for normal usage in forums, emails, chats in messengers, or posting on social media, we topped out at 5000 DPI at the desktop level, as it enables us to move at the wrist and not the elbow and still makes it from side to side. On those brilliant PTFE feet, even less effort than normal is needed in a typical gaming mice selection.
As we have, there is no way we can look at the Pulsefire Haste and not compare it to the Model O, as it is "the big name" in gaming mice with tons of holes in them! That being said, the comparison is close! We kept the Model O as it is the preferred mouse to use out of the many tested lately, and we could not be happier with it. While this does set the bar pretty high for HyperX, to go up against our default choice, they did one hell of a job and have impressed us! The HyperX Pulsefire Haste is slightly wider at the bottom and a tad shorter in length, to be blunt. Still, the layout is similar, the feel is similar, and the aesthetic couldn't be closer in comparison.
It is a tough call between the two, but we have to lean towards HyperX for two things. First are the optional side and button grips, which should be the new thing in mice that every company does from now on! The second is that the HyperX HyperFlex cable is softer and more malleable than what the Model O uses while just by the slightest of margins. The cable may not be something you think about, but with a fancy name like HyperFlex, we did want to look into it and see if there were advantages outside of marketing for sales, and we have seen the difference, and it is glorious!
Inside of the Haste HyperX used some parts we have never seen before, but an option for TTC as the main switches is not a bad move to make. Also, with the fact that this is an open design, where debris and grime can enter the inside of the mouse, opting for dust resistant switches was a great thought and well-received here. We also liked the inclusion of a rubber cover over the bulk of the PCB. While it will not stop a beverage from wreaking havoc by shorting something, but it will keep the legs of the ICs from gathering dirt, as well as protecting the sensor.
We also ran into secondary switches made by someone we have never seen before, but you would be hard-pressed to say they are not from a better-known maker in our testing. They feel "normal," and while the sound is hollow in their report, it is not the first time we have run into that! All told, inside and out, it is easy to tell that HyperX was not afraid to try something new and try to get on the porch with the rest of the bog dogs in this game!
We would prefer not to have the software as a Windows app but as a standalone product. No real reasoning behind that; it is just what we are used to, but we understand times are changing, and companies have to roll with the punches. We feel that the remapping and customizing are on point and done well, but the Macro system could use some love in the editing department. Again, though, on the whole, everything available is easy to find and customize and is enough to keep the average user more than happy.
As much as we are praising the HyperX Pulsefire Haste, there is one thing that keeps popping into our minds as we conclude this review, and that is the cost. Simply put, you can have 98% of what the Haste has in the Model O, but the RGB lighting on the Model O is much better. Being they are so similar in feel, function, style, and features, for many, it will come down to cost, and the Haste is $15 more! The added grip pads do hold some value, but are they worth the difference? In the Model O, the sides are slightly more concave, acting as a good grip system.
With the Haste and the shallower sides, you almost need the grips! For that reason, while the Pulsefire Haste is impressive and delivered many firsts to us, we will be dinging them in the value category a tad! Otherwise, this is a great gaming mouse, and even with the difference in cost, we still recommend the Pulsefire Haste if it strikes your fancy. It is quite the mouse!
The Bottom Line
The Pulsefire Haste from HyperX is impressive to say the least! Plenty of features to draw you in, the performance and quality parts behind it deliver admirably. If not for the cost, it would have gotten an Editor's Choice Award!