In computing an avatar is a user's representation of himself or herself, and can occur in both two and three dimensions. It's something gamers are very familiar with, along with the need for decent peripherals and how they can affect their reputation (and performance) online. So when applied to said peripherals, the term avatar can represent a gamer's real or perceived reputation in their favourite game. This link may be a bit of a stretch, but when a company like NZXT enters into the arena of gaming peripherals, it can only represent the addition of another high performance peripheral to the gamer arsenal.
The Avatar is the first gaming mouse from the uber creative mind of young Johnny Hou and the team at NZXT. It is part of NZXT's Crafted Series, and is directly targeted at gamers with the promise of "emerging (you) victorious in (your) gaming arena of choice". The mouse itself does share some design cues with other products found in the crafted series, like the Tempest Midtower case. Still this is NZXT's first foray into a new product category, and that can be perilous. They are known for making great computer cases that satisfy desires for both form and function. Hopefully they can continue that trend in the hotly contest gaming peripheral market.
As for the mouse itself, the NZXT Avatar Crafted Series Gaming Mouse is a smallish yet ambidextrous unit resembling the fuselage of an F22 Raptor. It features 7 programmable buttons and on the fly DPI switching for maximum customization. The sensor is of the optical variety, with 2600 dpi of resolution. Some more technical features are listed below, and of course all the additional info can found on the product home page.
- Max Acceleration: 15g
- Max Frame Rate: 6469 Frames/Second
- Resolution: 650-2600 DPI
- Image Processing: 5.8 Mega Pixels/Second
- USB Reports: Up to 1000 Reports/Second
- Buttons: 7 Buttons, 5 Million Clicks
As for pricing, the NZXT Avatar hasn't quite reached availability at many retail locations. However, once it's fully unleashed, this mouse should be found for $59.99 USD or less. This places it right in the same price point as many other popular wired gaming mice. That pretty well leaves you deciding whether or not the design and performance of this mouse suits what you are looking for.
The NZXT Avatar is indeed crafted as they have somehow been able to make it both ergonomic and ambidextrous. This design choice, along with the smaller form factor of the mouse, allows for almost anyone to be able to use the Avatar with comfort and ease. All the buttons are easily reachable for both lefties and righties, though using your mouse with the left hand does obscure the lighted DPI meter. Still, the NZXT Avatar is one of the very few ambidextrous performance mice out there.
Along the left edge of the mouse, you'll find the first of many customizable features built into the NZXT Avatar. Of course there's the left mouse button, but the also a "back" button the can be assigned to other features as needed, using the included software. Also on the left side is the DPI meter that glows to signify the level of sensitivity. The three stage meter indicates what DPI level you are currently using, with the levels being easily changed in the included software. If you don't install the software, the Avatar defaults to a setting of 600 dpi.
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