For its price, Gigabyte’s latest rodent is exceptional value for money.
Among its lineup of motherboards, graphics card and PC chassis, Gigabyte’s attempt at gaming peripherals all but goes unnoticed. A quick look at the official website shows that the Taiwanese company has an extensive and rather impressive lineup of gaming mice, a frontier solidly dominated by Microsoft, Logitech and of course, Razer. But as of late, Gigabyte are pulling up its socks and are looking to make a firmer foothold in the lucrative gaming peripheral business. Gigabyte impressed us with its Aivia K8100, their first foray into gaming keyboards; and recently, we have received two of its newest gaming mice, the Gigabyte 6900 and Gigabyte 6980. While the 6900 garnered praise from our senior editor Taimoor Hafeez, let’s have a look how its big brother stacks up.
The first thing that struck me while I read the bullet-points behind the box was Gigabyte’s bold claim of “sweat-proof design for a non-slip grip’. At first I assumed it was referring to the thumb grip on the side but to my delight the bullet was pointing towards the upper exterior of the rodent. Finally. I have literally destroyed mice with my sweat. I am an anxious gamer and I sweat considerably while I pop heads off. My Logitech G9, now defunct, has two large botches on its main buttons; and my current home mouse, the Razer Mamba has already accumulated two medium size smudges within a month. The Gigabyte 6980 seems to be holding up much better, however. I have used Gigabyte as much as I have the Mamba, even though I have had it since a month (my daily usage at home is barley two hours). While the exterior coating isn’t exactly ”sweat-proof”, it has so far kept the smudges at minimum – it’s barely noticeable, if at all. It’s too be seen how it fares after a longer period of (ab)use.
The 6980 is almost exactly like the 6900 in form and shape, with slight exceptions. The glossy exterior of the 6900 is replaced with the ‘sweat-proof’ matte material, and instead of an optical fit, the 6980 features 2000DPI laser sensor with 20G acceleration compared to 6900’s 3200DPI optical sensor and 30G acceleration.
The plus and minus DPI shifters on the middle of the mouse have also been given the boot, replaced with a single DPI changer while the other is used to switch profiles created using Gigabyte’s new GHOST Macro Engine software (more on this later).
The Gigabyte 6980 is a good fitting mouse. It’s large but not as much to make you feel like you are gripping a football. The generously deep cut, rubber padded thumb rest makes it feel even more comfortable. At 106g, it feels just about perfect in the hands and glides along smoothly on any surface on its “gaming-grade” feet.
My colleague complained of the Back and Forward buttons placed a bit too high for his liking on the 6900, but I have a slightly different issue with my Gigabyte. I actually find the Back and Forward buttons placed properly, however I feel the buttons could have worked better if they had been placed a little on the left. In most mice that I have used, it has always been easier to use the Back (5th) button while the Forward (4th) button must be reached out for. In the 6980 however, it’s the opposite: I am able to reach the Forward button more easily while I have to bent my thumb inwardly to reach the Back button. It’s comfortable to reach out for a button than twist your finger closer to strike it. Due to this, it soon became an irritation in FPS games were usually I prefer to use the Back button for ‘nades and Forward to melee. I have had to change my habit to accommodate the mouse, and you never tell a gamer to change his habit. Ever.