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Gigabyte Aivia M8600 Review

By on April 7, 2011
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If only looks could kill.

Good: 80+ hours of combined wireless performance, stylish, ambidextrous, onboard memory
Bad: too heavy, DPI changers not ideally placed, big and bulky, cannot assign buttons without plugging in
Price: AED 395
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

Software:
The M8600 comes packaged with Gigabyte Ghost engine. The overly flashy software (literally, it’s Flash based) opens up the mouse for the usual set of tweaks and tunes. You can set up Macros, profile colors, sensitivity levels, scrolling speeds, etc. The software presents you with a preset list of keyboard keys the M8600’s button can be assigned to. Unfortunately, you can not create custom keystrokes which I found to be quite limiting.

Another annoying factor of the software is that the mouse has to be connected via the USB cable to be able to assign buttons. It wouldn’t be so annoying had fitting the cable back to the receiver wasn’t so painfully hard. In fact, the opening for the USB cable on the receiver is so small, you would think Gigabyte shipped in the wrong set of wires. The trick is to slant it upwards and fit the cable through the tiny slits on the side of the opening. Yeah, not the most convenient way. Ease of use over style, Gigabyte, please.

Performance
Despite its long and large form factor, and despite the itch caused by the ‘V’ formed at the belly, the M8600 is pretty darn comfortable. It is in fact the only mouse that I have used where I can reach both of the side buttons without moving my thumb too much. Also, the sandpaper-fused thumb rest adds fantastic grip to the mouse.

But that’s where most of the dandy ends. Due to its long form, my fingers only reach up to where the DPI changers are, and that’s not good. Many a times, while working or playing a game, I would find the sensor jump to higher speed for no apparent reason. Then I noticed that I was accidentally clicking the DPI button without even realizing that I was! I would have prefered the DPI changers on the top side of the mouse, like that on the Mamba, or on top of the LEDs like Gigabyte’s own 6900 mices. However stylish they look on the sides of the middle strip, they are not very conveniently placed at all. Not everyone are blessed with giant fingers!

The next issue, and the most serious one, is the weight. It is just too heavy. Coming from the Mamba, the M8600 felt like a large rock in my hand. With no weight management system, there is absolutely no way around it as well. In my test with Crysis 2 and Bulletstorm, I found myself ‘dragging’ the mouse. I struggled with my aim and was mostly off in close quarter combat and anything that would require quick reflexes. Of course, gradually I adjusted to the weight and started responding much better but I was never as good as I can be with the Mamba.

Conclusion
Gigabyte M8600’s biggest strength is its 80+ hours of combined battery performance. There is no rival to it. However, I found the mouse faltering where it mattered the most – accuracy. You may eventually adjust to the heaviness of the mouse, but there will always be that unfulfilled gap of improvement. Priced at AED 395, it certainly comes at the higher-end of the spectrum. Then, would I recommend it over the Mamba? Maybe. Would I recommend it over the C.A.T 9? Certainly not. Cyborg’s mouse is all that what M8600 aims to be and then some. Yes, the battery may not last as long but you can swap them just as well. At that price then, I would skip M8600 over others in the market.

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About

Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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