Thermaltake has been making huge inroads into the eSports industry with their Tt eSports brand in recent months. They have targeted their PC peripherals with other high-end brands such as Razer and SteelSeries, and with good reason too. Their MEKA G-Unit keyboard received a 4 star rating
from us, and their Black Element mouse is set out to do the same.
The Black Element is being targeted as a mouse designed with RTS and MMO games in mind, but I can tell you that it performs exceptionally well in FPS games as well. More on that later, though, for now let’s just look at it. Taking some cues from the MEKA G-Unit, the Black Element has some sharp edges incorporated in the overall design, but there are quite a lot of curves that make it look really unique too.
Of all the mice that I have seen over the years, the Razer Naga was the only one that stood out from the standard shape, and that too because of its 12 button keypad on the left side. As far as regular gaming mice are concerned, they all sort of look the same. I guess the Cyborg RAT
, Logitech G9x and Roccat Kone [+]
stand out a little, but none of them looks nearly as stylish as the Black Element, so kudos to Thermaltake for designing a high-end mouse that looks just as well as it performs.
The Black Element looks like an ambidextrous mouse, but it has three functional keys on the left side, and only one on the right, making it great for regular folks and a tad bit limited for southpaws. Apart from the 9 buttons on the top, there’s a profile button at the bottom which switches between 5 profiles. There’s also a weight system where the user can plug-in 5 metal buttons weighing 4.5 grams each. Finishing off the looks are the transparent panels on either side of the palm rest, the “Tt” logo itself and the transparent scroll wheel. The “Tt” logo is the only part that pulsates; the other areas have a constant glow.
As soon as I hooked up the mouse to my PC the first thing I noticed was how nice the left-click felt. The click is loud and tinny, yet slightly muffled at the same time. The best part, though, is how good the click feels when I depressed the button. It just feels comfortable; not to be mistaken for dullness. I suppose part of this can be attributed to the rubber coating on the entire surface of the Black Element. This is something I would normally dislike because of how easily dust catches on such surfaces in Dubai, but this mouse remained dust-free for the entire two weeks I tested it!
The second thing I noticed was how irritating the three buttons on the left side felt. Basically the two buttons on the outer edge are protruding, while the one in the middle is below them. The issue was that my thumb could only reach the ‘third’ and the ‘second’ button, the first button was too far away. It's just a pet peeve, so I just didn’t use it at all. During some heated gaming sessions I often found myself wishing the Black Element had sliding side buttons like the Razer Imperator 4G
The fun part, as with all modern gaming mice, begins once you install the software which allows customization. The GUI is very easy to use, with a number of functions you can assign to each of the 9 buttons on the Black Element. Macro recording is extremely easy as well, as is setting the DPI which goes all the way up to an extremely impressive 6500dpi. You have a choice of 5 pre-defined colors, something I wish had more variety, but if lack of multi-color LEDs means great performance, then so be it.
In all the time playing StarCraft 2, Modern Warfare 3, Battlefield 3 and Team Fortress 2 I found the Black Element to perform just as good as some of the best mice I have used to date. That the Black Element provides pixel perfect performance cannot be argued, but add to that a smooth feel and distinctive looks with easy to use software and you have one hell of a pro gaming mouse that I can easily recommend to any serious gamer.