Updated Tue, Jan 15, 2013 by Shayalyn
When it comes to the gaming mouse, heavy-hitters like Razer, Logitech, and Cyborg come immediately to mind. A4Tech, however, isn’t exactly a household name, even in a gaming household. So, when the Taiwan-based company asked us to take their Bloody2 series Multi-Core Gun3 V3 Gaming Mouse for a spin, we said, “Sure, why not?” The world of gaming peripherals could use a few more worthy competitors. But, at a retail price point of just $39.99, how will the Gun3 V3 compare to tried-and-true standards, like the $50 Razer DeathAdder? There’s only one way to find out.
The Razer DeathAdder has been my mouse of choice for about a year now, replacing a well-loved and decrepit Microsoft Intellimouse relic that I tried many times to do away with, and yet somehow always switched back to because I preferred it over all others. When it comes to my mouse, I’m loyal (I played EverQuest with that Microsoft mouse, to give you an idea of just how loyal.) I like a certain feel, speediness (something that fine-tuning doesn’t always address for me), and level of precision. I have tested a variety of different mice--some general purpose, and some designed specifically for gaming--and returned them all except for the DeathAdder. I’m not an expert on gaming mice, but I know what I like and I’m picky as hell. Keep that in mind as you read this review.
If packaging made the mouse, the Gun3 V3 would certainly look like a winner. It carries the Bloody theme to extremes. Everything is emblazoned with the Bloody logo, a red handprint. Open the slick black box’s front cover, and you’ll see a transparent window with the mouse displayed on a red background. (A good bit like the Razer’s black box and screamin’ green background. And that’s not the last similarity I’ll be noting.) The box also boasts “no lag Q-shoot technology” and a “super high headshot rate!”
What’s pleasantly surprising is all the extra goodies that come with the Gun3 V3 mouse. Inside the box, you’ll find a set of stick-on rubber feet to aid in precision tracking (plus two sets of extras). There’s also a software disk, a cleaning cloth, some bloody handprint vinyl clings (in case you need to make your computer room window look as though you thwarted a gremlin’s escape attempt), and a quick-start guide. The print on the quick-start guide (white on black) was difficult to read and, in some cases, incredibly small. The box and packaging were also rife with questionable English translations. If I were standing in the store reading the packaging as part of my buying decision, I might be put off by the bad translations and concerned about the quality of the item contained within. While it’s the quality of the mouse that I’m reviewing here, first impressions can and do matter.
Here’s a look at the V3’s specs:
Overall, the V3 feels solid and well-constructed. Nothing about this mouse screams “cheap,” despite its price point. In fact, it’s substantial enough that you might find yourself thinking, “Wow, this is a $40 mouse?” The buttons click cleanly and the scroll wheel rolls smoothly. Extra texturing on the sides of the mouse makes it easy to grip. Everything just works, and the design is sleek and functional.
There are two ways we gamers like to hold a mouse--by palming it, or with a claw grip. The Gun3 V3 was designed for the former. I have long fingers and prefer a flatter grip, and the V3 fits comfortably in my hand. It has a slight curve to accommodate a right-handed grip--sorry lefties, this one doesn’t seem to be ambidextrous.
In a side-by-side comparison with the DeathAdder, the V3 has a nearly identical shape, appearance and heft. Both have a smooth, black, matte upper surface. Both boast cool light effects: where the DeathAdder has its pulsating, glowing blue snake emblem, the V3 has a pulsating, glowing red handprint. (I mentioned the pervasive “bloody” theme, right?) Where the DeathAdder’s scroll wheel has a blue light, the V3 has a scroll wheel light that changes colors depending on the function you’re using. The only major difference between the DeathAdder and the V3 is that the V3 has three function buttons just below the scroll wheel where the DeathAdder has none. There are a total of 7 buttons (2 left side, right-click, left-click, and three additional top side) plus the scroll wheel.
Another winning feature of the V3’s design is its optic lens, which sports what A4Tech refers to as a “holeless engine.” What does that mean? Simple--there’s no sensor hole to get grungy with dust, those Doritos crumbs you’ve been meaning to clean up, and other things that could affect precision. The sensor is tucked safely behind a clear plastic screen that’s flush with the mouse bottom. A4Tech purports that its holeless design also keeps unwanted light and liquid out, allowing for “guaranteed HD precision” and “54 times higher image contrast” than a “regular mouse.” (What constitutes a regular mouse, I’m not sure.) Although testing the mouse’s precision and image contrast is beyond the scope of this review, it’s surprising that other mouse manufacturers haven’t adopted a similar design.
Read on to learn more about features and performance.