Mionix Avior 8200 gaming mouse review

[Originally posted to my PC gaming Column at Examiner.com]

The Mionix Avior 8200 is an elegant 9-button gaming mouse with an ambidextrous design, a 32-bit brain under the hood, and a whole lot of rubber.

Features and Design

The Avior 8200 is another one of the growing breed of “smart” mice (like the SteelSeries Sensei) with a built-in processor—in this case a 32-bit ARM processor running at 72 MHz. In theory, the CPU in “smart” mice is supposed to reduce the burden interpreting and translating mouse movement to cursor control places on your CPU and driver software.

In practical terms, however, sticking a cheap processor inside of a gaming mouse is probably just a glitzy gimmick that makes writing feature points for the Web site and box easier. I can’t honestly say I’ve ever actually noticed any real-world benefits from a “smart” mousewhen compared to a plain old dumb one. Sensor technology and capabilities have already advanced to a degree far greater than what most of us need or use.

Regardless, the Avior 8200 still has a good feature set and scores well in overall performance and comfort.

Here’s a rundown of the salient features, courtesy of Mionix:

  • 32bit ARM processor 72mhz
  • Ambidextrous design, palm or claw grip
  • Grip friendly rubber coating
  • 9 fully programmable buttons
  • Adjustable polling rate: 125Hz/250Hz/500Hz/1000Hz
  • 3 steps in-game DPI adjustment
  • 2 integrated LEDs in 2 color zones
  • Up to 16.8 Million LED color options
  • Lighting effects: Color shift, Solid, Blinking, Pulsating and Breathing
  • 128 kb built-in memory (storage for up to 5 different profiles)
  • Large PTFE mouse feet
  • Gold Plated, Full speed USB 2.0 connection with Plug and Play
  • Cable 2m long braided cable

Mionix Avior 8200 Sensor characteristics

  • 8200 DPI gaming laser sensor
  • Max tracking speed 3.8 m/sec (150 ips)
  • Max acceleration 30g
  • Data Format 16-bit both sensor and USB
  • Adjustable to 1ms response time (125Hz/250Hz/500Hz/1000Hz polling rate)
  • Up to 12000 fps
  • 10.8 megapixel per second Image processing power

Soft skills

The Avior’s driver software provides all the general functionality you’d expect from a good gaming mouse: 5 configurable profiles, LED color customization, macro support, and adjustable DPI (200-8200DPI) for example. It has all the basics, but it does fall a little short compared to some of its competitors.

The most important one is the Avior’s macro editor, which is pretty rudimentary when compared to capabilities of Razer and SteelSeries software, for example.

The Avior’s software enables you to create multi-keystroke macros with or without recorded timing intervals, as well as fine tune a macro inside the editor. You can delete or change a specific timing interval between two actions, or insert a mouse event (left click, right-click, etc.) for example. The interface for this is fairly simple–right-click an event inside the macro to change it — but Mionix could have made this a little more intuitive within the software.

If there’s a small weakness in the Avior’s software, it’s that you only get different 3 DPI settings, and they are only adjustable in 200DPI increments. In addition, you can’t assign profiles to activate when a specific game is launched.

From a practical standpoint the Avior provides enough features for most gamers. Ultra-tweakers may want a slightly more granular, richer feature set.

Performance

The Avior performed well for general gaming and daily work. It’s rubber-ridged scroll wheel favors precision over surfing, which is perfectly appropriate for a gaming mouse. Soft touch rubber covers the Avior (there’s virtually no shiny plastic to complain about) to create a grip-friendly, comfortable mouse that is good for virtually any grip type (palm, claw, etc.).

Of the 9 total buttons, 4 (in addition to the left, right, and scroll wheel of course) are accessible and programmable, though you’ll likely only get 2-3 if you reserve at least 1 for DPI switching.

Value

Smart or not, the Avior still has everything it needs to be a good consideration for a gaming mouse, but its roughly $85 street price undercuts its appeal a bit when compared to similar competitors, such as:

These are all gaming mice with similar feature sets but considerably lower prices.

Overall

The Mionix Avior 8200 is comfortable, feature-rich, and in general an excellent choice as an “all-rounder” gaming mouse. It would be even more so if Mionix lowered the price.

Pros

  • Ambidextrous, comfortable design
  • Textured rubber back and sides
  • Simple, intuitive driver software

Cons

  • Features and software not as rich as some competitors
  • Relatively expensive compared to its peers
  • Glowing Mionix logo looks like a gaping cosmic vagina or athletic cup
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